Friday, 18 August 2017

Ian Emery - RC Heli pilot season update...

We are excited to bring you a season update from the exceptionally busy Ian Emery today - check out all the happenings from the Euro Heli Series F3C season so far below:

Pre season and Austrian Competition

Ian's JR Sylphide
With one thing or another, it's been a bit of a funny year.  Pre-season I learnt that there was a significant chance that spare parts for my JR Sylphides were probably going to be an issue with the closure of JR. Although there was some light at the end of the tunnel with RC Depot in Japan stepping forward and taking on the World wide distribution of certain JR products which they would produce under licence.  Unfortunately it didn't look like the Sylphide parts would be among the supported items.  I was pretty confident going into the season as the Sylphides have proven to be so reliable, with the help and support of SMB Bearings of course!

some JR pre-competition servicing...
 I managed to get some flying in over the winter, although not as much as I would have hoped and the helicopters were performing well.  I did however decide that it might be good to get a helicopter that I could fly the F3C Schedules and be able to source parts if I needed them.  Having weighed up the various options, I decided on the SAB Urukay.  It had proven to be a good competition helicopter over the past few years and SAB had just released the latest version, the SAB Urukay Carbon. 

The SAB Urukay's 1st flight

I had some new and exciting venues to look forward to on the Euro Heli Series Calendar this year with F3C World Cup competitions in Austria, Germany, France and the final one at my club near Abingdon which will be in September.

I had been planning the Austria trip for some months, with 1100 miles each way I thought it would be a good opportunity for my Dad and I to have a bit of a road trip and stop off at some places along the way.  A week before we set off, I started having issues with my main helicopters rudder.  It had a really strange vibration. I stripped it down and had a look over it and couldn't see anything obvious.  I had run out of time, I had only had a handful of flights on the Urukay so decided I would take both Sylphide helicopters to Austria thinking that I could either use by backup machine or I could pinch parts off the backup to solve the issue that I was having with my preferred model. 

Snow-covered Alps...
 We set off early to catch the Eurotunnel, I had planned that we had to do 700 miles on day 1 which would allow me to stop off and take day 2 a little easier.  We stopped overnight in a lovely B&B near Ulm in Germany before heading to Neuschwanstein Castle in Bavaria the following morning.  

Neuschwanstein Castle, Bavaria.

The castle and surrounding area is absolutely  stunning, and if you ever get the opportunity to visit I would highly recommend it.  After a short stop we headed East towards Salzburg.  We had planned to go to a small town called Hallstatt on the edge of a lake but were running a little behind schedule so decided to head straight for the apartment we had booked into in Klopeiner see, about 10 minutes from the competition site.  Travelling through Bavaria and Austria I was lost for words, the scenery was breathtaking.

Because of the long drive we decided to get to the competition site a few days early which would give us a few days of much needed practice/maintenance before it got under way.  Annoyingly I was still having issues so I decided to swap tail units which solved the problem.  Expecting the backup model to now have the rudder issue, I lifted off into a hover and it was perfect. I had 2 serviceable helicopters which was a result but I still wasn't sure why I had the rudder issues in the first place. 

Saturday morning came round all too quickly and the competition began, it was great to see familiar faces and pilots I had not met before.  

All the pilots together 😄
Given the lack of practice pre-season, I was really pleased with how I was flying.  As always there was small things I would have liked to have to done differently, but on the whole I was pleased.  My fellow team mates Steve Roberts and Bruce Naylor were also flying really well.  Bruce used to fly F3C but was making a comeback in his first competition for several years.  It was like he had never been away but I think it was based on his secret Flight Mode 5 which I will explain another time.

Ian Emery (left) piloting & his pal Steve Roberts (right) calling for Ian...
 We were really looked after by everyone involved in organizing the event and members of the MFC Jauntal Club in St Stefan.  I managed to finish in a very respectable 8th place given the company I was in.  Most of the pilots there would be competing in the World Championships in Poland in July. 

Brilliant results - well done Ian!
Before I knew it, it was time to pack up the car and start the long journey back.  The Scottish Nationals was only 3 weeks away.

Thanks so much Ian - we can't wait to hear all about the Scottish Heli Nats!  It's great that the Euro-Heli Series is gaining some much deserved recognition in the press - see the feature below from an international magazine recently:

We are so proud & delighted that SMB Bearings continue to be a very small part (quite literally 😅) of Ian's RC Heli journey & we look forward to bringing more news (& stunning photos) as his season continues...

Thursday, 22 June 2017

Roxana's epic summer edit for Enuff Skateboards...

Summer's well & truly arrived folks & who better to put a spring in your summer step than 
Roxana Howlett! 

Well, what can we say apart from we LOVE this kid & her dedication to skating 💗

Check out her summer edit for sponsor Enuff Skateboards (& we get a little mention too! 😉)

Roxana is off to Nass Festival in Bristol in the next couple of weeks & is really looking forward to the experience of skating with some top female skaters at Girls Skate UK

you can expect to see  some of the best skaters in the UK including Josie Millard, Lucy Adams, Rianne Evans, Helena Long and many many more. This competition is not to be missed!  We are sure that Roxana will wow them with her skills!  

In the meantime you can see loads more of Roxana's edits at YouTube or on Instagram & trust us, Roxsk8girl is well worth following.  

We're so proud that our skate bearings help to keep her rolling in style! 💞 

Thursday, 18 May 2017

F1 in Schools team Tiro Racing, photo diary...

Ever wondered what it takes to win an F1 in Schools National Final?  ðŸ†
Well, take a look at these photos from Tiro Racing team & wonder no more 😄

All hail the UK F1 in Schools England National Champions 2017!!  

We are delighted to sponsor Tiro Racing,  a team of six engineering apprentices from Kingston College, SouthWest London, competing in the 2017 F1 in Schools competition.

Meet the Tiro Racing team!

They first competed at the London and South East Regional Final, held at the CEME centre in Rainham, East London on the 8th February. Here, against 25 other teams from around the region, they emerged in 2nd place in the Professional Class as well as winning the award for the best team 
identity.  Due to this success, they then qualified to represent the area at the UK National Final.

The F1 in Schools UK National Final took place at the internationally acclaimed Silverstone GP Circuit on the 29th and 30th of March 2017. The National Final consisted of the best 30 teams from 11 different regions across England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. The level of competition over the two days was extremely high, with quite possibly the highest standard ever reached
for a UK National Final. The stakes were undoubtedly high with the top 3 placed teams overall, along with the Home Nation Champions, being able to progress further in the competition to the World Finals...
Tiro Racing showing off their trophies.

After the two days of competition, Tiro Racing were crowned English National Champions and were awarded with the prestigious Best Engineered Car, as well as being placed 2nd overall in the UK.

England Winners!!!

Tiro Racing's "Best Engineered Car" 2017...
Therefore, they go on to represent England at the forthcoming 2017 F1 in Schools World Finals in Kuala Lumpur in September, with the goal of becoming World Champions.  Additionally, they are the first ever apprentice team in the history of the 14-year competition to reach the World Finals!

Tiro Racing meeting with local MP meeting James Berry...

MP James Berry (centre) being presented with his very own Tiro Racing team top

Tiro Racing facing the judges panel at the F1 in Schools National Finals

Demonstrating the car to the judges...

Ready for launch...
Ready to race!!

The pit display, part of the branding & team image that Tiro Racing were judged on

Tiro Racing are such a dynamic team of young people & we'd like to wish them every success in this fantastic STEM event - we hope that we can help them to progress to the top in the forthcoming World Championships in September! 🏆🏆🏆🏆🏆🏆

To keep up to date with the latest news from the team you can visit the Tiro Racing website, 
or you can follow them on Twitter (@TiroRacing) or check them out on Facebook ðŸ’«

Thursday, 11 May 2017

Aaron Skippings, SMB's very own downhill skateboarding whizz...

Our technical whizz Aaron Skippings is also a downhill skateboarding whizz!  Last weekend saw the  tremendously successful downhill skate event "Rumble at the Peep", a British Regional event (which adds national BDSL ranking points to competitors' profiles) which was organised by Aaron himself!!

Aaron hard at work at SMB...

The event was attended by 30 national competitors, so there was a really strong challenge for the top spots, but Aaron managed to pip everyone else to the post & came first (boo-hiss to those that say it was rigged!! 👅).

Top of the event, Aaron (pictured left) celebrates & finishes top of the BDSL rankings too!

This small but dynamic sport is always looking for new starters to join the fray - if you're interested in getting into the sport you can start by visiting the BDSL FB page for more information, or just dive straight in & go to HogHill Event at Redbridge Cycling Centre in London (which is specifically designed for beginner riders).

A slight verge detour on the descent - Aaron cruising past on the right of the picture

Hitching a ride back uphill after the downhill! Credit to Kai Menneken for the photos...

Later on this year, Aaron is heading off to Canada to compete in the L'Ultime Descente - Top Speed Challenge - the aim of this crazy game is to skate down the one of the steepest descents in the world, without killing yourself, at around 75 miles per hour - easy, right?!  We'll nervously bring you all the news from this challenge in September...

Aaron in our technical suite at SMB...
Until then, you can see what Aaron's been up to in the last year or so in this little slideshow:

Tuesday, 7 March 2017

Introducing F1 in Schools competitors Tiro Racing...

We are delighted to introduce to you F1 in Schools team Tiro Racing
made up of six dedicated engineering apprentices currently attending Kingston College
who are competing in the F1 in Schools competition with high ambitions this year!

Tiro Racing team...

The team say:
 "F1 in Schools is the world’s largest multi-disciplinary STEM competition. Students must form teams of 4 - 6 members to design, manufacture and test a model Formula 1 car complying with a stringent set of regulations. Alongside this, teams must consider team identity, branding, marketing and sponsorship, similarly to how a real Formula 1 team would operate. These teams must then compete against each other at a Regional, National and International Level, putting their handiwork through the tough scrutiny of a panel of judges.

Tiro Racing pit display...

We competed at the London and South East Regional Final at the CEME Centre, Rainham on the 8th February. We were successful in winning the award for Best Team Identity and placed 2nd overall, as well as having the fastest car. Due to this result we will be representing the region at the UK National Final at the Silverstone GP Circuit on the 28th-30th March. Here we will compete against the best teams from around the country to determine the 2017 UK National Champions, as well as deciding who will progress through to the 2017 World Finals!
Tiro Racing's car for the regional finals...

Our goal is to become National Champions, so make sure to keep checking our website and social media (Facebook and Twitter) for regular updates on everything Tiro!
Thank you for your support and we hope to see you at the UK National Final!"

We are happy to be a small part of helping Tiro Racing achieve their goals & are delighted to be sponsoring the team throughout their F1 in Schools adventure this year.  We were so impressed by their dynamic approach, we just couldn't say no - we have sent them our very finest precision EZO bearings & hope this goes some way to giving them the winning edge this year 😃  

All the best from us all at SMB Bearings, to the epic crew at Tiro Racing!

Tuesday, 10 January 2017

Introducing skateboarder Roxana "Rox Sk8 Girl" Howlett...

It's always great to hear from young people with a real dedicated passion for their chosen hobby, so we were delighted to get a message recently, introducing us to Roxana Howlett.  

Roxana with a little bit of SMB booty to get her 2017 off to a flying start 💫

We were so impressed with the progress that she's made in just one year of skateboarding that we were delighted to immediately make her part of our little SMB skate family!  We will be looking forward to bringing you her news & updates as she continues her skateboard journey, but in the meantime you can follow her on Instagram @roxsk8girl or on her YouTube channel Rox Sk8 Girl.

Her very proud Mum, Emma, says:

"My daughter Roxana is 7 years old. She has been skating for less than a year and has a real passion for it. After school each day she runs straight through the house and out the back door onto her miniramp.  She skates every day without fail!   I'm not sure where she gets her talent from as none of our family skate so it's purely driven by her love for skating. 

Enuff skateboards are Roxana's deck sponsor and she features on their riders page here"

We are sure that Roxana will be a star of the future, if she continues working just as hard as she is right now at her passion for skateboarding, & we're looking forward very much to being a small part of her journey.

Big loves from us all at SMB Bearings Roxana!