Chehalis Cup action: In the final match of the day, planes flown by Jeff Rein (top) and Ken Burdick engage in tight combat. Who is following whom? Flying Lines photo.

Sun shines on Chehalis Cup opener at new site

March 27, 2010, Chehalis, Wash.

By Buzz Wilson

The 2010 Combat Season has begun in the Northwest. Under clear skies and warm weather, Chehalis Cup number one was held at the Yard Birds site. This was the first contest held at the new location. I had not seen the site before and when I got there, I found the site was still wet. Let me define wet - ducks floating. Since the Beavers were coming, I knew this would be a problem because they would want to cut down trees and build a dam. I spoke to the manager, explained the Beaver dilemma, and arranged for an alternate site. The site had a fewer ducks but lots of water at the perimeter as well as on part of the circle. The good news was that we had a paved pit area. The soft site meant that when you went nose-in you needed a shovel to get your plane out. Sunday will be spent cleaning mud from engines. John Thompson had an engine melt down and when it landed in one of the wet areas, it was not hard to find as a water vapor cloud was rising.

Photo at right shows how soft the ground was -- John Thompson's Cleveland Fast buried up to the leading edge in muck. Streamer gone, too, but that happened in the air. Gene Pape photo.

Ten flyers turned out for the first contest. Dave Fisher who last flew combat 40 years ago was there in force. I have been helping Dave get back into combat. Dave has top-notch equipment and will soon be a force to be reckoned with.

Jeff Rein and Don McKay began the day with Jeff picking up where he left off last year with a win. He continued with a win against John. Gene Pape had other plans and ended Jeff's C-Cup winning streak.

Last season we had a one-minute starting period and five minutes of flying. This season there is a one minute starting period and four minutes of flying. The winter rust was evident slowing the rounds down. Originally, we were going to fly four rounds, but sacrificed one round for Brauts and equipment repair. At the lunch break, Jeff Rein was presented the C-Cup for 2009.

Buzz Wilson (left) presents the 2009 Chehalis Cup to Jeff Rein, who went undefeated last year. Flying Lines photo.

At the end of the Third Round, Ken Burdick, Gene Pape, and Tristan McKay had perfect records and filled out the first three slots for the semi finals. Jeff Rein with two wins secured the fourth spot. Jeff flew Tristan, and Ken flew Gene in the semis with Jeff and Ken winning. Third and fourth would be flown between Tristan and Gene. Gene conceded third to Tristan. The finals would be between Ken and Jeff.

Ken who has been focusing his time on other projects - the plywood Chinese takeout bag and other secret projects to be unveiled at the Regionals was forced to find a piece of cardboard and write "Please Help, need combat plane for finals". After several minutes of standing at the entrance to Yard Birds, Robert (Thanks a lot Bob) Smith stepped forward with a plane.

What Robert failed to tell Ken was the plane was a little tail heavy. This was evident by the look of panic as Ken tried to adjust his handle as Jeff tried not to get hit. I held off on hitting the start horn. Once Ken's expression went from panic to terror, I hit the horn. They went at it hard for most of the remaining time and put on a great show with Ken prevailing.

Here are the results (Northwest standings points in parentheses):

80MPH COMBAT (10 entries)
Ken Burdick, Kent, Wash. (10)
2. Jeff Rein, Covington, Wash. (9)
3. Tristan McKay, Redmond, Wash. (8)
4. Gene Pape, Eugene, Ore. (7)
5. Buzz Wilson, Belfair, Wash.
Robert Smith, Roy, Wash.
Jim Green, Bellevue, Wash.
Don McKay, Redmond, Wash.
9. Dave Fisher, Wash.
John Thompson, Eugene, Ore.

Chehalis Cup Contest No. 2 is scheduled for April 24. See Where the Action Is for details.

See video of Chehalis Cup Contest No. 1

Chehalis Cup No. 1 Photo Gallery

The Yard Birds shopping mall's parking lot made for a nice, clean and dry pit area. Bob Smith (left) gets ready for the first round. Flying Lines photo.

Don McKay (holding plane) gets ready for a match as Bob Smith assists. In the background are judges Dave Fisher (left) and Buzz Wilson. Flying Lines photo.

Start of the final match: Don McKay prepares to launch Jeff Rein's plane. Ken Burdick's plane, launched by Bob Smith, is already up. Flying Lines photo.

Left photo: Judges Buzz Wilson (left) and Gene Pape watch a match. Right photo: Final match action in the circle between Jeff Rein (left) and contest winner Ken Burdick. Flying Lines photos.

Broadway Bod Busters teammates Ken Burdick (left) and Jeff Rein prepare for Ken's semifinal match. Flying Lines photo.

Jeff Rein's plane tows Tristan McKay's streamer after taking a big cut -- a common sight. Flying Lines photo.

Final match left Jeff Rein's plane spattered the mud. There was lots of soft ground and some standing water around the circle. Flying Lines photo.

Left photo: Contest winner Ken Burdick Right photo: Tristan McKay celebrates third-place finish. Flying Lines photos.

Left photo: Tristan McKay's team prepares for a semifinal match, with Don McKay fueling and Bob Smith holding. Right photo: Semifinal action between Jeff Rein (left) and Tristan. Flying Lines photos.

Jeff Rein models the 2009 MACA Top Twenty T-shirt, containing four Northwest fliers (shown below, from left), Jeff Rein, Don McKay, Bob Smith and Buzz Wilson. Flying Lines photos.

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This page was upated April 4, 2010