First round of the KMBC Slingshot racing series occurred a few days ago. Last year I didn't get down to many races so my tally of laps didn't make it into double figures. This year I had already exposed the boat to the water just to make sure things were OK.
Sadly they weren't. After a year of inaction the Ni-cad batteries held little or no charge. One lap at speed followed by what is best described as a trundle was all I managed. Consulting with people who know about this stuff, it appears this is a known problem but if I cycled (charged & discharged) the batteries a few times, they might recover.
A fellow club member had arranged a good deal on Thurnigy Accucell-6 chargers for us so I had upgraded my equipment - to good effect as it turned out. As suggested I put the batteries through a couple of cycles and by the time of the race was not only able to stay the course, but was on the pace well enough to win my first heat with 13 laps in 4 minutes. Money well spent by the look of it.
In the final I wasn't quite so lucky. A lap of touring with a weed covered propeller didn't help followed by another delay while the boat was turned the right way up after a racing incident (not my fault) involving another vessel. The final total wasn't bad but I reckon a little more luck could have bought me 3 or 4 more laps on the score board.