2019 Competitor of the Year
Russ Hester wins Competitor of the Year title
Russ Hester of Florence, Ore., captured the Northwest's 2019 Competitor of the Year crown with an outstanding year of flying Combat and Racing.
Russ topped the Overall Combat season standings and finished atop the leader board in AMA Fast Combat and 80mph Combat. He also scored points in 15 Fast Combat, 1/2-A Combat and Northwest Sport Race
It's the first Competitor of the Year award for Russ, who moved to Oregon from California a few years ago and resumed competitive flying in 2018.
The annual Competitor of the Year title recognizes the flier who scored the most points in Northwest control-line competition standings as compiled by Flying Lines.
At left, Russ is seen flying Combat at the 2019 Northwest Control-Line Regionals.
Second place in the 2019 standings went to Chris Cox of Delta, B.C., who scored all his points in Precision Aerobatics. It was Cox's seventh appearance in top three. Third place was a three-way tie between Paul Walker of Deer Park, Wash. (Precision Aerobatics), Howard Rush of Olympia, Wash. (Precision Aerobatics) and John Thompson of Eugene, Ore. (Combat, Racing, Speed, Stunt).
The number of people or teams scoring points in competition in 2019 was up by one from the 2018 season, with 59 people scoring points instead of 58. Note that this is not the total number of competitors, only the number of people placing first through fourth in sanctioned competition.
As usual, Stunt had the greatest distribution of people scoring points, with 30 people, down two from 2018. Racing and Speed came next with 11 each, both up two from 2018. Nine people scored points in Combat, down two from 2018. Seven people scored points in Navy Carrier, up one from 2018. Two people scored points in Scale, down one from 2018.
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, 1980-2019
1980: 1, John Thompson 2, Bill Varner 3, Jim Cameron
Click here for 2019 final standings
Current standings are on the NW Standings Page
Below are the final 2019 Competitor of the Year rankings, along with the categories in which points were scored.
2019 OVERALL STANDINGS
1. Russ Hester -- Combat, Racing -- 51
* Also scored points in a team entry.
Flying Lines keeps track of standings in all AMA rulebook and Northwest official events, in all Northwest sanctioned contests.
2019 Final Standings and Competitor of the Year
2018 Final Standings and Competitor of the Year
2017 Final Standings and Competitor of the Year
2016 Final Standings and Competitor of the Year
2015 Final Standings and Competitor of the Year
2014 Final Standings and Competitor of the Year
2013 Final Standings and Competitor of the Year
2012 Final Standings and Competitor of the Year
2011 Final Standings and Competitor of the Year
2010 Final Standings and Competitor of the Year
2009 Final Standings and Competitor of the Year
2008 Final Standings and Competitor of the Year
2007 Final Standings and Competitor of the Year
2006 Final Standings and Competitor of Year
2005 Final Standings and Competitor of Year