Champion Spark Plug Regatta
Saturday, April 4, 2020
Fort Borst Lake, Fort Borst Park (Centralia, Washington)
Three preliminary heats of five laps each for modern and vintage classes
First and second connies for both classes (depending on boat count and attrition). Second connie winner advances to first connie as a trailer. First connie winner advances to the final as a trailer.
Second place boat in the first connie is an alternate for the final.
Winner-take-all championship finals for both modern and vintage
Vintage boats may run their choice of props
2019 Race Results
1. Rick Evans, 1972 Notre Dame
2. JimmeJames Cusworth, 2011 Valken
3. Nelson Holmberg, 2018 Oberto ^
DNF Gerry Bordon, 1974 Miss U.S.
DNS Len Taylor, 2012 Spirit of Qatar
SCR Rick Evans, 1973 Red Man Too
1. Jerry Dunlap, 1957 Hawaii Kai III (Owner: Ben Keller)
2. JimmeJames Cusworth, 1969 Miss Schweppes
3. Len Taylor, 1968 Miss Bardahl
DNF Robbie Roberts, 1971 Hallmark Homes
SCR Ron Daum, 1957 Thriftway Too
SCR Gerry Bordon, 1970 Parco's O-Ring Miss
^ – Started final as trailer boat
Vintage Class Race Winners
2004 — 1957 Hawaii Ka’i III. Owner/Driver: Roger Newton. (Shady Lake, Renton)
2005 — 1970 Pay ‘n Pak Lil’ Buzzard. Owner/Driver: Jeff Campbell.
2006 — 1970 Pay ‘n Pak Lil’ Buzzard. Owner/Driver: Jeff Campbell.
2007 — 1971 Hallmark Homes. Owner: Jeff Campbell. Driver: Jason Hartley.
2008 — 1969 Pay ‘n Pak Outrigger. Owner/Driver: Jeff Campbell.
2009 — 1963 Notre Dame. Owner/Driver: Bob VandenAkker.
2010 — 1969 Pay ‘n Pak Outrigger. Owner/Driver: Jeff Campbell.
2011 — 1970 Parco’s ORing Miss. Owner/Driver: Gerry Bordon.
2012 — 1970 Parco’s ORing Miss. Owner/Driver: Gerry Bordon.
2013 — 1971 Miss Madison. Owner/Driver: Ron Forister.
2014 — 1960 Miss Thriftway. Owner/Driver: Kerry Kjos.
2015 — No race
2016 — No race
2017 — Miss U.S. 5. Owner/Driver: Len Taylor
2018 — 1969 Miss Schweppes. Owner/Driver: JimmeJames Cusworth
2019 — 1957 Hawaii Kai III. Owner: Ben Keller. Driver: Jerry Dunlap
Modern Class Race Winners
2004 — 1970 Pride of Pay ‘n Pak. Owner/Driver: Jeff Campbell. (Shady Lake, Renton)
2005 — 1974 Country Boy. Owner/Driver: Mike Campbell.
2006 — 1970 Pride of Pay ‘n Pak. Owner/Driver: Jeff Campbell.
2007 — 1974 Country Boy. Owner/Driver: Mike Campbell.
2008 — 1978 Miss Circus Circus. Owner/Driver: Mike Gossler.
2009 — 1982 Executone. Owner/Driver: Mike Campbell.
2010 — 1974 U95. Owner/Driver: Rick Lentz.
2011 — 1977 Charlie’s Girl. Owner/Driver: Bill Smiley.
2012 — 2010 Formula Boats. Owner/Driver: Nelson Holmberg.
2013 — 1986 The Boat. Owner/Driver: Mike Campbell.
2014 — 2012 Graham Trucking. Owner/Driver: Nelson Holmberg.
2015 — No race
2016 — No race
2017 — 2011 Valken. Owner/Driver: JimmeJames Cusworth
2018 — 2011 Valken. Owner/Driver: JimmeJames Cusworth
2019 — 1972 Notre Dame. Owner/Driver: Rick Evans
*Unless Otherwise Noted - Race was Held at Fort Borst Park, Centralia
Directions to Fort Borst Park:
History of the Real Champion Spark Plug Regatta
From 1971-83, Champion Spark Plugs sponsored the season opening Champion Spark Plug Regatta at Miami Marine Stadium in Miami, Fla.
This race often times sets the stage for how things would turn out during the coming season, even though the course was a tight 2 mile oval on salt water.
Over the 13 race history of the event, legendary driver Bill Muncey won five times and Dean Chenoweth won four times. Miss Budweiser was the all-time race win leader at the Champion Spark Plug Regatta by taking six titles home, including each of the last four. Atlas Van Lines won five, including each of the four prior to the Miss Budweiser win streak in the event’s final years.
Other winning drivers include Mickey Remund (1973), Howie Benns (1974), Billy Schumacher (1975) and Jim Kropfeld (1983).
The only year that the Champion Spark Plug Regatta didn’t kick off the season was 1983 – it’s final year – when the season started at the Lake of the Ozarks in Missouri.
2019 CHAMPION SPARK PLUG REGATTA NEWS
CHAMPION RACE SPARKS EVANS TO VICTORY IN MODERN; DUNLAP TAKES VINTAGE
By Jerry Dunlap
The weather forecast for the Saturday, April 6 Champion Sparkplug Regatta at Centralia’s Borst Lake was rather ominous. When the participants arrived and began setting up it appeared the foreboding prediction might be accurate. Luckily, the rain and really high winds subsided for the most part just prior to the Drivers’ Meeting. Located in a sheltered surrounding, Borst Lake is somewhat protected from the wind. Unfortunately, at various times during the event the wind managed to transform several “hydroplanes” into “planes” resulting in boats landing with their propellers pushing air and not water. Even a prop with an abundance of pitch doesn’t provide sufficient thrust to move an upside down 1/10 Scale Unlimited.
With only six boats entered in the Vintage Class, two heats of three boats rounds the top four boats will advance to the Final. If there are sufficient boats for a Consolation Race, the winner of the Consolation will advance to the final as the trailer boat. The Vintage Class boats definitely were impacted by the wind, especially on the front straightaway. It seemed like there was at least one blow over in each of the Vintage Class qualifying heats. a round were raced with the top five after four rounds advancing to the Vintage Final.
For the 2019 ERCU racing season, after four qualifying rounds, Jimme James Cusworth and the 1969 Miss Schwepps was TQ with 1500 points. Cautiously driving the 1955 Hawaii Kai III, I was the second qualifier with 1300 points. Robbie Roberts qualified the 1971 Hallmark Homes with 1200 points. Len Taylor’s 1968 Bardahl’s 225 points earned him a place in the Vintage Final when Ron Daum and Gerry Borden had to scratch their boats from competition due to mechanical issues. During mill time for the Final, Jimme James cut the entrance buoy in the left turn and Robbie Roberts jumped the start. That left Len and me as two boats without a one lap penalty. At some point during the Final, Robbie’s boat quit and Jimme James was able to come around, pass Len and move into second. The Kai was running very well and I was able to hold off Jimme James and win my first ERCU Vintage Class race with Ben Keller’s Kai. Len was able to finish third. Total points for Vintage Class are: Jimme James – 1800, Jerry 1700, Robbie -1200 Ron Daum’s 1957 Thriftway Too 525, Len Taylor 450, Gerry Bordon’s 1970 Parco’s O-Ring Miss 400.
Nine boats entered Modern Class with Rick Evans entering his 1972 Notre Dame and new for this racing season his 1973 Red Man Too. For the first round in Modern, two heats of five and four boats were drawn. With a limited number of participants, both heats in round one proved challenging since almost everyone was either racing, coaching, or serving as the referee or corner judge. The remaining three qualifying rounds were divided into three boat a heat. The four boats qualifying for the Modern Final were Rick’s Notre Dame with 1600 points after four qualifying heat wins, the 2011 Valken belonging to Jimme James with 1400, Len Taylor’s 2012 Spirit of Qatar with 1127, and Jerry Bordon’s 1974 Miss U.S. with 1100. Rick earned 1150 points with his Red Man Too but elected not to have it race in the final. Paul Dunlap with the 1985 Tempus and Nelson Holmberg with his new 2018 Oberto were the boats in the Modern Class Consolation Race. Paul held a slight lead for most the Consolation until the Tempus rolled over in the left corner with one lap remain allowing Nelson the Oberto to advance to the Final.
Rick Evans nailed the start of the Modern Final with his 1972 Notre Dame and drove five very consistent laps to lead from start to finish. Starting just behind Rick, but unable to catch the Notre Dame, Jimme James’ 2011 Valken placed second. Driving the 2018 Oberto in its first Final, Nelson placed third when Len’s Spirit of Qatar DNS and Gerry’s Miss U.S. DNF. The total point count for the Modern Class after one of ten race s(top eight races count for points): Rick Evans/1972 Notre Dame – 2000, Jimme James Cusworth/2011 Valken – 1700, Nelson Holmberg/2018 O’Berto – 1200, Rick Evan/1973 Red Man Too – 1150, Len Taylor/2012 Spirit of Qatar – 1127, Gerry Bordon/1974 Miss U.S. – 1100, Ron Daum/2009 Grandview on the Lake – 994, Paul Dunlap/1985 Tempus – 694, Robbie Roberts/2017 Spirit of Detroit – 627.
I would like to thank the ERCU members who participated in this year’s Champion Spark Plug Regatta for ignoring the unfavorable weather forecast and some rain and wind during the event for making the trip to Centralia. I believe Borst Lake is a unique model boating venue. I also want to especially thank Teresa for walking up and down the pit area announcing the upcoming heats. And to my son, Paul, thanks for all the time you spent in the rowboat and having to deal with a broken oar lock the last few heats.
Rick Evans made the most of his trip to Centralia winning four qualifying heats and the final in Modern with his Notre Dame. Rick’s new Red Man Too looks very promising as well. Although Nelson Holmberg’s new 2018 Oberto wasn’t the fastest boat in Modern, Nelson’s third place finish in the Modern Final proved that “fast” is nice but “finish” is better. Hopefully, our Diamond Cup Regatta at Longview’s Lake Sacajawea on Saturday April 20 will be blessed with weather more favorable to racing model boats instead of flying kites.