Preparation to race

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This F4 Class hydroplane is towed on a typical open boat trailer but the tow vehicle provides some of the comforts of home for its crew.

The OSY 400 class are very easy to trail. Everyone has a different idea of how to do it. The most popular trailer is an open boat trailer which can be run down a slipway to launch the hydroplane.

Of course that means that the tow vehicle has to carry the spares and tools and the hydroplane is exposed to whatever conditions are met on the road to the next competition

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’91’ has a neat arrangement. The road trailer serves as a cargo box and support for a launching dolley in which the hydroplane sits, but it still exposes the craft to all the dirt and debris when being towed to the race circuit.

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’21’ has a fully enclosed trailer. This calls for a little manpower, sliding her out of the trailer, but she is protected from road debris and curious fingers. This was the first time the new trailer was used, with trailer and boat still being largely unstickered.

Team-21 have chosen to use a fully enclosed trailer and to demount some of the equipment for transit. This adds some time to ‘pits’ preparation before launching, but it reduces risks in transit.

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Without fuel and engine, ’21’ is light enough to be handled comfortably by two people. This view shows just how tightly OSY 400 hydroplanes fit their drivers.

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’21’ is now out of the trailer and positioned ready for the outboard motor to be fitted onto the drive leg. The drive leg has been left mounted in transit with the stearing cables attached and tensioned. The step cut-outs seen in the cockpit floor provide a choice of toe hold positions for Craig.

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The motor has been removed from its transit box and is about to be placed onto the drive leg.

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In position, the motor is then bolted down ready for testing.

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The motor fires first time. The top-puller needs two people to hold the hydroplane steady as the engine is test fired and run up.

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An OSY 400 driver of the future? The Juniors race in deep V monohulls and launching from the dolly with driver aboard is a preferred method.

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With ’21’ ready for launching and the race, the extra weight requires three people to carefully carry her to the pontoon.

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With ’21’ in the water, Craig has stepped aboard and is settling into the prone position.

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With the engine fully tested, it starts very easily and the hydroplane is immediately underway.

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