Below please find Phil Cartier's report from the . . . . .

East Coast Combat Champs 2004

It was a great weekend for a contest, 25 mph winds, rain, sleet, snow,
hail.... Whoops that last is for the US Postal Carriers. We just had
some nice winds on Saturday for Half A and a down pour overnight for
Speed Limit on Sunday. Fortunately, in between the gusts and the puddles
we were able to run both events without too much trouble.

The flyers showed up at the field, Cumberland Valley High School,
Saturday around noon to fly Half A- just about when the winds started
blowing. By the time we had the field marked and all the planes out it
was 15 mph, gusting to 25. We bagged it at Reedy's for a few hours,
figuring a 9 man contest would only take a couple hours to run. After
some refreshements and plane fixing, we got back to the field at 4. The
wind was down to 10-15 mph max so we flew, with time out for a couple of
thunderstorms. In the first match Neil flew and Phil flipped,
discovering a slightly loose plug after the match was over. Ken kept his
plane in the air and Gil hit the ground, tearing off his motor. Tom
Skinner put up his Lil Hacker against Louis' screaming little dowel-spar
thing and got eaten alive. Roy used a screaming LiteHawk agains Jim
Skinner's Lil Hacker and got a couple cuts and the win. You could tell
who was serious and who wasn't, that's for sure. Second round Louis got
a kill on Neil for a short match. Roy got up first against Ken
Hargreaves. Ken's plane locked in full up on launch sending everybody
running for cover. That put Louis up against Roy for 1-2. Fancy that. It
was a very even match. roy ended up winning 2cuts to 1. Ken came in third.

Sunday started out with a downpour. The poor old Swamp lived up to its
name. It had been doing pretty well, draining off and drying out this
summer, but 2 inches of rain between 5-7 am. had no time to run off. It
was pretty wet, but the circle was dry so we flew. The 1.5 in. plastic
streamers worked pretty well. It generally took a clean prop cut to get
something, although there were a few nice little line cuts. First match
was Gil and Shaylene Vader. She went easy on a guy old enough to be her
grandfather. They had a nice clean match and Gil got 3 cuts to 1. Jim
Skinner and Neil Simpson had a long, leisurely match with Neil taking it
3-1 also. Roy Glenn spent a long time chasing Ken Hargreaves in the
third match, coming up with 2-1. Phil Cartier and Jeff Vader went at it
clean for three minutes before Jeff came up too fast on Phil's dying
plane and they had a minor midair that tossed Phil into the ground.
First midair of the match. Tom Skinner and Paul Kubek had another
leisurely match flying to a 0-0 tie. Alan Cartier tied Louis Lopez up in
knots telling jokes in the pilot's circle. Kept Louis from flying hard
and they also went 0-0. The final match,Scott Schmidt and Jeff Vader
flew. Scott had a hard time getting a setting on his ST35, so he ended
up on the ground giving Jeff an airtime win.

Second round pitted the two top scorers against each other. Neil and Gil
flew a rousing match with one lousy cut for Neil. Roy whupped up on
Shaylene 3-1. Jim Skinner and Ken Hargreaves flew an 0-0 match when
Ken's OS 32 uncharacteristically quit on him, just a bit too lean. Paul
and Louis had an abrupt midair 40 sec. in, putting a hurtin' on their
scores. Alan and Tom took the hint and flew more carefully with Alan
getting it by 1-0. Then Phil and Scott had a 90 sec. match with a
midair, killing their chances.

Round 3 pitted Roy against Neil. Roy just kept the pressure on and
dogged Neil the whole match getting 2-1 on cuts. Gil did the same
against Jim Skinner and got cuts 2-0. Shaylene let Ken get 3 cuts and
then he played a dirt trick on her and started surprising her with
outside loops. Alan and Jeff flew much harder but got into a
linetangle/crahs for their efforts. Phil finally got a clean match
against Tom Skinner but gave up two cuts in the flight. Paul and Scott
both had engine run problems to end the round.

Gil and Roy started the final round with another rousing match. Three
minutes in, with the cuts 2-1 for Roy, Gil pulled out an inch too low,
kissing the grass and putting it in. That match put Roy firmly in first
place with 2787. Neil and Ken flew hard to a 1-1 tie. Neil got 2359
second over Gil by 2 seconds(kissing the grass can be death). Shaylene
and Tom flew the third match, boosting Tom into 4th place over Ken
Hargreaves and getting Shay into 6th. The last few matches went off
well, with some good practice flying, except Jeff and Paul had a line
tangle crash. Scott finally got a clean run on the ST35 so he and Phil
had a good match complete with about 10 head on passes, a couple line
tangles that they flew out of , and no cuts.

Name Plane Cuts Midairs Score
1 Roy Glenn Hobart Special 9 0 2787
2 Neil Simpson Coyote 480 5 0 2359
3 Gil Reedy Hobart Killer 7 0 2357
4 Tom Skinner Hobart Specialer 5 0 2336
5 Ken Hargreaves Yankee Nipper 4 0 2295
6 Shaylene Vader Yankee Nipper 3 0 2084
7 Jim Skinner Gotcha 460 1 0 2971
8 Alan Cartier Gotcha Psycho 2 1 1633
9 Phil Cartier Gotcha Psycho 0 2 1315
10 Jeff Vader Yankee Nipper 0 2 1176
11 Scott Schmidt Psycho 0 1 1145
12 Paul Kubek Yankee Nipper 0 2 1084
13 Louis Lopez Hobart Special 0 1 519(2 matches)

This year, no mercy. All the gory scores down to the last place. The
scores really show it all. don't hit the ground(knocked Gil out of
second), and above all, don't hit the other guy. As 9-13 show, you can't
score any points when you're on the ground after a midair, early in the
match. The top four also had the good luck, skill, or gall to fly
Shaylene. This brave young lady flew some of the best pilots in the
country and put on a show of good sportsmanship. She did an especially
nice job of flying carefully and not causing needless crashes with wild
flying. Some of the rest of us could take lessons.
Equipment and Tactics:
OS engines seem to be the ones to beat. Six used the OS32, Roy and Louis
used their modified FP 25's. 4 used LA 25's. Phil and Alan used a
muffler for half the matches. The muffled LA 25 ran just fine and kept
up with the other stuff handily. They also used a Thunder Tiger 36 for
four matches. In ran well also, but was a bit harder to start.

Fine tuning the engine run is critical. Poor engine runs just killed a
few people. Very slight changes during the run even played a role. I
don't know what the secrets are, but the motor has to run right on peak
for the whole flight, through the tightest maneuvers. About the only
thing that is allowed is that you can start out a bit rich, as long as
the motor leans out and stays running hard after a few laps.

The best tactic seemed to be aim for the tip of the streamer, but don't
hit it hard. Try cozy up to it and keep the plane sliding up and down
through the tip of the streamer.

The rules continued to work out just fine. Lots of hard flying was
needed to get cuts and midairs and less careful tactics really knocked
down some scores. Gil and Roy did some fancy footwork to score so many
cuts on the plastic streamers. But the luck of the draw still plays a
big role. As always, who you fly when, and how you fly 'em plays a big role.

Many thanks to those who came to fly. It was a great time. Next year the
contest management will get their act together and make sure all the
trophies, shirts, and raffle prizes are on hand before the meet. Thanks

2004 East Coast Championships
The trophy winners are Roy Glenn (1st), NeilSimpson (2nd), Gil Reedy (3rd), Tom Skinner (4th) and Ken Hargreaves (5th)
Shaylene Vader (front) was 6th overall and 1st in Sportsman