2016 Competitor of the Year
Hazel captures annual top competitor crown
Mike Hazel, a force on the Northwest control-line competition scene since the 1960s, captured his first Flying Lines Competitor of the Year crown in 2016, scoring points in Combat, Navy Carrier, Racing, Speed and Stunt.
The annual Competitor of the Year title recognizes the flier(s) who scored the most points in Northwest control-line competition standings as compiled by Flying Lines.
Mike Hazel, of Mehama, Ore., is known to Northwest competitors not only as a multitalented competitor but as a contest director, club president, AMA official, modeling journalist and airplane designer. He is a longtime member and former officer of the Eugene Prop Spinners, current driving force behind the Western Oregon Control-Line Flyers (Salem, Ore.), former Model Builder control-line columnist, former Flying Lines newsletter editor, current WOLF Call editor, former AMA associate vice president, current Dist. XI contest coordinator for CL and Free Flight, and designer of several airplanes including the successful Yippee rat racer. He has been director of many control-line contests, including the Northwest Regionals and the Fall Follies.
His name first appears in the COY standings in 1982 -- and he also appeared in the COY standings as half of the Nitroholics Racing Team.
Second place in the 2016 standings went to Robert Smith of Roy, Wash., who scored all of his points in a dominant year in Combat. Third was Mike Haverly of Auburn, Wash., who scored all of his points in Stunt.
The number of people or teams scoring points in competition in 2016 was down by two from 2015, with 53 people scoring points instead of 55. Note that this is not the total number of competitors, only the number of people placing first through fourth place in sanctioned competition.
As usual, stunt had the greatest distribution of people scoring points, with 33 people, the same as in 2015. Speed and Combat came next with 10 people scoring points (Speed had 11 in 2015 and Combat had 9 in 2015). Racing rebounded with 8 people scoring points, up from three the previous year. Six people scored points in Navy Carrier, down one from 2015. One person scored in Scale, down from five in 2015.
Again, these totals reflect only placement, not actual number of competitors. The presence of out-of-region fliers in a contest can result in no points, or fewer points, being scored toward Northwest standings for some events.
The Competitor of the Year recognition has been given since 1980, the second year of Flying Lines newsletter publication. Here is the history, giving the top three finishers each year:
Competitor of the Year, 1980-2016
1980: 1, John Thompson 2, Bill Varner 3, Jim Cameron
Current standings are on the NW Standings Page
Below are the final 2016 Competitor of the Year rankings, along with the categories in which points were scored.
* = also scored points as a team entry. After score is indicated category and team's points, which are not included in individual points.
2016 OVERALL STANDINGS
1. Mike Hazel -- Combat, Navy Carrier, Racing, Speed, Stunt -- 59
Flying Lines keeps track of standings in all AMA rulebook and Northwest official events, in all Northwest sanctioned contests.