Hey guys! I’m so happy with the way the 2021 ERCU racing season has started, and I hope each of you is too.
It’s been a great start.
We’ve had solid racing, only a couple of accidents, limited attrition, and best of all – truly great turnouts. It’s always fun when there are a lot of boats at the races, but it’s fun to have the kind of camaraderie and fellowship that we’ve had this season.
I’m proud that we’ve welcomed the 1/7 scale division into ERCU as well. While there was more attrition than any of us would have liked in their first ERCU event – the Diamond Cup in Longview – the racers who attended were a great addition to the club. So … many thanks to them. Welcome to the club!
This brings me to my first point of this Chair Chatter: Sportsmanship.
Not that we’ve got a serious problem with it, but I just want to remind everyone that even when our emotions can sometimes get the best of us, it’s very important to keep our cool and practice good sportsmanship. There’s a whole section on sportsmanship in the rulebook. While the rules do seem a little heavy on the punitive side, that’s not the way we as members really want the club to operate.
So, let’s suffice it to remind everyone what the first point in the sportsmanship section says:
“The goal of the club is to encourage cordial competition; however, every boat owner, driver or crew member shall be subject to disciplinary action for unsportsmanlike conduct in connection with the regatta from the time of arrival at the race site until two hours after the completion of the contest.”
I also wanted to refresh the expectation of heat officials at our races. While we’re all volunteers, all human, and all doing the very best we can, we’re taking steps to help make sure that drivers know about their penalties within a lap. In fact, the club recently purchased six brand new, rechargeable, two-way radios for use between each turn judge and the chief referee. We’ll very briefly go over how to use them during driver’s meetings for a few races until we’re all comfortable with them.
There are just three officials needed to run each heat, as long as we all communicate well:
The appendices in our club rulebook – particularly the interpretations, driving etiquette and precedents sections – are very helpful and clarifying. I highly recommend refreshing your knowledge of those pages.
My final point in this Chair Chatter is – again – not meant to sound bossy or preachy, just a reminder.
Now that our fields are again growing and we’re having as many as five boats in a heat, a reminder about etiquette is probably fair game. It’s a reminder that each of us, when we overtake another boat, is responsible to do so safely and to avoid collisions.
As the rulebook says, “driver safety will be defined as the necessary techniques for running a race so that all boats may compete fairly with maximum assurance of finishing safely and without damage. Mastery and application of these techniques, even though the driver is separated from the boat, are the very essence of competitive skill (as in real racing) and will go far in increasing the pleasure and challenge of model racing competition. Driving a model boat should require the same care, precaution, and consideration for safety as is necessary in driving a life size boat, where lack of these factors could result in physical injury as well as boat damage.”
This essentially means the throttle works both ways. Being the fastest boat on the water, or the driver who is cool enough to keep the throttle pinned all the way around the course isn’t always the best – or safest – way to go. Please remember to use common sense and keep an eye out for dead boats, slow boats, or any other potential hazards on the racecourse.
Remember: We must finish heats to earn points.
The Seafair Cup is coming up next, and I for one, am pumped. Repairs on my boats after the brutal experience of the Diamond Cup for Cougar Racing Team are almost done and I’ll be ready to rock and roll in Lacey.
I hope to see you all at the races!