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OTW Reflects on 2017

Two contrasting weekends in June. Basel was so hot that Michael had to seek shade, cold towels and lots of liquid between stints of horsing, and the following weekend where he is seen here in a downpour. Not too many horsers now, we must look after them

Michael Schmutz sweating his eyeballs out Downpour at Kapfenhardt

At OTW, the stories are as important as the items, so it was with immense pleasure that we were able to welcome Arthur Weaver's daughter Gwyneth to England in July to reunite her with some of her late father's cars, boats and engines. She has provided invaluable help and material for one of our recent major articles about Arthur Weaver. Purely by chance we saw the exchange of this lovely hydro taking place in the car park at Kapfenhardt. Grabbing the camera we rushed over to take photos of Karin Kampe being reunited with  this A3 that had been beautifully restored by Gilbert Huegunin. Karin is the daughter of the late Gunther Stranzinger who built the engine in this boat.

Gwyneth with the Willis Cup winning hydro 'Gwyneth' Karin with 1970s A3

Can you bring back a couple of boats from Germany for me asked Norman? No problem, except it turned out to be this lot, plus a very large box of engines and spares. Good job we travel light as there was not a lot of space left.

A3, A2, A1, B1, vintage and two ice racers from Karl-Heinz Rost a leading competitor from East Germany

Two record celebrations this year, David Giles, the only British European Champion in the modern era of tethered cars, also setting a new European record nearly forty years ago, seen here with Adi Malik OPS engine guru. Sadly Adi suffered a stroke soon after this photos was taken, but is now happily on the road to recovery. On the right is Pete Dirs who has finally broken one of the longest standing British hydroplane records, A1. This was held by Martin Hamilton for no less than twenty two years. Congratulation to Pete, he has worked to this end for a very long while.

David Giles and Adi Malik with the winning car Pete Dirs with his 122.64mph A1

Untold miles on the road again including several trips to the only useable car track in Britain where there is always a selection of original and modern build 'retro' cars running. Thanks to Peter Hill of the Retro Racing Club for hosting these events.

Magnificent line up of cars for a Retro Club meeting at Gt Carlton. Original, replicas, new builds and flights of fancy

After a great deal of work by Ron Hankins, the ex Ernie Hills 15cc B motor came good this year collecting four trophies, although far from the fastest, it was reliable and kept plodding on. Now in honourable retirement. Our 'fast lady' made her first foray into modern tethered car racing and embarked on a very steep learning curve. We all keep dry though.

Not a lot of water over the platform at Althorne Maiden run in Basel

Our new, one a month, Pitbox has thrown up some fascinating items over the year with more to follow. The surprises come in two varieties, something turning up that we were not aware still existed, or something that we knew of but had never seen. Below is a unique line up of 1066 motors, unique in that it has the 10cc version of the Falcon, and no example of this had been seen, apart from the ME Exhibition in the 1940s, until two were discovered a few years ago at sales. Although we have had photos, this was the first time we had seen one in the flesh. The final photo is just that, but it is another step in a very long quest, and that is to find some evidence of the 1066 24" hydro. We have an advert, talked to the son of the person who tested it for Mr Hastings, but nothing further has been seen until this photo turned up in December. The quest continues, but we must be getting nearer, aren't we?

Hawk, Falcon 5, Conqueror, Falcon 10, Arrow The elusive 1066 24" hydro with specially produced Falcon motor

Our thanks go to everyone who has helped us throughout the year with photos, material, information and practical help with the cars and boats. We would not be were we are without you.