Chehalis Cup action: Tristan McKay (left) untangles lines as Buzz Wilson flies. Judges in background are Jeff Rein (left) and Gene Pape. Flying Lines photo.

The Chehalis Cup -- a perfect fit!

First in 2009 80mph series sets a successful tone

March 21, 2009, Chehalis, Wash.

By Ken Burdick

Yes folks, it's true.

No padding was needed to make the C- Cup a perfect fit!

The March weather that had soaked me to the bone just one day prior abated and we were rewarded with cold but at times sunny combat weather with no wind to speak of. The C-Cup was run using a new and innovative set of rules filling the gap between full-blown F2D and old school AMA combat rules. Matches were flown cuts only, in a rounds format where ideally everyone flies everyone once before the finals. We got off to a late start so only four rounds were completed and as stated in the C-Cups rules, pilots can vote on whether to shorten the number of rounds.We flew four rounds and with the finals totaled 22 matches of good solid combat.

What we learned

The destruction derby that some had predicted did not materialize although a few wings were lost to ground crashes including one of my Wakkermans. (Photo at right courtesy Preston Briggs combat Web site).

What did materialize was an emerging set of strategies as we worked with the rules. We learned that cut count can be offset by ground time so staying in the air quickly became a major factor. Fuel management also surfaced as a factor. Bob Smith and I had an interesting match. Both of us had equal time and equal cuts, both were running F2D engines and identical equal speed. I asked him" how much fuel did you use?" "A bunch, he replied, "How bout you?" "The same," I said. So we waited until one of the engines began to make that telltale noise of running slightly rich. He came down first but had an amazing pit stop with Jim Green. Mine stopped a little bit later and I whipped as much glide into it as I could. I won the match but not by much, Fuel management had made its statement.

As the day wore on, people began to get the hang of it and were rewarded with longer matches, and more intense combat. The strategy of how to fly your opponent both offensively and defensively emerged

The Rein Man and Kenny-b put on a barn burner of a match pulling out all stops for flying all on offense and defense. Jeff was hiding a few feet off the ground using all sorts of tricky stuff while I was hovering just over him picking spots to even our cut count, the engines were making "that sound" and both of us were in the zone. Just as we were really getting into it, Jeff popped up and we bumped wings. Mine went sideways and exploded into the ground leading with the inboard wingtip. The Rein man won a hard fought match, good defense showed its value.

Leader Beavers

The "Leader Beavers" who are not afraid of new ideas, were in attendance and quickly made their presence know. Gene Pape and his "Dogfighter" had several good matches while none other than John Thompson using RTF models, gnawed his way into the fourth position in the finals. Mike Hazel of ZZ Prop fame, and senior member of the Louie-Louie Speed Team was there, keeping the two Beavers with wings, saturated in good pitting and camaraderie. What was interesting to note is this, the "Leader Beavers" are a studying group, the more they learn about what they focus on, the more detailed and dangerous they become. The BBB may have won round one, but look out folks, Gene, Mike and John were doing a lot of note taking and conversing. The series is five contests and this one was just the opener ... where these guys lead, others will follow.


Here are the Chehalis Cup #1 results. C-Cup points in parentheses, Northwest Standings Points in double parentheses.

1. Jeff Rein, Covington, Wash., Broadway Bod Busters, 4 wins, 0 losses, 0 ties, (8) ((9))
2. Buzz Wilson, Belfair, Wash., BBB, 5-1-0, (7) ((8))
3. Ken Burdick, Kent, Wash., BBB, 4-2-0 (5) ((7))
4. John Thompson, Eugene, Ore., Beaver State Combat Team, 3-3-0, (4) ((6))
5. Jim Green, Bellevue, Wash., 1-3-0 (1)
Don McKay, Redmond, Wash, BBB, 1-3-0 (1)
Tristan McKay, Redmond, Wash., 1-3-0 (1)
Gene Pape, Eugene, Ore., BSCT, 1-3-0 (1)
9. Bob Smith, Roy, Wash., 0-4-0

Download Chehalis Cup detailed points standings

Beaver State Combat Team commentary

By John Thompson

Congratulations to the Bod Busters for successfully carrying off the first in the contest series. As Ken mentions above, a lot was learned about how to fly 80mph combat without kills. I think we Beavers now have the Busters lulled into a false sense of security. Next time we'll have our beaver teeth so deep in their streamers we'll be able to use the bits to dam up the Chehalis River.

Attending from the Beavers were Gene Pape and me, with Mike Hazel along for support and pit assistance. Gene flew a Dogfighter/Fox .36X and I flew Yuvenko Cleveland Fast/Fox MkIV Combat Special. My planes had H&R shutoffs; Gene's had a third-line spring type.

Shutoffs were not an issue; most were H&R but there were a few third-line type. In the one flyaway, Jim Green's third-line unit shut the engine off immediately. The plane might not have been harmed if it hadn't hit pavement right next to the circle.

Jeff Rein was obviously the man to beat all day long, and the R&B Rip-Off he was flying seemed to be the best of the F2D-style planes on hand. It looked very agile and steerable, and Jeff's flying was very nuanced. The match of the day was definitely the match between Jeff and Ken toward the end.

The .15 engines on the F2D planes require a different approach in starting. They have to be well warmed up -- none of the one-flip cold starts we expect with the big iron. It was ironic, no doubt, that I lost a match because of a slow start (even with the 1-minue starting period!), not because my MkIV was slow to start, but because I forgot to reset the shutoff. Arg!

Gene and I both went into the day with the strategy of flying conservatively and trying to save the planes. To heck with that. I tried to stay away from people all day and ended up dinging up three airplanes. Truth be told, the carnage expected of knot-chasing simply didn't occur. The 80 mph speed is slow enough for pilots to fly serioius combat and keep track well enough to avoid trouble. There were very few midairs and not even very many crashes. I think my keep-away flying actually caused more problems for me than going for the cuts aggressively, because it made it harder to keep opponents in sight.

It was fun to see Don and Tristan McKay working together. Tristan is definitely improving and will soon be a combat force to reckon with.

The flying site was perfect for the activity, with the grass circle right alongside the concrete circle. There were some stunt/sport fliers there while we were holding the contest ... pictures of their airplanes will be posted elsewhere pretty soon. Ken's chicken soup made for an excellent lunch and much-needed chill-remover.

All in all, it was a well-run contest and a good test of the concept. Everyone got lots of flying in during a very full day, and we're eager to get another chance to come back and Bust the Broadway Bods.

Photo: Beaver State Combat Team members (from left) Mike Hazel, Gene Pape, John Thompson.

1/2-A Combat Opener
Sunday, March 22, 2009, Chehalis, Wash.

Here are the results of the 1/2-A Combat Contest the day following the C-Cup contest. Northwest Standings Points in parentheses.

1. Don McKay (4)
2. Ken Burdick (3)
3. Buzz Wilson (2)
4. Jeff Rein (1)

Chehalis Cup Contest No. 2 is scheduled for April 25. See Where the Action Is for details.

Chehalis Cup No. 1 Photo Gallery

Chehalis Cup No. 1 top four, from left, in order of finish: Jeff Rein, Buzz Wilson, Ken Burdick, John Thompson. Don McKay photo.

Left photo: Don McKay works on an OS-powered Baracuda as Trisan holds. Right photo: Don McKay's combat dogs. Flying Lines photo.

Jeff Rein (left) and Don McKay go at it as judges Buzz Wilson (left) and Gene Pape watch. Flying Lines photo.

Don launches for Tristan. Flying Lines photo.

Left photo: Jim Green (left) and Bob Smith prepare for Jim's match. Right photo: Bod Busters Ken Burdick (left) and Jeff Rein. Flying Lines photo.

Left photo: Jim Green with wreckage of plane that came off the lines, shut down, and hit the parking lot next to the circle. Right photo: John Thompson (left) and Ken Burdick fly a match. Gene Pape photos.

Left photo: Mike Hazel ready to launch for John Thompson. Gene Pape photo. Right photo: Gene Pape works with a Baracuda powered by Brodak .40 in the pits. Mike Hazel photo.

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This page was upated March 25, 2009