HPI Racing RCCrawler.com Nationals – Moab, Utah
Sept 8-10th, 2007
Words/Photos: Rodney Wills
Lets just say, next to driving the Baja 5B at the Dumont sand dunes or across the desert and next to drifting my Sprint 2 Drift, rock crawling with my modified WheelyKing is… Well, all three - right there – right there, that is my RC love. While I am not good at either of the three, I have a ton of fun with them all!
With rock crawling I will openly admit, typically it is about as boring to watch as sitting in a room watching paint dry with a stop watch. But with that, I will tell you to never pick up the controls of a friends crawler if you are not cash ready to get into the adventures of rock crawling! It’s simply some of the most fun I have ever had with an r/c vehicle!
Earlier this year, some of the crew here at HPI got into crawling and even competing in some of the local events here in Southern California. With that we have been actively talking with the crawling community and dipping our toes in the So-Cal crawler scene . The WheelyKing with the help from rccrawler.com member, “JasonInAgusta” made the marriage of HPI with the crawler scene as the WheelyKing axles, while not intentionally designed for crawling, the WK axles have made there way into the scene with the introduction of his project “CrawlerKing” featured in the May 2007 issue of RC Driver magazine, pg: 52. From here and the RCcrawler.com site, word spread fast about the WheelyKing’s potential.
Fast forward, September would see the largest gathering of RC Rock Crawling to date as RCcrawler.com organized it’s second annual invitation-only competition hosted by HPI Racing in Moab, Utah.
Moab, Utah is the hot bed of rock crawling and this was the RC Crawler Nationals – everything was on the line! While only it’s second national event, the event doubled in size and the technology within the actual crawlers has rapidly grown. We even saw technology change literally overnight as new product was introduced not even a full week prior! It was flown or drove in on the Friday night and became defacto by the mornings competition rounds. Competition was at a frenzy state!
Backing up just a bit as I am getting excited again just thinking about all the cool stuff we saw! Going to Moab previously was like, “yea, OK, big deal, it’s Moab”… “We have all kinds of rocks around Southern California, so what is so spectacular about this place?” That was quickly answered as soon as we hit Moab’s small town, packed with anything and everything to do with off-road adventure! From mountain bikes to Unimog’s and all sorts of Jeeps and Hummers and even dual-sport motorcycles – ARE EVERYWHERE!!!
OK, I get it now, this is the off-road adventure capitol of the USA! This made for a very picturesque place to hold the national finals for r/c rock crawling and the people came! From 17 different states to be exact and represented where Alabama, Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Georgia, Hawaii, Kentucky, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, Tennessee, Utah, and Washington.
The top honors and grand prize went to Austin Dunn [AKA: RxCralwer on the RCcralwer.com forum] of Alabama!!! Why the triple exclamations? I’m from Alabama!
1st RxCrawler Team: SERCRC
2nd KingBling Team: SERCRC
3rd KevinLongIsland Team: TCS
5th Kamikaze Team: SERCRC & TCS
1st Gatekeeper Team: SERCRC & TCS
3rd RxCrawler Team: SERCRC & TCS
In conclusion, this event was a success and a key indication that rock crawling is only growing and will continue quietly explode within the mass of the r/c industry – GLOBALLY! The Japanese magazines are reporting each month as well! Let’s see what Europe has to say over the coming season as I am sure.