Perfect weather for outdoor activities was in store for the Cocktail Class racers attending the Fifth Annual Union Lake Regatta held in Millville, NJ, on 16 September 2017. A fogged in Union Lake greeted early risers, but the fog burned off quickly leaving a mirror-glass water surface, with mostly sunny skies. High temperature for the day was 83 degrees. However, the last racers of the day, the eight-hp finalists, had to contend with a one-half-inch chop during the latter turns of their last race.
The race course, run in a clockwise direction, consisted of four buoys: the first buoy acted as the first and fifth marks, the third mark made a slight chicane between the second and fourth marks. A couple of veteran drivers negotiated a different course than that described during the Skippers’ Meeting, earning multiple bonus points, much to their chagrin. The course was large, taking Classics about 3 minutes to complete a lap.
One race start was interesting: no one crossed the start line. One of the CCRs had a balky engine and all the other racers in the heat had descended on that boat to get it running again. The race was successfully restarted in short order.
One CCR had an interesting engine: an 8-hp Tohatsu 4-stroke outboard whose previous life had been to power an inflatable. This engine frequently made a startling bang after the rev limiter kicked in (at about 6400 rpm).
There were no flips, ejections, or injuries. The most prevalent CCR problems of the day were kill switch wiring issues. But racing was frequently tight and exciting. For example, one of the 8-hp race finishes had all racers cross the finish line within a boat length. CCR drivers appeared to revel in the calm water conditions.
The fresh-water Union Lake race venue is among the best of the best CCR racing sites. A 2017 improvement was the addition of fake dogs patrolling the sandy beach to minimize unwanted droppings from local geese. Much appreciated by all the drivers and pit crews walking barefoot in and out of the water.
Racing ended by 2:30 with the finals of the 8-hp CCRs. Each of those drivers circled around after crossing the finish line and helped to gather up all the race marks. The awards ceremony followed at about 2:45. Most of the attendees had cleaned up the site, loaded their CCRs and race gear, and departed by 3:15 when a brief shower cooled off the lake.
The most-raced CCR was #1314 with two drivers racing four engines. Unofficial race results are:
Early Classic: 1st – Curt B., 2nd – Tom K., 3rd – Art G.
Late Classic: 1st – Steve B., 2nd – Sara O., 3rd – N.A.
Post 80: 1st – Steve B., 2nd – Art G., 3rd – Tom K.
Eight: 1st – Sara O., 2nd – Steve B., 3rd – Pete U.
Editors note: Thanks to Lee Edmonds for this post.