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Big Money Vintage Diesel Combat Report
Arlington, WA. USA June 21 2003


After two and a half weeks of heat waves and drought, regular North West weather moved in to make the ground suitably soft and a tad soggy. Truly vintage diesel combat weather. Cool too.

An amazingly keen band of workers including CD Steve Helmick, ED Mel Lyne, judges, centre marshals and score keepers/tabulators Larry Bell, Ralph Simonds, Norm McFadden, Jim Green and Travis Lyne, score runner Alex  Simonds, and pull tester Chris Gomez pulled together to do an outstanding job running an exceptionally smooth contest. No real hassles...just a bit of rain. Okay, so it WAS torrential for about an hour around lunchtime! But Paul Vallins from sponsoring company Cascade Aviation very generously brought in a load of Alfie's pizza and pop, and we all grazed quietly under the tarps while the rain came down. And then, almost miraculously, the rain let up and the contest continued with the weather ever-improving until we were in clear sunshine.

Round one got underway with Mike Rule taking on Paul Vallins in a very hot match with lots of streamer hits by both fliers, but only one cut in the 5 minutes. Those dreaded plastic streamers will only cut on the prop, and the rain ruled out the paper streamers. Mike narrowly lost on ground time, but a great match to start it off. John Thompson took on Bob Nelson in another close match. One cut each and ground time in John's favour for the win. John Morrow took on Robert Smith. Lots of following and near misses with Robert taking it 2 cuts to 1 and ground time. Paul Dranfield took on Milissa Huber with some wild action and then a solid mid-air which removed Paul's motor. Paul was a cut ahead but stuck on the ground, Milissa taking the win and Paul getting a "Welded" PAW doorstop!

Next was Dave Pellerin vs Jeff Riechel. Just light drizzle for this match. Lots of following, cautious moves and staying away from the ground, both planes staying up for the full 5 minutes. Dave managed the only cut to take the win. Cuts were hard to get with the plastic streamers. Cayce Rule then took on Paul Dranfield. It was one cut apiece but a line tangle with Paul going in. Too long on the ground for Paul, and Cayce took the win.

The rain stayed light for a while and some excellent matches were flown, although low on cuts but many streamer hits. Then the heavy rain started and round 3 was delayed while we all enjoyed a pizza feed lunch. With everyone well fed the rains let up and combat resumed. Some more quality matches with 5 minutes of continuous combat. After Milissa's first round win she hit some tough matches with losses to Robert Smith, Paul Vallins, and Bob Nelson. Cayce Rule was really rolling with 4 wins before losing to John Thompson. John was winning them all until a crazy match had him up with the wrong color streamer, then ground time problems, finally losing 2 cuts to one against Robert Smith. Robert was really hammering, winning convincingly in all 5 rounds, and Paul Vallins only took one loss, as did John Thompson and Cayce Rule. John Morrow, Dave Pellerin and Jeff Riechel flew well in some very entertaining matches but just came up a tad short. Paul Dranfield, Mike Rule, Bob Nelson and Milissa Huber all flew hard, but again were just a bit short on points.

Mid-way through round 4 the sun blessed us and things dried out, so we went to paper streamers for round 5 and the finals, and the cut count immediately went up. At the end of 5 rounds we had John Thompson, Cayce Rule, Paul Vallins and Robert Smith as the finalists.

First semi had John vs Paul in a potentially hot match, with Paul getting an early cut. But then a mid-air and John's Warlord had the tank opened up which kept him down, giving the win to Paul. 

The second semi had Cayce vs Robert. Lots of action, Cayce with a cut, but then a mid-air putting Cayce on the ground with half a plane. Robert got up and Cayce tried the half wing launch, but it spun in on him, Robert taking the win on ground time.

Third and fourth had John vs Cayce. Both were charging, and the $100 prize difference had them pumped! A great match with lots of exchanges and cuts, and only a little ground time. When the dust settled(it really had dried out!) John had it 3 cuts to one in a highly entertaining match with almost 5 full minutes of combat.

And then the final, Robert vs Paul. They were both up right away, dead even in speed, several exchanges and a double kill! They flew out the 5 minutes for a tie, one cut each. So a re-fly. Both were up early again and lots of following, fakes, avoidance and tricky moves. They exchanged cuts, then Paul slowed a tad, a bit over-compressed. Robert saw his chance and in the exchange took 3 cuts. He held Paul off until the 5 minute horn for the win. An great final match.

First through fourth place took home cash plus a first place trophy. 5th place had lines, prop and plans. Best crash trophy, lines, prop and plan  went to Mike Rule for exceptional "re-kitting" in one match. And the "Toughest Luck" trophy, lines, prop and plan went to Jeff Riechel who came very close to winning several matches but just came up short. All the officials, workers and fliers' names went into a draw for the "Pot" of money. Maria Huber drew "Chris Gomez" our hard working pull tester. Paul Vallins very generously donated his cash winnings to Childrens Orthopedic Hospital of Seattle.

Thanks again to all the helpers and workers, and for the use of Robert Smith's trailer, and to the major sponsor Cascade Aviation. Merchandise prizes were also donated by Mel Lyne. 

Results:

1. Robert Smith Roy, WA 7 1/2 - 0
2. Paul Vallins Lynnwood, WA 5 1/2 - 2
3. John Thompson Eugene, OR 5 - 2
4. Cayce Rule Black Diamond, WA 4 - 3
5. Paul Dranfield Mission, BC, Canada 3 - 2

The following photo's were taken at the Vintage Diesel (Big Money) Combat contest at Arilngton, WA. USA, on June 21, 2003.

 

An amazingly keen band of workers including CD Steve Helmick, ED Mel Lyne, judges, centre marshals and score keepers/tabulators Larry Bell, Ralph Simonds, Norm McFadden, Jim Green and Travis Lyne, score runner Alex  Simonds, and pull tester Chris Gomez pulled together to do an outstanding job running an exceptionally smooth contest.

 

Round one got underway with Mike Rule taking on Paul Vallins in a very hot match with lots of streamer hits by both fliers, but only one cut in the 5 minutes. 

 

 

(L-R) Robert Smith and pit man Jeff Riechel prepare for Roberts match against John Morrow. 

 

 

(Above) John Morrow removing his PAW from a damaged Warlord.

 

 

(Above) Paul Vallins from sponsoring company Cascade Aviation completes a prop change during a bout.

 

(Above) Bob Huber pitting for his daughter Milissa. Paul Dranfield took on Milissa Huber with some wild action and then a solid mid-air which removed Paul's motor. Paul was a cut ahead but stuck on the ground, Milissa taking the win and Paul getting a "Welded" PAW doorstop!

 

 

Paul Dranfield's (the webmaster) "Welded" PAW doorstop!

 

After Milissa's first round win she hit some tough matches with losses to Robert Smith, Paul Vallins, and Bob Nelson.

Milissa's Warlord took a direct hit during some wild action.

 

 

Jeff Riechel fitting a PAW15 into his Turncoat 

 

 

 

The Judges tent, ED Mel Lyne and score keeper Larry Bell.

 

Warlords were the combat model of choice during the event. 

 

 

Mike and Cayce Rule taking a break between matches.

 

 

 

 

 

Robert Smith accepting first place prize money from  ED Mel Lyne

 

 

Paul Vallins accepting second place prize money. Paul very generously donated his cash winnings to Children's Orthopedic Hospital of Seattle.

John Thompson accepting third place prize money.

 

Mike Rule wins the best crash award, but wait a minute.........

.........this should go to Paul Dranfield, he got a welded door stop. Alas, the judge's decision is final, Mike gets the best crash trophy!

 

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This page was last updated on 02/21/04.