Axial West Coast Championship Qualifier (AWCCQ) – Long Beach, WA
Long Beach, Washington, is famous for its clam digging, pristine coastal/drivable beach line, kite flying competitions and other summertime activities and this year was host to AWCC Qualifier Round #3. In 2010, Rocky Carlson, or Rockpile as he is known on the rccrawler.com boards, stumbled upon this very unique spot at the south end of Long Beach. Nestled against an amazing backdrop and what looks to be like a natural rainforest, especially if you’re from Southern California where vegetation grows because you bought some plants and irrigation from Home Depot, the spot could not have provided a better mix of scenery, accessibility and most importantly, amazing rock. With the compilation from the local clubs of ORCRC, WPRCCA, and WARCRC the event saw over 60 competitors in the highly coveted 2.2 Pro Class and 7 new competitors in the sportsman class ready to get their feet wet in the creative, exciting and just plain fun hobby of RC Rock Crawling.
With Brian Parker behind the wheel of course creativity, we were in for a special treat this qualifier. There were two courses that were your standard 10 gate/6 minute time limit for the pros and 5 gates for the sportsman drivers. The remaining courses, let’s just say, we were in for a special treat.
The look on Parker’s faces says it all.
Course 1 was a mix of rock crawling, rock racing and some true off-road racing. This course was four minutes in time length and two laps long. Each lap was scored just as you would score standard course-all penalties applied and so forth. You really had to manage your time on this course. If, you spent too much time at one gate it jeopardized your chance of finishing your second lap. If you went too fast and hit too many gates and pointed out before you even completed your first lap, your points were 40 for the second lap. It was difficult to remember that if you finished your first lap, your points were tallied and you were back at zero for your second lap. So, just as standard crawling courses, it’s most important to finish the course.
A glance at Course #1 – Rock Racing
Course 2 was something new as well. You had the first 10 gates as a standard course – points, penalties and timing was all the same. If you completed the course, however, your points were tallied and then you went on to a 10 gate, 3 minute bonus course. Again, making sure you completed the first course was important so you could then take advantage of the bonus course. If you didn’t finish the first course, your bonus course was a 40.
The Crack on Course #3
Rocky’s showing us how it’s done.
Mr. Ryan Gerrish of Tammie’s Hobbies doing work on Course #3
Course 3 was all about time management and really knowing the course and, again, a whole new thought process to course design and creativity. It had your standard 10 gates but between each standard gate were bonus gates. The bonus gates made you decide if you wanted to take the risk and spend more time going through gates and earning the -2 bonus points while not timing out on the course. A perfect score on this course, including bonus, was -40. If you had some bad courses and wanted to make up points, this was the place to do it. What was cool, you could decide to do one bonus or all the bonuses, it was your decision. But, they had to be done in sequence.
A view after Gate #3 on course 4. Only 9 competitors were lucky enough to make it past Gate 3.
Rock Candy President Mindy Howe doing work on course #4. She was one of 9 drivers to clear Gate 3.
Tazz doing work on Course 2.
Scott Hughes and his XR10 with only genuine Axial hop up parts takes 2nd.
With all the creative courses there was slight confusion during the driver’s meeting. However, the judges and all the club members were knowledgeable on each of their courses making each course easy to understand before you started. The diversity of course designs and difference in course strategies really played to the success of the event and the buzz around the beach after the comp. The bench talk after the event is poised to go on and be remembered, especially at the Long Beach comps in the years to come.
To top off the competition, each participant received a commemorative dog tag and chances to win some Axial swag were high since raffle tickets were given to each participant.
Axial also had two XR10’s to handout-one to the winner of the sportsman class and one to the youngest 2.2 pro competitor. Congrats to Chris McMullin who won the sportsman class who then turned around and gave his kit to Denzel Judkins; he’s been looking at getting a XR10 since came out.
Chris McMullin (left), hands his XR10 over to Denzel
Pro 2.2 Top 5. From left – James Skiles (3rd); Scott Hughes (2nd); John Ripplinger (1st); Ryan Gerrish (4th); Scott Roberts (5th)
Gunner Ripplinger was the youngest competitor in the 2.2 Pro class earning himself an XR10. He then turned over his kit to his younger brother Gage Ripplinger who had yet to experience competing in the 2.2 Pro class. Let’s just say he’s ready to compete in style.
Sportsman Top 3. From left – Danny Hanna (3rd); Chris McMullin (1st); Tazz Judkins (2nd)
Amazing clubs coming together, great people, a breathtaking location and a fearless leader named Brian Parker truly made this an event that will be remembered by all who attended. Bookmark Axial’s blog now and check back often so you too can have the opportunity to be a part of the event next year.
Special thank you to Photos by Tristan (Tazz) http://photosbytristan.blogspot.com/