Letter: An equal opportunity sport

Dear Editor,

I would like to thank Jacob Elsbree for the excellent job he did interviewing me and for writing a concise and informative article about R Mfg- Lawless Drives. 

However, I would like to apologize for a phrase that even I found somewhat inappropriate. I mentioned making “Toys for Big Boys”, which has been a popular (albeit rather sexist) catchphrase for a long time. In fact, there have been a couple local businesses that used that or a variation as a business name. 

I did not intend to imply that the R/C boat hobby is in any way exclusive (nor are any R/C hobbies). We welcome anyone who would like to join with open arms. It is an equal opportunity sport. 

Boats and equipment that we use are usually light enough for anyone to carry, and the radio transmitters weigh about 1/2 pound, so anyone can manage them. We do our best to make our race site accessible for anyone’s needs, including walkers and wheelchairs. 

In our club we have families (moms, dads and kids together, sometimes multiple generations) who all participate and we enjoy having new folks of any age and / or ability come and join us. We have open practice sessions and “Novice” racing classes, so new participants can become familiar with the pond and the racing environment. 

So, the “toys” I make, and the “toys” that are used for our hobby are for anyone and everyone; we do not discriminate in any way or form. We only have two restrictions: that children must be supervised by an adult (not necessarily a parent) for everyone’s safety, and for insurance reasons all participants must be registered members of a national R/C boating organization, such as IMPBA or NAMBA, to race.  

In accordance with current regulations, we observe social distancing and wearing of masks where necessary. Participants are encouraged to bring their own hand sanitizer and to use it frequently. Please contact me by e-mail to lawlessman1@hotmail.com or (607) 687-0143 if you have any questions, if you would like to come to see a race, or for information about joining the sport. 

For some entertaining videos, Google “R/C boat race videos” and have a look. Did you know that Martin Truex, Jr. is a world record holding R/C boater? There are some videos of his record-setting sessions on YouTube. Check them out.


Fred Howe

Owego, N.Y.

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