I've always wanted to host a large battle in MN. I found a pond that would work last year and started campaigning for captains from out of state to come and battle with us. There were several captains who said they were coming that had a change of plans, sickness, braces, so the battle was a lot smaller then I had hoped. Eleven captains battled at the Ice Breaker but not all of them were able to make it on the water at one time. I sent out e-mails to every newspaper and TV station in the area. This resulted in a large article on the front of the second section of the local paper the Thursday before the battle. We also had a new station stop by and take about an hour of video that turned into 30 seconds of air time. The news paper article brought about 30 spectators to the pond over the weekend. Out of this group we found three potential captains.
I wanted to have a Friday evening battle but schedules did not work out to permit one to happen. Ben Radenbaugh came over to my house (Only minuets from the pond) about 6pm. I had set up tables in the garage so we talked ships and waited for the other battlers to show up. Luis Negron and Kas Gaigalas (Both from MI) arrived around 7pm. We talked more ships and everyone took off around 10pm to get ready for Saturday.
Saturday morning Luis, Kas, Ben Morrie Walker and I met at Perkins for breakfast. When we arrived at the pond we had just started to unload when a police officer pull up. He had seen the article in the paper and wanted to see what we were doing. We showed him the ships and gave him a flyer and he left.
The pond in Chanhassen is very large (400' square) with a 50' long channel that narrows down to a small outlet. It is also a long (100 yard) walk from the parking lot to the pone. We spent almost all of the battles in the corner by the channel.
After the four of us had hauled all of our gear to the pond Lars showed up. Kas had a throttle switch burn out, this gave Lars time to get ready and make it in the first battle. A lot of people had already made it down to watch us by the time we got going. The fleets were split up as Ben (NC), Luis (Ostfriesland) and Kas (I-boat) vs Morrie (Lutzow), Lars (Bellephone) and me in Warspite. Standard battle for today had Ben trying to get his triples on Lars and I, Lars and I did not want to chase Ben's sterns. Luis has no penetrable area on his ship, so that left Kas as our target. Morrie stayed at the edge a plunked away like a good cruiser should. The first sortie saw Lars go down early. He had a bad set of batteries and lost enough power that he lost radio power. I followed Lars to the bottom. This was a bad day for my pump. I could not keep it clear and kept sinking with all kinds of junk stuck in my pump. Lars and I both came back in the 2nd sortie unpatched, both hopping our problems were fixed. We were joined by two prospective battlers Mike and Paul. Mike took my Mpls and Paul took Ron's St Louis. Kas had got too close to my haymaker in the first sortie and took some light damage but their fleet looked good to start the sortie. Early on I was passing by Luis and took to shots at his stern. I was standing next to him and said "I think I might have hit your only vulnerable spot back there" After the battle I checked and found two nice holes right were I shot. Once again my pump stream started to look weak so Kas came in for the kill. My haymaker was on target and Kas took some good shots and went down. A few minuets after Kas got his ship out I san again.
Bob Warspite 64-14-12 2 sinks Ben NC 58-2-10
Mike Mpls 0-0-0 Kas I-Boat 63-11-15
Paul St Louis 16-5-7 Luis Ostfriesland 7-1-3
Lars Bellephone 27-2-7 sink Total Damage 3830
Morrie Lutzow 18-1-5
Total Damage 6150
The afternoon battle kept the same basic fleet set up. Curly had arrived from his football came and took over the Mpls. Mike had to go play golf. Curly looked good at the control of an Allied ship. He did bring his Possen but did not have it ready for battle. My wife and two kids came down with some watermelon for lunch. She told us that she had been getting phone calls all morning asking about the battle. She also said that a news station had called and were coming down to film us. I tried to fix my pump problems by putting some more screen in a hole that had developed and cleaning the ship out some more. This did not help as I again sank in the first sortie. In between sorties the news crew showed up and got ready to film. We went out knowing I would sink again. Lars was also having battery problems and was on a set he knew would not last. In the first exchange of the battle Ben lined up his sterns on the Warspite and I caught a bb in the nose. It was one of those slow motion things were I could see it coming but could not get out of the way. This must have put some fear into our young news reporter as she spent the rest of the battle with her hand and note pad over her face. Ben, with his NC, has mastered the art of prop washing and helped me find the bottom again. Lars then lost control due to low batteries and sank too. Morrie stayed out too long and started to lose battery power. The other fleet was able to catch up with him and put the Lutzow down too. The battle was again a slaughter for the Flag fleet.
Bob Warspite 65-1-0 2 sinks Ben NC 88-10-11
Curly Mpls 27-0-5 Kas I-Boat 48-0-4
Paul St Louis 27-1-0 Luis Ostfriesland 5-5-7
Lars Bellephone 56-10-20 sink Total Damage 2885
Morrie Lutzow 31-5-6
Total Damage 7535
After the battle I was interviewed by the news crew for twenty minuets. I kept mentioning that we were battling again tomorrow and people should come down and watch. We all packed up and headed back to my place and the hotel to get ready for dinner. Lars went to pick up Andy after he was done with work so he could come to dinner too.
We went to Applebees and had a nice meal. For those of you who did not know there were a bunch of people that got together and build an HMS Tiger for Lars. We wanted to give it to him at NATS, but he was not able to go. I took it home and wanted to give it to him Friday night, hoping he could battle it Saturday. But he had to get Andy from work and could not come over. I then wanted to give it to him after dinner. But Lars said "Andy's beat and so am I were heading home." I told him I just wanted five minuets to show him pictures of this NATS pond I had found. After some prodding he agreed to come over for five minuets. This finally got him in the house and we gave him his new ship. He was speechless. Thanks to all of you that helped put it together.
We were all back at my place when Ben's phone rand and my phone rang. Two people had called to say they had seen us on the news. We had forgotten all about it. It was replayed at 3am so I recorded it to watch in the morning. Of course they did not mention that we were battling again Sunday and they had to put the part were I told them about getting hit in the nose on TV.
Sunday we went to breakfast again and headed to the pond. We did not have as many spectators. Kas had the fixed on Saturday throttle switch start to stick so he opened his box and fixed that before the battle. We changed fleets around to try and make things more even. The first sortie Curly had a bad battery in the Mpls and Ben took advantage of his helplessness and sank him. I had cleaned up my ship Saturday night and stayed on top of the water this time. Lars and Paul Erdman made it in time for the second sortie and joined the no flag fleet. My box sidemount decided to stop working and Ben took advantage and came at me on that side. We managed to put Morrie down to even up the cruiser sinks but could not overcome the big damage points on the Mpls. At the end of the battle I ran over Lars and sank him, it was not pretty.
Bob Warspite 53-8-16 Ben NC 57-4-10
Curly Mpls 23-2-23 sink Kas I-Boat 62-5-11
Paul Honolulu 0-0-0 Morrie Lutzow 20-6-9 sink
Lars Bellephone 20-4-4 Total Damage 3965
Luis Ostfriesland 6-3-2
Total Damage 4395
Ron made it to the pond just before Luis and Kas had to hit the road so we handed out the trophies and said good bye. The locals stayed to have one more battle. Ben and I took on everyone else. We chased the cruisers around the pond and managed to sink Paul and Lars in the first sortie. In the second sortie we again got Paul and Lars to go down and also added Ron to Davy Jones locker. After we sank the cruisers I turned on Ben and blasted him a few times. I gave the Warspite to Joe and Alec (A father & son that are looking at getting a ship.) so they could shoot at some watermelon rinds. We all went over to my place to talk ships for awhile and then everyone headed home.
Ron Mpls 55-5-8 sink Ben NC 33-4-1
Paul Honolulu 18-7-8 2 sinks Bob Warspite 60-10-7
Lars Bellephone 36-4-23 2 sinks Total Damage 1680
Morrie Lutzow 34-3-2
Total Damage 7655
Luis got Best of Scale, Morrie got Best of Class 3, Kas got Best of Class 4, I got Best (Only) of Class 5, and Ben took home Best of Class 6 and Most Feared.