Rick Bynaker emits an evil cackle
as he gets the young Andrew Kieffe in his sights.
GM Doug Porterfield fends off John
Keatings' maneuvers in an opening circus.
Paul Weintraub and David Anderson
duel during a circus meeting. Paul missed qualifying when he
was shot down in his last flight.
Mark Smith discovers the true
Red Baron-ess as Kaarin donns her lucky headgear to add a touch
of authenticity to the theme.
Makes Good ...
The roar of rotary engines again filled the skies over Lancaster.
In the short week, many flights occurred during the nightly Circuses
and battles continued throughout the area under the free formatting
style of this event. With its two books and short game time,
many chose to work in a game or two while waiting for other activities
or just where they can find a bit of room to sit and enjoy a
Continuing with the style of the past, combats during the
week led to qualification for the Final Circus. During the week,
several good dogfights occurred and a couple not-so-good ones.
Twice during the free flying time, a dogfight ended after the
third move with a shot down. Since 2 points a turn is required,
this is the shortest a dogfight can go not really something
the loser wants to dwell on. I know that both losing pilots continued
flying and did shoot others down later.
Six pilots earned their way into the Final Circus. Bill Burch
flew to the top spot with 12 wins in 15 flights while only being
shot down once, on his last flight before the Final. The next
set of qualifiers had less gaudy records. Andrew Kiefte, Doug
Porterfield, Richard Irving, and Bruce Young all had 46 or 47
points in 15 flights to qualify. This provides for an average
flight score of just over three points, which means they usually
shoot down their opponent or end the dogfight with more damage
inflicted on the other pilot, but on a rare occasion or two met
sudden death in the skies. Rounding out the field was a close
contest between Paul Weintraub and Ray Stakenas II. Ray, known
as the "Yellow Baron" for some of his previous exploits,
edged into the sixth and final spot for the Circus when Paul's
last free form flight was shot down by Tom Knapp, costing him
a shot in the Final Circus.
The Final included two former champions, three previous laurelists,
and one green pilot. Andrew Kiefte was the rookie flying among
the aces. A round robin duel ensued over five rounds. In Round
1, Andrew faced 2004 Champion Bruce Young and managed to win
in a dual kill by virtue of damaged caused, 8 to 6. Bill Burch
flew against Ray and won 7 to 6. Rich and Doug used this first
stanza for shooting practice by continually shooting each other
into overtime as the highest score of the session was achieved
with Doug making the first mistake to allow Rich to win 11.5
In Round 2, Bruce ambushed Ray for a quick 6 points. Andrew
flew this round against two-time Champion, Rich Irving, and again
scored an upset 6:2 victory. Doug fought Bill for an extended
dogfight with multiple hits at medium and far ranges before finally
prevailing 7.5 to 5.5.
In Round 3, Ray found redemption and handed Andrew his first
loss, 6-0. Welcome to the Final Circus! Bruce continued his Ace
ways with a quick 6 to 2 victory over Doug. Rich and Bill settled
in for a long dogfight with Bill scoring his second victory;
7 to 4. After three rounds, Andrew, Bill, and Bruce led with
two wins each, but everyone remained in the hunt with at least
Rich and Ray began Round 4 with a close-up, head-on maneuver
(the famous page 20). Unfortunately for Ray, the start was the
high point and, after a lengthy battle, Rich prevailed, 7 to
2. Bill pulled ahead of Bruce in a battle of the leaders with
a 6 to 2 victory. Doug found another win at 7 to 2 against Andrew.
Bill now held the lead as the only pilot with three wins.
It was up to the Young Turk, Andrew to reel in the leader, but
he was no match for the veteran as
Bill earned his first AOA title with a 6-3 win over the
newcomer. Ray again rallied and held a hard fought victory over
Doug, 6 to 5. Ending the day, Rich and Bruce fought the longest
battle of the Circus. With the other results already posted,
it became known that this flight was for second place. Rich finally
prevailed, 6 to 4.
Richard Irving and Gordon Stewart
trade shots during one of the preliminary Circus "heats".
The scheduled Circus heats only help locate opponents. Games
can be played anytime and anywhere.
Bruce Young and William Burch duel
in the round robin with William scoring a 6-2 decision to win
his first AOA title. This win put Bill in the lead and
deprived Bruce of his second AOA title.