Two weeks of voting is complete, and all 15 proposed rules changes have been approved by the membership.
With 45 registered members, and 24 members participating in the vote, a 53 percent turnout isn't too shabby. Many thanks to all who voted.
The 2022 rulebook will be updated in the coming weeks and shared with the membership directly before the end of December.
Here's a recap of the proposed changes and the total vote counts for each. Club bylaws require a minimum of a 2/3-majority of the total number of members voting for passage. All measures easily eclipsed the 2/3-majority minimum.
Many thanks to the Competition Committee for the hours of work the members spent working through ideas in order to provide a recommendation to the board and ultimately to the membership.
Proposed Change #1 : Approve recommended boat registration rule change to: “Members are allowed a total number of boat registrations equaling two times the number of classes of hull registrations across all divisions at any one time and not to exceed three registrations in any one class. Registration can be made at any time by mail or in person to the club’s registrar/treasurer.” Passed by a margin of 22-2 (92%)
Proposed Change #2: Approve recommended boat registration rule change to: “A boat registration shall be defined as inactive when: (a) the boat has earned no season points in two consecutive racing seasons. A one-time purchase of one additional year of registration may be purchased by payment of $30 to the club’s registrar/treasurer.” Passed by a margin of 22-2 (92%)
Proposed Change #3: Approve recommended motor rule: Limit motors to a max Kv rating of 2000kv with a top breakout threshold of 2100kv and instruct the Competition Committee & Board of Directors to identify and adopt an accurate method of Kv testing in the field. Passed by a margin of 23-1 (96%)
Proposed Change #4: Approve recommended propeller rule: “Any propeller may be used up to a maximum diameter of two inches (50.8mm).” Passed by a margin of 21-3 (88%)
Proposed Change #5: Approve recommended battery rule to eliminate the “C” rating limitation. Passed by a margin of 22-2 (92%)
Proposed Change #6: Approve recommended skid fin rule to create specific sections to list skid fin rules per class, even if the rules are repeated or cross class lines. Passed by a margin of 21-3 (88%)
Proposed Change #7: Approve recommended permanent adoption of 1 minute 30 second audio countdown clock to start each heat after boats are on the water or ready to be put on the water. Passed by a margin of 23-1 (96%)
Proposed Change #8: Approve recommended one-lap penalty for any boats off plane or stopping after the 30-second mark. Passed by a margin of 20-4 (83%)
Proposed Change #9: Approve recommended adoption of: “No boat may cut the course after the clock strikes five seconds." Passed by a margin of 22-2 (92%)
Proposed Change #10: Approve recommended adoption of: “After the five second mark, any boat that crosses the starting line before the clock is at zero has not started and must round the full course to make a start.” Passed by a margin of 20-4 (83%)
Proposed Change #11: Approve recommended adoption of: “Each driver must have a NAMBA member spotter." Passed by a margin of 22-2 (92%)
Proposed Change #12: Approve recommended removal of: “Driver can stop heat.” Maintain “Referee may stop heat for any reason, including by request of a racing driver.” Passed by a margin of 23-1 (96%)
Proposed Change #13: Approve recommended removal of all penalty provisions for striking parts on racecourse and maintain all striking dead boat penalties. Passed by a margin of 22-2 (92%)
Proposed Change #14: Approve recommended change: “To participate in a consolation heat or final heat, it is a prerequisite that a boat score points in a preliminary heat.” Passed by a margin of 22-2 (92%)
Proposed Change #15: Approve recommended removal of severity from driving infractions. The referee already has the discretion to issue a warning, lap penalty or disqualification based on the driving infraction. Passed by a margin of 21-3 (88%)
At the November Member Meeting this past Saturday, members participating were asked to engage in a conversation about the format for the ERCU Gold Cup.
With rising boat counts and the club's growth continuing, we saw the 2021 ERCU Gold Cup last into the dusk hours of race day. By the time we were packing our vehicles and leaving the race site after this year's Gold Cup, it was already dark. That prompted a conversation about whether we need to make changes to the Gold Cup format.
A couple of ideas have already come out, but the club is interested in an ongoing conversation over the next month or so, in order to provide all members a chance to share their thoughts.
While everyone agrees that the Gold Cup should always be the most special event we have - featuring four flights of five-lap heats for each of our two divisions and five classes; while also respecting the Gold Cup's tradition of being the most difficult to win: A test of endurance, consistency, as well as mechanical and driving skill.
The first ideas to come into discussion include, leaving it alone and retaining the status quo; keeping a one-day format and eliminating the time trials or turning it into a two day event at the same park.
We would love to keep the conversation going for the next few weeks before we need to finalize the schedule, and hear from our members what their preference is.
Below are the two options different from retaining the status quo to help start the conversation. Please be clear that this is NOT a vote for one or the other, but instead the opportunity to begin a conversation.
Comments are open below this story, so please feel free to weigh in!
The first ERCU Winter Meeting of the year is set for 10 a.m.-noon, Saturday, Nov. 20 on Zoom. You can find more information about how to join the meeting by clicking below. There will be a hearty board agenda and plenty of time to bench race and enjoy each other's company again. We hope you’ll plan to join us!
All ERCU members, and interested parties, are welcome to attend the first Winter Meeting of the 2021-22 ERCU offseason, Saturday Nov. 20 at 10 a.m.
Offseason meetings are called "Winter Meetings" so that these meetings to be inviting and open to all who would like to attend. While there is an agenda to help keep the meeting mostly on track, member feedback is always welcome.
The meeting will be virtual on Zoom (click here for the meeting link). Telephone call in access can be accomplished by dialing (253) 215-8782. The meeting ID is 846 418 9312 and password is ERCU2021.
This month's agenda includes discussion of possible changes to the ERCU Gold Cup format. The meeting's agenda also includes an opportunity to ask questions about the proposed rule changes (which you can read by clicking here), as well as some regular club business, old business and discussion about equipment such as buoys, scaffolding, PA system, etc.
Notes from the meeting will be posted on the website after the meeting
The proposed rule changes for the 2021-22 ERCU Racing Year have been posted for members to vote on. Voting will remain open through Thursday, Nov. 25 (two weeks) and results will be posted on Friday, Nov. 26.
This year's proposals were developed through a thorough review of the current rulebook by the ERCU Competition Committee, which made a recommendation to the ERCU Board of Directors about what rules should be changed and how. The board reviewed the Competition Committee's recommendations and ratified the recommendations for a vote by the membership.
There are also two registration rules proposed for change by the ERCU Board of Directors on the ballot.
Voting is now closed. Thank you for participating in the process, and continuing to improve ERCU on a continual basis.
Photos courtesy of Paul Dunlap
ERCU celebrated a fantastic 2021 racing season with it's annual End of Season Celebration at the Hydroplane & Raceboat Museum, Saturday, Nov. 6.
Brian Perkins headlined the night as our special guest, sharing stories about how he got into racing at age 15 working weekends in Bill Wurster's shop before going on the road with the team the next year, about finding and racing his first 1 liter, and getting into the unlimiteds.
Brian spent 12 seasons driving for Brian and Greg O’Farrell’s Go Fast, Turn Left Racing Team, has nine podium finishes in his 13-year career, three of which came from the four races he ran in 2019.
Brian grew up in the Seattle area dreaming of driving a H1 Unlimited hydroplane like his boyhood heroes. It was a dream that was more realistic than for most because his family was active in the sport. He grew up around Seattle’s Stan Sayres Park every summer while his parents were involved as volunteers for Seattle’s Seafair trophy race. That familiarity with the hydroplanes led to him becoming a helper on Bill Wurster's team when he was only 15-years-old.
His father wasn't as excited about working on the hydros as Brian was, so Wurster allowed Brian to stay with him at his house on weekends while Brian did everything from sweeping floors to sorting bolts.
It was in the Wurster shop where Brian found his first hydroplane, a 1 liter, that needed some work. His dad made a deal to buy the boat and Brian went racing. With help from Scott Raney, Brian's "Perkins Glass" 1 liter turned into a rocket. That hull is now retired and hanging on the wall in the Museum. Brian went on to race 2.5 liter, unlimited lights and grand prix boats before getting his break in an unlimited.
His debut behind the wheel of an H1 Unlimited hydroplane came in 2007 when he drove the U-21 Meyers’ Auto Tech, campaigned by the Freedom Racing Team of San Diego.
Aside from the racecourse, one of his greatest accomplishments, he says, came in 2011 when he was driving the boat in San Diego. That’s when he met his wife Erin, who worked as an animal trainer at SeaWorld. The two live in North Bend, with their daughter Allie and are avid pleasure boaters and quite fond of Tollycrafts.
It really was a great season in ERCU, and thanks go out to everyone who participated this year. We had quite a bit of change throughout the season with some new rules, virus-driven restrictions, a new division of 1/7-scale, and more. As it turned out, we had one helluva season. The 1/10-scale classic season championship came down to the very last race of the season. We had four drivers Brandon Sano, Paxton Reunanen, Terry Harmer and Jay Fonville earn their first firsts this season, too.
The racing on the water was high quality and the sportsmanship on the beach was better than it’s been in quite some time. It’s a high-water year for ERCU and we’re proud of all that’s been done over the last couple of years – it’s time to celebrate that tonight.
Congratulations everyone and thanks for an awesome year!
Now to the awards:
1/10 Scale Modern Rookie of the Year: Two rookies stood out in 1/10 scale modern this year and David Heilbrunn & Mike Hughes were nominated by their peers for the 1/10-scale modern Rookie of the Year award. While David’s consistency throughout the season earned him second place in season points for this class, Mike’s total points in just three races – along with two race wins – including the Gold Cup – pushed him over the top for this award. This year’s 1/10-scale modern class Rookie of the Year is MIKE HUGHES.
1/7 Scale Modern Rookie of the Year: It’s true that none of the nominees for 1/7-scale modern this year were actual racing rookies, they were ALL rookies in ERCU for the division. And while the 1/7-scale field was dusting of the connectors and sorting things out early in the season, three drivers began to establish themselves as standouts. Nominees for the 2021 1/7-scale modern Rookie of the Year are: Nelson Holmberg, Craig Mullen and Denise Sjostrom. By winning eight races, including the Gold Cup, and the season points standings, NELSON HOLMBERG has been named the winner of this year’s Rookie of the Year in 1/7-scale modern.
1/10 Scale Classic Rookie of the Year: The 2021 season saw some serious competition in the 1/10 scale classic class, and the season championship came down to the last race of the season – the Gold Cup. Among those who impressed in the classic class this year were rookie of the year nominees Jay Fonville, David Heilbrunn, Chuck Murray and Paxton Reunanen. For winning the classic points championship, this year’s 1/10-scale classic class Rookie of the Year is DAVID HEILBRUNN.
1/10 Scale Vintage Rookie of the Year: This year’s 1/10-scale Rookie of the Year turned heads from the very first race he attended. His consistency and ever-present ability to finish in the thick of almost every heat he ran earned him this year’s award. The nominees for the 2021 1/10-scale vintage Rookie of the Year were Jay Fonville and Paxton Reunanen. This year’s 1/10-scale vintage class Rookie of the Year is JAY FONVILLE.
1/7 Scale Vintage Rookie of the Year: Nominess for the 17 scale vintage rookie of the year made the final decision really difficult. Both Terry Harmer and John Sjostrom were nominated for the award this year. Both had terrific seasons, with Terry winning two races, including the Gold Cup and John winning one race and the season championship. While it wasn’t easy, we had to make a decision and ultimately the bigger picture of the whole season won out. This year’s 1/7 scale vintage Rookie of the Year is JOHN SJOSTROM.
ERCU 1/10 Scale Most Improved Driver: There were a lot of drivers this year who deserved this award, and that was captured well by the members’ nominations of Jay Fonville, David Heilbrunn, Chuck Murray and Paxton Reunanen. By turning in one of the more impressive rookie seasons, in both 1/10 scale modern and vintage, this year’s most improved driver in the modern class gets to take home another award tonight. After completing a second-place finish in the modern standings and a points championship in classic, he’s certainly proven his improvement over the season. This year’s 1/10 scale division Most Improved Driver is DAVID HEILBRUNN.
ERCU 1/7 Scale Most Improved Driver: When the 1/7-scale season started, to be direct, I don’t think that many people were terribly impressed, and that was noted in the nominations for this year’s Most Improved Driver for 1/7 scale. One nominator said: “I nominate the entire 1/7-scale fleet. It was fun to watch the transformation from their first race of the year to the Gold Cup. It went from not many boats even finishing at the first race, to some of best and most competitive racing as the season progressed. Denise Sjostrom was also nominated for the award. With the awards bill we paid this year, you might think the winner of this award was the entire fleet. But no … the 2021 1/7 scale Most Improved Driver is DENISE SJOSTROM
ERCU Sportsmanship Award: Every year, the club puts a high standard on sportsmanship from its members, and every year, several members stand out as great sportsmen, who do the right thing, don’t complain, help other members with their boats and their racing, and help the club with officiating, set up, break down, and overall promotion of the club. This year, as usual, there were many members who could have won this award and the nominees were Ron Daum, Rick Evans and Bill Mowatt. When it came to decision time, one member really stood out, so for that, BILL MOWATT is this year’s winner of the ERCU Sportsmanship Award.
ERCU Contest Director of the Year: Those nominated for Contest Director of the Year included Brad Lewis and David Newton (Detroit Memorial Regatta), David Newton (Roger Newton Memorial), Nelson Holmberg, (Diamond Cup and Stan Sayres Memorial) and the ERCU Board of Directors for the ERCU Gold Cup. Sometimes the club needs new ideas. New perspective on things. In the case of 2021, that meant an entirely new race. But this wasn’t just ANY race. This race had prizes, new handmade trophies, a hot dog feed, and so much more. In thanks for all of their hard work putting together and hosting the inaugural Detroit Memorial Regatta, BRAD LEWIS and DAVID NEWTON are this year’s Contest Directors of the Year.
ERCU Contribution Awards: These awards are an opportunity for the Contest Board to say thank you to a few members who go above and beyond to provide a great amount of leadership, hard work and their own time – or even just sharing their enthusiasm for the hobby with the whole world – for the benefit of the club. This is often one of the most difficult awards to determine because so many members help out and it’s never fun to leave someone out. That said, thank you to all of the members who help the club all season every season. The nominees for this year’s Contribution Awards are: Joey Caines, Jerry Dunlap, Paul Dunlap, Rick Evans, Nelson Holmberg and Brad Lewis. And the winners of this year’s Contribution Awards are: PAUL DUNLAP and NELSON HOLMBERG
ERCU Sponsor of the Year: Without our sponsors, many of our races would be extremely expensive to put on. This year, three of our sponsors were recognized by members as ones who stood out and who we owe gratitude to. Those nominated for Sponsor of the Year include American SaniCan, Pentair and Roostertail Talk. For the fact that they donated a portable toilet to us for the Stan Sayres Memorial at Longview this year, AMERICAN SANICAN is the 2021 ERCU Sponsor of the Year. Seems like anyone who lets us pee for free like that is deserving of an award!
Hall of Champions: The Hall of Champions was created by Mike Campbell and the 2007-08 ERCU Contest Board shortly after Roger Newton passed away. It is an award intended to recognize a member who makes exceptional contributions to the club and who also demonstrates excellence on the racecourse. Roger was recognized, posthumously in 2008, as one of the club’s founders and prime developer in its early years by being given induction into the club’s Hall of Champions. Over the years, a number of really great racers – and club contributors – have had their names engraved on the Hall of Champions trophy. Nominees for this year’s award include Ron Daum, Jerry Dunlap, John & Dianne Earnest, Rick Evans, Kerry Kjos, David Newton. This year was easily the most frustrating season ever for the member we honor tonight. Covid has been a struggle for almost all of us. But because he couldn’t cross the border without having to quarantine for two weeks upon returning home, it made no sense for him to even try. All the while, he served his entire first term on the board of the directors without being able to attend a single race. He loved Joey Caines’ Facebook Live videos from our events, and he did so much work behind-the-scenes to make a significant impact on the club. So much impact, in fact, that he was re-elected to the club’s board even though some of us have not yet met him in person. As for his performance on the water, let’s just say that when he was racing with us, he pretty much dominated his heats and won plenty of races. RICK EVANS has spent a lot of time, effort, sweat and blood for the benefit of ERCU during his time in the club and in thanks for that, Rick is the winner of this year’s Hall of Champions award.
HIGH POINTS CHAMPIONS
1/10 Scale Modern Driver: Paul Dunlap, 2015 Dalton Industries
1/10 Scale Modern Boat: 2015 Dalton Industries, Owner: Rick Evans; Driver: Paul Dunlap
1/7 Scale Modern Driver: Nelson Holmberg, 1972 Notre Dame
1/7 Scale Modern Boat: 1972 Notre Dame, Owner: Gary Hansen; Driver: Nelson Holmberg
1/10 Scale Classic Driver: David Heilbrunn, 1984 Executone
1/10 Scale Classic Boat: 1984 Executone, David Heilbrunn
1/10 Scale Vintage Driver: David Newton, 1960 Miss Thriftway
1/10 Scale Vintage Boat: 1960 Miss Thriftway, Owner: Kerry Kjos; Driver: David Newton
1/7 Scale Vintage Driver: John Sjostrom, 1960 Miss Thriftway
1/7 Scale Vintage Boat: 1960 Miss Thriftway, John Sjostrom
At the ERCU Board of Directors meeting on Sunday, Oct. 31, the board set dates for the 2021-22 ERCU Winter Meetings.
This year, we'll have three meetings - in November, January and March - along with the Roger Newton Memorial RC Model Boat Show in February. These are opportunities for the whole club to come together on Zoom for some bench racing, a little face time with each other during the offseason and an opportunity for the board to conduct its agendas with as many members who would like to participate present.
This year's winter meetings will be held on the fourth Saturday of each month at 10 a.m. We'll keep the Zoom meeting open for up to two hours each time and have a good time with our friends.
Those specific dates are:
We'll not have a winter meeting in December due to the Christmas season, nor will we have a formal winter meeting in February due to the Model Boat Show.
November 1 is traditionally the first day of the “new ERCU Racing Year”.
Since the club operates on a fiscal year, instead of a calendar year, this means that all registrations are now open for renewals. Current owners of registrations have until January 2, 2022 to get their registrations renewed for 2021-22. That’s not to say we’re going to take your rights to your own boats away from you, it’s just that we want to make sure and get the registrations taken care of for the 2022 season, and deadlines often help with that.
Registrations can be done here on the club's website. Click here to register online, or click here if you'd prefer a printable paper application to mail in a check with your registration.
Jim McKeon, owner and driver of the 1/7 scale Maverick, has been appointed to fill a vacancy left on the ERCU Board of Directors when Robbie Roberts stepped aside.
McKeon will fill either the inspector or at large role as he serves out the final year of Roberts’ term. The position will be up for election at the end of the 2022 racing season.
“We are all more than excited to have Jim join the Board of Directors,” said Chair Nelson Holmberg. “Jim’s not only a really great guy who has service to the club in his heart, but he’s also a great fit with the current board. He’ll also be able to fairly represent the voice of 1/7 scale at the board table, and that’s important to us as we bring the new division aboard permanently.”
McKeon will start his position effective immediately, and will serve through October 31, 2022. He will, of course, have the option to run for election to the board in the 2022 elections as well.
“I am happy Jim's joining the board,” said Board Secretary Rick Evans, who made the motion to appoint McKeon.
Holmberg also thanked Roberts for his work on the club board over the last five years.
“My hat is off to Robbie,” Holmberg said. “Here's a guy who loves ERCU and is more than happy to do what he can to help the club. For the last five years, he served as technical inspector, and in the last year filled both inspector roles. I already can't wait to go bench racing with Robbie again as the offseason continues, and throughout next season as well. Robbie is one of my favorite people on the planet.”