Monday, 22 October 2018

SMB Bearings Ltd blog replaced by website news page...

After 10 years of offering news & updates, the SMB Bearings Ltd blog has been replaced.

If you'd still like to keep up to date with SMB Bearings latest news 
to visit our website's news page.

It's been great fun, thanks for visiting us!

Thursday, 22 February 2018

Blink & you'll miss him, Aaron Skippings' Top Speed Challenge

Aaron Skippings - photo by J Patten
We love our bearing technician Aaron "Azzy" Skippings & his mad downhill skateboard adventures! Here's a clip from last year when Aaron took on Les Eboulements - Canada & the Top Speed Challenge:

And if that clip was all too brief for you, check out the action from Bela Freeride in Austria:

Monday, 18 December 2017

Choosing bearings for collaborative robotics...

Behind the drawn factory doors of facilities across Europe, humans are working safely alongside a new kind of colleague; one that is stronger, faster and more efficient than ever before: collaborative robots. Here, Chris Johnson, managing director of bearing distributor SMB Bearings Ltd, explains how to choose the right bearing for this new automation application.

Just a few years ago, collaborative robots were widely considered a novelty, but the technology has quickly grown to be one of the most significant trends in robotics. In fact, an ABI Research study predicts that industry will be populated with more than 40,000 collaborative robots by 2020.

As opposed to traditional industrial robots, which are confined to operate in work cells to protect human workers, collaborative robots can operate — as the name suggests — collaboratively with their human counterparts. They are designed to operate safely alongside people, by limiting the robots force and implementing sensors that prevent the robot colliding with a human or any other equipment.

The machines are used to carry out repetitive roles such as assembly and handling, taking these menial tasks away from humans to free them up for more complex tasks. As they are designed to take on these basic operations, collaborative robots tend to be much simpler than other industrial robots, making them cheaper to buy, easier to operate and less hassle to maintain.

Maintaining accuracy
Despite the simplification of their design, the specification of bearings for collaborative robots is just as important a consideration as those of more complex robots, like six-axis or SCARA models. Industrial robots are required to deliver high levels of accuracy and repeatability and collaborative robots are no exception.

Consider the rotary joints of a collaborative robot as an example. Manufacturers expect the robot to deliver smooth actions, with good rotational accuracy and reliability. However, in robotics applications, there is more to choosing a bearing than simply selecting one that fits.

To guarantee the high levels of rotational precision and reliability required for the operations of a collaborative robot, manufacturers should invest in high quality, precision bearings for the robot’s rotary joints.

As distributors of Sapporo Precision of Japan, who manufacturer EZO thin section bearings for robotics applications, we understand how high-quality bearings can prolong the lifespan of industrial equipment. These bearings are lightweight take up much less space than standard bearings and have excellent standards of roundness and surface finish.

Conversely, a poor-quality bearing can result in unexpected downtime caused by inaccurate movement or higher frictional torque creating problems with the robot’s operation. For collaborative robots, any inaccuracies can also create significant health and safety risks for human workers.

Making the most of investments
Naturally, manufacturers investing in collaborative robots are doing so to increase productivity, output and — perhaps most importantly — increase profits in their facility. However, not all manufacturers are aware that incorrect bearings can directly impact the functionality and the longevity of a collaborative robot’s lifespan.

As with any kind of industrial robot, there is no standard bearing that will suit every collaborative robot application. The correct bearing would depend on the environment in which the robot will work and its operations. Manufacturers should speak to a bearing expert for advice on selecting the right bearing specification.  

In 2016, collaborative robots represented just three per cent of all industrial robots sold. However, estimates suggest that collaborative robots will account for 34 per cent of all industrial robots sold by 2025. There has never been a better time to invest in collaborative robots.

For advice on selecting robotics bearings, speak to the bearing experts at SMB Bearings. The team can discuss the exact bearing specifications needed for your application to ensure you make the most of your robot investment. 

SMB Bearings recommending using Japanese Sapporo brand
EZO bearings for robotic applications, including new collaborative robots.
Call 01993 842555 or e-mail the team on   

Thursday, 14 December 2017

Roxana Howlett looks back at 2017...

We were delighted to receive an update this week about our friend a all round skate superstar Roxana Howlett, prepared on her behalf by another legend - her Mum Emma 😄

Emma says:
"As 2017 is coming to an end I thought I would drop you a line to thank you for your continued support of Roxana.  It has been a great year for Roxana with skating and she's enjoyed every minute of it.  Below are some of her achievements this year.

  • Battle of Hastings - 7th (out of 22 women)
  • Buckland Jam - 1st in under 8s and Best trick
  • UK Girls Skate Jam -  2nd in under 18s & 3rd in Sponsored
  • Nass - 6th place
  • Exmouth skate jam - 2nd in under 14 mini-ramp
  • Exminster skate jam - 1st in under 13s
  • Dawlish Skate Jam - 1st in under 13 mini-ramp

Roxana has also appeared in an advert skateboarding for Cartoon Network, appeared in the women's skate film Scratch The Surface, been photographed for a skateboarding book, gained new sponsors, and is now represented by Lucy Adams on an Athlete Management Contract".

Well, what can we say apart from a massive "congratulations!!" to this inspirational &
 uber-cool young lady - we're thrilled to have been a part of the skate action with Roxana in 2017 & can't wait to support her & see what she gets up to in 2018!    

In the meantime, check out this brilliant edit which she's shared with us:

You can follow Roxana on Instagram & YouTube & of course we'll proudly feature lots more exciting news about her right here 😃

We're sending you our best wishes for fun & happiness in 2018 Roxana - with love from us all 

Thursday, 2 November 2017

F1 in Schools World Finals report from Tiro Racing team...

We were delighted to support Tiro Racing on their way to this year's F1 in Schools World Finals & so, so pleased & proud when they placed 7th overall out of 52 and bagged the very prestigious Mclaren Honda Research & development award.  

Josh (Tiro's team manager) emailed us & says:
"... just wanted to say such a huge thank you to yourself and SMB Bearings for how you've helped the team.  All the test bearings really made a huge difference to the performance of the car and because we were able to document amount of testing we had done, the judges were really impressed and this one of the main reasons for our R&D award. Aside from that, the technical advice has been so useful and we've learnt a lot about bearings!  Finally, thank you for being so approachable and open. Interacting with sponsors sometimes can be difficult, and you made us feel relaxed and proud to wear the SMB logo :)"   

Thanks so much Josh & all at Tiro Racing, your enthusiasm & dedication has been a real inspiration to us & we've been thrilled to be a part of your F1 in Schools journey 😍

The team has been so proactive at keeping in touch with us, despite being busy with a world-class competition & their own lives, & they haven't disappointed on their return home, check out this amazing in-depth report they've just sent us!! If you've ever wondered what it's like to compete on the world stage in the F1IS then the following report is a must-read inspiration:  

After finding out we would be representing England at the World Finals in March, 25 weeks of preparation stood between us at the flight to Malaysia. With a fresh set of regulations, ideas and the daunting task of getting an exhibition display 7000 miles across the world, there were many challenges facing us to be ready for the World Finals. After days (and many late nights) of testing, attending events, visiting collaborators and in college (where we were usually eventually kicked out by security), the Finals were upon us and we were (just about) ready to take the World on.

After a hectic final night at college packing and arranging all the items we’d be taking with us, we all arrived at London Heathrow for a bright and bleary 6am.  As we had strategically decided to bring all our resources, including the display with us on the plane as luggage, rather than freight, it did take some time to ‘distribute Tiro’ among all the bags. We were also in transit with two 55” TV monitors, which were to be the centrepiece of the display, and it was so important these reached Malaysia in one piece, so no expense was spared on their bubble and shrink wrapping.  After a rather overwhelmed check-in attendant had successfully put through the Tiro army and our bags, we boarded the impressive Airbus A380 and began our 18 hour trip to Kuala Lumpur via Dubai. Everyone had their own coping mechanisms for the seemingly endless flights whether it’d be sleeping through or binging off the inflight entertainment...  As we had a few competition elements that needed finishing off and finalising before submission, as soon as we had access to our rooms in KL, work began. 

With just 2 days before the Worlds commenced, display items had to be assembled, verbal presentation rehearsed and the race cars ready for parc ferme submission. Hotel rooms
soon became unrecognisable, showers were spraying booths and after barely being able to leave the hotel since arrival, finally everything was completed ready with official registration coming up the next day.

Up next was the all important submission of our portfolios and race cars. Weighing in at 50.1g, the cars were 0.1g on the right side of the absolute minimum weight and decided not to play with fire to
try and shred off anymore weight. We also got word that with 52 competing teams, this would be the biggest World Finals ever in the 14 year history of F1iS.
The following evening consisted of the most stressful 2 hours of the trip, the display build. Teams were given an empty shell and a couple hours to fully construct their exhibition displays, under the watchful eye of an army of judges. Our display was fairly straightforward, primarily consisting of cardboard (cheap, easy to shape/flatpack) and of course the large monitors. Despite the pressure cooker like environment, the display was assembled within time and this was so rewarding to see that after months of planning and thought, the display came together as something to be really proud

With the display assembled and cars submitted, the World Finals were underway. After taking some time to nose around at other teams, it was clear how tough the competition would be. These were the top 52 teams in the world and they all wanted the crown of World Champions.
Thankfully, after the difficult past few days, we had a fairly straightforward opening day to settle into the competition environment and start to get to know other teams. First up was our eagerly anticipated first round of racing, running our World Finals car for the first time against the Czech Republic Champions, Miracle Engineers.  After the first edition with running we weren't best
pleased with the our performance as Matt (designated driver) hadn’t managed to quite find those killer reaction times. But as it seemed the track was progressively getting faster over the day, we
were optimistic for racing on the 2nd day. To conclude the day was our Enterprise Judging
where the corresponding portfolio would be judged along with our pit display and sponsorship/marketing activities. This area had so far been strong for and a confident
performance in the judging made us all feel much more at ease after the first day.

The second day of competition was much more action-packed than the first, with multiple crucial judging sessions right after one another. First up was Design & Engineering Judging. 

As we were targeting an engineering award, it was so important that we got across the volume
and detail of testing gone into our car. Matt worked his magic with his obsessive love for everything test related to lead the session and after pushing the judges into running our slot overtime, we were extremely confident for a strong engineering score. Next up was the Scrutineering Review to find out how compliant the race cars were with the regulations. Typically easy points can easily be dropped in scrutineering and this was something we desperately wanted to avoid.
However, unfortunately this wasn’t the case. Despite having a 100% compliant design, as the rear of our cars unexpectedly tipped with an inserted canister, we inevitably dropped points for rule breaks involving wing heights, wheel contact and track clearance.

Despite knowing that compliance points were lost and feeling a bit disappointed , there was
no time to feel downhearted as up next was vital verbal presentation. At the UK National
Final, we had lost out of the top spot because of a poor verbal and with much more practise
and preparation this time, were determined not to let the past repeat itself.

After a quick change into our ‘formal’ uniform and a nail-biting 15 minute wait to be seen by the judges it was time. For 10 minutes everyone spoke passionately about
their job role, what made us special as a team and how F1iS has impacted us. The following Q&A session was much more relaxed giving us the opportunity to really get across the uniqueness as a team of apprentices. After the judging was complete, we all felt hugely relieved and proud of each
other for delivering and smooth and confident presentation.

The final event of the day was our 2nd session of racing, against the Australian National
Champions, Golden Diversity. We needed some strong track and reaction times to pull us
up the leader board so the heart rates were elevated. From the first few runs it appeared the car speed was there, significantly improving other the previous day to reach inside the top 10 for pure speed. Now all we needed was a good reaction. So keeping us all on the edge, Matt pulled it out of the bag
with one of the fastest reaction times of the day, on the last run with a 0.154 seconds to pull us inside the top 10 in overall racing.  Phew…!

Our final judging element came on the third day in the form of the surprise ‘Pressure Challenge’. Teams were posed with coming up with alternative safety features/systems for an F1 car in place of the controversial new Halo design. We were required to produce a CAD model of our solution and video explaining its features and operation, all within 2 hours. We came up with an innovative and original design consisting of a honeycomb structure that would enclose the whole driver cockpit. However as network and technical issues affected all teams, everyone struggled to complete their design to the fullest, so the challenge was voided afterwards. It was a shame, but an invaluable experience needing to think creatively under such pressure.

After 4 days of intense competition and over a year of preparation, it was time for the glamorous Awards Celebration Gala. With over 700 people in attendance and many from the world of
Formula 1 it was a huge night, and one lucky team were going to be crowded World Champions.
With 22 awards on offer, we were desperate for at least 1. Due to setbacks in car performance and compliance we knew a trip to the podium would be unlikely but had a our eyes set of a top 10
finish. As the night went on with fantastically sculpted trophies made by F1 teams, being awarded to deserved winners we started to become increasingly nervous. And with 4 awards remaining (and 3 of those for the podium sitters), Sky Sports F1 presenter David Croft, came onto the coveted Research and Development Award supported by McLaren Honda. As he read through the 3 nominations, Tiro Racing from England, was announced as we all knew, we were in with a good shout. After an
agonising pause (which was really 5 seconds) we were announced the winners!!

Tiro Racing team collecting their awards last month at the F1 in Schools World Finals
All six of us were absolutely ecstatic and elated with not only receiving an award but one carrying prestige from one of the most iconic teams on the grid. The trophy itself is a thing of engineering beauty, a bespoke crafted aluminium piece with carbon fibre engrave depicting the
McLaren logo with a mirror finish.  Caught up in our excitement the rest of the ceremony passed in a blur with Hyperdrive from Melbourne, Australia being announced as very worthy winners, our congratulations to them.

Later on in the evening, during the display breakdown the official final placings were
announced where we discovered we had placed 7th overall out of 52. This is such an enormous achievement seeing as F1 in Schools didn’t even exist at Kingston College not much more than a year ago. We had beaten some of the toughest countries in the world including German, Australian
and Great Britain National Champs so to say we’re proud of our accomplishments is a
huge understatement. Exhausted and elated we went off to celebrate and catch up on a lot of sleep.

Thanks to F1 in Schools’ wonderful relationship with Formula 1, all competitors were lucky enough to receive a guided track tour of Sepang International Circuit (something money just can’t buy) and exclusive access to the pit lane before the GP weekend.
To add to that, as our R&D award was supported by McLaren Honda we were invited into the garage to gain unprecedented access to the team operation for a GP weekend and it car itself. With a few massive F1 fans in the team, this experience was once-in-a-lifetime and mind-blowing being so close to some of the most technological advanced machines in history. As avid supporters of the
competition McLaren were welcoming and generous in showing us around their temporary
home for the weekend. Additionally, being a British based team we will also get the
opportunity to have a guided factory tour of the McLaren Technology Centre, Woking.
As this was the last ever Malaysian GP, it promised to be an exciting one. With great
grandstand seats we had a fantastic view of the action for Qualifying and the Race.
On qualifying day, courtesy to F1 in Schools we were given VIP paddock passes to get a look at what
goes on behind the scenes during a racing session. 

And so after the Grand Prix, we packed our items, boarded the plane and our amazing trip
was over. The whole experience had been absolutely incredible filled with memories that would last a lifetime for us all, from spray painting the cars in the hotel showers, assembling
the display with seconds to spare to that proud feeling after finishing the presentation and of course
receiving our award. We had met so many people from around the world to share the experience with and being around others who all understand what reaching the World Finals took, made it even sweeter.
But of course, last but nowhere near least is our brilliant, supportive amazing sponsors. We literally couldn't have achieved and experienced what we have if it wasn't for them. Whether the help came in the form of finances, materials, components, advice or support everything had huge impact on our capability to perform to the best of our ability in Malaysia. 

In terms of our future, the investment our
sponsors have made have allowed each one of us to gain such a range of transferable skills
that we can take into our apprenticeships and better our career. Thank you so much to every sponsor, fan or follower. Your support since the founding of Tiro has been amazing and we are unbelievable grateful for everything.

Written by Joshua Schofield
Team Manager


A final note to all at Tiro Racing - if you're this inspirational now then we can't wait to see what you all get up to next!!

Wednesday, 25 October 2017

New website & news area at SMB Bearings...

We have some exciting news about our website - we have been busy developing a new one!

One important change is that the SMB Bearings Ltd Blog, which has been running since November 2008, will be moving to SMB's website & will now feature on our website's NEWS tab:

SMB's News page will replace SMB's Blog...

The site will be launched very soon (as soon as the final touches are in place & it's been tested to perfection - well, nearly 😝) & has been optimised to fit as much information as we can possibly give you about our bearings into a super-fast web-friendly space ☺🚀

Optimised access to our product range, coming soon!

If you can't find what you're looking for we are of course still on hand to guide you through the enormous range of available bearings, materials & lubrication that we can offer.

We'll let you know when the new website is up & running & look forward to receiving your feedback on it - in the meantime, you can still visit us at SMB Bearings to find product guidance on the 1.5 million bearings that we have in stock today.  

Friday, 8 September 2017

EZO factory VIP visitors...

We were delighted & honoured to receive a VIP visit from Sapporo Precision Inc., makers of the magnificent EZO Bearings, this week.  What a wonderful way to mark the 30 years of association between our two companies!  We are proud to be their official UK distributor of precision miniature & thin section bearings - click HERE to see their catalogue & full range & view a feature on their product range below.

EZO representatives Mr Kobayashi (president) & Mr Aicha & 
at SMB with our very own MD Chris Johnson.

Wednesday, 6 September 2017

Season update from Ian Emery, RC Heli Pilot...

Another top update from our friend & F3C RC heli pilot Ian Emery - we are proud & delighted to announce that he managed to finish an extremely impressive 3rd place in the British Nationals 🏆 last week!  

He'll be competing very close to home this coming weekend - as the Euro Heli Series comes to Abingdon in Oxfordshire on the 9th-10th September.  We hope the weather gods are kind, as there's an impressive field of international competitors in attendance (of course, we hope Ian has a massive home advantage 😉). 

Why not go along & support Ian if you can?

He has promised more exciting news soon, so we'll update you as soon as we find out what it is, but in the meantime check out his latest season update below:

"Scottish Nationals -

When I got back from Austria, I noticed the was a slight wobble with the elevator, I wasn't sure if this was connected to the previous issues I had experienced or something new, either way it wasn't the best news.  

By time I got to Scotland with one thing or another, I still hadn't figured out what was going on.  I had reduced the effect by altering some of the settings in the Flybarless controller but that was just hiding an underlying problem.  I had my Urukay with me but just didn't feel as comfortable with it compared to the JR Helicopters so I stuck with them.  With a constant elevator wobble in the hover, it didn't present very well to the judges and I think it was always at the back of my mind that there was something not quite right.  After 3 rounds I finished 4th and felt along way behind my close rival and friend Roger Mayo.

Germany -

The following weekend 5 British pilots traveled to Kleinenbroich in Germany for the second Euro Heli Series competition of the year which was really well attended.  The clubs in Europe are just superb with excellent facilities.  

After a rather blustery practice session on Friday afternoon, we all went out together to a Greek restaurant in a local town.  The best part about the Euro Heli Series is all getting together at the end of the day to socialize and have a good catch-up with friends that you only see a handful of times each year.  

Saturday was much calmer and after 2 fairly steady rounds I was down in 14th place.  

The final round was a different story, still battling with the elevator wobble, somehow it all came together and managed to get a great score which meant I moved up a few places and secured a spot in the finals for the Sunday.  The Fly off (Finals) Schedule is something I need to spend more time practicing, but with the wind direction in my non-preferred direction, I managed to get through 2 rounds and finished in 10th place gaining valuable World Cup points".

Ian with his valuable 10th place in the German leg of the Euro Heli Series, gaining World Cup points...

We are keeping our fingers (& toes) crossed for Ian's continued success & will update you on his progress again soon.  


Tuesday, 5 September 2017

Bearings for those who aren't bulking up

Those looking to buy or relubricate just a few bearings with specialised grease will no longer need to meet minimum order requirements, which can often exceed 1000. This will support cost-sensitive applications and encourage wide-spread use of specialist grease to ensure bearing longevity.

This service will mean any number of standard or specialist bearings can now be sourced and relubricated with specialist grease in accordance with the customers' application. Bearing failure is commonly due to the wrong quantity or type of grease for the application. Bearings for high speed, high temperature or food grade applications are all assigned the appropriate oils and greases by the technical team at SMB Bearings, whether this be for one or 100 bearings.

"Customers may have previously faced minimum order quantities from manufacturers, resulting in them buying bearings in volumes that they don't require," said Chris Johnson, managing director at SMB Bearings. "The big manufacturers prefer to produce bearings in bulk. This presents a two-fold problem for those looking to buy non-standard bearings.”

"Bearings with non-standard lubricants supplied by many manufacturers are generally only available in large quantities with very long delivery times. The alternative is often to use bearings with a lubricant that is not best suited to the application. This is where we come in. Even if customers have purchased shielded bearings that are notoriously difficult to get into, we have bespoke equipment to remove the standard lubrication, and replace it with specialised grease, regardless of quantity."

If you are looking to buy or relubricate a small number of bearings, then you will no longer need to spend money on bearings you will never use. More information about SMB Bearings’ small batch relubrication service can be found on the company’s website. Alternatively, if you would like to speak to one of the technical experts at SMB Bearings, you can contact the company’s base in Oxfordshire on +44 (0) 1993 842 555.

Tuesday, 29 August 2017

Tiro Racing & the road to the F1 in Schools World Finals 2017...

We are proud & delighted to be supporting Tiro Racing on their road to the F1 in Schools World Finals 2017.
The Tiro Racing team meeting with quite a familiar face recently... 😄

They are such a dynamic group of young apprentices & it's been a real joy to share in their enthusiasm for their goals this year - check out this lovely vid of the team:

They've been doing lots of bearing testing recently & we hope it gives them the winning edge when they compete in Malaysia later this year...

We'll bring you loads of updates on their progress, but in the meantime you can follow them at: 

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! 💞