2004 SAM26 Taft, Season Opener - Report
Report on The 2004 SAM 26 Season Opener
By Bob Angel
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We gathered at Taft in good numbers for the specific purpose of defying the laws of gravity, which most of us did for limited moments in time. Weather must have been near perfect because the central coast guys were sweltering, while the Arizona guys were borrowing the sweaters and jackets we'd worn over. Just enough light breeze to establish a takeoff and landing pattern. Lack of clouds made spotting ‘em a little harder at times.
There always seems to be more aircraft casualties at first season gatherings and this was not an exception. The glider event was the worst. We sent Jim Bierbauer up on the high start first, knowing there was no breeze at the time and he'd probably get poor altitude and a short flight. But that strategy backfired as a mild crosswind then saw three out of the four other fliers arc over and dork in, all in a row. A high start has “gotcha” when you get out of shape on launch. Thinking something must be wrong with our hi-start, George Clarke generously donated cash to buy a new one. Jim Bierbauer wisely observed he didn't need to fly again, so he just took home a whole ship and his trophy. But the good news is that otherwise there was a minimal number of violent deaths and injuries.
C.D. Hardy Robinson lost his voice to laryngitis by the end of the first day, but he bravely carried on, even though he could only chew us out with hand signals when we went astray. And Dick Fischer regrettably missed this one due to flu also.
Ed Hamler flew mostest, highest and longest to take the sweepstakes trophy. And George Dobry's specific event built diesel Bomber paid off with an hour plus flight for the Templeton perpetual Texaco trophy. George had to spin down a few times and even sent a representative in to gather opinions about how long radio batteries should last. Steve Roselle took the Ron Doig Memorial Half A Texaco trophy, and Bob Facto took the Don Barrick C Ignition Memorial.
Al Taffs came all the way from Oklahoma, but via Arizona where he's wintering. Al, Dick Griswold, and Bob Angus came over from the Tucson area together. Check out Wes Funk's almost two hour flight in electric Texaco! There must be something to the home field advantage of living in Taft, as he's been doing well in most everything he enters.
The Holman trophies look good as usual, but our source for place certificates dried up at the last minute, so C.D. Robinson is scrambling for replacements.
We tried out an alternate restaurant, the Ranch House, next to the Caprice Motel. Took a vote next morning and it was slightly favored over the O.T. Cookhouse. Menu is a little less exotic and no wine served, but a quieter more private meeting room, un—shared and with no through traffic. Speaking of voting, we took a poll before flying the Brown Jr. event, and those wanting to fly it “straight” won out slightly over those wanting to do it as a flyoff type shootout.
If anyone is missing a green cloth cover for a nice folding chair, Ed Hamler says one somehow climbed into his van and followed him home. Call Ed at (707) 255-3547
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