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Official Race Dates 2019-2020


Round 1 Saturday 30th November

Round 2 Saturday 14th December 

Round 3 Saturday 4th January 

Round 4 Saturday 25th January 

Round 5 Saturday 15th February

Round 6 Saturday 29th February

Round 7 Saturday 14th March

Round 8 Saturday 4th April
Round 9 Saturday 18th April 
Round 10 Saturday 2nd May

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The Roving Mic

Event 24.11.12 - Our second event.

Sam Blight - Monday, November 19, 2012

The last event was another day/night of racing where the weather was cool, the drivers and navigators were comfortable in their race suits due to it being cool and it was another event where rain was threatening, but unlike the last event it held off.

There was another good turnout of boats with a few boats that were not at the last event turning up and a couple that were at the last event missing this event due to motor blow ups.

One of the boats missing was “CrazyAz 77” who totally destroyed their boat motor on the first run of the season which saw Tony Carr very disappointed as he said the boat felt fantastic and the motor was strong. Unfortunately the motor didn’t know that! Tony was set to “B” drive the “CrazyAz 07” boat with me for the event but unfortunately was ill on the night so didn’t make it for the drive.

Dennis Morris with Kylie in “Hammer” were not able to race due to work commitments, but Dennis’s son Adam was. For those of you who were at the first event you will remember that Dennis put “Hammer” back on the trailer after just a few qualifying runs because the motor was making a few “not so good” noises, so rather than risk a blow up he thought it best they call it a day. They checked the boat motor out between the two events and fixed what needed to be fixed hence Adam driving “Hammer” in the last event.

The track that we raced last event was probably best described as tricky! It wasn’t just hard to learn the track direction, it was also hard to drive as it was a combination of some very fast straights and long corners mixed with some very tight, very curvy parts which meant that the skill levels were severely tested. There was also a fair amount of cross wake as well, cross wake being the waves/wake set up by the boats as they race around the track. These cross wakes seemed to be right where the boats were turning into a corner, so this again meant that the drivers had to be very switched on as hitting the wake at the wrong angle can see a boat bounce straight out of the water onto the bank resulting often in a spectacular accident. A number of the drivers were a little apprehensive about the track direction, you could feel the mood and the nervousness at the pre-race meeting. At the end of the day though it doesn’t matter if the track is difficult or fairly straight forward, we all race the same track so it’s a matter of may the best team win. I guess all the drivers and navigators feel a little, or even a lot, nervous prior to an event, but once we are strapped into the boat ready and focused on the first qualifier the nerves are forgotten and the Adrenalin kicks in.

The 350 Class was again very close racing between Paul Mileham driving boat 28 “Trauma” with Al Pash navigating, Matt Neilson with Steve navigating in boat 31 “Warlock” and Adam Morris in boat 88 “Hammer” with Michael Suckling navigating. Paul in “Trauma” and Matt in “Warlock” are new competitors to the sport of V8 Jet Sprinting so are on a steep learning curve. The track being more difficult than the first event they did which saw them with a number of wrong ways and a number of DNF’s (did not finish). Unfortunately Adam and Michael in “Hammer” had dramas all event with the motor and after Qualifier 5 they put the boat back on the trailer for the rest of the event. Both Paul and Al in “Trauma” and Matt with Steve in “Warlock” improved on their times enormously over the length of the event which saw them both in a close battle for first place.

The final run off between the two boats was terribly exciting as Paul and Al went out in “Trauma” and did a 76.05 second pass, the fastest time they had done all event which threw all the pressure onto Matt and Steve in “Warlock”. Even though Matt and Steve had earlier in the day done a time of 74.22, they hadn’t got close to that time again, in fact they were doing times up in the 79’s, so all eyes were on them as they went out in “Warlock”! Matt and Steve managed to pull it off however by matching their earlier fastest time of 74.22 with a faultless pass, so well done you guys in “Warlock”. To Paul and Al in “Trauma”, bad luck. For new competitors to the sport you all need to be complimented on how quickly you have all become competitive. Well done to your support crews as well.

The EFI Class had a very solid day/night of racing with all boats going the distance and only two DNF’s in the entire event which is unreal. There was only one wrong way recorded all event as well, so well done to you guys. After all the Qualifying runs Simon Cain with Rachael Uren navigating in boat 6 “Quality Time”, Gavin Mclees and his navigator in boat 10 “Willitipit”, Ken Bull with Erica Eldon navigating in boat 28 “Enigma” and Joe Wilson with Bianca Capelinha navigating in boat 24 “Razor Back” had all run times within one second of each other.

All the competitors in the EFI class are seriously competitive, even their crews are in on the excitement and closeness of the racing. There is always a bit of good natured mudslinging between them all which makes for a fun night as well. When all these boats went into the Finals it was any bodies event, anyone could have won it and all it was going to take to be a loser on the night was a slight mistake, just one fractionally slow corner and that was enough to see one of them go from a front runner to last.

Gavin in boat 10 “Willitipit” was possibly the favourite on the night with a very fast 57.56 earlier in the event. Unfortunately Ken and Erica in boat 28 “Enigma” were eliminated in the top four run off, missing the cut by a fraction. This meant a top three run off between “Willitipit”, Quality Time” and “Razor Back”. Boat 6, “Quality Time” with Simon Cain driving and Rachael Uren navigating went out and recorded a time of 58.56 and well and truly threw down the gauntlet to the other two Boats. Joe Wilson with Bianca Capelinha in Boat 24 “Razor Back” were out next and Joe being Joe we were expecting a wild and fast drive but unfortunately the motor went off just a fraction which meant Joe and Bianca came in with a time of 60.03, their slowest time for the entire event . Next it was Gavin and his navigator in boat 10 “Willitipit”. The pressure was well and truly on Gavin after Simon in “Quality Time” set the time he did. Well Gavin did it by less than a tenth of a second from Simon in a time of 58.47! So first place was Gavin in “Willitipit” a fraction quicker than Simon and Rachael in second place in “Quality Time” with Joe and Bianca in “Razor Back” coming in third.

The “Group A” boats were flying with some very fast passes down in the 55 second range. Nigel Johnson with Michele navigating in boat 55 “Weapon of Choice” as usual went out and did their fastest time of the night in the second qualifying run which put pressure on all the other competitors, especially competitors like myself with Isabela Banea navigating in

“CrazyAz 07” who like to start easy and who had put down a time of 63.14.Rod Wood with Sharon Power navigating in “Triple XXX” also smashed down a very fast time on their second qualifier of 55.91. Adam Mileham with Tom navigating in boat 11 “Short Fuse” got down into the 57’s quickly but was having a bit of trouble remembering his way around the track so didn’t record times for four of the qualifying rounds. V8 Jet Sprinting is all about being there at the end, so the fact that Adam and Tom had not recorded times on a number of runs means nothing other than he hasn’t had as much practice getting around the track quickly as those who have managed to complete all, or nearly all their qualifying runs.

Mark Lucus with Rusty navigating in boat 26 “Wolverine” took a couple of passes to get their heads around the track with the first two qualifiers they did seeing them get lost on the track. By the end of the qualifiers there were three boats who had done a 55 second pass, “Weapon of Choice”, “Triple XXX” and myself in “CrazyAz 07”. Adam and Tom in “Short Fuse” and Mark with Rusty in “Wolverine” where just a couple of seconds behind with their best times.

We often talk about the mateship in Jet Sprinting which sees competitors helping to get another competitors boat going, or helping out with a spare part, tools, or even with advice. A display of this mateship amongst competitors was Rod Wood offering to let Nigel Johnson “B” drive “Triple XXX” after Nigel’s boat “Weapons of Choice” rattled something in the motor and couldn’t be raced anymore. The offer was made by Rod in time for Nigel and Michele to jump into “Triple XXX” to do qualifier 6. Nigel and Michele had obviously never been in “Triple XXX” before so were going to have to adapt very quickly to be competitive. The first run Nigel and Michelle did in “Triple XXX” saw them taking it fairly easy which resulted in fuelled up plugs. Fuelled up Spark Plugs means that there was a lot of fuel being squirted into the cylinders of the motor but because Nigel was not revving the motor hard all the fuel was not being burnt. I know it sounds crazy as we all believe that when the spark plug ignites the fuel in the cylinder the explosion it causes burns all the fuel that was squirted in. I will slow it down and describe, very simply, one piston stroke so that you can understand this. The piston travels to the bottom of the cylinder sucking fresh air into the cylinder through the intake valve. At the same time fuel is being squirted into the cylinder at a controlled rate so that it mixes with the air that is being sucked in. Once the piston reaches the bottom of the cylinder the intake valve closes which stops the intake of air and the fuel shuts off. The piston starts its journey back up the cylinder and is now compressing the air and fuel mix in the cylinder. When the piston gets near the top of the cylinder the spark plug does just as it name suggests and releases a spark into the now compressed air and fuel mix. The spark causes one hell of an explosion that drives the piston down again. In a race motor we want the best explosion we can get so we can get a lot of power and go fast, so the fuel supply is very carefully set by the boat crews/mechanics in the pits. Put simply if there is too much fuel being squirted into the cylinder when the piston is going down then when the spark plug sets off its spark to cause the explosion the spark plug is so wet and the air and fuel mix is so wet it effects the explosion making it less of an explosions, thus the boat loses power and speed. In the case of Nigel in “Triple XXX” he got into the boat where the fuel being supplied to the cylinder had been adjusted to Rods high revving, hard driving style, so when Nigel drove slowly getting used to the boat all the fuel was not being burnt in the explosion, thus the term the motor was fueling up!

You have to remember that these motors are revving as high as 6800 rev’s per minute and there is eight cylinders so that is one hell of a lot of explosions! That’s why they use seven to nine litres of fuel a minute

Anyway to fix this problem of fueling up so the motor is running at its best means new spark plugs and a firm chat to the driver telling him to “Toughen up Princess” and go out there and drive flat out.

The first elimination final, the top six, saw Nigel and Michele in ” Triple XXX” for the second time fly around the circuit in a time of 55.81 which meant that Nigel had got the hang of driving “Triple XXX. Rod and Sharon also in “Triple XXX” did exactly the same time, a 55.81 so the scene was set for a very exciting finish. Myself and Isabela in “CrazyAz 77” muffed the run clipping some tyres towards the end of our lap scrubbing off so much time that we were eliminated from the next round. Adam Mileham and Tom in “Short Fuse” recorded a 58.20 which saw them through into the top three run off which was a great effort. The final top three run off had everyone standing on the bank watching as everyone expected an extremely exciting finish. Nigel and Michele in “Triple XXX” went out first and put in a good time of 55.64, but was it enough? I think the feeling on the bank was that it wasn’t and Rod would come out and take the event.

Adam and Tom were out next in “Short Fuse” and after a great drive they came in with their best time of the night, a 57.73! We all waited for Rod and Sharon to come out in “Triple XXX” and as soon as the light went Green and Rod took off you could tell he was in the zone and on track to take the event. They were approximately three quarters of the way through their final lap and in my opinion in front of where Nigel was at the same point on the track when disaster struck – Rod lost it! He clipped a tyre on the inside of the corner he was going around which threw his boat sideways making him hit the outside bank and then the boat slid up on top of the tyres high and dry. So it was Nigel and Michele first in “Triple XXX”, then Adam and Tom in “Short Fuse” coming in second with Rod and Sharon in “Triple XXX” a very unlucky third. That’s the thing about Jet Sprinting, It doesn’t matter how fast you have been all event and it doesn’t matter how well you have driven all event, it’s all about getting a fast qualifier so you get into the finals and then it is all about being quick enough to get into the top three run off. One mistake no matter how fast you have been driving all event can see you exiting the event early, so well done to Adam and Tom for being consistent with their times and driving ability all event to come in second.

For those of you who were there we hope you enjoyed the event!

The Roving Mic :)
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