American SaniCan, a staple of support for ERCU since 2021, has agreed to become the club's Official Portable Restroom Partner for the 2024 ERCU Pentair Championship Series.
The 2021 ERCU Sponsor of the Year, American SaniCan will support the club with deeply discounted portable restrooms for the two races in Longview, saving the club money in event costs.
American SaniCan will be a supporting sponsor at each of the club's 11 western Washington races, so you'll see their presence with a banner at each race with the exception of Ellensburg.
The 2023-24 ERCU Board of Directors will meet on Wednesday, Feb. 21 at 6 p.m., via Zoom.
The board will have an agenda of items that provide updates on what the board has wrapped up and addressed during the offseson. If you're interested in participating, all members, past members and future members - as well as other interested parties - are welcome to attend.
To attend the meeting, click here.
More information will be emailed to members as the meeting date draws closer.
ERCU announced today that the 2024 ERCU race schedule has been confirmed.
To see the full 2024 race schedule, click here.
The 12-race season begins Saturday, March 30 with the Champion Spark Plug Regatta at Vance Creek Park in Elma. Jerry and Paul Dunlap will serve as contest directors for that race.
Three weeks later, on Saturday, April 20, the club will enjoy a new race site as Dennis Caines and Rick Evans share CD duties for the Diamond Cup at Scott Lake in Tumwater. This is the site Caines proposed and conducted a test session at last October. The support from the community was great and it appears to be a fantastic new race site.
Another new race site, Irene Reinhardt Riverfront Park in Ellensburg, will host the third race of the season. On Saturday, May 4, the club will venture across the mountains for its first-ever sanctioned race on the east side. The club will run the 2024 Governor’s Cup in Ellensburg. The idea came about when David Newton suggested that there are a lot of 1/10 scale racers in the Wenatchee, Moses Lake and Tri-Cities areas who might enjoy coming to try out ERCU if there was an event on the east side. It’s pretty exciting to try something new.
In May, the President’s Cup will be the first of two races at Waughop Lake in Lakewood. The second is the Jack Regas Memorial on June 15. The Stan Sayres Memorial will celebrate its 50th running as “the oldest and greatest RC scale unlimited race” on Saturday, June 1 at Lake Sacajawea Park in Longview.
David Newton will again host the Roger Newton Memorial, Saturday, June 29 in Lacey.
July brings one race, the Bernie Little Memorial in Longview, on July 10, followed by a pair of races in Lacey on August 10 (Seafair Trophy Race) and August 24 (Detroit Memorial Regatta - this year honoring Craig Bradshaw and Ben Keller).
The season wraps up in September with the ERCU Gold Cup (put on by the ERCU Board of Directors), September 14-15 in Lacey, and the Atomic Cup September 28 in Elma.
Ben Keller, a longtime member of ERCU and a friend to all who knew him passed away on Monday, Feb. 5, 2024.
It was his birthday.
Ben was a long-time choir teacher at Lakes High School in the Clover Park School District. He also served as an adjudicator for choir competitions across the Pacific Northwest. Music was just one of his passions. He also loved unlimited hydroplane racing, photography, his friends & family and Mercedes Benz cars. In addition to his long-time membership in ERCU and Electric Scale Unlimiteds, Ben was also heavily involved in the Seattle Section of the Mercedes Benz Club of America.
Ben had been hospitalized after a fall.
He loved music, and his own career, so much that he named his racing team and his photograph sharing “Choral Enterprises”.
While in ERCU, Ben owned a 1/10 scale model of the 1957 Hawaii Kai III, which finished its career in 2020 with 123,730 career points - good for second most in the club’s history. Ben’s boat also collected 18 all-time wins with drivers Mike Campbell, Craig Mullen, David Newton, Nelson Holmberg and Jerry Dunlap on the wheel. The high point for Ben was 2011 when Campbell and Holmberg combined on the driving duties to score five wins. Ben won the season points championship in 2011 (14,119 points) and again in 2012 (11,989 points). Dunlap (2019) and Holmberg (2012) each won one Gold Cup for Ben. With a total of 18 race wins, his Hawaii Kai III is fourth place on the ERCU career race wins list for vintage hulls.
Ben was also the founder of the ERCU Jack Regas Memorial. His passion for the Hawaii Kai and everything about it was admirable, and when he saw the opportunity to create a memorial race for his favorite driver, Ben moved on it and the club continues to run the Jack Regas Memorial annually. After Regas passed away in early 2014, Keller requested permission from the ERCU Contest Board to change the name of the event to the Jack Regas Memorial, in honor of the one-time Hawaii Ka’i III driver, who had not only met with Keller to see his models of the “Pink Lady”, but also followed the boat’s seasons in ERCU and ESU.
In ESU, Ben’s 1/7 scale 1958 Hawaii Kai III was clearly the cream of the crop. Ben scored a total of 60,233 points in the club’s six seasons, including points championships in the first two years. Perhaps even more impressively, the second place vintage boat in ESU all-time points standings is just over 14,000 points behind Ben’s boat. Ben’s boat also won 18 races in ESU.
By his own choice, Ben never drove his own boats in competition, and only rarely did he drive one of his boats. It was his joy to own, and work on, his boats and allow others to drive them.
Ben also was a long-serving member of the ERCU Board of Directors and the ESU Board of Directors. His statistics once even included not just season and career points, race wins, etc., but also in-depth coverage of as much as a ranking of heat efficiency statistics every season. He would update the document after each race. Ben also gave a significant portion of his time to Unlimiteds Unanimous, where for years he helped produce the Unlimited Newsjournal.
More information will be shared from the family and ERCU will update its membership as there is more to share.
Throughout the years ERCU has been fortunate to host multiple races at Twin Lakes each year. We have also been fortunate that in the past, other lake users including fishermen, swimmers, boaters and kayakers have cooperated by staying off the lake as we run our event.
In 2024 we have been advised that while we will be issued a permit to use the lake, we cannot put any restrictions on people using the water. We can ask people to leave but we can't make them leave. Law enforcement cannot be asked to help us.
NAMBA members must follow and abide by the NAMBA rules and the regulations on the back of your NAMBA card, which do not allow racing if anyone is in the water. The penalties for violations are severe, so you should review them.
The big difference this year is that - if the person refuses to leave the north lake, there are two choices:
This decision was made in the best interest of our members and race participants. We are hoping that in the future that a solution can be found that addresses the requirement to restrict access to others during our events.