Local News

Friday, Mar 21 2014 11:41 AM

Buddies wade into fun with remote control boats

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    By Casey Christie / The Californian

    James Wallace, left, Jeff Fry, Jack Leviner and Bill Carmichael, right, work on one of several remote control boats they run on Ming Lake each Wednesday. The small group of retired friends gets together to have a good time.

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  2. 2 of 12

    By Casey Christie / The Californian

    James Wallace works on his remote control boat before taking it on a run in Ming Lake.

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  3. 3 of 12

    By Casey Christie / The Californian

    A close-up of one of many boats to run on Ming Lake with the Wednesday group of friends who enjoy the remote control vehicle world.

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  4. 4 of 12

    By Casey Christie / The Californian

    Leslie Fry takes Allan Howell's remote control boat out of the lake after it flipped over. He is draining the water out.

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  5. 5 of 12

    By Casey Christie / The Californian

    One of the faster remote control boats on MIng Lake was Allan Howell's "Backlash" that goes close to 70 miles per hour. The big hydro plane boat goes so fast that it can flip over as seen here. However, Howell says that this was the first time it flipped.

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  6. 6 of 12

    By Casey Christie / The Californian

    In the second photo in a sequence, Allan Howell's "Backlash" flips over on Ming Lake.

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  7. 7 of 12

    By Casey Christie / The Californian

    In the third photo in a sequence, Allan Howell's "Backlash" remote control boat flips over.

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  8. 8 of 12

    By Casey Christie / The Californian

    Allan Howell's boat is the fourth shot in a series as it flips over Tuesday in Ming Lake. The good thing is that no one is hurt and the damage is usually minimal, compared to flying a remote control airplane.

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  9. 9 of 12

    By Casey Christie / The Californian

    Jack Leviner with his colorful "Exceed Racing" remote controlled boat prepares it for the next run of the day on Ming Lake with a group of retired friends who meet each week. Some of them also fly remote control planes at a different venue.

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  10. 10 of 12

    By Casey Christie / The Californian

    Leslie Fry decides which remote control boat he will operate next on Ming Lake before firing up the small engine, making sure it is in good running condition.

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  11. 11 of 12

    By Casey Christie / The Californian

    A silhouetted Jeff Fry brings in one of the boats after a good run around the waters of Ming Lake during this recent outing.

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    By Casey Christie / The Californian

    Leslie Fry works the controls of his small remote control boat on Ming Lake Wednesday with a bunch of buddies. He is wearing the rubber boots to allow him into the water to start and retrieve the boats on the lake.

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BY CASEY CHRISTIE Californian staff photographer cchristie@bakersfield.com

It's a good time to get out and have fun with your retired buddies.

That's what a group of seven to eight men do each Wednesday at Ming Lake, and they always have their boats in hand. Or in this case, in the water.

Some even bring two or three remote control boats, which can be an expensive hobby.

Most used to fly remote control airplanes together, but when they crash-land they usually end up in pieces, forcing costly and time-consuming repairs.

When a RC boat crashes in the water, these gentlemen can usually have them back on the lake in no time.

Like Wednesday when Allan Howell's boat that runs about 70 mph flipped over. He and his mechanic friends took it apart, dried out a few parts and had it running again in 20 minutes.

The middle of the week at Ming Lake is the perfect time for this nameless club of remote control boat enthusiasts to gather, tell a few jokes and have a good time.

Brothers Leslie and Jeff Fry were ready to retrieve the boats if they malfunctioned by using a homemade device they remotely send into the water, attached to an RC boat while wearing rubber boots and wading out into the shallow part of the lake.

It sure beats going into the cold lake, they agreed.

 

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