Sunday, February 24, 2013

Race Day 2 - Epilogue

Today the Santa Anna winds blew into the valley.  About 20 - 25 mph and gusting.  The pilots decided to fly two rounds today and call the contest at a total of seven rounds.  The wind was a challenge for most everyone.  The race course was reversed and this caused for a challenging landing approach to settle on the pavement. Large trees beyond pylon #1 seemed to be causing some nasty turbulence at times.

What did I say about FAST guys at this contest?   Four times under one minute were set by Rusty Van Baren, Richard Verano, Dan Kane and Mario Salazar.  Mario took fastest fast time with 58.45.  That is some fast company.

Rusty and Gary Schmidt flew off for first place.  Everyone in the pit area was on their feet for a great flyoff only to have it end as quickly as it began.  When the flag dropped for the start, Gary fuzzed his prop on takeoff and shut down the motor.  Rusty took first place.

Our beloved Roy flew off with David Lloyd for third place.  After four or five pretty exciting laps Roy and David had a mid-air on the way to pylon #1.  Roy's plane was down and David managed to land intact.  Roy took first place on time.

I was in a six way tie for fifth place.  We all agreed not to fly off and have the placings decided by times.  With my time of 1:04, I ended up in ninth position.

Lyle Baker put in two good races today and took two wins.  This really helped to boost Lyle in the standings to a final position of 17th.

The rest of the Canadian crew finished as follows:

25 Allan Umbach
26 Kevin Moorehouse
29 Delbert Godon
30 Henry Redekop
31 Doug Houston
37 Kevin Umbach

Complete results are shown in my previous posting today.  Scroll down to view it.

Many thanks to the Valley Flyers club for hosting the event.  Travis, Doug and their crew did a great job. Many thanks and a hearty hand shake to Pete Bergstrom for being our Starter out in the sun and the wind [today].

I think there's a lot of workshop time required by a lot of the participants this weekend to re-build for the coming district race season. 

This was my first race at the Basin.  I really enjoyed it and had a lot of fun racing with everyone.  See you in Muncie !

Thanks for reading.

Mario Salazar, Fast Time with Rusty Van Baren, First Place

Rusty accepts his trophy for First Place.  Doug Killibrew, Caller.
Our Roy takes trophy for third place

Race Day 2 - Quick Update

A quick update right now with the winners photo and the complete results.

Congrats to Rusty Van Baren as Basin Q40 Classic winner.

I'll post again tonight with editorial comments.


Top 8 Winners

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Race Day 1

Oh my goodness!  There was a lot of good equipment that was turned to crap in a hurry today.  Everything was going along nicely until about lunch time.  After lunch the skies opened up and parts rained down upon us all.  There must have been 8 or 10 mid-airs and another half dozen or so bad-air incidents.  Throw in a few close calls here and there and you have a pylon race.

In our Canadian team Henry, Kevin Umbach and Delbert each lost a bird in a mid-air.  I thought I had heard a clap of thunder but it turned out to be Henry's plane exploding when it was hit by Marcello from Brazil.  I guess you could say that Henry got a Brazilian…  Tom Scott and Kevin tried to take the same spot above pylon #1 in a race where they both should have hit several times prior to the incident.  Delbert was rounding pylons 2 and 3 nicely when he and Gino Del Ponte collided in the first lap.  The rest of us survived five rounds of racing today.

The winner of the prize for spending the most money in the shortest amount of time is Gabriel Tahan from Venezuela.  Gabriel lost two birds today - both in bad air and one yesterday in practice.  You count 'em - three!  All in all, I suppose there were about 24 planes lost today. That's racing, folks.

What did I say in previous postings about everyone being fast?  Rusty Van Baren and Richard Verano both turned 59 seconds today.  Roy from our team had five first place wins, a time of 1:00.80, and Roy is still fighting for third place.  Wow, that sucks!  The rest of our team looks like this:

11th Randy Smith 1:04
18th Kevin Mooreshouse 1:04
25th Doug Houston 1:08
28th Lyle Baker 1:04
31st Delbert 1:02
32nd Al Umbach 1:04
37th Henry Redekop 1:08
40th Kevin Umbach 1:08

Complete results are posted in the photos.

The weather today was the same as it was for the last two days with a touch more heat in the afternoon.  We are all sporting a bit of racoon face.

The Valley Flyers club did a great job today putting on the race.  The helpers were excellent with Pete Bergstrom leading the charge as race Starter.

We are not sure what is in store for tomorrow.  Everyone is a bit leery of the weather forecast that calls for strong winds beginning tonight and likely to stay all day tomorrow.  We'll see what waits for us when we wake up tomorrow.

Thanks for reading.


Team Canada

Friday, February 22, 2013

Practice Day 2

Welcome to day 2.  Practice got a little more intense today.  Wow.  Everyone is going fast.  I am excited to be racing with this crew.  The practice line up was hours long today.  I think I got in three flights - maybe four.  There are great looking birds in the line up.  57 pilots have registered for the race starting tomorrow. We had a pilots' meeting today.  The Valley Flyers club is doing a great job organizing this race and is bringing top notch help so we can have fun.  Travis Flynn and Doug Kilibrew have done a great job getting everything organized.  

It was another great day in the California sun.  About 18C or 65F today.  Light winds and sunshine.  As the intensity turned up today, some birds were lost.  Casualties today were Gabriel Tahan and John McDermott due to bad air around pylon #3, Barry Lever from the UK lost his model likely due to a power plug coming loose from the receiver at pylon #1 and near the end of the day, Mike Tallman lost his racer seemingly due to an aileron servo lock out coming around pylon #3.

The Valley Flyers field is a great place to fly.  An excellent facility all around.  it is a perfect setup for pylon with a takeoff pad and landing strip straight down the runway towards pylon #1.

The Canadian crew finished tuning today. We are ready to race tomorrow!  I'm tired and not much more to say at this point.  Somehow my thinking is blurred a bit by the 36" pizza and beer that showed up in the hotel tonight for dinner.  <Burrrp>   It seems that the Russells, Batch, Grunk and Scott ended up in the Canadian pit again tonight.  There seems to be a pattern here.  We will blame any cuts we get tomorrow on them.

More tomorrow when there will be some real racing and results to report.  Thanks for reading. 

Stay thirsty my friend!

Kevin Umbach launches for brother Al during practice

Condolences to Mike Tallman and ALL the pieces of his Vendetta

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Practice Day 1

10:45 PST;  Why do I always end up writing this blog late at night after a whole day at the field? I guess it's the social part of pylon that adds to the contest experience.  This is really fun for sure so the evening is fun too.

Tonight I'll work backwards:  Just got back to the room after a few beers and good hearted banter with the pylon boys and girls.  The Canadian crew assembled in the foyer of the second floor of the Hampton Inn where a pizza and a box of beer appeared.  We re-hashed the days events at the practice field today and some of us (one guy) moaned about the traffic in LA.  It seems that the traffic in Saskatoon is not quite as challenging as it is here.

Anyway, the Russells dropped by with Uncle Bryan in tow.  ...some more lively stories and some more beer. Prior to this round of beer there were a few consumed after race practice at the Northwood Inn a few miles from the Whittier practice field.  Tom Scott and Craig Grunkemeier joined us for dinner. Always great dinner companions.

Practice went well today at Whittier.  The unfavorable weather that swept through on Tuesday and Wednesday gave way to sunny skies and calm wind. The temperature was about 15C or 70F.  There were about 30 pilots out today working out the bugs and getting in a few laps.  It was nice to see many of the international competitors. The Brazilians, Rob Metkemeijer from the Netherlands, Gilles Dusgruelles from France, Barry Lever of the UK, and Pietro Palumbo of Italy - although I think Pietro is living in the USA.  Of course, it was great to see our friends from the many states across the US.

Everyone seemed to be going fast.  I swear the competition gets better every year. This is my first time flying at the Whittier field.  It's a bit challenging as new surroundings can always be.  However, the gun range, the 10 foot cement wall, the freeway past pylon #1, the "Death Valley" from which no plane will emerge all add a bit of a twist to the excitement that is practice at a new field.

Most of the Canadians were out today minus Henry and Lyle who spent a day with the girls doing some touring.  Our models flew well today as we shook out the bugs  from the winter that we have had so far.  Doug and Al had a few problems with the motors today. It appears these might need some quiet time spent back home working the bugs out. At this point, it's necessary to just install a back up motor and move on.

Roy was running fast and low.  The Super Cat was on rails.  Delbert's new Strega from H&M Racing seemed particularly fast to me while I was calling for Delbert. Kevin M and Kevin U were running their Sweet-V's as was I.  I tested both my models and everything seems fine. 

Of note at the line today was Tom Scott testing the new September Fate design from Jerry Small. This is a very unique model that looks very cool.  Testing seemed to go well with a few bugs to be worked out here and there.  Time will tell how it performs in the race.

September Fate

Everyone waits their turn to go to the line

The trip to the Whittier practice site along several freeways and among general traffic congestion in LA was interesting and different.  I don't know if I've ever been on a six lane freeway before at 80 mph.  Tomorrow's practice will be at the Valley Flyers field (the contest field) just a short distance from the hotel.  More action tomorrow as the tuning continues.  Stay tuned!


Saturday, February 16, 2013


Hey Everyone,
Randy Smith here from Team Canada.  I'm going to compose a daily blog of the sites, sounds and action at the Q40 Classic race meet at the Sepulveda Basin in California.  This race is normally held in Phoenix but, as you know, the Speedworld racing facility is closed at this point.  Perhaps next year we will be back in Phoenix, but for now the Valley Flyers at the Apollo Field in Van Nuys, California has agreed to host one of the largest Q40 races in the nation.

Team Canada has nine participants this year.  Me, Roy Andrassy, Doug Houston, Kevin Moorehouse, Lyle Baker, Henry Redekop, Delbert Godon, as well as Alan and Kevin Umbach. My blog is a diary of the daily events during practice and the actual contest.  I give my Canadian perspective but I try to be as unbiased as possible and hit the highlights.

There are nearly 60 participants this year from the USA, Canada, Netherlands, Venezuela, France, UK, and Brazil.  It is great to see so many countries represented. Q40 is becoming a truly international event.  This year we will miss our friends from Mexico and of course their bottle of Tequila complete with Shasta and floating wasps.
The practice line up at last year's race in Phoenix.  This year will look the same.

I will be arriving in LA on Wednesday evening.  First day of practice for me will begin on Thursday, Feb 21.  The contest begins on Saturday. Stay tuned for news beginning Thursday night.