By Jim Bonnardel,
Wow, what a day! July 4th this year we really rolled out the red, white and blue carpet for our club members.
It was a great opportunity for us to do something that we have never done before, cater a fully hosted, whole hog BBQ, as well as have an event that no one else has had before, ANYWHERE!
The weather was perfect, the crowds were packing the beaches, bay and parks, but our little slice of heaven was perfectly fine, with only club members and their guests in attendance.
We started the day with the 100 lap race at the RotorPlex. A first time format of “Survivor Style” team selection, followed by a brief strategy session, then it was time to race.
Two teams, “ID4” and “Stars and Stripes” with 5 pilots each prepped their aircraft, selected their pilot rotation and FPV frequencies, then got ready to race. Scott Fuller set up the timing system to track the laps, and issued the transponders to the teams. Both teams worked out some intuitive systems to easily change the transponders like a baton in a relay race, and for the most part, that worked great. It was impressive to watch the teams work together when it came time to change out pilots. The race got under way around 10:00am, and was very exciting to watch. Spectators were impressed, and many commented as to how much fun it was to watch. The racing was close, up to about 35 laps, where Stars and Stripes was 5 laps ahead, until someone crashed at gate 1, and the team sent their runner out to fetch the aircraft. Getting the downed aircraft (and transponder) back gave team ID4 the chance to gain some of their down laps, and they did! When S&S was back on the pad ready to launch again, they were dead even at 40 laps each! We had another 20 laps of intense racing, with pilot changes happening at the same time for both teams. ID4 was only 2 laps down at 60 laps when they suffered a crash, deep into the field at the tunnel. It took them far too long to find the craft, and the transponder (which had ejected due to the ‘soft’ mounting system they devised) and by the time they got back onto the race track, they were 15 laps down. Stars and stripes continued to perform like a well-oiled machine and continued along to the 100 lap mark without any delays at all. GOOD JOB TEAM! The comradery and sportsmanship shown before, during and after the race truly was something to be a part of. Everyone had a great time, and competed with the highest degree of gracious professionalism.
On to the BBQ….. Club member and pit-chef extraordinaire Charles “Skip” Walton from Big Skip’s BBQ was first on scene on this holiday morning, arriving at the field before 05:00 to get the hog on the coals. Skip did us all real good, having a top-notch setup and menu. Paul Guidice was in charge of our big raffle, and of course, it was FREE to all club members in attendance. Paul had two big airplane’s and 3 gift certs to hand out, and the raffle was well received. Everyone loves free stuff! We were served right at the planned 1:00pm, and for about an hour, there was literally no one in the air flying as the food was too good to not take the time to enjoy it. Skip and his team (which includes his better-half Deena) fed about 125 people and there were leftovers to share. Lots of folks bugged-out once the lunch was served, and that was by design. I wanted to have an event that did not prevent you from other holiday festivities you may have had planned. There were about 25 pilots at the field after lunch, until about 5:00pm, when the evening folks started arriving in anticipation for the Sea World Fireworks. By 8:00pm we were back to about 150 people at the field. Using the portable PA, we played the accompanying music from the “Big Bay Boom” fireworks show, and once that finished, we simply turned around and watched the show from Sea World, as we have a pretty prime location for that show. Leaving the field, many took advantage of our secret exit strategy, and that was to exit straight across Sea World Drive, onto Old Sea World Drive, the road along the Jetty. It was a speedy exit to Friars Road as 99% of the public is headed for the 5 freeway and you get to avoid that. Overall, it was a LONG (16 hours for your club president), but extremely enjoyable day at the field.
Lastly, I’ll ask the membership to take a few minutes and personally thank your Board of Directors for this, and all the other events, games, food and FUN they are providing you in this club. SEFSD has become THE BEST RC CLUB in San Diego. More members, more events, more prizes, more participation and still, the best location in the county to fly. Sure, other clubs may have paved runways and shade structures, but no club offers you the free lunch, and the events that we do for your $45 per year. No greasy, oily tables, no noise, no ‘cracker box’ flying zones. We have 45 acres at our fingertips to fly in! If you want this board of directors to continue providing you all of these benefits, TELL THEM! Become active in this year’s vote for your representatives, or better yet, TAKE PART IN LEADERSHIP, it’s easier than you think.
Check out the pictures from July 4th at the club Facebook page taken by club ‘super mom’ Julie Njaa:
More great pics here.
Until next time,
Fly safe and have fun!