Aftermath of 80mph Combat final. From left Ken Burdick, Mel Lyne and Jeff Rein examine condition of streamers. Photo provided by Mel Lyne. More photos below.
Contest Director Jeffrey Rein gave a nice friendly pilots meeting speech about Top Dog being a fun contest and not a super-serious meet like Bladder Grabber ... But, every "gunslinger" listening was eyeing the opposition, sizing them up, looking for any weakness like a tell-tale eye twitch or a tremble in the trigger finger. This was IT...to decide the Best of the Best in the Northwest over 2 days of fierce/no-quarter all-out combat action. 80 mph on Saturday and Fast on Sunday. The flier with the most wins gets STEAK, the rest get hot dogs. A lot of pride and bragging rights here!
Jeffrey Rein, Ken Burdick and Buzz Wilson organised and ran "Top Dog 2007" in perfect combat weather. Ron Enos flew in from Hawaii to help out with the judging chores and the sponsorship. The Rule clan also helped with the sponsorship and Diane Rule barbecued the burgers at lunch both days. Ken cooked up the scrumptious steak for the winner and hot dogs for everybody else at the end of flying on Sunday.
There were 2 "Paul Bunyan"-sized pilots, Kenny Johansen and Mike Rule, giving mountain-sized challenges to the smaller hobbits who didn't breath "up in the clouds". There was Cayce Rule too, pushing 6 ft and still a young 'un. Other pilots included Robert Smith, Buzz Wilson, Ken Burdick, Jeffrey Rein, Mel Lyne, Jim Green, Gary Harris and Don McKay. All shutoffs were Line tension type. There were 3 cut-aways Saturday in 80mph and 1 on Sunday in Fast. In every case the motor shut down immediately. Good safe stuff.
Equipment in 80mph covered the whole spectrum. Buzz had OS 25FX motors in foamies, Robert had OS 35FPs in Yuvenkos, Mel had a Fox C.S. in a Mejzlik, Jeffrey had a Cyclon .15PC-6 in his R&B Ripoff foamie, Ken had a Cyclon in a Wakkerman, Don had a Profi .15 in a Wakkerman, Gary had a Fox C.S. in a Granderdog, Mike and Cayce had Rossi .21s in Allenplanes, and Jim had an OS .35 in a Yuvenko.
In the early rounds Cayce Rule showed a very aggressive style and was unlucky to just miss the knot on his attacks. Gary, Mike and Mel started off well. Jim had some "Upside-down" handle trouble twice in a row in one round. There were lots of good chasing matches but the hum-dinger was Jeffrey vs. Ken in an all-out F2D-style bout that seemed to go on forever. Mike and Mel stayed clean for 4 rounds then they met. Mel got one cut up but a plastic streamer piece choked the carb making the Fox go sour and Mike cut him up for the kill. Gary did a superbly clean kill on Buzz as he glided in close to the deck. Mel and Gary ended their match in a midair which momentarily stopped Mel's Fox which then started up in REVERSE. His plane flew backwards into the deck. Pretty weird! Gary and Ken had a motor-to-motor head-on. Gary's Fox got scratched up a bit but Ken's Cyclon got "kinda bent". The .15 and .21 powered planes were very tight through the turns. The heavier .36 planes could'nt match their performance. However the ultra-light weight of the .15 models made it difficult to get leading edge kills with the tough string. You had to get the prop on the string. In the final Mel got it on cuts over Ken, but the match-ending midair had Mel's string and knot embedded in Ken'e leading edge, but the string remaining unbroken.
1. Mel Lyne, Garibaldi Highlands, B.C., 7-2 (10)
2. Ken Burdick, Kent, Wash., 6-4 (9)
3. Jeffrey Rein, Covington, Wash., 5-3 (4)
Mike Rule, Palm Springs, Calif., 5-3
5. Gary Harris, Banks, Ore.. 3-3
Lots of very fast, loud equipment -- combat heaven! Nelsons, Foras, Foxes and Rossis screaming around in Yuvenkos, Granderdogs, fantails, Wakkermans, Allenplanes and R&B Ripoffs. The majority had H&R shutoffs. Robert Smith had torn a calf muscle and was sidelined to the cheering section. The rest of the fliers went at it with a fury.
Cayce was incredibly aggressive and had some good kills. He had a barn-burner against Mel, all over the sky for 2 minutes, cuts exchanged and finally a kill for Mel. But he paid for it in energy expended. A real 3 beer match!. Casey is getting to be an awesome flier. He killed Jeffrey in a wild exchange. Jeffrey caught Mel by surprise with a quick almost head-on pass and a kill. Kenny Johansen flew his first-ever Fast match and came out a winner. His Fox VI had broken the crank in practice. His final match he was right in there with Casey in a furious exchange, Casey coming out the winner. Ken Burdick used the lowest, underhanded, dirtiest trick to kill his gliding opponent -- bringing cheers of applause and congratulations on his level of skullduggery! The last two left alive were Mike and Mel. They went at it ending in a double kill. A rematch. This time they let it all hang out. Mike's howling Nelson in his Allenplane vs. Mel's Fora in a modified Granderdog. Big action across the blazing sun. The planes were in and out of the sun time and again. Mel got a chunk of Mike's red streamer, then crunched in a midair. Mike flew on with half a wing and only his string. Mel bit the dust with all of Mike's streamer.
1. Mel Lyne, 6-1/2 - 1-1/2 (10)
2. Mike Rule 5-1/2-2 - 1/2
3. Gary Harris, 3-2 (8)
4. Cayce Rule, 3-3
Jeffrey Rein, 3-3 (3.5)
1. Mel Lyne, 13-1/2
2. Mike Rule, 10-1/2
3. Ken Burdick. 9
4. Jeffrey Rein, 8
5. Gary Harris, 7
And Mel was heard to say "This is the BEST steak I've ever tasted. Victory makes it sweeter and the nitro and the dust really enhance the delicate charcoal flavor!"
And a ton of fun was had by all. Thanks again to Ron Enos coming over from Hawaii and bringing Aloha gifts(teeshirts, Macadamia nuts, hats, necklaces, keychains etc.) for all the participants, to Diane, Mike and Cayce for helping with the food, and of course to Ken, Jeffrey and Buzz for making it all happen. Can't wait for the next "Top Dog"(and more steak!).
Left photo: Bob Smith (left) and Gary Harris. Right photo: Buzz Wilson and Bob Smith. Mel Lyne photos.
Pit preparations. Left photo: Gary Harris (left) and Jim Green. Right photo: Ken Burdick (left) and Jeff Rein. Mel Lyne photos.
It was all about the food. Diane Rule barbecues for the fliers. Mel Lyne photo.
Left photo: (From left) Mel Lyne, Cayce Rule, Mike Rule. Right photo: Mike and Cayce in the pits. Photos provided by Mel Lyne.
Left photo: Mike Rule launching. Right photo: The Rule family (and Ken Burdick). Mel Lyne photos.
By Ken Burdick
HARVEY FIELD, Snohomish, Wash. -- Yes folks, it's true,
Your friendly neighborhood Bod Busters were brutally assaulted by the alien, and several different unidentified flying objects.
Mel Lyne AKA ("The Alien") with malice and forethought attacked the Bod Busters at Top Dog 2007.
What became obvious, but learned too late, was the fact that the alien has supernatural powers! The alien attacked not only the Bod Busters, but EVERYONE at the contest.
Disguised as mild mannered Mel Lyne, the alien made short work of the best and brightest, winning the steak at the end of a two day brawl, scattering hot dogs amongst the mass of ruin and destruction left in his warp-drive wake.
We are just now recovering our memories, and it's apparent that the alien used a "mind eraser" on the entire field of competitors. Hopefully someone took notes.
In 80 mph on Saturday, the field was littered with victims until yours truly stepped up to end the madness. No one knows for sure and who's to say what really happened, but I had two lives going into the final. The first match I was dispatched in a fine show of skill and cunning -- yep, killed like a rat in a trap.
The next and final match I used an F2D ship and actually stopped the alien with a kill. -- wing kill that went through the leading edge spar broke the top spar, snapped off the wing and came down with the kill zone buried deep in the wing, unfortunately it was still attached to the aliens plane!!!!!!
There was talk of alien magic..there was talk of supernatural powers.
There was talk about ."Wow, this string is really strong!"
All I know is I have never hit a kill so hard in my life and not had the string break.
The alien had won in a most unusual way by a few seconds of airtime and a well fought match, I was sent off mumbling ."I won ... got the kill ... what went wrong ... "
There were three flyaway's in 80 mph. All three were H&R shut-offs and all shut down instantly.
Day Two brought out the "big iron,", Nelsons, a few Foxes and one pretty darn fast Fora, onto the field at Snohomish.
The Bod Busters eyed the alien suspiciously, who just smiled and said things like, "good to see you!" and "I'll buy you a beer!" (an obvious mind melding technique).
We witnessed this ploy the day before when Jeff Rein, who had been given an "alien mind meld," flew zombie like while Mel put him away in two moves.
With the help of Gary Harris, Jeff was brought to his senses and shredded me in one of the hottest matches our 80 mph F2D ships have seen in awhile. I had the cut count, no kill but I shut down twice in the match losing it on points. We don't know what Gary said to Jeff but likely some ancient Druid word from the forest where he works.
Fast combat was flown safely with no cut-aways, line tension shut-offs were the only type allowed in the contest. Many fliers looked rusty but got better as the day wore on.
I have to tell you that Cayce Rule put up one of the most impressive fights we had seen all day in fast, but the alien's supernatural powers proved to be just too strong and a most excellent kill was made on the remaining knot held by Casey.
(Isn't it just like aliens -- picking on 16-year-old kids.)
Big Mike Rule, the last Bod Buster standing, sprang into action defeating the alien in the very next match but once again, supernatural stuff was in the works and it was a double kill!
Mike and Mel then flew yet another super fast match and you guessed it -- Mel won the final match in Fast with a kill.
(Fade to black ... queue the spooky music)
Kills that aren't kills ... double kills ... mind melding!!! The alien has it goin on!
It will be awhile for the Bod Busters to recover from a setback like this.
Today, I held an emergency meeting at our winter retreat (Gators) with Jeff and our Island adviser Ron Enos from Hawaii.
We believe that by triangulation of sophisticated Bod Buster electronic devices (cell phones), we can pinpoint the comings and goings of this most dangerous alien and be better prepared should he return. Our sources tell us we may have seen the last of this force to be reckoned with, for perhaps the rest of this season. We however will remain vigilant, guarding the Bod Buster technology center in shifts while we prepare our defense.
At any rate, congratulations to Mel Lyne for the victories. For combined scores after two days of flying the results are:
What they won
1. Mel Lyne (Alien), steak
2. Mike Rule (Bod Buster), hot dog
3. Ken Burdick (Bod Buster), hot dog
4. Jeff Rein (Bod Buster), hot dog
Shirts, Macadamia nuts and hats were generously donated by Ron Enos, making the fun of winning this one even better.
Thanks goes out to Diane Rule for cooking lunch both days, and being the shining bright light she is. Diane also helped to clean up the field after the contest.
What a great two days of flying. We ate beef, flew combat and turned into a pack of dogs ... perfect for a combat flier.
Results of this contest are counted in Northwest Competition Standings
This page was upated Nov. 17, 2007