2005 IMAC Judging School
With everything in place at Mac
Hodges' Field in Americus GA on Friday, November 12 2004, Dave Foster C.D.
of the S.E. Regional Championships, was ready for the final contest of the
season in the S.E. region. Standing on both flanks, outgoing S.E. Regional
Director, Fred Johnson, and Bill Hollingsworth were there to give ample help
while Brenda Foster undertook the duties of score-keeper.
Pilots started arriving on Thursday from various States in our region knowing that the road ahead was going to be a tough one. The top 10 pilots in Sportsman, Intermediate, Advanced & Unlimited were invited, but only Sportsman & Unlimited were filled to capacity. Intermediate & Advanced had 7 & 5 respectively. It seemed that the weather gods were not appeased in time & during registration on Friday morning it was apparent that the fog would not lift for some time. In the interim, many pilots spent time in Mac Hodges' Hobby Shop to stock up on items needed for the upcoming Winter/building season.
Finally, the weather broke and sequences were started at approximately noon. Having planned three rounds for the first day Dave Foster realized that task would not be completed so all effort was then thrown in to secure two rounds for Friday. As the day wore on & nightfall approached rapidly Sportsman & Advanced accomplished the goal, however, Intermediate had one pilot left & Unlimited three. We had two unfortunate incidents on Friday. Peter Jackson's new Cap 232 experienced interference & finally plummeted into the ground at high throttle. Very little was left for salvaging. Later in the afternoon Kelly Gerber's beautiful 40% Carden Extra 330S and Tony Fandino's Edge 540 locked in mortal combat in mid-air. We have never seen such an incident. Both planes were enmeshed together at approximately 150 feet and were floating down "oh so slowly". At about 50 feet they separated and somehow Tony was able to glide his in to a safe landing. Regrettably, one of Kelly's wings was damaged & there was just no way for him to save it at that altitude. The aircraft was totaled, but Kelly re-configured his brain somehow and came back strong. Flying actually went until dark and the air was very still, allowing the last few pilots to perform in ideal conditions. As the night temperatures dropped with a passing cold front Amber & Rob Hester rolled out the tasty meal they had prepared for us. It was a hearty Italian meal of spaghetti with Amber's special sauce which had some pilots going back for a second helping. We received our first set of Unknowns & headed for the hotel to prepare for Saturday's onslaught.
At daybreak a rude awakening was in store for us all, as contrary to what the meteorologists had predicted, we were again faced with low fog & wind. We were looking forward to a completely sunny day, however, although the wind never subsided there was absolutely no clearing in the sky whatsoever for the entire day. As time slipped by relentlessly Dave Foster reluctantly called the contest for the day and handed out our second Unknowns, hoping that Sunday would be better.
Sunday morning dawned with high wind and clouds/fog. This was getting old. The low temperatures certainly did not help our outlook either. The only redeeming factor was that each morning & lunchtime Amber Hester was there with hot coffee & meals to keep us warm & filled. Considering the big difference in flying conditions on Friday evening and Sunday morning the remaining pilots who still had to finish their second round were at a distinct disadvantage. However, the show had to continue & as soon as the clouds cleared wheels lifted off. After the entire second round was completed both Unknowns were started. These were not flown back to back and the pilots had time in between to switch & prepare mentally for the next one.
A hardy fight it was in all 4 categories, but in the end Pedro Jordan, Kenny Willis & Vic Rice (in Sportsman) & Jimmy Ritch Carlos Paez and Buddy Curtis (in Intermediate) held First, Second & Third spots respectively. Kelly Gerber, Roy Barrow & Kevin Hamilton (in Advanced) and Brian Hannah, David Moser and Baron Johnson (in Unlimited) also occupied similar positions in the Finals of the 2004 S.E. Regional Championships. We were also treated to some Freestyle & Ivan Gutierrez took First in Intermediate while Baron Johnson captured First in Adv./Unlimited. Trophies were also handed out to the reigning S.E. Points Champion who were, Sportsman: Kenny Willis, Intermediate: Kevin Hamilton, Advanced: Kelly Gerber & Unlimited: Brian Hannah.
We would like to thank Dave Foster for CD'ing the 2004 S.E. Regional Championships, Brenda Foster for efficient scoring, Amber & Rob Hester for our meal preparation and Bill Hollingsworth for his tireless attention to keeping us going. A sincere thank you also goes out to Mac Hodges for hosting the event & to Fred Johnson, our outgoing S. E. Regional Director, for taking our Region to a much higher level. We wish Fred the very best as our 2005 Vice President & welcome Stan Stockman as our new S.E. Regional Director as of January 2005.
For FULL RESULTS, go HERE.