I can only speak for myself in that I was really looking forward to the Engine Committee’s motor testing event the weekend of April 5th in Arnold, Maryland. There was absolutely no disappointment there! Lucy and Charlie really know how to host a wonderful gathering. The plan for the weekend was to do some comparative analysis of the 6 and 8 hp engines as well as some experimentation with the keels. Dave Goldner was the first to experiment with shortening the keel and adding off-center keels to reduce cavitation in the turns. There was a modified keel boat at the Arnold event to capture some data and make recommendations to the rules committee. My observations… The initial engine testing results were interesting – some engines are faster than others. The keel testing was significantly more revealing. The proposed skeg configuration virtually eliminated the cavitation in the turns. It provided a tighter turning radius, great boat control, and a smooth ride throughout the turn. The final results will be coming out shortly from those more knowledgeable than I am.
The first race of the 2014 season was held in Lake Placid, Florida the weekend of March 8th. Final results and photos from the event have been posted to our website. Lots of interest was generated in the CCWBRA and our Cocktail Class Racers during this event and we anticipate fleet growth in Florida over the coming years.
The Urbanna, Virginia, race scheduled for the weekend of 17 May will be the second regatta of the season. The Urbanna fleet has developed into a very competitive fleet of 20-plus boats and drivers. The Urbanna race is expected to be even more fun than last year with a happy hour and/or other post-race festivities to be announced.
The CCWBRA has moved to a single membership renewal period to eliminate the confusion and tracking of who paid and when membership expires. The membership fee remains $25 for the year, and this is good for the period January 2–January 1 of the following year. Dues should be paid no later than March 31st for the current year.
Many thanks to the very hard work of Fred Allerton and others who provided updates to the Racing Handbook for the start of the 2014 racing season. Available for download from our website, it is the final part of our new safety program and contains all the racing and safety rules and procedures needed to host and safely run races at both the national and local levels. Feedback on the Handbook will be appreciated as we intend to revise and re-issue it annually based on lessons learned.
One additional rule to have a minimum boat weight of 80 pounds has been discussed and will be formalized early in the 2014 season. The intent of this rule is to provide a little more assurance that boat construction is as solid as possible. Some incidents with delaminating transoms and/or upper decks have raised safety concerns.
There were some additional proposed new rules that were not approved for 2014. The proposed rules, listed below, will be re-evaluated during 2014 and possibly incorporated into the 2015 rules.
- Drivers shall not drag hands or arms through the water to aid in turning.
- Helmets shall be of the type indicated and meet one of the following minimum standards:
- DOT Std 218 Certification
- Snell Std M2010 Certification
- Helmets shall be full cut open face type.
- Stretch cloth helmet covers may not be used as a method to comply with the safety color requirement.
- Tape may not be used to retrofit a helmet to comply with the safety color requirement.
- Commercially-produced fuel cells shall be intended for and fabricated for marine use and shall be certified by a to-be-determined trade association.
- The “kill” switch shall be mounted securely and located on the starboard-side, toward the bow end of the coaming (near the throttle control box). The switch location shall be considered carefully so interference between the lanyard or the “kill” switch and any steering components or other hull structure will be avoided. If interference cannot be avoided using a starboard-side mounting location, a port-side location, toward the bow end of the coaming, may be used.
- Note: May combine Women’s classes – depending upon numbers at any given race has been modified to combine the men and women for a given class (classic, open 6hp) in the event there are insufficient women to run a race in a specific class.
Lively discussions on the Forum continues as well as individual email exchanges regarding authorized and unauthorized modifications to the design and construction of the Cocktail Class Racer and the use of pre- and post-1980 6 HP engines. A formal policy on design and construction deviations has been published but most certainly, additional discussions will be required especially on the skeg modifications and the impact upon prop cavitation. Any decision on 6 HP engines will also require member input and data, so keep tuned-in via the Forum for further information and let us know your positions.
See you on the race course,
Grand Poobah, Rich Faulkner