With a rule book as thick as the bible and a parity committee for everything has Stock Outboard racing become out of reach for its intended purpose.
By Dan Lawrence
March 16- 2014
Have you ever stop by the web site HydroRacer.Net or the Stock Outboard section of the APBA Social forum. If so you will find a non stop collection of post all bickering back and forth about what rules should or should not be instated.
20SSH Sidewinder Removal Proposal: Vote NO
I recently sent the letter below to all the Region 10 20SSH drivers and a few other interested parties. Several people told me that this message needed a wider platform than a local email blast, so I am posting it here. Please keep in mind in reading it that it is written to a local audience with a local perspective; although the core of its message speaks to the issue at hand.
Dear Region 10 20SS Hydro Drivers (and other friends),
By now, you should have received the Stock Outboard Rules ballot. One of the ballot items that you will be asked to be vote on is to remove the Sidewinder 20S engine from 20SSH.
I wrote you previously about this issue. With the ballot now in your mailbox, it’s important to once again remind you of the importance of this pivotal issue, and how it could affect our sport.
There’s a number of things that are unusual about this ballot item. The first, and the biggest one is that the item was not proposed by the SORC, the governing body that proposed all your other ballot items. In accordance with APBA By-laws, a small group of 20SS drivers petitioned the APBA to have this item go to a vote of the membership of the active drivers in the class. One of the co-writers has even gone on public record (posted on Hydroracer.net) as saying, “we are “protectionist”. The petition has been driven out of one region in APBA, and has far reaching ramifications throughout ALL of APBA.
Yes, as being the only owner of a Sidewinder 20S engine in Region 10 that is competing in 20SSH, I will admit without hesitation I have a dog in this fight. Most of you have seen us run our 20SSH and raced against us. Let’s look at the facts as they relate to our own program:
We started at the first race of 2013 running at 55 mph and a cloud of dust in 20SSH. After learning a few subtle idiosyncrasies of the motor, replacing a power pack, and over the course of last season trying three different hulls and countless propellers, we ended up running 61-62 mph. We are still searching for the magic propeller, and with a heavy driver, are able to run in the upper mid pack in a region with more 20SSH’s than anywhere else in the US. We still have a TON of work to do to become real “player” speed with this rig. We are not afraid of doing the work. We’ve done it before.
Looking at the motor’s success nationally, we see a similar pattern: The motor has been legal for the past three seasons in 20SSH. Nobody running a Sidewinder in 20SSH has won a Nationals. Nobody has set a competition or straightaway record. Nobody has won a Divisionals. There hasn’t even been a Nationals Final Qualifier in 20SSH powered by a Sidewinder. Truly, if a person’s goal was to dominate in 20SSH, all the evidence appears that the way to NOT dominate is to buy a Sidewinder. What are they afraid of?
In my opinion, the current letter grade of the Sidewinder 20S is incomplete. The proponents of this petition and ballot item will tell you how it’s only a matter of time before it will DESTROY the class. It took TEN YEARS for a restricted 302 to win a Nationals in 20SSH. It took NINE YEARS for a Tohatsu to win a Nationals in DSH, despite complaints, boycotts, tantrums and endless whining. It is entirely possible that over time, the Sidewinder may surpass the performance of the Yamato in 20SSH. But anybody who says the end for the 302 is near is being woefully short sighted.
The Sidewinder is a current production motor, made in America that can be delivered from the east coast to your doorstep in less than a month. Right now, Ric Montoya does not expect his latest shipment of Yamato 302s to ship until May, which means they likely will not be in the US until June of this year.
Does it make sense to outlaw the only CURRENTLY AVAILABLE motor that you can purchase TODAY for the largest class in Stock Outboard? Of course it does not!
Don’t get me wrong: We love our Yamato 302s, and we welcome the opportunity to race against other 302s in 20SS. We will probably get beat by a lot of you, many, many times before we have our Sidewinder sufficiently dialed in to consistently compete toe-to-toe with you. And at the end of the day, all we want is the chance to race against everybody else, using an American made motor that represents the future of APBA Stock Outboard racing.
Your ballot, and your vote, is very important to us, and the future of all of Stock Outboard racing. Please don’t let a small group or racers from one part of the country deny the rest of us the opportunity to race 20SS Hydro, like everybody else.
Please: Vote AGAINST removal of the Sidewinder 20S from the 20SS Hydro class.
Fill out your ballot and mail it today.
One would think with all the constant bickering and back and forth the series was on the same level as Formula One car racing even though this category is supposed to be the grass roots level of powerboat racing where you basically show up and have a good time a throw back to the run what you brung days of powerboat racing.
In my mind the video above is what Stock Outboard racing in America should look like, not the current series filled with rules for everything including what safety gear you must wear, the size and dimensions of pickle forks and mandator kevlar safety gear. The list goes on and on and so does the bickering.
*Sadly I started HRNET back in 2002 and looking back I regret not deleting the site instead of selling it since in its current form its nothing more then a place for bickering and back stabbing.
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