A Day at the Races 2021

Annual after-Thanksgiving contest in Portland

Jim Walker Memorial Control-Line Flying Field, Delta Park, Portland, Ore., Nov. 27, 2021
Sponsored by Northwest Fireballs

By Gary Harris

Did someone say "Drizzle Circuit"?  Some readers may remember when devoted control-line racers in the Northwest braved the elements to fly racing throughout the winter months.  Wanna' do it again?  Hunh, wanna?

A HUGE 'thank you' to all who attended, entered, watched or helped in any way! Also to those behind the scene like Barbara White. The Northwest Fireballs club came together and hosted a successful contest.  Until you direct a contest you don't get the full benefit of experiencing the worries that can enter the mind.  Thank you, Fireballs.

NW Sportsman Clown (the "geezer" event) had two entrants, Leighton Mangels (Doug Powers pitting) and Mike Hazel (Jim Cameron pilot).

The day's activities started off well enough so far as the weather was concerned.  The Clown event went OK.  It didn't take long to do Clown.

Next was Northwest Sport Race:  Three entrants flew: Hazel (Cameron pilot), Mangels (Powers pit) and Gary Harris (Pat Chewning pilot).

This reporter found himself dealing with the intervention of the "Murphy's Law of Control line Racing."  The plane, engine, prop, glow plug, needle, etc. setup that seemed to work just fine last Monday at the same flying field now on race day was acting up and being uncooperative.  I realize that the best policy would be to spend more time practicing.  Pat did a fine job of showing his piloting skills.  Leighton's plane raced a good race with Doug doing the pitting, but Jim Cameron flew Mike Hazels's plane to victory.

We were still being treated mildly by the rain gods of the Northwest with only a few drops of the liquid stuff irritating us.  But, we did have thoughts that the monsoon could come upon us at any moment.  With this in mind the group consensus was to fly the NW Super Sport event three-up in a 140-lap final rather than round robin of two-up heats in determining the winner.  We had just flown three-up in NW Sport Race.

The three entrants were Hazel (Cameron pilot), Mangels (Powers pit) and Chewning (Harris pit).

Unfortunately one of those unusual occurrences took place again with the help of Murphy's Law that caused a mixup very early on in the race.  Somehow, wires, planes and pilots got tangled up with each other causing two planes to end up grounded and unflyable.  Jim Cameron somehow landed Mike's plane eyes off while it was 180 degrees behind him (that's right, out of view).  Too bad we don't have a video.

The day turned out to be an exciting day of Racing with smiles showing, and I think, all being stimulated to look forward to the next time we can do it again.

Thanks added to:  Dave Royer, Don Curry, Darrin Bishop, Dave Shrum and new AMA member from Southern Oregon, Chris Nicholls.


(Northwest standings points in parentheses)

Leighton Mangels, North Plains, Ore. — 146 laps (2)
2. Mike Hazel, Mehama, Ore. — 142 (1)

Mike Hazel — 8:28.06 (3)
2. Leighton Mangels — 12:13.56 (2)
3. Gary Harris, Banks, Ore. — DNF (1)

Mike Hazel — 77 laps (3)
2. Leighton Mangels — 29 laps (2)
3. Pat Chewning, Beaverton, Ore. — 4 laps (1)

Back to Northwest Fireballs page

Back to Racing main page

Flying Lines home page

This page was upated Nov. 30, 2021