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Kingsbury Water Park

 June Regatta

Water Level 2011

Two things became very apparent as the model boat lake was approached, first the huge amount of work by the rangers since last year in cutting back and removing trees and undergrowth from around the area and the second, the exceptionally high level of the water. The removal of trees opened up the area where the cables are strung, hopefully making that much less muddy and unpleasant, whilst over the far side of the lake, the public can now see what is going on from the road. Might cut down on the midge problem as well. Althorne was suffering from low water and here it was the extreme depth that made starting and launching very difficult, especially if the waders were not chest high.

Roger James & Tony Collins 2010 Oliver Monk & Martin Hamilton 2010 The 'Ladies' 2010

The A1s were a bit hit and miss with Tony Collins getting his Soliev singing sweetly to complete three consistent runs, two within 1mph of his personal best. Pete Dirs’ Soloviev was not so cooperative, completing only one slow run. The Profi motors in the airscrews are still proving very difficult to set, so again, only one slow run here. How long before someone shows just what these motors can do?

Just two runs on the A2 line, Norman Lara having dug his Nelson out was a shade under 100mph and Antony Rose at a fraction under 80 with his Sport 40. Things were a bit livelier on the A3 line with Tony Collins and Ron Hankins matching each other in the first round at 121mph, although that was the end of Tony’s involvement for the day. Ron was running two AB/R boats and had the distinction of achieving three runs with each, the best at 129mph, the fastest speed of the day.

Stu Robinson & John Hyder 2010 John DeMott & Arthur Wall 2010 Very wet Tony 2011

Kingsbury is now the only place we see the flash steamers running, but with Paul Windross’ health problems, it is down to Bob Kirtley to keep the burners going, yet he has not been having a great deal of luck lately with just one run at 103mph. Bob used to be so consistent but has experienced a string of breakages and problems that have dogged him over the last season.

Thanks to Arthur Wall for timekeeping and passing on the results.


A1 Class Tony Collins 104.7mph Pete Dirs 79.62mph B1 Class Dave Singleton 59.56mph
Sport 40 Norman Lara 98.57mph Antony Rose 79.07mph
A3 Class Tony Collins 121.55mph Mike Rose 55.67mph
AB/R Ron Hankins 129.45mph A/S Class Bob Kirtley 103.46mph

July Meeting. Combined Midland and Northern Area Championships.

Having been appraised of the high water levels at the last meeting, it was with some trepidation that we set off for Kingsbury, quite resigned to the thought of not running, especially with the amount of rain that was supposed to have fallen. In the event, there had been no rain, the water was back to 2016 levels and John DeMott’s skilfully crafted Lignum Vitae sabots proved unnecessary, but they did look good, if a trifle unwieldy.

The principle trophies for this event were the Ayrshire Cup for the fastest waterscrew boat, presented by Andrew Rankine, a  competitor who used to travel from Scotland regularly and the Bob Hymer memorial for the fastest airscrew.

It is an indication of the fickle nature of these 2.5cc motors, and compounded by the non-appearance of the London contingent, that not a single run was completed. Dave Singleton’s new Profi motor sounded spot on when started, but then died and resisted all further exhortations to run.

Left: Ayrshire Cup                                Right: Bob Hymer Memorial trophy

In a way, this set the tone for the first round. Ron Hankins’ A2 died on the launch as did Rick Benson’s. Mike Rose’s Sport 40 suffered from a duff plug and refused to start and so it went on. Ron Hankins had a quite bizarre failure with his AB/R when the prop shaft whipped enough for the coupling to actually come out. Such was the damage that the boat was retired for the day. The ‘Fast Lady’s’ OPS boat was receiving attention from Dr Ron after Althorne, so her original ex Jeff Llwellen boat was dug out and serviced ready for the fray. The water level caught her out on the launch so still no runs, time for the ‘secret weapon’. The Ex Roger James’ boats are now very long in the tooth and a testament to the power of super glue, yet they are ultra reliable, so fed up with the Picco continually mucking about, Hugh Blowers gave the venerable ‘banana split’ its annual outing, and it did not disappoint.119mph straight off, and the only run on the sheet so far, and that was the way it stayed until the A class started. There was however a significant delay, as the safety thimble on the clip went plop into the lake requiring a new attachment to be fabricated on the spot, so thanks to John and Dave for manufacturing a substitute.

Ron Hankins with Picco A2 Rick Benson OPS A2 John DeMott's 'sabots'

Lionel Lawley’s 30cc motor sounded the best we have heard it for ages, yet as soon as it looked as if it was on for a good run the plugs gave up the struggle, and this happened three times. Joan Benson’s 30 had one of its best runs for ages, so now there were two scores on the sheet and that was the way it stayed as Bob Kirtley managed to launch his steamer straight to the bottom of the lake. Not a great success so far except for a very happy HB having his first decent run of the season.

Round two was considerably more successful with Ron Hankins getting his A2 away cleanly and Mike Rose having his Rossi Sport 40 nicely on song. Lynn Blowers launched her A3 perfectly for a run some 40mph faster than the boat used to do before its numerous rebuilds. Neither Dave Singleton or Dave Scarnell were having any joy with their A3s or Mike Rose with his almost vintage example. The ‘banana split’ repeated its performance within 1mph, but with deference to its age, was put way for another year.

Lionel Lawley's A Class clipping on Bob starts Dave's B1 Profi John pondering his 30cc boat

Only John DeMott managed a run in the larger class and even then his engine was misfiring a lot until it was well into its run when it cleaned up nicely, but by then it was too late. Rick Bensons’ boat blew its exhaust off at the start, but carried on, very noisily for its longest run for years, telling him something about the effectiveness, or otherwise of the tuned pipe and silencer. It is a while since we have seen a really fast run from an A class boat and again Bob Kirtley had problems with the motor dying before a lap had been completed.

Round three was reduced significantly by the number of people still able or wanting to run, with Ron Hankins’ A2 recording its best speed of the day. The only other significant run of the round was Bob Kirtley who at last got his boat away and accelerating nicely until a change in the engine note indicated a problem although the boat did complete the laps, and more. When Bob retrieved it, the reason was obvious, one blade missing from the prop, more bad luck and work. No wonder Bob spends the rest of his time with those lovely North Eastern straight runners, the boats that is.

Mike Rose and Ron Hankins Mike's Rossi Sport 40 Soggy OPS pipe

A very pleasant day all round, much warmer than forecast and not so many biting things around, and happily, our route home seemed to be the only major road not blocked. Thanks to John DeMott, Dave Singleton and Arthur Wall for all their work and Arthur for looking after the timing all day.

Each Class winner receives a Championship certificate, while the Ayrshire Cup goes to Hugh Blowers, (beating the ‘other half’ for a change).

A/S Class Bob Kirtley 101.61mph  A Class John DeMott 114.18mph Joan Benson 74.55mph
A3 Class
Hugh Blowers 119.02mph Lynn Blowers 111.56mph A2 Class Ron Hankins 112.94mph
Sport 40 Mike Rose 81.18mph