Posted by Ron Graham
Posted on 10/4/2015
My first IMAC contest is one of my best memories. I came home from the contest without my plane. I simply didn’t have a garbage bag big enough for all the pieces.
So how did this happen and why did I still have a good time and keep at it? The answer is the people who were there. So here’s the story.
I had bought a used 50cc Aeroworks Yak which was a fantastic IMAC plane. I practiced the basic routine dozens of times with the guidance of my “coaches” Kent Fabbro and Lee Prevost. With their encouragement, I entered my first contest at the Flying Tigers event hosted by Jim Daly.
Everything went really well for my first round. Despite my nerves due to the judges behind me, I got through both sequences without too many difficulties. It was the landing where everything went wrong. The approach was good, the skies were clear, the wind was minimal and at the last minute, a giant tree jumped in front of the plane. All I heard was the crunching as it dropped from branch to branch and ended up in a pile at the base.
Now anyone who has flown at the Flying Tigers field in Cayuga, Ontario, knows the tree as it actually looks like a creepy hand reaching to the left. So what to do next? I literally picked up the pieces, put them in my van and helped by judging, scribing, and calling for the rest of the contest.
Everyone was very supportive and not a negative word was spoken of my mistake. It was this positive support that made me realize more than ever that this is what I wanted to do. A loaner plane from Lee kept me in the game until I could buy a new 100cc Aeroworks 260.
Well eight or so years later and I am now flying Intermediate and have had a great and memorable time at every contest I have attended. I even recently drove 10 hours each way for a contest in Saranac Michigan as it would be the final contest for me for this season and I just wanted to fly with my friends.
You will definitely hear the same thing at every contest, “it’s not the competition we’re here for, but rather the camaraderie”. Keep practicing and go to every contest you can and build a pile of great memories for yourself.
Brendan Grace is a College Professor who makes his home in Sudbury, Ontario. He has been flying RC for 8 years and started flying IMAC in 2010. This year he flew in Intermediate and says that he is thrilled to finally be flying in the same class with those who inspired me throughout the past 6 seasons.