John Hallowell's description of Classic B Team Race at the 2001 Australian Model Aircraft National Championships held at Albury/Wodonga.
The Classic B Team Race at Albury certainly lived up to expectations for this first ever Nationals event. When competitors arrived at Alexandra Park early on Saturday for the 9 a.m. start, conditions were virtually perfect. The last day had the best weather of the Championships!
Pictured at right are:
1. Harry Bailey and Peter Roberts used a butterfly tail on Harry's good looking gold and silver own design. But despite showing hot form in practice, this experienced team did not put in a fast one when it counted.
2. Although the "Rivetter" of John Taylor and Richard Justic had reasonable speed and laps, a really smart time eluded them on the day.
3. Hans Bertina's classic B team racer known as the "Thornlie Thunderbolt" was as attractive as any in its silver and red Wharfedale-like colour scheme. Engine starting problems limited it to fourth place amongst 10 entrants.
4. The "Dream Team" of Ken and John Hunting was flying an all red racer called the "Rocket" which had an FP 25 in the business end.
5. John Hallowell's winning Flying Purple People Eater is an own design built last year to Classic B specifications. There was some purple K&B epoxy paint that had to be used up! The model flies on 15 thou. Lines and is powered by an OS FP prepared by Robin Heirn of Model Racing Services. It uses a standard APC 7 x 7 propeller and runs on a mix of 12% Coolpower and 6% Castor, 15% nitro, 12% IPA, 8% Xylene and 47% methanol. This combination gives more than 18,000 rpm on the ground and makes over 108 mph in the air.
6. All the winners. From left to right are Ken and John Hunting, Keith Baddock and John Hallowell, Jim and Colin Ray.
Of the 11 teams entered, 9 took to the air. Most flyers had a few practice flights to tweak needles and fine tune their mixtures. The well mown cricket ground provided a smooth surface for takeoffs and landings, ideal for 50mm wheels.
A clear winner in the "best looking model" stakes was Hans Bertina from Western Australia. His superb silver and red own design racer, "Thornlie Thunderbolt", had influence from the highly successful Wharfdale models of the 60's. It weighed in at an amazing 19 oz. Most B Class models are 5 or 6 oz heavier than that! Piloted by the experienced Jim Stivey, this new and very quick model was not yet able to produce the instant starts of some of the others. Nothing some fiddling won't fix. Some OS 25's will start when you look at them!
Teams from Western Australia, N.S.W. and Queensland pressed the Victorians who have more experience in this event. After the heats were completed, it was an all "Mexican" affair in the final.
Fastest model and the eventual winner was the OS 25FP "Flying Purple People Eater" of John Hallowell and Keith Baddock. This team also set a new 70 lap heat record of 3.11.94 They elected to sit on their time rather than fly the Antares and LA 25 in the second round. And like Mark Ellin's arm, Keith's fingers have been taking a battering for more than a week! In the 140 lap final, Keith had the model away first. Extra speed and good range of over 50 laps saw the F.P.P.E. sprint to the lead. A slow second stop saw a sub 6.20 slip away, but the finish time of 6.29 was still respectable. Keith's wife Robyn did a great job as battery person.
Not far behind in second place was the "Firebrand" of Jim and Colin Ray. Their LA 25 has mysteriously lost a little speed since blitzing the opposition at the last Victorian state titles, although a 3.15 heat time is certainly nothing to sneeze at. A missed segment on landing the "Firebrand " also cost the "Cosmics" valuable time. Jim's battery person and wife Glenys knows you can't win everytime.
In third position was the "Dream Team" of Ken and John Hunting. They were flying an all red racer called the "Rocket" which had an FP 25 in the business end. They used all their vast team race experience to push the other teams all the way, but an extra stop put paid to their chances.
Bob Fry and Alasdair Taylor were campaigning a Czech built replica ETA 29 in a beautifully built black and yellow "Cresendo" which was about a second for 7 laps from the leaders pace. Due to an amazing practice mishap where the top of a mounting plate hold down bolt sheared off and was ingested by the motor, the W.A. hot-shots failed to record a time. Not to worry; they had a big win in Bendix!
Graeme Wilson and Mark Ellins were flying their new M.R.S. tuned FP 25 "Double Dice" for the first time. Unusually for this super team, there was a problem that really slowed them down. A fuel tank leak meant only half the required laps were there and much unnecessary landing and pitting practice was the result.
John Taylor had Richard Justic doing duties on the clean end of the lines. Although the "Rivetter" had reasonable speed and laps, a really smart time eluded them on the day. Watch this OS 25 model perform on its home turf in Queensland at next years Toowoomba Nats.
NSW's Gavin Knight and Brian Hoggan also had a "Firebrand" and FP 25, albeit an early version with a steel liner. There's no doubt that later ABC engines work just a little bit better for speed and economy.
Harry Bailey and Peter Roberts used a butterfly tail on Harry's good looking gold and silver own design. Despite showing hot form in practice, this experienced team did not put in a fast one when it counted. After winning Class 2 with his M.R.S. Rossi 21 for the 3rd consecutive time, I'm sure Harry is content to rest on his laurels.
All up, a classic Nationals start for Classic B Team Race, with all teams looking forward to another clash at the 56th Nats at Toowoomba early in January, 2003. There's sure to be some P.B. Enya 29's in the mix up there. Then it will be a re-creation of the "good old days" in the early 60's when the Enya and OS engines shared an intense rivalry that resulted in many fascinating "down to the wire" duels. Roll on Queensland!
Results of Classic B T/R at the 55th Nationals.
1. Hallowell / Baddock 3.11.94 (rec.) DNS 6.29.50 2. Ray / Ray 3.21.50 3.15.59 6.59.34 3. Hunting / Hunting 3.26.69 3.31.90 7.46.92 4. Stivey / Bertina 3.38.69 3.48.38 5. Wilson / Ellins 3.33.47 3.32.84 6. Bailey / Roberts 3.43.90 3.41.03 7. Taylor / Justic 4.03.41 7.19.40 8. Knight / Hoggan DNF 38 DNF 36 9. Fry / Taylor DNS DNS 10. Camps / Pilgrim DNS DNS 11. Potter / Potter DNS DNSJohn Hallowell VH 1984
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