59th Australian Nationals 2005-2006

"Fleurieu Peninsular"  - 18th-25th April 2006


Click on image for enlargement

[Photo: John Hallowell]




Simons/Potter - 3rd  |  Fitzgerald/Ellins - 1st  |  Stein/G.Wilson - 2nd
[Photo: John Hallowell]

F2C Round 1 Round 2 Round 3 Round 4 Final
1 Fitzgerald Ellins 3:13.6 3:20.3 - - 6:45.9
2 G Wilson Stein 3:13.3 3:28.3 DNF DNF 6:47.4
3 Simons Potter 3:07.7 - 3:12.3 DNF 114 Laps
4 Thompson Bertina 3:23.7 3:17.8 3:17.3 3:26.1  
5 Bellis Gannon 3:35.9 3:42.5 4:21.7 DQ  
6 Letchford Nolan DNF DNF 3:43.0 3:42.9  
7 M Wilson Poschkens 4:26.9 3:58.7 4:20.8 3:57.0  

Hugh Simons  Hugh Simons  Ian Thompson  Ian Thompson & Graeme Wilson


Trevor Letchford & Maris Dislers  ???  ???  ???


F2C action  F2C Final action  F2C Score Pad




G.Wilson/Ellins - 3rd  |  Simons/Potter - 1st  |  Hallowell/Baddock - 2nd
[Photo: John Hallowell]

Report from John Hallowell VH 1984.

VINTAGE A at the 59th Nats in South Australia was a memorable event. It proved once again that the Hugh Simons / Grant Potter combination are the hottest team in land right now. Not only in Vintage, but also in the Formula 1 equivalent in control line racing, F2C. The 3.07.67 they recorded in the Nats at Monarto easily beat the old 2004 World Record by Pascal Surugue of France of 3.09.6. However, they will need to find something extra to top the amazingly quick current F2C heat record of 3.04.3 by Valeriy Kramarenko & Yuriy Chayka of the Ukraine, flown on the 18th July, 2005.

With the Nationals being held a week after Easter in a non-holiday period, the entries were never going to break any records. It seems only a few years ago that around 20 team entries were the regular thing in Vintage A at a Nationals. With competitive motors slowly but surely becoming available, the next Nats at Albury will definitely be a big one. I’d be booking accommodation now!

There were just 9 teams entered with Bertina / Thompson not making the line pits at the Murray Bridge Showground. Temperature was around 19 and overcast. Light drizzle fell just before practice. Wilson / Ellins and Hallowell / Baddock were both using 1.5 IPN fuel mix. Although Steve Rothwell couldn’t make it, much was expected of the teams with his superb R250’s up front. They didn’t disappoint.

Graeme Wilson and Mark Ellins had the Olympian fired up and posted a stunning 3.17.80 in round one. It was the best ever heat time for that well credentialed pair and will be a State record. Both have been hoping for a time like that since Vintage A racing began in Australia on the grass at Moorabbin Airport in October, 1988… Scary thing is Mark would expect there’s the best part of 10 seconds to lop from that time in the next year or two!

Paul Stein and Rob Fitzgerald were again full of promise with plenty of laps and speed. However, on this day it was simply not to be as the Olympian refused to behave on takeoff and landing with nose overs a real problem. When the final was run, this dynamic duo had to be content with watching the action from the sidelines. Paul has since obtained a plan for a Dimpled Dumpling and may be building up a lightweight special for Albury. Let’s hope it’s painted in the familiar ‘battleship grey’ so we can know who owns it from a distance.

Hallowell / Baddock were the defending champs and now had a new and faster Dimpled Dumpling, replacing the trusty Voodoo V that got home first at the last Nats in Richmond. The D.D. Didn’t Disappoint and a first round 3.20.5 gave a strong chance of making the final three. The Dimple Dumpling of Grant Potter had been superbly constructed by Master Builder Ray Harvey, (could that be why it’s so fast?) and was again looking really sharp. However, they didn’t have it all their own way. With only the 3rd quickest heat time, the lads would admit to holding their breath as Fitzy & Paul returned a less than perfect second round of 3.26. After that, the top 3 qualifiers elected to drop out of Round 2 and save their energy and equipment for the 180 lap final.

Like the Victorian State Champs, the final was again an R250 fest with 2 Dimpled Dumplings and an Olympian. Keith Baddock had the best start and gave his team an early lead, setting up a pass on Hugh and Grant. There was nothing between any of the R250’s which were all swinging APC 7 x 7 props. The race was decided by where the models cut and how long the glide had to be.

H/B’s first cut was spot on for a fast stop. The next two were wrong side and had the long glide. W/E had 3 poor cuts and S/P had 3 good ones. Speeds were more or less identical. There was absolutely nothing in it! In the end, none of the pilots knew who had won. It was that close. Laps were generally down on the day. H/B only just scraped in with Keith leaning the needle for the last tank, allowing Hugh his only pass in the race. Keith thinks our engine will take a touch more compression. Thanks to careful operation this R250 has never even sounded like it might go hard.

All in all, it was the fastest Nats final ever and probably the cleanest and best race I have ever flown in! And I can go back to flying around a 44 gallon drum at Albert Park in the late fifties… [What a horror that was. ED.] It was victory to NSW. Simons / Potter’s winning time was 6.49.5 with the other two Victorian teams just scant seconds behind.

Vintage A Round 1 Round 2 Final
1 Simons Potter 3:23.4 - 6:49.5
2 Hallowell Baddock 3:20.5 - 6:54.0
3 G Wilson Ellins 3:17.8 - 6:58.2
4 Fitzgerald Stein 3:30.3 3:26.9  
5 M Wilson Smith 3:59.7 3:49.4  
6 Fry A Taylor 4:20.8 DNF  
7 Letchford Nolan DNF 4:32.2  
8 Bellis Gannon DNF 4:53.0  
  Potter, Letchford, & Simons  Potter, Bertina, Letchford, Nolan, & Simons  Alasdair Taylor  


  Bellis/Gannon  Hallowell/Baddock  Smith/M.Wilson  Letchford/Nolan  
Bertina/Thompson - 2nd  |  Baddock/Hallowell - 1st  |  M.Wilson/Smith - 3rd
[Photo: John Hallowell]
Report from John Hallowell VH 1984.

CLASSIC B T/R was on next day and a small but dedicated bunch of team race enthusiasts were back for a crack at a B class win. Entries were again low with not a single person from Qld or NSW on the start line. Yes, it’s a very big country with a relatively small modelling population…. And it is a 3 day drive from Brisbane to Adelaide. But it’s much further across the Nullarbor to Perth and a large group of really keen WA flyers made the trip. No doubt this will all change at the more central Albury Nats at the year’s end.

Back to the racing and Graeme Wilson and Mark Ellins were giving the Double Dice one of it’s last outings before the replacement Rocket that Graeme is building takes over. They took a big chance when they elected to sit on their first round time of 3.20. The gamble didn’t pay off… and it was time keeping duties this time. Maybe just as well for the eventual winners as this team would have done the 140 laps with one less stop. Could have made it interesting!

Lance Smith had ‘son of a gun’ Murray Wilson as his handle grabber. Murray was in fine form at these Nats with a spectacular win in F2D combat. Murray will be flying Junior F2D Combat at the Worlds in Spain this July. Their scintillating second round 3.16.1 was a PB time and would have made the last three at most contests in this country. Lance has an interesting experiment to try (trust a scientist to want to experiment…) when he gets back to Melbourne. He has put a Davis Diesel head on one of his LA 25’s. He hopes to have a very fast Classic B with lots and lots of laps!

Bob Fry and Alasdair Taylor had a ‘steelie’ OS 25 that probably needed many more hours running than it was possible to give! So despite having fast starts and a quick model, the motor just wouldn’t give the necessary revs in the air to keep up with its ABN cousins… It was great to see them competing and gaining experience in this easy to fly event. Next time they’ll do more than make up numbers…

Fellow West Aussies, Hans Bertina and Ian Thompson had the familiar Thornley Thunderbolt wound up to put a workman like 3.17 next to their names in the CD’s book. This beautifully built lightweight special was debuted at the first Albury Nats and has been racing continually since that time. A new model is now being built.

John Hallowell and Keith Baddock had Paul Stein working the battery for the Rocket. The trio got their act together in Round 1 with a very fast 3.07.3 and elected not to fly a second round.

At the start of the final’s warmup, watching from the pilot’s circle, I was totally gob smacked. No, it wasn’t big Thommo’s elbow, it was Han’s efforts in the pits. At the start of the warmup, his engine threw the prop and did a shaft run. Imagine the chaos!!

Full credit to Hans Bertina and his vast experience… Being ‘Mr. Cool’, Hans just gathered the bits, bolted them all back on the MRS OS 25 FP and was standing with just seconds to spare as the countdown went 5-4-3-2-1-GO! And Hans & Thommo were away first flick!!

The Rocket and the Antares were also quickly in the air and the race was on in earnest. The West Aussies were surprised by the speed of the Rocket ship and being passed so often. Strangely, all teams were down on laps and needed an extra stop to make the 140 laps. Teams were getting 43-45 laps per tank instead of the usual 48 – 50. 47 is the critical lap number in B Class racing for a two stop final. We were using exactly the same fuel and equipment a week ago in Victoria and laps were not a problem. It seems the atmosphere on the day here in Murray Bridge required a richer needle.

The Rocket was again successful, taking back to back Classic B titles and making it 5 Classic B wins in a row for the H/B stable of racers. Hans Bertina & Ian Thompson from Western Australia were 2nd and Victorians Lance Smith and Murray Wilson were 3rd. A new lightweight Rocket is now being developed to counter the anticipated challenge in Albury from Queensland’s Mark McDermott’s fleet of super quick Classic B racers.

Classic B Round 1 Round 2 Final
1 Hallowell Baddock 3:07.3 - 6:30.9
2 Thompson Bertina 3:17.4 - 7:04.2
3 M Wilson Smith 3:58.1 3:16.1 7:54.4
4 G Wilson Ellins 3:20.1 -  
5 Fry A Taylor 3:41.8 3:53.5  


  Hans Bertina  Fry / Taylor  
Ellins/G.Wilson - 2nd  |  Fry/Taylor - 1st  |  Pretty/Fitzgerald - 3rd
[Photo: Robert Fry]
Open Rat Round 1 Round 2 Final
1 Fry A Taylor 2:38.7 3:01.7 5:10.4
2 G Wilson Ellins DNF 2:47.3 5:15.2
3 Pretty Fitzgerald DNF 2:15.0 DNF
4 Thompson Potter      


  Robert Fry  Mark Ellins  Greg Pretty  
Ellins/G.Wilson - 2nd  |  Taylor/Fry - 1st  |  Hallowell/Baddock - 3rd
[Photo: Robert Fry]
Report from John Hallowell VH 1984.

BENDIX TEAM RACE was much anticipated despite another small entry. It would have been good if the top NSW teams like Tony Bonello and Andrew Heath had been in the mix. We’ll have to wait until the end of the year for that… Also, looking forward to see who is the first to plant a Fora .36 in the nose of a Bendix machine. Will the real ‘Captain Bendix’ please stand up…! That was the question to be answered on this day. Rob Fry and Alasdair Taylor were fired up to win this time with the big case Nelson and Shoestring. However, their heats of 3.48 and 3.49 were slow and a long way behind the H/B record of 3.21.

Richmond Nats winners John Hallowell and Keith Baddock also had a slow first round with a blown plug but managed to get their act together in the second round with a smart 3.28 with the Nelson .36 Combat powered Nemesis. Graeme Wilson and Mark Ellins had the Ray Cote Shoestring wound up for a 3.50 in the first round. Good enough to make the last 3.

The Richard Bellis / Dave Gannon entry had good airspeed and was only 1/10th of a second behind the Wilson / Ellins second round time. Fellow West Aussie Jim Stivey teamed up with John Taylor from Qld. Their model was showing much promise before breaking a fuselage at a pitstop in the second round.

The final was a shootout between the Victorian Nemesis and the West Australian Shoestring. And boy, was it close, with just 2.2 seconds in it at the finish. Both teams made mistakes and lost chances for a clear victory. But that’s racing… and no doubt both teams did their best.

Congratulations to Rob and Alasdair. Wilson / Ellins were a credible third. The good news for us that it’s only 6 months before the title of ‘Captain Bendix’ again comes up for grabs… No doubt other strong contenders will emerge. For starters, how about the Qld combo of Harry Bailey and Marky Mac…? Word is they are practicing VERY quickly at the moment!

Bendix Round 1 Round 2 Final
1 Fry A Taylor 03:58.6 03:49.1 07:34.7
2 Hallowell Baddock 04:25.1 03:28.6 07:36.9
3 G Wilson Ellins 03:50.0 04:00.9 08:19.2
4 Bellis Gannon DNF 04:00.8  
5 Stivey J Taylor 05:16.9 DNF  
Goodyear Round 1 Round 2 Final
1 Fitzgerald Pretty 3:31.2 - 7:00.9
2 Fry A Taylor 4:03.0 - 11.08.5
3 Bellis Gannon DNF - DNF
4 G Wilson Ellins DNF -  
5 M Wilson Poschkens      


  Mark Ellins  
Combined Speed Record Round 1 Round 2 Round 3 Percent
1 Fry Jet - Stock 12.45 12.58 12.49 12.57 99.7
  Fry Jet - Open 10.32 10.94     94.3
2 J Taylor Jet - Stock 12.45 13.29 13.62 13.71 93.7
3 A Taylor Jet - Stock 12.45 13.42     92.8
4 Axon Jet - Stock 12.45 14.08 14.94   88.4


  David Axon  David Axon  Rob Fry  
F2D Round 1 Round 2 Round 3 Round 4 Score
1 M Wilson W L W W 2
2 G Wilson W W L L 0
3 Pretty L L     -2
G.Wilson - 2nd  |  M.Wilson - 1st  |  Pretty - 3rd
[Photo: John Hallowell]


  Murray Wilson  
Dislers - 2nd  |  G.Wilson - 1st  |  M.Wilson - 3rd
[Photo: John Hallowell]
Vintage Combat Round 1 Repercharge Round 2 Round 3 Round 4 Round 5
1 G Wilson W   W W   W
2 M Wilson W   W W   L
3 Dislers L W W L W  
4 Fry W   L L L  
=5 Ellins L W L      
=5 Stivey W   L      
=7 Letchford L L        
=7 Bellis L L        
Open Combat Round 1 Round 2 Round 3 Round 4 Round 5 Round 6 Score
1 Fry W W W L B W 3
2 Bellis W B L W W L 2
3 Stivey L W W B L   0
=4 G Wilson B L L       -1
=4 Pretty L L         -2


  Extinguisher ?  Richard Bellis