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Mad Ax

UK Scaler Nationals 2022 - Live Updates

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So, I'm trying something new this time - live updates from the event, in real-time!  It's not as easy as I'd like, having to go via the phone camera, through a resizing app (which won't remember the last size I used or the folder I select the photo from), to tcphotos, to having to do a few clicks to get the link code because the mobile view hides it away, to pasting into the TC thread, to probably running out of data by mid morning Saturday, but still, I'm sure efficiency will improve as I progress through the weekend.

so, here we are on Thursday evening, with the van mostly loaded and ready to set off after the morning school run. Hopefully an image will now appear!

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That’s great. The nationals will be my first crawler event but I can only make one day. It’ll be interesting to see what else I miss.

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It's 158 miles to my first stop. Here goes 

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Good luck. Both with the event and the live updates!!

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So here we are! I figured this isn't social media and you probably don't want to see my lunch, dinner, breakfast or the inside of my hotel room, but it's now the morning of the big day and we're here. 2 miles short of a round 200, the car park isn't that full - quiet enough that I got onto the hardstanding area - and 20 minutes to go until booking in. The downside is I totally forgot to get some cash, so I won't be buying any raffle tickets until tomorrow! 

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I can't get over how quiet it is here. It was stated online that there wouldn't be a driver's briefing, so maybe people figured there was no need to be here early? Or maybe the cost of living crisis has kept people away. Regardless, it's pretty empty. Just waiting for the trails to open now.

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And we're off!

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Trail 1 complete. Pretty easy going so far. Gonna grab the BOM and go for trail 2.

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About to start trail 2 now. The pit shop has arrived with loads of goodies. Bit of a delay starting the course as the servo horn screw was loose on the BOM, needed the panhard rod removing to get at it. All ready now tho

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First winching of the day

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Shroom!

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Course 2 done!

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So, the original plan was to do 4x 100 gate courses on Sat and the 500 gate ale trail on Sun, but it's not even midday and courses 1 and 2 are done. Do far they seem pretty easy, I've rolled a couple of times, hit some markers and used the winch once, and got around real quick as it's such a quiet day. No queues and no trail buddies. I'm really hungry, but I'm going to resist the call of the burger van until I've done one more course 

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Course 3 done. Really surprised to have got through it all so quick, although course 3 was much harder. The BOM was back to its old tricks of falling over all the time, I needed the winch a lot but the winch drum is made of cheap pot metal and the splines have stripped. Not got a spare with me and overland RC aren't here this year, so I might go back to the cfx-w later.

A mate has just messaged to say he's on the way, so I might put the class 1 bruiser out on course 1 or 2 to see how it gets on. 

I've only travelled just over a mile on foot, feels like further. Will analyze the Strava trip later.

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Really feel I should get involved in this lark.

I've got the Axial SCX24 and my Modded Bruiser. That is betting a 4 link rear end or narrow shock and leaf conversion soon.

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So the little Toyota actually made it around course 2. The tyres are small and the pumpkins are big, so unless it hits an obstacle square on it tends to get hung up. I had to bypass 2 gates, I rolled it a couple of times, and got stuck lots, but it did an amazing job. A slightly bigger tyre and it will be a good little rig.

It does have some problems though - the body is velcrod at the front and keeps lifting up, and after I'd finished the course the front axle cammed over on the links. Easily fixed though, it lives to drive another day.

Gonna go grab the SCX10 and hit course 4. 

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My trail buddy still hasn't arrived and there's just over an hour until the concourse, so I'm going to go out on course 4 with the SCX10. Here goes!

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And that's that!  All 4 100 gate courses complete!

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Concourse at 4pm, then back to the hotel to recharge the batteries 

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4 hours ago, Mad Ax said:

Shroom!

Badgers Badgers Badgers Badgers

What a great day out! How does this work as event? I assume the different courses are timed but are there penalties and stuff for rolling over / using the winch etc if you cant get over any other way? Also is there any handicap for the type of vehicle you use or is it pretty much a free for all as some of the crawlers that get advertised as 1/10 seem quite a bit bigger than others like the CC01 so will have height advantages and greqter clearances etc.

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Interested in how they score/place the drivers. What are the penalties you incur etc....

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3 hours ago, FoxShot said:

I've got the Axial SCX24 and my Modded Bruiser. That is betting a 4 link rear end or narrow shock and leaf conversion soon.

There was a course for the small-scale crawlers.  I don't have a small-scale, I could have brought my daughter's FTX Outback Mini-X, but I decided not to, as it's technically hers, not mine.

1 hour ago, Superluminal said:

What a great day out! How does this work as event? I assume the different courses are timed but are there penalties and stuff for rolling over / using the winch etc if you cant get over any other way?

When I started going back around 2018, they would hand out a score sheet at the start of the day, and drivers mark their own sheets.  A penalty for hitting a gate, rolling over, using a winch, etc.  I think in 2018 there was a "no hand of god" rule, you either had to use a winch, a tow buddy, or a "god strap" which is a piece of string with a hook on it.  Problem was, a) there were huge queues getting through the gates, and 2) people ended up walking their trucks around like dogs on leads.

For the most part, people would start of scoring their trucks when the courses were easy, but soon get fed up with it and just drive for fun.  Plus, back when there were prizes on offer for winning, it was impossible to properly police it.

So now, the 100 gate courses and the 500 gate trail are just for fun, you can go around as much or as little, as fast or as slow as you like, and you don't have to score.  You can skip a gate if it's too hard, do it backwards, whatever.  It works well and everybody has a good time.

For the competition, there are 2x 10 gate courses on Saturday and 2x 10 gate courses on Sunday.  You have to do all 4 courses to qualify.  It it timed, and this year they're running a sudden death rule, where your run ends on your first penalty.  You start at gate 10, if you hit gate 10 you get 10 points and are out.  If you hit gate 5 you get 5 points and are out.  If you hit gate 1 you get 1 point, and if you make it through without hitting a gate, you get 0 points.  After that, I guess it's fastest time wins.  These courses are run by the judges so there's someone around watching and scoring while you drive.  Winching is allowed using the ground or a winching stick held in place by the course marshal (it's a walking stick with a key loop tied to the bottom).

There are 3 (maybe 4?) classes.  It's mostly about tyre size - class 1 is small (road scale) tyres on 1.9 or smaller tyres, I think the max tyre size is 104mm.  Also must run a "full" body (no narrowed ends or boat sides).  Can be lexan or hard body.  Must have full-width bumpers and the fenders must cover most of the tyre tread (arch extensions permitted).  IIRC this was called the "road legal" class.

Class 2 is 1.9s with bigger tyres, also a few less restrictions on bodies and bumpers.  I think they called this the "dodgy MOT" class.

Class 3 is 2.2 rigs and rock bouncer type things.  Virtually open class, really.  I think this was called the "you'll get pulled for that" class.

I can't remember if there's also a Truescale class this year, which is for hardbodies with realistic tyre sizes.

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Anyway, I am back at the hotel!  The WiFi here is pretty slow, so I'm not going to upload the 130-ish photos I took today.  I'll wait until next week.  Right now I've got my LiPos, camera batteries and portable phone power pack charging up ready for another day on the trails tomorrow.

My trail buddy arrived just as the concourse was finishing, he was going to hit the trails before it got dark and get some practice in ready for us to do the 500-gate mega trail tomorrow.  I think I'll run the CFX-W.

All in, it was a totally fabulicious day, the weather was balmy and dry throughout (after yesterday's downpours), everybody was friendly and we all had a great time.  For the first time in a while, I've come away from an event feeling bouyed and cheerful and excited about a few beers, a good meal and another bite of the cherry tomorrow.

Rig of the day: CFX-W.  I think last year I picked the SCX10, because despite being the oldest rig by a long way, it still cut it well enough out on the trails.  The CFX-W was very promising but ultimately too top-heavy in standard trim.  This year, with the optional shorter shock bodies, stiffer spring and thicker oil, it was much better.  The added clearance afforded by the portals gave it the edge over the SCX10.  The BOM was surprisingly good, especially the stock tyres, which really are astounding, every bit as good on rock as the expensive Proline Hyraxes on the CFX-W, and with a very aggressive tread they clear the mud well too.  But, sadly, the floppy back end lets it down again.  I've got some plans to make different cantilevers to stiffen up the rear suspension, but that's not something I can do trackside.

So tomorrow I'll be starting the day with the CFX-W and tackling the 500 gate Ale Trail.  After that, I might have time to take the BOM out on some of the other trails again.

Here's to another day's crawling!

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