Eleven years ago, OTW visited their first ever international tethered hydroplane event, the European Championships held in Amiens. We were delighted to be included as part of the British contingent, which made everything so much easier.
|Stuart Robinson, Eric Perrier, Pierre Barbotin, Heather Robinson||Just some of the Russian boats|
|Serious boat box from the Mirovs||Shahazizyan family entries|
It was something of an honour to meet Vadim Subbotin for the first time, an iconic figure in the world of tethered hydroplanes. Not only was he the holder of several world records, his designs became the standard ware and are still current some thirty years on. The silencer design he published is one of the few guaranteed to meet the NAVIGA noise limits of the day and those still in place in the UK.
|Late, great Vadim Subbotin||Junior Serguey||Senior Jim Free|
Subbotin was also a great enthusiast for encouraging junior competitors, including the diminutive Serguey Ogay seen here in Amiens. Serguey's mother Alexandra took up the sport to become the most successful lady competitor of modern times.
|Serguey Ogay hangs on||Eric Perrier with John DeMott and Arthur Wall|
France had two flourishing clubs, hosting international events regularly, but despite the best efforts of Pierre Barbotin, interest has waned to such an extent that the last event to be held in that country was at Cestas in 2013.
|Victorious Russian Team||British Contingent|
|Jim Free and B1 Champion Siggi Grasshoff||Silver and bronze for Pete Dirs||Jacque Perrier organised it all|
NAVIGA noise limits were still in force in 2007 so one person, christened 'sonometre', had the say on the legality of each run. Many of the B1 runs ended up in disqualification as did a significant proportion of the A series. In turn this lead to the abandonment of db readings and the institution of restrictions on exhaust outlet diameters.
|Over 82db, instant disqualification||Banquet preparation French style|