|Looking east up into the Steppes area.|
We arrived here on Wednesday with one other Boomer couple who was with us at Parker, Ann and Mick. Mostly hung around, did a couple of walks, enjoyed the area. Friday went into town and got groceries. Met Bill and Bonnie at happy hour - they are heavily into model airplanes but used to race model boats and told us about the races this weekend.
Saturday we ran into town and watched the model boat races. They are about 1-1/2 to 2 feet long and are run by two-cycle gas, water-cooled string trimmer motors. They run around 65-70 mpr and run a 5 lap oval course about 1/8-1/10 mile in length. Five boats race at a time and they are certainly competitive. There are various classes which race against each other - outriggers, powerboats, v-hull, and thunderboats. Many times two or three of the boats quit running during the race or hit one of the buoy markers and flip out, or lose communication with their radio control and go wild down the river. They are exciting races and really fun to watch. Besides it's a gorgeous river and great to be outside in the sun and cool/warm air.
The setting - looking south along the walking path past the Lake Havasu Resort towards the racing area and pits.
Looking south from the launch area. Power boats lined up to watch.
We sat along the wall here with these people to watch. The launch area was right below us under a 4' cement wall with about 2-1/2' of sand beach for the pit crew to launch. There were two people for each boat, one had the controls in the "driving area" near the announcer stand and the other crew member would pull the starter rope at the"boaters - start your engines" command. Then they would check with the controller to be sure they were ready and toss the boat out into the river. They would have 90 seconds to get this done, get their boats warmed up and then a 30 second warning would sound for them to gather up and the countdown would start. Those who jumped the starting line or went inside a buoy would automatically get a lap penalty.
During the down time between races, two retrieve boats would go out and pick up the dead in the water boats and also chase away the mallards who are prolific. Sometimes the next race would have to be delayed while a model boat (or the larger boats) herded the ducks to safety.
Between races, they would allow boats wanting to use the channel to go up and down the river to proceed west of the race area. There were party barges, cruisers, kayaks, canoes and even these paddle surfers???
All's quiet between races and Jerry's right on top of the action.