2014 IAC Open West Champions, 40th Annual Happiness is Delano

Congratulations to the 2014 IAC Open West Champions Jake Carter, Beth Stanton, Cameron Jaxheimer, Sam Mason, and Tim Just.

The 40th Annual Happiness is Delano in centennial late summer heat, in the Central Valley of Southern California north of Bakersfield, was a 44 competitor big contest, next to the last of the 2014 contests in California. IAC Chapter 26 hosted and Stephen de la Cruz Directed. Four Primary, nineteen Sportsman, ten Intermediate, six Advanced, and five Unlimited joined a dozen judges, staff and volunteers for the annual Delano and second IAC Open Championship West.

IAC Judges Howard Kirker, Malcolm Pond, Tim Just, Barrett Hines, Matthew Brill, Timothy Brill, Bob Meyer, Yohei Shiratori, Dave Watson, Margo Chase, Tom Meyers, and Mike Eggen selected the Champions at Delano.

Jake Carter flew for a win in Primary.  He and Zinnia Kilkenny both flew Dave Watson's Super-D N59AC. Jake was first, Zinnia second of all three flights in the field of four. This was Zinnia's first contest. Great start!  Jake's second contest.  Good going!  Jennifer Delp-Mallet flew her first contest at Delano.  Mark Guerrero flew his second.

Beth Stanton, whom we're getting to know and love from the fun column she's writing for us in Sport Aerobatics, won, came out on top, earned the championship title for Sportsman. She started out second on the Known to Scott Malherbe. She went on to win both flights of Sportsman Free, also flying Dave Watson's Super-D. It takes a lot of coaching, practice, and talent to top a field of almost twenty Sportsman pilots.  Congratulations, Beth!

Cameron Jaxheimer came out for the first time this year, and for the first time in Intermediate to win. He won by the slimmest of possible margins, one one-hundredth of a percantage point, less than one point total ahead of Contest Director Stephen de la Cruz. Stephen won the Known, always tough. He flies an S1T experimental Pitts. Christopher Combs won the Free. He flies an Edge 540. Cameron won the Unknown. He flies an Extra 300L.

We noted in the report about Coalinga earlier that Hiroyasu Endo was a strong contender for the Open West Champion title in Advanced. He won at Coalinga, and at the San Diego Hammerheads Roundup. He was second at the Duel in the Desert to Michael Hartenstine. Michael was also a contender. He was second at San Diego. However, as you have now read, Sam Mason won the title. This was Sam's first contest this year. Sam won every flight and overall with a margin of less than one and one-half percent. Michael Hartenstine was second and Hiroyaso Endo third in Advanced. These three top pilots all posted in the eighties. That means their average score on any figure was above eight. Pletty slick. The six competitor Advanced category was tough at Delano.

Hiroyaso Endo now has a slim margin over Michael Hartenstine in the SouthWest Regional Series. If both show up at the Nationals, or if Michael shows up, that series Champion title is in play. A quick check of the registration system shows Michael registered.

We're down to Unlimited. In the Southwest, Tim Just with his Extra 300S and Malcolm Pond with his Edge 540 have been trading the top spot. Howard Kirker with his Lazer 230 has been in the mix. It was the same here. Malcolm Pond won the known. Tim Just won the Free and the Unknown. Tim won overall.

Two Unlimited pilots, Yuichi Takagi and Howard Kirker flew in front of Tom Myers, Margo Chase, and Tim Just in performance of the Four Minute Free. Judges Margo Chase and Tim Just tied the two. Judge Tom Myers favored Yuichi Takagi in what we show as a Pitts S2S. A beautifully flown beautiful biplane won the Four Minute at Delano this year.

A big shout out to Dave Watson who does so much for his chapter, and shares so much of his love for aerobatics, and his airplanes, growing the sport one new pilot at a time. If you missed his great article in Sport Aerobatics about first time aerobatics in a glider, go back and read it. Super, much fun.

Thanks to scorekeeper Leni Malherbe and all of our scorekeepers for tracking the thousand grades recorded by judges at these contests.

IAC Open West Champions and category winners at Happiness is Delano, Delano, California

  • Primary, Zinnia Kilkenny, Super-D
  • Sportsman, Beth Stanton, Super-D
  • Intermediate, Cameron Jaxheimer, Extra 300L
  • Advanced, Sam Mason, Pitts S1S
  • Unlimited, Tim Just, Extra 300S

Four Minute Free Category Winner

Yuichi Takagi, Pitts S2S

Find full results for the 2014 IAC Open West Championship and 40th Anniversary Happiness is Delano posted at https://iaccdb.iac.org/contests/446

Be sure to check the IAC Contest Calendar for the next contest near you!

This weekend, the Rocky Mountain OYSTER at Lamar, Colorado; and the Salem Regional at Salem, Illinois. These are the last two regional contests before the U.S. Nationals in Sherman and Denison, Texas, September 21 to 26.