IMPBA Gas Nats 2016 - RCGroups Coverage - RC Groups

IMPBA Gas Nats 2016 - RCGroups Coverage

RCGroups was at the biggest gas boat race of the year, and we have the pictures and video to prove it!

Splash

Go Fast. Turn Right.

One of the more exciting aspects of our great hobby, large-scale gas boat racing is a sensory overload; the sight of race boats running clockwise around an oval at speeds regularly above 60 mph, the smell of heavily mixed race-fuel, the sound of 2-stroke mills turning 17,000 rpm, and finally, the feeling you get in your stomach as you find your place in lane one with ten seconds left on the countdown clock! Now, multiply all of the above by 250, which is the number of boats competing in the 2016 IMPBA Gas Nats.

This year's Gas Nats was held in Sellersburg, Indiana and hosted by the Quad Counties R/C Boat Club. The pond had ample room for even the fastest boats, but the waterfront real-estate was on the small side and had a number of people worried about getting to and from their pop-up tents to the pits effectively, and where to park trailers and RV's. Sadly, a few racers scratched the event before ever seeing the site. Well, I'm saying it on the record that they missed out on one heck of an event, because all worries turned out to be for naught! Trailers, RV's, cars, pop up tents, and foot traffic all meshed perfectly on site, despite some torrential summer thunderstorms that turned the property into a Woodstock-esque mud bath!

A racer myself, I've competed in a number of regional and national races, but never the IMPBA Gas Nats. I've seen fierce competition, and flared tempers at times. However, this year I saw no qualms between competitors or race management; everyone raced extremely well, there were minimal collisions between boats, and the score keepers and management crew operated very effectively - kudos to the Quad Counties R/C Boat Club!

The Hot Pits

Just like model aviation, rc boats have spinning propellers that pose a safety issue. The hot pits are where the upcoming heat race competitors stage, start their boats, and launch into the water. The pits are tight with six boats running at once as each pit man carries the boat from the table to the water's edge for a launch. The drivers are perched up on the driver's stand to race, similar to rc car racing.

The Retrieve Boat

Possibly the hardest working crew during the entire event was the retrieve boat team. Running well over one hundred heat races each day for three days means the retrieve boat was going out after almost every race to pluck stalled or flipped boats from the race course. A gas race boat is heavy as-is, but fill it with water and you easily have a 30+ lb hunk of dead weight to haul into the boat; sometimes there's five boats to haul in! Great work gentlemen! Without your hard work, the race can't happen.

Three Days of Racing

There's multiple classes that range from Super Stock Monos running the course at speeds around 50mph, up to big block LSG36 Riggers cutting insane lap times at speeds well over 70mph. Regardless of what you race, the reaction times need to be instant, and the pit man needs to call out everything as it happens to avoid collisions and help put you into the winner's circle. Six laps happens very quickly, but it can seem like an eternity when you're the driver; if you're in first place with another boat breathing down your exhaust pipe, it means there's no room for error.

Here's a few photos from competition at the IMPBA Gas Nats. There's a few hundred more below this article, and some videos of the action from various classes.

It's been over 5 years since I've even touched a gas boat, much less race one competitively. I sold all of my race boats to concentrate on "other things" and still kick myself for doing so. Earlier this year, I decided to re-enter the hobby and compete in the IMPBA Gas Nats. I hastily put together a pair of race boats and dialed them in with only a week to spare before the trip to Sellersburg. I raced three classes at the Gas Nats: LSG36 Cat, Open Offshore, and Crackerbox.

Re-learning all there is to racing competitively proved to be quite difficult; I never forgot how to run the buoys in lane one, but I struggled with clock management - the 2:30 countdown before the race where you "mill" with other boats and try to get the best start without jumping the clock as it counts down to zero. My crackerbox also got the best of me as it wasn't setup well and flipped in the turns. The crackerbox is designed to be an ill-handling boat with a nearly flat bottom, but mine was especially difficult to pilot and by the end of the second day of competition, I was officially to far off in points to win anything.

Open Offshore, however, was my strong class as I competed with my AC Boats R42 Catamaran. I won all but two heat races and finished the event with a 2nd Place trophy.

The ZippKits Team

I'd like to personally thank Joe Petro of ZippKits, Mike Walker, and Kevin Back for their hospitality during the Gas Nats. You guys are great sportsmen, and pretty decent cooks, too! Team Zippkits provided burgers, hotdogs, and drinks on Thursday afternoon for the entire event, as well as sponsored raffle prizes and classes. Bravo!

In Conclusion

The 2016 IMPBA Gas Nats went off without a hitch and I was excited to be a part of it, and bring home a trophy in Open Offshore. I met a lot of new people and made some new friendships as well. As I said earlier, a huge thanks goes out to the Quad Counties R/C Boat Club for hosting the Gas Nats. They defied all odds and put to rest the issues with space, and ran the event with precision the entire time. Next year, the Gas Nats will be held in Virginia, and we'll keep you informed as the event draws closer. Thanks for reading my event wrap up of the 2016 IMPBA Gas Nationals.

Videos

Here's a few videos from various heats, including some of the final shootout heats.

LSG27 Rigger - IMPBA Gas Nats 2016 (2 min 12 sec)

LSG27 Catamaran - IMPBA Gas Nats 2016 (2 min 33 sec)

Jersey Skiff - IMPBA Gas Nats 2016 (2 min 46 sec)

Thunderboat - IMPBA Gas Nats 2016 (2 min 35 sec)

LSG27 Cat - IMPBA GAS Nats (2 min 31 sec)

LSG27 Mono - IMPBA Gas Nats 2016 (2 min 36 sec)

Thunderboat Final Race - IMPBA Gas Nats 2016 (2 min 34 sec)

Jersey Skiff Final Race - IMPBA Gas Nats 2016 (3 min 15 sec)

LSG36 Cat Final Race - IMPBA Gas Nats 2016 (2 min 32 sec)

36 mono Final Race - IMPBA Gas Nats 2016 (2 min 21 sec)

Final Scores

Scores not photographed:

CRACKERBOX. Sponsored By: Zipp Kits

  • 1 Rapedius, Randy 400 400 400 400 400 2000
  • 2 Baker, Rick 25 300 400 169 127 1021
  • 3 Petro, Joe 300 50 300 25 300 975
  • 4 Back, Kevin 0 225 300 225 175 925
  • 5 Loeb, Dick 225 300 0 300 25 850
  • 6 Rogers, Terry 169 169 25 300 169 832
  • 7 Walker, Mike 250 0 0 225 0 475
  • 8 Montano, Philip 25 25 25 400 0 475
  • 9 Austin, Jeff 225 225 0 0 0 450
  • 10 Geiselman, Garry 400 0 0 25 0 425
  • 11 Gunn, Matt 25 300 25 25 0 375
  • 12 Schindler, Mike 0 0 0 0 0 0

TWIN RIGGER. Sponsored By: VOODOO MODEL BOAT CLUB

  • 1 Liddycoat, Scott 400 400 400 400 0 1600
  • 2 Recca, Blaise 225 300 300 300 225 1350
  • 3 Perez, Sergio 300 225 225 225 300 1275
  • 4 Montano, Philip 0 25 25 25 400 475

Last edited by Matt Gunn; Jun 28, 2016 at 01:36 PM..
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Jun 27, 2016, 12:39 PM
RCGroups Editor
Matt Gunn's Avatar
Photos from the IMPBA Gas Nats 2016
Jun 28, 2016, 12:26 PM
Manager Escape and Evasion
Obiwan35's Avatar
Great coverage, as usual, Matt.
Jun 28, 2016, 04:03 PM
Joe Petro's Avatar
I was shocked to see so many of our kits there!
Very happy with the event, and very happy to meet a lot of our customers!

Thanks for the great coverage, Matt!
Jun 28, 2016, 06:35 PM
RC boat Rock Star
Great job at racing and doing this article.
Too bad that Joe lost the smack-talking contest to Randy Rapedius!
I see a lot of familiar races at the event. I did watch a lot of live feeds over the weekend from the IMPBA Gas Nat's 2016 site and Brad Maglinger's Facebook groups.
If you can at the end of July, I'm rolling down to Celina, OH for their summer race and need some competition.
Jun 28, 2016, 09:17 PM
Registered User
Thanks Matt.
Great coverage
Matt fails to mention that he drove the most awesome offshore I have ever seen and took second only because of a servo failed
Jun 28, 2016, 09:34 PM
Registered User
Great article good meeting you Matt and a lot of other great boaters as well. the pitboss
Jun 28, 2016, 11:56 PM
RC boat Rock Star
Quote:
Originally Posted by mb1387
Thanks Matt.
Great coverage
Matt fails to mention that he drove the most awesome offshore I have ever seen and took second only because of a servo failed
Mike, how did you do or didn't you race? I see pix of you launching Joe's boat.
Jun 29, 2016, 08:22 AM
RCGroups Editor
Matt Gunn's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ron Olson
Mike, how did you do or didn't you race? I see pix of you launching Joe's boat.
It's all in the article.

It's been over 5 years since I've even touched a gas boat, much less race one competitively. I sold all of my race boats to concentrate on "other things" and still kick myself for doing so. Earlier this year, I decided to re-enter the hobby and compete in the IMPBA Gas Nats. I hastily put together a pair of race boats and dialed them in with only a week to spare before the trip to Sellersburg. I raced three classes at the Gas Nats: LSG36 Cat, Open Offshore, and Crackerbox.

Re-learning all there is to racing competitively proved to be quite difficult; I never forgot how to run the buoys in lane one, but I struggled with clock management - the 2:30 countdown before the race where you "mill" with other boats and try to get the best start without jumping the clock as it counts down to zero. My crackerbox also got the best of me as it wasn't setup well and flipped in the turns. The crackerbox is designed to be an ill-handling boat with a nearly flat bottom, but mine was especially difficult to pilot and by the end of the second day of competition, I was officially to far off in points to win anything.

Open Offshore, however, was my strong class as I competed with my AC Boats R42 Catamaran. I won all but two heat races and finished the event with a 2nd Place trophy.
Jun 29, 2016, 09:15 AM
RC boat Rock Star
Mike, I found your name in the results.
I kind of expected Scott Liddycoat to do better than he did with the new SLR/Zippkits T-Boat as the videos showed it scooting right along before the event.
Stu Barr got spanked. That doesn't happen often but he did himself in in the final round of LSG mono with the buoy cuts, he usually doesn't make a mistake like that. He was hitting zero at WOT while others were creeping up to the line but when you race 70-80 MPH 'riggers all the time that's old hat for him.
Jun 29, 2016, 09:18 AM
RCGroups Editor
Matt Gunn's Avatar
oops! I thought you said Matt... srry
Jun 29, 2016, 09:37 AM
RC boat Rock Star
Quote:
Originally Posted by Matt Gunn
oops! I thought you said Matt... srry
No. I know how well you did!
I was talking about Mike Walker.
Jun 29, 2016, 05:38 PM
Registered User
gotta love the skiffs.just as twitchy as the full size ones.
john
Jun 30, 2016, 11:34 AM
Registered User
Hey matt ! Your offshore heats were very impressive , your r42 cat was haulin' , loved every second , very clean and a blast to watch. Thanks for helping in the pits. Kev


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