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Home Page for Tethered Hydroplane Racing

Images courtesy Mick Biddle

REGATTA DATES 2014

This seasons bridle colour is Red and Yellow.

Jan   July  
17-19 M E Exhibition Alexandra Palace. Hydroplane Club stand 6 Althorne Lake Essex
March   13  Kingsbury Water Park
16 Hydroplane Club AGM- Holiday Inn Express, Elstow, Bedford 19-20 Althorne Lake Essex
30 Althorne work party Cancelled August  
April   3 Kingsbury Water Park, Tamworth
13  *Althorne Lake Essex  9-16 European Championships Pazardzhik
27  VMSC Victoria Park 23 St. Albans
May   25 International St. Albans Abandoned
4 Althorne Lake, Essex Sept  
25 VMSC Victoria Park 6-7 Rowden Lake, plus St Albans International
June   14 VMSC Victoria Park
8 Althorne Lake, Essex. 21 Kingsbury Water Park
15 VMSC 110th Anniversary Regatta October  
22 Kingsbury Water Park 5 Althorne Lake, Essex
    19 Section Conference, Holiday Inn, Elstow.

*With regards to the Althorne venue, the strength and direction of the wind plays a big part in whether we are able to hold the regatta. Please check before setting out.
Norman Lara, Tel mobile 07956 423410  


What, Who and Where  

What is tethered hydroplane racing

Modern tethered hydroplane racing offers competitors a variety of classes and options with which to pit their skills against the clock. The tethered hydroplane is a purpose built model, designed expressly for high speed on water using either an immersed propeller or airscrew. Boats are connected via a pair of wire bridles and a line of set length to a rotating pylon. This will give a circular lap of known length, usually 100 yards or 100 metres. There is no steering or any other means of control. The boat, be it a flash steamer, novice or vintage, powered by a large capacity home-built engine, a high performance commercial two-stroke, or even an electric motor is connected to the line and the engine started. When satisfied that the engine is producing maximum power, the competitor launches the boat off on its run, aided by a rubber bungee. The timed laps are signalled by the competitor when happy that the boat is at its fastest. The elapsed time for the required number of laps is translated into speed and the head scratching starts over adjustments needed to achieve an even faster run next time. This is the quest that has continued to challenge participants in this fascinating sport of tethered hydroplane racing for over 100 years.

 Preparation

Launching

Call the run

Recording the speed

Information Sources
 

Tethered Hydroplane Contacts
Plans, Rules, Bridles,
Technical information

Current Classes & Records
NAVIGA & National Classes
Waterscrew & Airscrew
Hydroplane Related Links
Companies, organisations and individuals providing items and services

Racing Related Articles

A3 Tethered Hydroplane
Performance and Building information
Roger James
30cc Hydroplane Motors
Building and developing 'A' Class engines
Lionel Lawley
 

Venues

Althorne Lake
 
Essex
 
Private lake situated to the south side of the B1010 in Althorne village, 1/2 mile past Station Rd
 gps 51.652018,0.768957
Kingsbury Water Park
 
Staffordshire
 
Country Park off Bodymoor Heath Road Tamworth. Car Park charges apply
gps 52.561078,-1.700027 SatNav B76 0DY
Victoria Park
 
East London
 
Public Park. Limited parking at St Marks Gate off Cadogan Terrace, walk to lakeside.
gps 51.539596,-0.027981 SatNav E9 5EG
Rowden Lake
 
Leicestershire
 
Private lake to the south of the B0000 Fen Lane 1 mile north of Fenny Drayton
gps 52.565186,-1.462662 SatNav CV13 6BP
St Albans
 
Hertfordshire
 
Verulamium Park. Park in Roman Museum car park off A401, charges apply. Walk to lakeside
gps 51.752181,-0.35491 SatNav AL3 4SW

MPBA affiliated clubs with active hydroplane members

Model Hydroplane Club

 

National

 

Formed in the 1970s to promote the building and racing of tethered hydroplanes countrywide.
Contact: Sonia Collins. 020 8590 4318
email: modelhydroclub@btinternet.com
Retro Racing Club

 
National

 
The Retro Club was set up in 1996, primarily to cater for the vintage interest and incorporated the Rushden Club. Members running all classes of hydros.
Contact: Peter Hill. Ivy House. Main road. Great Carlton. Louth LN11 8JU
email arty.pole@gmail.com
Alpha

 
National

 
Small group formed in the 1980s, solely to run tethered hydroplanes nationally and internationally, primarily NAVIGA classes.
Contact: Stuart Robinson 13 Church Road. Stevington. Bedford. MK43 7QB

Heaton

 

North East

 

The club celebrates its centenary in 2010 and while not being able to run hydroplanes at their lake currently, still has a number of enthusiasts of long standing who compete regularly.
Contact:  heatonmodelboats@aol.com
South Shields

 
North East

 
Home club of Bob Kirtley, one of the world's leading exponents of high speed flash steam tethered hydroplanes and the current outright record holder.
Contact: Robert Kirtley 2, Datchet Road, Whitley Bay NE25 9UR
Kingsbury

 
Midlands

 
Formed in 1975 to take advantage of the newly opened water park. Members from other local clubs starting running hydroplanes in 1990.  High profile members, include Arthur Wall and John DeMott.
Contact: John DeMott, Rowden Cottage, Fenny Drayton CV13 6BP
Welwyn

 
Central

 
Welwyn hosted the last world championships to be held in this country, but have since lost their lake for hydroplanes. Home Club of John Hyder, current 'A' Class record holder
Contact: Philip Radford, 21 Home Close, Stotfold, Hitchin, Herts SG5 4DJ
St Albans

 
Central

 
St Albans MES has a long history of involvement with tethered hydroplanes and their lake hosts the two day International Regatta each August.
Contact: Roger Lane 27, Marten Gate, St Albans, Herts AL4 9NB
Victoria

 

London E

 

Founded in 1904, The Victoria model Steamboat Club is one of the oldest in the country. A wealth of tethered hydroplane experience exists amongst the members, including current outright hydroplane record holder, Norman Lara.
Contact: Keith Reynolds email: VMSCvictoriapark@talktalk.net
Blackheath

 

London SE

 

This year sees the club entering its 82nd year with straight running and tethered hydroplanes remaining its primary interests. Current Chairman is Jim Free who holds no less than 4 tethered hydroplane records in two airscrew classes and two waterscrew classes.
Contact: Phil Abbott email: Blackheath-mpbc@hotmail.co.uk
Cotswold

 
Southwest

 
One of the primary venues for many years, run by a core group of highly enthusiastic engine builders and competitors, now sadly without a local water.
Contact: Mike Rose. New address to be confirmed
Sue Free Novice boat Three A Class flash steamers Four 30cc A Class IC boats Jim Free B1 airscrew

Club contacts and web addresses correct as at 1/02/2013

Photos OTW and Sonia and Tony Collins

CopyrightOTW2010