FRIDAY, MAY 27, 2011 - In just three short weeks we will be unloading the haulers in Elgin, Illinois for our first weekend of Superleague racing that will carry us through the summer and into early October in 2011. We are still making daily progress in the office and race shop preparing for the 2011 season and today was no different as all of our radio cables, push-to-talk equipment and two-way radio wiring arrived. I spent much of the morning yesterday at Huntington Sport and Commercial Diving Center as our unofficial safety consultant Charlie Carroll rigged regulator hoses and mounting brackets for the two breathing air systems that will be fitted in our boats. All in all, things are coming along well and with a couple more shipments from Seaway and Mercury Marine next week we should have about everything we need to get the F2 boat out of the garage and onto the water with a week or 10 days to spare to fix any bugs that crop up prior to leaving for Elgin. Not as early as we had hoped last fall, but much better than our intro into 2010.
As for the F3 boat, that is a different story. We still don't have our new motor in hand for that boat and the earliest we may have it is probably still a week or more away. It got held up majorly after we had to get a new block and head for the motor, something we weren't planning on having to do. Then the machining of the parts to get the performance edge we hope to gain slowed the process even more. The good news is if for some reason we don't get the primary F3 boat on the water before Elgin we have a solid backup in the Hemp/Pugh which performed pretty well for us last year. We have significantly lightened it up from last fall with a new motor cover, new cowling and by removing some frills that were adding weight. The driver hopefully will be a few pounds lighter as well. I started last summer just under 220. I am starting this summer around 210 so an extra 10 pounds off the scale should help a little. Still would like to get under 200 before Pittsburgh, but progress is slow for a guy who hates exercise and loves to eat. Regardless, I'm much happier with 210 than the 243 I had ballooned to when making the decision to get into the cockpit of a boat last April.
Now back to the opener at Elgin being three weeks away. Promoter Jim McGrath has been at it since late summer last year. Here is a story that appeared in the Elgin newspaper this past week talking about the race and how the city is preparing for it's first time hosting a Superleague event. Click here for story: http://couriernews.suntimes.com/news/5415286-418/elgin-revving-up-for-thunder-on-the-fox.html.
We'll be in the shop Monday and Tuesday nights mounting seats, rigging seat belts and installing air systems and radio harnesses. Stop by and see us if you can! Everyone is welcome. We usually get in there around 6 and work until at least 8, many times much later. We would love to see you.