Team Blog [Archives]

Passports to determine team's fate . . .
2015-07-05
Passports to determine team's fate . . .

SUNDAY, July 5, 2015 - We planned on spending this past weekend racing our F1 boat at Pittsburgh but Mother Nature had something to say about that.  We plan on racing our F1 boat at Valleyfield next weekend but the U.S. Government holds the permission slip for our inclusion in that event.

As most know, due to the events of 9/11, all U.S. citizens who wish to re-enter the country after a trip to another must have a passport or North American travel card in their possession.  Prior to that event more than a decade ago a picture ID would do it.  Now, if you don't have a passport you won't get back home, period.

Two of our crew members are still waiting approval from the U.S. Department of State to receive their passports.  The government's ability to proces those applications quickly will determine whether our team is off to Valleyfield as planned on Wednesday or if we are starting our preparations for the Huntington Classic a week earlier than planned.

Regardless, our F1 plans for 2015 haven't gone as we had hoped.  We started off well at LaPorte in our season opener but things soured by the end of the weekend.  Those gremlins continued at Bay City as we struggled with engine and electrical problems the entire weekend.  Both weekends ended in horrible finishes for our team.  The Pittsburgh race, chance for a rebound, got cancelled before it ever got started.  Now, we're nearing the end of our USF1 race season still looking for a decent finish.

Hopefully that is in the cards this coming weekend at Valleyfield.  Only the U.S. government can stop us from finding out.  We'll keep you posted.

Dana Tomes


Quick turnaround for Round Three . . .
2015-06-30
Quick turnaround for Round Three . . .

TUESDAY, June 30, 2015 - A four-day turnaround between races is not enough.  Our hauler arrived back at the shop Monday afternoon with plans for our F1 boat to be repaired, packed up and back on the road for Pittsburgh on Friday morning.  We have a lot to do which began even before we got home from Bay City with phone calls seeking advice and ordering parts.

We're in for another engine change this week before we report to Pittsburgh for the Three Rivers Regatta where river conditions are always tough.  Throw in the recent thunderstorms that have dumped inches of rain on this part of the country and the mightly Allegheny is likely to resemble a minefield by Saturday and Sunday's race events.

Thanks to a lot of kind people from the race community at Bay City we will be able to get to Pittsburgh.  Our boat was trashed at Bay City on Saturday after an electrical short charged our carbon fiber boat and shorted out everything electrical within a 10-mile radius.  Well, not quite that far, but everything in the boat pretty much got toasted.

After stripping it out and an engine revamping we got to the final only to roast the motor early in the race.  We're working on a rewire and replumbing job this week before we try Plan C at Pittsburgh.  If all goes well all our parts will be here by Friday morning and ready for us to get to work upon arrival in the Steel City Friday evening.

Did I mention four days isn't enough time between races?  I tought I may have.  Oh well, Pittsburgh awaits and we can only hope for a better performance than Rounds 1 and 2 provided if we are planning to dig out of our 15th place points hole in the USF1 standings.

Thank you to all who helped us survive Bay City and have the desire to try it again this week.

Dana Tomes


Ready for Round Two . . .
2015-06-20
Ready for Round Two . . .

SATURDAY, June 20, 2015 - The Kingdom Energy Formula 1 tunnel boat team is getting ready for our second race of the season next weekend in Bay City, MI.  The Bay City River Roar, home of the USF1's North American Championship, will take place June 26-28 on the Saginaw River in downtown Bay City.  The hauler plans to pull out early Thursday and we hope to arrive and set up our pit area at Bay City Thursday evening in preparation for three days of F1 racing.

It will be our second trip to Bay City.  Last year we made our F1 debut there, finishing 15th.  Having a race weekend on the rough Saginaw in our memory we hope to do a little better this time around.

Our engine problems at LaPorte that plaqued us toward the end of the Maple City Grand Prix final has been determined, we believe.  It appears the stator on our engine which produces and controls the voltage is breaking down on long runs.  It appears fine on short runs with fully charged batteries, but after about 10 miles of racing there isn't enough charge in the batteries to run all of the boat's electronics.  Toward the end of the final at LaPorte the engine would almost completely cut off when we trimmed for the corners, a sign that there wasn't enough power being produced and converted to DC to operate the boat's fuel injection system, trim system and other electronics.  Our batteries were weak after every heat so we are hopeful that a new stator will fix the issue this coming weekend. A new rectifier early on didn't fix the issue so we're hopeful since the stator and rectifier are the two gadgets responsible for the charging system that a stator change will fix it.

We have to get some new tires on the toterhome this week and fix a flat time we had last race at LaPorte on the trailer before our 1,000 mile roundtrip to Bay City, but other than a little cleanup and uniform washing we are pretty much ready to go.

Speaking of ready to go, the Huntington Classic, home of the SST-120 North American Championships is coming together great.  The event, July 24-26, on the Ohio River in Huntington, is detailed on the event's website at www.huntingtonclassic.com.  The event is almost ready with all of the entertainment, vendors and other pieces in place for a great weekend of Powerboat Nationals racing action.

Our SST-120 boat, the Lamb hull we raced last year, was dropped off at Downard Marine on Friday to get the sponson pinned back on good and get a nose cone replaced.  We tore up the boat pretty good on rough waters at Bay City, Huntington and Portsmouth last summer, but we're confident Gordo can have it back ready to race in a few weeks.  We have three fresh powerheads ready for our F2 program that we can't wait to try out beginning at Huntington and then on to Rising Sun, Indiana to finish up our brief F2 year in mid August.

Stay tuned for social media posts to our website from Bay City!

Dana Tomes


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