Don McClave (left) topped a very tough field in Classic Stunt, flying his Tucker Special, powered by O.S. 40 LA at the R.F. Stevenson Memorial contest in Seattle. Pat Johnston (right) prepares his Mustang for flight. Bruce Hunt photos.

R.F. Stevenson Memorial Contest

The Raider Roundup

Sept. 9-10, 2006, Seattle, Wash.

Click to jump to these sections: Results -- Vintage Diesel Combat report

By Steve Helmick

As most you know, the Seattle Park Department called us on Thursday afternoon before the contest and said we couldn't have the parking lot...this after telling us a month before that we couldn't have our contest at all, on the scheduled Labor Day weekend. After some negotiations, Ron Canaan, Rod Claus and Vern Bryant got the date changed and picked up a nice field for combat...lovely lawn, brand new, lush, and huge. It was tempting to move the stunt events over there, but the parking was a bit much for our infrastructure (motorhomes, sun shades, tables, etc). As it was known that the grass area we used for Stunt was very hard (two months of essentially zero rain), it also wasn't a good alternative to move Combat to the area used by the Stunt bunch. Thus, seperate sites, about a quarter mile apart. We could hear the 1/2A's, but not the D-Bats. I doubt the Combat guys and girls could hear the stunters. We did have a noise complaint, but the cop who showed up said it was without justification, and went to tell the grump to sit down and shut up!

It started rainy, and late. Site setup was somewhat of a surprise to us, not having used it before, but a grumbling crew of worker bees pitched in and got 'er done. It worked out pretty well, too. We had one official stunt circle and a practice circle, which was busy enough.

It would have been nice if the Seattle Parks Dept. had mowed the weeds a day or two before. It would have been nice if the park was better cared for, but that's the "Natural Look" that the tree huggers seem to like. Blackberry bushes encroaching on fields, trails and roads. It would have been nice if there was a Sani-Can within a hundred yards of where the event was...and it would have made sense if there was road access to the Combat area, or for whatever uses it is intended. I don't think the Seattle Park Department is thinking clearly, and certainly is terribly organized. But I digress...

Saturday morning was a bit awful, with some showers passing through, but they did pass, and the day ended up being quite nice, with overcast making it nice for fliers and judges alike. Low turnout (why?) made for fast progress through the event lists. We completed OTS, then Classic, followed by P.40. There was a great battle between Paul and Don in Classic, with Don flying his Tucker Special very well and edging out Paul. Hmmmm, that's never happened before! As soon as we got done flying, 10 of us headed down to the Northlake Tavern for pizza and refreshing fluids. We got there about 6:30, but still ahead of the crowds. A good time was had by all.

Sunday came early, but the site was pretty much ready to go, except for some barricades were knocked down (probably not accidental, by the way). Shortly, we were ready to start officials, starting with Intermediate, as no Beginners appeared. Advanced and Expert followed. The events were flown in sequence, with 2nd rounds repeating the order. The Bluest Skies you ever saw are in Seattle, and the bright sunshine made it tough on Judges and fliers alike. Paul and Howard had a battle in Expert, with Howard taking the win on the last flight of the second round. Good GRIEF! Two 2nd Places for Mr. Walker in one weekend...never happened before, and I don't expect to see it again. Both flew very well, and I was glad I assigned myself the job of running in their scorecards. I got out there early, watched the entire flights of the top 3...I love to watch these guys fly! can't see this from the pits, or under a sunshade. Get on your feet and go stand behind the Judges! Quietly, please.

As a Special Award, Gem Patterson and Todd Glover (R.F. "Steve" Stevenson's neice and nephew) donated a rucksack full of neat items from RF's estate. This was given to the Grand Champion. Dave Gardner had the system from previous contests...the more folks you beat, the more points you get. The more events you fly, the better chance you have. Pat Johnston flew three events, with a first and two thirds, to take the prize...and a fine collection of items it turned out to be. Gem also compiled, printed, and assembled folders of Skyraider history and presented the club with a framed picture of the early members. We didn't know them all, but Dirt picked out Jack Shane and Henry Nelson in there, Al Likely, Homer Smith, and of course, R.F. "Steve" Stevenson. Another framed picture presented was of RF flying only one airplane, with the handle mounted on the old football helmet. Great memories to hang on the wall of the meeting room. Thank you, Gem and Todd!

After taking down all the barricades and sunshades, some of us went down the road to the Burgermeister for a late lunch and more kibitzing. Others hit the trail for the trip home. Long distance honors went to Pat Johnston, as usual, with an 8 hr. drive from Boise, ID. Don McClave and Bruce & Kristen Hunt came from Oregon. No idea what happened to the rest, or why some NW Skyraiders didn't attend. The Dreaded Canadian Stunt Team didn't show up, tho The Alien did show up to fly D-Bat, which he won. Said Alien was heard to be mumbling something about expecting a big check for winning D-Bat. Let them have chairs and plaques, we say!

The contest went off pretty well, all things considered, after a very shaky month and a half with site issues. The reason it turned out as well as it did, was entirely due to the work put in by Vern Bryant, Robert Davis, Thadd Faussett, Rod Claus, Bob Parker, Daniel J. Dirt, Pete Peterson, Mike Haverly, Gary Letsinger, Howard Rush, Dave Gardner and most of all, Ron Canaan, site acquisition officer extrodinaire. If I forgot anybody, be sure and let me know about it :) Your time and effort made this contest run real smooth.

Snug lines to all....Steve Helmick, CD.

Inset photos: Left: Paul Walker's Impact in flight. Right: Don McClave puts the Tucker into a maneuver. Bruce Hunt photos.

More photos from "The Steve"

A couple of general overview photos of the site at Magnuson Park in Seattle: Left, the stunt pits. Right, Don McClave (left) and Paul Walker at the stunt circle. Steve Helmick photos.

A couple of nice entries in the P-40 Stunt event, which requires profile airplanes and .40 or smaller engines. At left, Rick Cochrun's Pathfinder. At right, Rod Claus's Cardinal, proudly displaying his Flying Lines decal. (Haven't got your FL decal yet? E-mail the editor. Steve Helmick photos.

Stevenson Memorial Raider Roundup Results

NW Standings points in parentheses

OLD-TIME STUNT (3 entries)
1) Pete Peterson , Tacoma, Wash. (3) -- 311.25 -- Jamison, Fox .35
2) Bob Smiley, Kingston, Wash. (2) -- 295.5 -- Ringmaster, OS .25LA
3) Rich McConnell, Seattle, Wash (1) -- 290.5 -- Barnstormer, Thunder Tiger .40

CLASSIC STUNT (8 entries)
1) Don McClave, Portland, Ore. (8) -- 551.5 -- Tucker Special, OS .40LA
2) Paul Walker, Kent, Wash. (7) -- 550.5 -- Skylark, McCoy .35
3) Pat Johnston, Boise, Idaho (6) -- 517.5 -- Bearcat SSW Magnum XL .53
4) Bruce Hunt, Salem, Ore. (5) 509.5 -- Shark 45, T&L Super Tigre .60
5) Bob Smiley -- 504 -- Profile Oriental, Brodak .40
6) Randy Powell, Port Orchard, Wash. -- 501 -- Wooley Cobra, PA .40 Lite
7) Mike Haverly, Auburn, Wash. -- 480 -- Profile Oriental, OS .40LA
8) Rich McConnell -- 462 -- Super Clown, Thunder Tiger GP.25

P-40 STUNT (7 entries)
1) Pat Johnston (7) -- 462 -- QED original, modified OS .35FP
2) Bob Smiley (6) -- 446.5 -- Profile Oriental, Brodak .40
3) Bruce Hunt (5) -- 443 -- Profile Cardinal, OS .40 FP
4) Mike Haverly (4) -- 424 -- Profile Oriental, OS .40LA
5) Rick Cochrun, Redmond, Wash. -- 360 -- Pathfinder OS .40LA
6) Rich McConnell -- 357.5 -- Super Clown, Thunder Tiger GP .25
7) Rod Claus, Kent, Wash. -- 354 -- Profile Cardinal ARF, OS .40LA

1) Rick Cochrun (2) -- (scores were not transcribed, sorry)
2) Rod Claus (1)

1) Mike Haverly (3) -- 509 -- Oriental Plus, RO-Jett .40 BSRE & APC 11.5 x 4!
2) Rich McConnell (2) -- 497.5 -- Modified Prowler
3) Dave Gardner (1) -- 430 -- Rerun (modified Trivial Pursuit), Double Star .60RE

1) Howard Rush, Bellevue, Wash. (7.5) -- 555 -- Impact, OS .40VF
2) Paul Walker (6) -- 552.5 -- "For Reals" -- OS .40VF piped
3) Pat Johnston (4.5) -- 524 -- Original design Mustang-X, Stalker .61RE/muffler
4) Bruce Hunt (3) -- 508 -- Shark 45, T&L ST .60
5) Randy Powell -- 455 -- Original design Slider, OS .40VF/pipe

1) Ken Burdick, Kent, Wash. (4)
2) Buzz Wilson, Belfair, Wash. (3)
3) Jeff Rein, Covington, Wash. (2)
4) Jim Green, Bellevue, Wash. (1)

1) Mel Lyne, Garibaldi Highlands, B.C. (8) -- 6-1
2) Buzz Wilson (7) -- 4-3
3) Jeff Rein (6) -- 4-3
4) Kenny Johanson , Snohomish, Wash. (5) -- 3-4
Caroline Wright-McPherson, Ravensdale, Wash.
Bob Nelson, Redmond, Wash.
Ken Burdick
Robert Smith, Roy, Wash.

Some of the action at the combat circle: Left photo: Jim Green prepares a 1/2-A combat plane, with help from Jeff Rein. Right photo, Jeff prepares to launch Jim's plane, while Buzz Wilson picks up his handle. Steve Helmick photos.

R.F. Stevenson Memorial Vintage Diesel Combat

By Mel Lyne

The weather was perfect, almost no wind, lots of great thermals(streamer bits floating upwards), and the new grass had been well watered, making the site great, even though it was a bit of a carry from the cars to the pits.

Eight D/Bat fliers assembled to do battle. Jeffrey Rein (ED), Buzz Wilson, Ken Burdick, Mel (The Alien, Last Man Standing) Lyne, Caroline Wright-McPherson, Kenny Johansen, Robert Smith and Bob Nelson. Arriving to help out was Jim Green. It was a pretty relaxed pace with everyone enjoying themselves and flying some interesting tactical matches for 5 rounds. Buzz figured out the scoring and he and Jeffrey judged most matches with help from Jim, Caroline, Mel and Ken.

Caroline started some aggressive flying and went after Ken Burdick in their match. Ken thought he had it but ended up losing to Caroline. This got her pumped for more combat. There were very few midairs but the usual assortment of dorks, tangles, spin-ins and just plain weird stuff that D/Bat models are prone to do. Buzz was really charging with lots of low flying grass-cutting tactics. In his match with Ken he suckered him a couple of times into dorks. Jeffrey and Mel had a good tussle going with a bit of a tangle and midair. Jeffrey took it. Kenny Johansen was flying well with 3 wins in the rounds. Robert Smith was very laid-back and enjoyed his matches but seemed not to fly as hard as he usually does. Caroline kept on scaring the bejeezes out of her opponents with lots of loops and outside the box maneuvers. A bit more practice and she will be a combat terror! Bob Nelson flew some good matches but had to leave early.

After 5 rounds ,Jeffrey was out front followed by Mel, Buzz and Kenny Johansen. The first semi had Jeffrey vs Mel. Mel wanted revenge for the earlier loss to Jeffrey and the action was full-out pursuit for almost 5 minutes. Mel took it on cuts. The next semi had Kenny vs. Buzz. Kenny was ready and got in there early but took the whole streamer in one go. Buzz was patient and got 2 cuts to take the win. Jeffrey and Kenny then flew off for 3rd and 4th in an action bout with Kenny's pit crew rebuilding his plane twice after a big midair. Jeffrey was victorious. The final had Buzz vs Mel in an intense bout. Mel got 2 cuts up with Buzz using fakes and low flying. Then Buzz changed tactics and his PAW/Piranha went after Mel's streamer in some very hard cornering pursuit maneuvers. Mel's Sharma/Razor Blade stayed with Buzz through a lot of overhead eights and zig zags...really tiring stuff for a couple of older fliers. Buzz took a cut and Mel took another. At curfew Mel had it on cuts. Bladder Grabber had obviously been a good warm-up event for the long 5 minute pursuit maches here in Vintage Diesel Combat.

Trophy plaques went to the top 3 and a Skyraiders folding camp chair to the winner.

The winner started with a PAW/Warlord, 16 ounces, FasCal covering, Taipan nylon 8 x 6 prop, Red Max diesel fuel, Mejzlik handle. His second plane was a Sharma/Razor Blade, 16 ounces, FasCal covering, Taipan nylon 8x6 prop. Other fliers used Dominators, Piranhas, Ironmongers and more Warlords. The PAW and Sharma motors seemed very evenly matched.

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This page was upated Sept. 19, 2006