Tamworth- last event of 2015

Overall a great weekend to end 2015 in spite of some big spills!

This was the first event at West Midlands waterski centre, a potential world champs venue for 2016. Also the first time driving the F2 fast on water, it was a steep learning curve.

For this event main changes were a proper feed duct for the x-bag directly from the lift fan, and hopefully the final lift tensioner pulley. The flanges didnt melt off this one so hopefully that is almost sorted.

In F2 practice i got a decent amount of laps in, feeling my way on the long water section, it felt a bit grabby, but no major ploughing etc. Then in open practice I tried getting a bit faster and had it right up on its side at the turn at the end of the straight. Next time round i leant to the outside of the corner to try and prevent this, but the craft dug in and chucked me out, skimming along the surface like a skipping stone until it felt like a bubble burst and i was swimming towards the surface. I managed to swim back to the craft, get in and get it going back to the pits with my tail between my legs…

In the first race I was going well getting upto at least the first 4 having started from near the back of the grid. I had some skirts missing on one side which was becoming an issue, I made a note to chill out and just bring the craft in, but when i went past George on the straight this was not a priority anymore with typical red mist taking over. So on the last lap coming onto the land i dug in hard on the water, spun round and smashed the bank. The damage was quite major, with a 1m long split along the side-deck and planing surface. We missed race 2 fixing the damage, thanks to Dave and Bob for their help.

The two races on Sunday were much better, as i slowly got my mojo back. (Before the 1st race n Sunday I was as nervous as i ever remember being with the prospect of hitting another bank). Driving a 130Hp shaft drive craft is  tricky and not something you can do at anything less than 100%. When I had confidence back, i got quicker and the sense of constant impending doom receded (but never dissapeared especially on turn-in at the end of the straight).

In the last F2 race i got 2nd place (albeit without Justin out there), my fastest lap within a second of the quickest F2 laps. I also went out in the last open race of the season which was great fun and i managed 3rd in that.

Overall a great end to this season and I am in a good place coming upto the world champs next year- considering the painful development earlier in the season. The craft is fast, and there are plenty of things to do to make it even faster, the main problem is the driver!

Thanks to Rebecca Taylor and Tim Stevenson for the great pics!

Posted in: Beast, Pintail F2, Racing Diary on September 17th by admin

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