Meccano

race calendar

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A Calendar of Meccano Races and Contests being held around the world. To include such events as 'Walking'; 'Tug o' War'; 'Climbing' and 'Robot Wars'. For Contact; Time; Venue; Rules and other matters follow the link to the club web site.


Some notes for a Club contemplating holding an 'open' race.


Again most of this is mainly common sense. If your committee is contemplating an open race here are some of the factors to consider.

1. What is an 'open' race?

An open race is one where you also allow competitors to take part who are not members of your club.

2. What type of race should it be?

A Hill Climb will need an adjustable incline unit. Someone has to design and make this out of MDF or similar.
A Distance Race will require quite a long hall to hold the race in, as will a Falling Weight event.
A Tug-O-War will require a piece of cord or chain!
A speed race will require stop watches.
There are others of the Robot Wars type, and still others that foster collaboration between competitors in place of superiority.

3. What about insurance?

Most clubs have liability insurance but you may be getting proxy entrants, and need to check if your insurance includes them, or only your own members? Proxy competitors should be told whether they are covered.or not and be given advice on where they can get cover.
If this insurance increases your premium, ask the proxy entrant for a fee or club membership.

4. How do we cater for Proxy entrants?

You need to canvas your membership and make a list of members willing to act as a 'proxy mechanic'. They are best if they have e-mailing fascilities. They will need to re-parcel the model after the race and take it to the Post Office for sending it back.

5. Supposing the proxy model does not perform as well as the owner expects?

I can only tell you what I do. I tell the 'proxy mechanic' that I have no expectations and am very appreciative to have their help whatever happens.

6. How much advance notice do we need to give?

As much as you can. Members need about six months to design and build their model. Proxy entrants need even more time because of mailing time. Once decided publicize it well. (especially in the Race Calendar).

7. I suppose we will need rules?

Most certainly you will. And they need plenty of thought from a rules committee. How the rules are written will often determine whether the race is deemed a success.or not. And they will head-off complaints and objections over 'out-of-spec infringements' .

8. Will we have to check the models?

There needs to be a Rules Judge appointed who does this - possibly with assistance. He can eliminate (when for example a model has an electric motor instead of the required clockwork/wind-up one), or put a penalty on (for example a non-Meccano part is seen to give it a distinct advantage), any model he finds does not comply with the rules BEFORE the race. It is painful if objections are made after the race.

9. What else should we do?

If the Club has a web site, see if you can arrange for photos of the race to be added within a day or two. Arrange for proxy entrants to be told how their model got on in the race.

 If this article still leaves any readers with burning questions, contact me at lawrence@carol.net

by David Lawrence


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