Suggestions to Preston Briggs
This site was last updated on February 15, 2008.
Allen DeVeuve and Steve Stewart
This year, the Houston F2D contest was held over the weekend of April 22-24, 2005. There were actually 2 contests: 1/2A and F2D. Pat Willcox was the organizer and CD. He writes:
Since my retirement last November, I have been enjoying the hobby a lot and several friends ask that I CD a spring-time F2D contest. This being a Team Trials year, an early, full F2D contest seemed like a good plan for both pilots and mechanics to start getting back up to speed.
As is for most CD's, my activities started early in the week to get everything in order for the weekend. Normal stuff: streamers, contest supplied fuel in individual containers for pilots, won/loss board, match board, line length board, watches and bull horn batteries, trophies and ribbons, shade canopies and co-ordinate with local Whataburger for our lunch.
The County had mowed the park, but a little closer cutting "in our working/flying zones" is better for finding lost items. Manicuring grass circles and pit areas is usually necessary to bring local park mowing standards up to contest standards. Long time friends volunteered their services to help during the contest and big round of thanks to Chris and John Hess, Mack Henry, Bill Lee, and Sheila Cranfill.
On Thursday, Mack Henry and David Owen flew in from Tennessee. That morning, a couple hours before I was to leave to pick them up at airport, I discovered that the A/C in my garage/shop was inop. It may be only April, but A/C is already a necessity on the Gulf Coast. An emergency call to repair service was successful and the weekend was saved. Got those guys back to house and they started getting planes rigged. Late afternoon, when Mike got home from work, we head out to test fly. After a few flights, Mack decided he was going to pass on entering the contest. We thought he was looking good but that was his decision. On the plus side, with him not entering, he volunteered to judge and that was a huge help to me. It is probably not possible to have too much help at a contest. That evening my wife cooked a great ARF Italian dish which we enjoyed with appropriate adult beverages.
On Friday morning after rush hour, Mack, David and I head out to Scobee Field (still a 45-minute drive one way) to get things in order for the 1/2A contest that would start in early afternoon. Ten contestants in attendance by alphabetical order:
We flew triple-elimination and some great 1/2 A combat with Foras and Cyclon engines in about equal numbers as the choice of motor. Planes were mostly GRS from Ukraine or Jeff Dawson productions. We used 1/2" wide plastic tablecloth black and orange for streamers with #10 crochet string and it worked well. We got started around 2 pm and finished about 6pm. It was hot and muggy with fairly strong breeze. Rain had been forecast but we only got a sprinkle. Winners were
From Scobee field, Mack, David, Allen and I met up with Mike and Darren Albert at local Mexican eatery for "rita's" and good eats. Mike had picked up Darren from IAH airport (15 min from our house) and they did their test flights at a site near home. Mark Rodgers also joined us Friday night and stayed with us for the weekend. This was his first combat contest ever to enter and he held his own in this tough crowd which was no small accomplishment. Way to go Mark! Adequate time remained in the evening for debriefing with appropriate refreshments back at the house/shop.
We stopped contest after first match to change colour of streamers. Red and Aqua Blue was no good. Switched to Red and Marine blue and this worked fine until after lunch when we had the "blue bird type" cloudless sky and then we switched to Red and Black. Bill Lee and his computer/printer set up with the random matching program makes it so nice getting printed scoring sheets and doing the draw. John Hess handled the center circle tasks while Chris Hess, Mack Henry and I did the timing and cut counting. Sheila did all the administrative work of postings scores etc. and the timely handling of purchasing and dispensing of burgers on Saturday. We flew four rounds with what seemed like a lot of reflys, finishing about 6 pm. That night my wife had a nice bean sausage soup over rice waiting for us at home. This saved time so more repairs could be made to be ready for the for Sunday session.
Sunday's first match was at 930 am and we finished at 130 pm. Blue skies and cool enough for long sleeve shirts early in day. There were no easy wins in this bunch of competitors. Several times fate, a DQ, or whatever would make a flier ahead on cuts/points to eventually lose the match. Junior flier Matt Green has perfected his skills well with his Dad Allen's help. He flew top notch combat but experienced the learning curve on the DQ's by getting nabbed twice. To add to their DQ woes, there was a fortunate recovery of a fly away plane that went down in the trees, but near a "bicycle path", but the engine had been ripped off by some passing 'No Good'.
The triple elem. went all the way to the wire with some hard fought matches all day long. Everyone was a winner but the placing went:
Darren Albert, Mike Willcox, David Owen, Mark Rogers
BTW, Gary James recently back into combat, flew his first F2D contest and he still be a strong flier. We cleaned up field and had a late lunch at a Mexican restaurant near Scobee. I could barely stay awake on the drive back to home, plus Mack had a bad headache. By 5 pm I was asleep with a requested wake up for a couple hours hence. 10 pm, I wake up to find those guys in the shop going strong. They had gotten Darren on his 8 pm flight back to Southern California.
Had a great time with friends and family enjoying a great hobby.