UNW District Rules

The rules in UNW are designed to mirror the APBA/UHRC rulebook as much as possible. The most noticeable difference between model boats and their full size counterparts is that they circle the race course in opposite directions. This is because the model engines rotate in a counter clockwise direction. The race courses vary in size depending upon the venue, but on most courses the boats will be turning approximately 15-second lap times. Boats must complete all the laps to receive points.

The Typical Race Format

The format for the day is as follows:

The Draw

All drivers must pay an entry fee of $15.00 before the start of each race. Each driver will tell the scorekeeper what boat they are entering and what frequency their radio is on. Sometimes pit partners will run on the same frequency so that they will be available to launch and coach their partner. A random computer draw of all the entrants takes place telling each driver what flight in each of the four sections he/she will be running in. A similar draw is made for the Roundnose Classics.

The Start

There is an audio start at the beginning of each heat. The contest director will announce that "you are on the clock" and a recording will count backward from three minutes to the start of the race. When the clock reaches zero the race will begin. The boats will have been milling (circling) the course since the start of the count down and try to hit the front straightaway "start buoy" as a horn sounds at zero seconds. During the mill before the race the boats may cut through the course from the front straightaway to the back straightaway. Any boat cutting through the course must the yield right- of- way to any boat proceeding up the back straightaway. If a boat strikes a buoy before the start of the race it will be on a full mill and not be allowed to cut the course. No boat may cut the course five seconds before the start of the race. A boat must be up on a plane 30 seconds prior to the start of the race or it will not be permitted to launch. Heats are usually five laps and consolation and final heats are always five laps in duration.


Bouys  -  Striking or turning inside a buoy is a one-lap penalty. More than two buoy violations will bring disqualification for that heat.

Lanes  -  Drivers are expected to hold their lanes, keeping at least one boat width between boats. When overtaking another boat the lead boat must have a minimum of a roostertails length lead. Any boat that moves into another boats lane may be receive a one-lap penalty. Any two violations in a heat result in disqualification for that heat. Any boat that infringes on another boats lane causing the non-offending boat to go dead will be disqualified for that heat. The non-offending boat will be awarded fourth place points.

Loss of cowlings, fake engines or wings  -  Loss of fake engines, cowls and uprights/wings will result in a boat receiving sixth place points if it completes all of the laps required for that heat.

Race stoppages

Unless the course is completely blocked by dead boats the race will not be stopped. However, if there are swimmers that enter the water after the start of the race a red flag condition will force the race to be immediately stopped.


Points will be awarded as follows:
400 points
300 points
225 points

In consolation races points are reduced by half as applied to season point totals. Any winner of a consolation race that advance to the final heat forfeits their consolation race points but gets to keep any points accrued in the final heat at full point value.  Boats advance by point accumulation to consolations or finals where the winner takes all. In the Gold Cup the winner is declared by the highest point accumulation for the day regardless of their placement in the final.

Hitting declared dead boats

This the fastest way to end your day. A collision with any declared dead boat (either in the race or practice) will result in the immediate disqualification the offending boat and driver for the event. Additionally a fine determined by the Racing Commissioners will be levied against the offending driver and paid to the Racing Commission (and distributed by the Commission to the non-offending driver) before the offending driver will be allowed to compete again.

This synopsis of the rules is only meant to serve as a quick overview
For a more complete view of the rules, please download or print yourself a copy of our rulebook