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2001 Michigan Cup

by Andy Kunz

Michigan is the home of the most prestigious trophy in all of boat racing, the APBA Gold Cup, held annually in Detroit for the turbine-powered Unlimited hydroplanes. It’s only fitting that Michigan would also be home of one of the hottest model races, the Michigan Cup. Hosted by the Mid-Michigan Electric Unlimiteds in the state capitol of Lansing, this annual event is looking to become something rather popular in Fast Electrics.

As in the past, the Michigan weather played the adversary to the boaters. Cold, wind, rain, and lightning all played a part this time, rather than the snow storm that visited last year. But the racers had come from all over the eastern North America to vie for The Cup and were undaunted by the mere tossings of nature. Instead, the foul weather brought out the good spirits of all twenty-six racers who attended, as competitors worked together to get the boats to the water on time and have a blast. In the end, everybody agreed that it was a great race.

Normally a race report includes a verbage describing what you can get from the final results table. Rather than that, let’s look at some of the racers who came, and some of the new things that were there. You can read the table for yourself.

As expected, Reesor Boat Works was well-represented by Steve and Neil Reesor from Ontario. This father-son team specializes in 6-cell boats, and their specialization resulted in podium finishes in every 6-cell class! Their success also points toward the reliability of proven technology, as the team runs only standard car motors. They also proved that you don’t need to run brushless motors to come out on top in reliability. Steve and Neil finished in the top five of every single class they entered. It was great to be able to meet these two gentlemen who previously were only e-mail addresses to me.

Mark Kennedy from New York brought a hull I was very familiar with – his Graupner Taifun. Mark’s boat is simply the fastest Taifun I’ve ever seen. After seeing how well it has run on the waters in our home district, it was no surprise that he came out on top in 1/12th Sport Scale. His consistent running in the rough water, along with the high speed given by the Cordite motor and Firefox cells, made his win almost seem like an afternoon cruise.

Eric Johnson is no stranger to big races. I think he traveled the farthest to be at the race, and he made his presence known. His N2 Offshore hull had to work hard to bring him a first place over Neil Reesor, but he prevailed. Eric also helped his buddy Dennis Whitt by getting Dennis’ boats ready so he could spend more time officiating.

Another N2 Offshore racer was my nephew John Vander Wal. John’s boat was an ancient MRP Excalibur that had been purchased the Wednesday before the race for $25. John went home with 3rd place for the class, beating out some well-known folks doing so. The key to John’s success wasn’t having the fastest boat. In fact, few would argue that it wasn’t the slowest boat this weekend. But John consistently finished, and in doing so proved that reliability is far more important than raw power. The old adage "To finish first, you must first finish" was never more true. John will be along to some more races with me, you can be sure.

As expected, the P Offshore class was dominated by the New York-based Team Fine Design. Brothers Dan and Chris Fine and friend Mark Kennedy have been working with their boats for years, bringing them to perfection. Their setups are well-documented and they know exactly how they will perform in all conditions. As a result, these three men visited the podium not only for this class, but also in the Q Mono class, proving that it pays to know your equipment.

Kevin Whitehead of Michigan ran his beautiful scale boat quite a bit on the weekend. Inspired by the talk of reducing Roger Newton’s plans on the Rum Runner forum on the Internet, Kevin built a model of a boat he had seen run years before in Detroit. His original estimation of the model was that it ran just like its big brother, but by the end of the weekend he was a definite contender. I hope to see Kevin around at more races – he certainly has the desire and talent to do well in the sport.

The main attraction at the race this year was expected to be the first racing of Sport 40-sized electrics on 18 and 24 cells, and this was proved to be true. Every time the big boats hit the water on Saturday, work in the pits ceased as everybody came to water’s edge to watch them duke it out. Unfortunately most of the boats were very new (one hadn’t hit the water until the day before the race) and that newness meant they hadn’t been dialed in yet. They were a site to see, though, with their large roostertails, high speed, and realistic looks. Helped largely by the rough water, Chris Fine drove his reliable 24-cell catamaran offshore hull to three first place finishes (he was permitted to drive this boat since his regular hull had not arrived for the race on time). Andy Kunz drove an all-balsa hull built from reduced Roger Newton plans with 18 cells to second, and Chris Harris drove a beautiful 24-cell Aeromarine hull to third, while Dennis Whitt rounded out the fleet with a 24-cell Bandit shovel-nose. The excitement that these boats generated will hopefully grow some interest in the class. Our next big event with them is at the August Heats race in northern California. I’m going, and I can’t wait to be there!

Alan Nayman of Cleveland (OH) had come to his first big NAMBA race to see how he would do. Finishing on top in the very competitive class of N2 Mono put him into the competition for the Lightning Man N2 Mono series. This series, sponsored by fastelectrics.com of Australia, pits drivers in the N2 Mono class for a season-long points championship. You can read more about it on the fastelectrics.com website. Expect to see more of Alan and the CAFE club members at more races – these guys are competitors!

Barry Janzen is no stranger to the big NAMBA races, having attended several NAMBA FE Nationals and other large races quite successfully. He came up from Tennessee to race in five classes on Sunday. He left with one 1st, one 2nd, one 4th, and two 5th places. Like the Reesors, Barry placed in the top five of every class he entered. I always enjoy pitting with Barry, as he has a sense of clean humor few can top. He also likes to race, not just win, and works hard for the companies that sponsor him.

I was fortunate to spend the weekend with Tim Kerby and his family, long-time friends from when we lived in Virginia. Tim raced the prototype RC-Hydros.com Unlimited Light to fourth place in 1/12th Sport Scale using what is becoming known as a "Limited Sport Hydro" setup – 12 cells, a Speed 700 or Neo 700 motor, propped to run 10 laps. Not bad for his first real race.

Tim brought his brother Tom, who raced in the P Offshore class. While Tom didn’t do especially well (the boat had problems every heat), he helped us find the setup that works in the ABC CESA. He also won an Unlimited Light hull from RC-Hydros.com, which negated all the bad luck he’d experienced Saturday. Next year I think we’ll have several more Kerby’s to contend with.

Registration coordinator for the event was Ken Joye, who brought his two boys along to have some fun. Josh and Andrew had a great time – they ran several different classes against one another and did quite well. Between them, the Joye boys brought home enough trophies to force Ken to make them a display case, but more importantly they got some good experience running against (and beating!) some of the "big boys." I enjoyed pitting near them, as this was a very family-oriented family.

John Hainer brought some of his family along. His wife Becka was very pregnant with twins (she has since delivered a healthy boy and girl), and sitting at the officials desk was no doubt uncomfortable for her. She stuck it out, though, and was a major asset to the event. John provided the computer support that was necessary, and their older son kept himself busy asking all kinds of questions from the racers. It was great to have this family there as well.

Contest Director Dennis Whitt was a very busy man. Besides trying to run almost every heat, making sure everybody was ready, and getting his own boats on the water, he had to deal with us. Dennis made sure things went as smoothly as they could, considering the lack of cooperation from the elements, and was a fantastic race host.

At the end of Sunday’s events, all the racers signed a plaque thanking Chris Fine and Fine Design for title support of the event. While I missed the presentation of the plaque, I did get to speak with Chris a few days later about it. He really appreciated it. Well, Chris, so did we!

Other sponsors provided raffle prizes, class trophies, and other assorted support.  The list this year includes Fine Design, Fullers Fast Electrics, RC-Hydros.com, Blew By You, fastelectrics.com, Prop Shop Hobbies, Inc., Hilltop Cells, and Rum Runner Racing. For a complete list of the vendors, as well as more photos and another write-up, visit the MMEU website at www.semol.com/fastelectrics.

From all of us to all of you, let me just say "Thanks for a great race. See you next year!"

I would like to thank all the guys who helped put this race on, but especially Ken Joye for helping to collect the race data. Without his efforts, a lot of this article would not have been possible. Thanks, Ken!

Andy

2001 MICHIGAN CUP PICTURES

2001 MICHIGAN CUP RESULTS & EQUIPMENT

CUP WINNER: Team Fine Design (Chris Fine, Dan Fine, Mark Kennedy)

HIGH POINTS: Chris Fine

N1 Mono

Place/Racer

Hull

Hardware

ESC

Motor

Radio

Batteries

Prop

1/Neil Reesor

RBW Hornet

Reesor/Hughey

Hughey

Paradox

Futaba

Sanyo

X437/3

2/Alan Nayman

Electrified

Fuller

N/A

P2K

Hitec

Sanyo

X435

3/B Chandler

Force 21

Mach 5

Spike

Integy Pro Stock

Futaba

Hills

X435

4/Dick Boersma

Force 21

Warehouse Hobbies

Hitec

Green Machine 3

Hitec

Hills

X435

N1 Hydro

Place/Racer

Hull

Hardware

ESC

Motor

Radio

Batteries

Prop

1/Steve Reesor

RBW Sting SG

Reesor/Hughey

Hughey

Paradox Pro

JR

Sanyo

X632

2/Andrew Joye

Mach 5 Canard

Fuller

Spike

P2K Pro

Hitec

Hills

X432

3/Dick Boersma

Hammerhead

Hughey/Fuller

Hitec

Green Machine 3

Hitec

Hills

1732

4/Josh Joye

Mach 5 Canard

Fuller

Novak

P2K Pro

Hitec

Hills

X432

5/Eric Johnson

BBY Rigger

BBY

N/A

Reedy

Hitec

Firefox

X435

1/12th Sport Scale

Place/Racer

Hull

Hardware

ESC

Motor

Radio

Batteries

Prop

1/Mark Kennedy

Taifun

Graupner

Astro

Cordite 30/4

Futaba

Firefox

47.5 plastic

2/Chris Fine

Bandit Shovel

Fuller

Astro

Cordite 30/4

Airtronics

Firefox

X445

3/Alan Nayman

Bandit Shovel

Fuller

Aveox

Aveox 1412

Hitec

Mr Nicad

X445

4/Tim Kerby

RC-Hydros.com

Graupner

RC-Hydros.com SC3

700BB 9.6V

Futaba

Hills

X642

Q/S Sport

Place/Racer

Hull

Hardware

ESC

Motor

Radio

Batteries

Prop

1/Chris Fine

Aeromarine Cat

FDM (Fine Design)

N/A

Aveox 1817

Airtronics

Firefox

X465

2/Andy Kunz

Newton Plans

FDM/Aeromarine

RC-Hydros.com

Cordite 30/6

Futaba

Hills

X642

3/Chris Harris

Aeromarine

N/A

N/A

Cordite 40

N/A

N/A

Octura

4/Dennis Whitt

Bandit

FDM

Astro

Cordite

Hitec

Firefox

Octura

N2 Offshore

Place/Racer

Hull

Hardware

ESC

Motor

Radio

Batteries

Prop

1/Eric Johnson

Alfa Cat/Williams

FDM

N/A

Mach Wind

Hitec

Firefox

Octura

2/Neil Reesor

RBW Digger

Reesor/Hughey

Hughey

Trinity D2

JR

Sanyo

X432

3/John Vander Wal

MRC Excalibur

MRC

RC-Hydros.com

MRC 550

Futaba

Hills

MRC

4/Josh Joye

Danvo Laser

Mach 5

Tekin

Hughey D4

Hitec

Hills

X435

P Offshore

Place/Racer

Hull

Hardware

ESC

Motor

Radio

Batteries

Prop

1/Dan Fine

Electro Vee

FDM

Astro

Cordite 775

Airtronics

Firefox

X548

2/Chris Fine

Key West

Octura

Astro

Cordite

Airtronics

Firefox

X640

3/Mark Kennedy

Key West

Octura

Astro

Cordite 775

Futaba

Firefox

X438

4/Steve McGeorge

DPI Silencer

Fuller

Astro

700BB

Futaba

Firefox

X642

5/Chris Harris

Hammerhead

N/A

N/A

Dual Machine

N/A

N/A

N/A

Q Mono

Place/Racer

Hull

Hardware

ESC

Motor

Radio

Batteries

Prop

1/Dan Fine

FDM 32”

FDM Turbo Trans

Aveox

1412/1.5Y

Airtronics

Firefox

X445

2/Chris Fine

Titan

FDM Turbo Trans

Schulze

1412/1.5Y

Airtronics

Firefox

X445

3/Mark Kennedy

Challenger

FDM Turbo Trans

Aveox

1412/1.5Y

Futaba

Firefox

X447

4/Dennis Whitt

Seaducer

FDM

Schulze

Cordite 30/4

Hitec

Firefox

X437/3

Q Hydro

Place/Racer

Hull

Hardware

ESC

Motor

Radio

Batteries

Prop

1/Chris Fine

Popeye Cat

FDM Turbo Trans

Schulze

1412/2

Airtronics

Firefox

X646

2/Kevin Whitehead

Newton Plans

Hughey/Fuller

Aveox

1412/1.5

Futaba

Hills

M447

3/Dan Fine

Cyclone Twister

FDM

Aveox

1412/1.5

Airtronics

Firefox

1747

4/Jim Caldwell

Maus

Hughey

Rogell

Rogell Marine 12

JR

Hills

Custom

N2 Mono/Lightning Man Series

Place/Racer

Hull

Hardware

ESC

Motor

Radio

Batteries

Prop

1/Alan Nayman

Electrified

Fuller

Astro

D4 15T

Hitec

Sanyo

X632

2/Barry Janzen

BBY Ovalmaster

BBY

RC-Hydros.com

Sonic 2

Hitec

Hilltop

Custom

3/Neil Reesor

RBW Hornet

Reesor/Hughey

Hughey

LM Neo 10T

JR

Sanyo

X438

4/Andrew Joye

Danvo Sonia

Mach 5

Tekin

Hughey D3.5

Hitec

Hills

X432

5/Dick Boersma

Force 21

Warehouse Hobbies

Hitec

Trinity

Hitec

Hills

X435

N2 Hydro

Place/Racer

Hull

Hardware

ESC

Motor

Radio

Batteries

Prop

1/Mark Kennedy

Cyclone Twister

Octura

Aveox

1406/1.5

Futaba

Firefox

1735

2/Josh Joye

Mach 5 Canard

Fuller

Spike

P2K Pro

Hitec

Firefox

X432

3/Steve Reesor

RBW Sting SG

Reesor/Hughey

Hughey

Trinity D3.5

JR

Sanyo

X430

4/Barry Janzen

BBY

BBY

RC-Hydros.com

Hughey D4

Hitec

Hilltop

1732

O Hydro

Place/Racer

Hull

Hardware

ESC

Motor

Radio

Batteries

Prop

1/Barry Janzen

Prototype

Hughey

Aveox M160

Aveox

Hitec

Hills

2137

2/Kevin Whitehead

Bandit Shovel

Hughey/Fuller

Aveox

1409/1.5

Futaba

Hills

ABC 45/55

3/Jim Caldwell

Maus 1/16

Hughey

Rogell 09

Rogell 09

JR

Hills

custom

4/Dennis Whitt

Dalecki

FDM

Schulze

Hacker

Hitec

Firefox

P747

P Mono

Place/Racer

Hull

Hardware

ESC

Motor

Radio

Batteries

Prop

1/Chris Fine

Maus Bullit

FDM/Fuller

Schulze

1412/1.5

Airtronics

Firefox

M447

2/Dennis Whitt

Seducer

FDM

Schulze

Hacker

Hitec

Firefox

X437/3

3/Mark Kennedy

Key West

Octura

Astro

Cordite 775

Futaba

Firefox

X438

4/Dan Fine

FDM 32”

FDM

Aveox

1412/1.5Y

Airtronics

Firefox

X447

5/Barry Janzen

Maus Bullet

Hughey

Aveox M160

Aveox

Hitec

Hills

M447

P Hydro

Place/Racer

Hull

Hardware

ESC

Motor

Radio

Batteries

Prop

1/Chris Fine

Twister

FDM/Octura/Fuller

Schulze

1412/1.5

Airtronics

Firefox

1750

2/Dan Fine

Twister

FDM

Aveox

1412/1.5

Airtronics

Firefox

1747

3/Ken Joye

Mach 5 Canard

Mach 5

Aveox

Cordite Plett

Airtronics

Hills

X646

4/John Hainer

Bud Dry

FDM

Astro

Cordite Neo

Futaba

Hills

X445

5/Barry Janzen

Wild Fire

Hughey

RC-Hydros.com

Plettenberg

Hitec

Hills

M447

1/16th Sport Scale

Place/Racer

Hull

Hardware

ESC

Motor

Radio

Batteries

Prop

1/Barry Janzen

Volcanic Splash

Hughey

Aveox

Aveox

Hitec

Hills

X435

2/Alan Nayman

Bandit Shovel

Fuller

Aveox

1412

N/A

N/A

M447

3/Kevin Whitehead

Bandit Shovel

Hughey/Fuller

Aveox

1409/1.5

Futaba

Hills

ABC 45/55

4/Ken Joye

MRP Hydrosport

Mach 5

Tekin

Cordite 20/4

Airtronics

Firefox

X438

5/Jim Caldwell

Maus 1/16

Hughey

Rogell 09

Rogell 09

JR

Hills

Custom

Q Offshore

Place/Racer

Hull

Hardware

ESC

Motor

Radio

Batteries

Prop

1/Chris Fine

Stingray 43”

FMD

Astro

Cordite

Airtronics

Firefox

X462

2/Chris Harris

Hammerhead Cat

N/A

N/A

Machine Wind

N/A

N/A

N/A

3/Dennis Whitt

Titan

FDM

Astro

Cordite 7T

Hitec

Firefox

Prather 250

4/John Hainer

MRP Bud Dry

FDM

Astro

700 BB

Futaba

Hills

X447

5/Dan Fine

Stingray 43”

FDM

Cordite 355/40

Airtronics

Firefox

X457

 

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