And Now For Something Different
Once again, the intreped and fearless pilots took to the air
to battle for control of the skies over the WBC. This year, we
had fewer pilots, but those who flew had more flights, thanks
to the nightly gatherings at the Hopewell aerodrome at the Lancaster
Most of last year's top pilots were back at it this year,
and 2004's Ace of Aces, the Baron von Richthofen of the WBC,
Bruce Young, had the best record of the qualifying round. He
shot down his opponents with frightening proficiency. 17 of his
t23 opponents fell victim to his twin guns. He was only shot
down twice, and one of those was a face-to-face double kill.
Paul Weintraub again had the most flights, but unlike last
year, he was at the losing end of most of them and did not advance.
He did however contribute prizes for the Final and really helped
make the event special.
Scheduling the Final was a problem this year, as the original
time was good for no one. We then had to pick a good time and
the only time that most of the players could make it was a bad
time for Young, as he had to pick between Nappy Wars or Ace of
Aces (Ah, the curse of winning too much). Bruce opted for Nappy
Wars, leaving things open for a new flier to pin the Blue Max
to his chest.
The Final consisted of Richard Irving, the pilot with the
second best score in the qualifying rounds, Phil Barcafer, Chris
Villeneuve and Ray Stakenas Sr. AND Jr. None of the alternates
appeared, so Bruce got 6th place by default, as the rest of the
finalists flew a round robin.
Proving that his record in the qualifying round was no fluke,
Irving started off by shooting down his first three opponents.
Barcafer shot down his first opponent, but barely survived to
make it back to base. He chased off his next and then lost sight
of the third opponent before a shot was fired. Stakenas Sr. destroyed
one opponent, but was shot down twice. Villeneuve was never shot
down, but he was unable to finish off anyone either. Poor Starkenas
Jr. must have had some harsh words for his ground crew, because
it seemed like he was flying with jammed guns. He did not score
a single point of damage in the final round.
By the time the last flight took off, the end result was known.
Barcafer tried to crash Irving, but only managed a draw. Even
if he had shot Irving down, Irving still would have won, based
on his earlier success. So Richard Irving took the wood and a
die cast 1:24th scale Sopwith Camel, donated by Paul Weintraub.
Barcafer took second, Villenueve third, Stakenas Sr. fourth,
and hapless Stakenas Jr won a die cast US Mail Plane, also donated
by Paul, which is the only thing he is qualified to fly anymore.
Again, I would like to thank all the participants who made
this such a success. We had a small, but incredibly enthusiastic
group of participants, all of whom displayed the utmost in sportsmanship.