The Akula is also my first R/C boat, and I have every confidence that she will dive (it's the surfacing that I'm worried about). There are many experienced modellers who moniter these forums and whom have given great advice to us Dumas people.
If you can get your hands on a copy of SCR #54? (someone help me here) George Prochenko(sp?) has a great article on building the Dumas Akula. Especially on the hull cut @ the bow, I saw this too late to benefit me.
Good Luck! Let us know how you are progressing.