The 59th Annual

Southwest Regionals Model Airplane Championships

    Eloy, Arizona      

17, 18, 19 JAN 09

24 MAR 09

Eloy, Arizona was again the site of the SW Regionals. The weather was about as nice as we have ever seen it. When Elmer Nelson and I went to the field on the preceding Wednesday to lay out parking and the flight lines for Free Flight, we found a number of FFers testing. By Saturday morning there was a good crowd.

SWR is actually 3 contests - AMA Free Flight, FAI Free Flight, and SAM RC Old Timers. We also hold an informal Saturday swap meet at the field on Saturday afternoon.


This is a picture of the awards for all 3 contests. The background is a photograph of Picacho Peak, taken by Greg Tutmark at SWR 2008.

The change we made in 2008 was to spread out AMA/NFFS/SAM Free Flight over 3 days continues to work well. The RC Old Timer contest has been running their effort as 3 days as far back as I can remember, but now, due to suggestions and a survey, we switched to 3 days at AMA etc FF. The weather was just great, but things seemed more relaxed and I was concerned that maybe we had fewer entrants, but a review of each event's results showed many events with more than the usual suspects turning in times. In terms of numbers, there were 54 entrants in AMA etc Free Flight, 52 in FAI Free Flight, and 18 in RC Old Timer.

Watch for Elmer Nelson's [the president of the Phoenix Model Airplane Club] report on SWR Free Flight, both contests, in the NFFS Digest! 

Pictures are courtesy of Doug Klassen, John Nystedt, Elmer Nelson, Eut Tileston, Gerald Martin, Mike Woodhouse, and Caley Ann Hand.



AMA/NFFS/SAM Free Flight

click on the small pictures to see them full size

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Bruce Augustus, on the chase bike, confers with Bud Romak. JN

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Here's Bud with a Foote Westerner, looks like a Super Cyclone up front. JN


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That Super Cyclone pulls OK! JN

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AMA CD desk; Al on the left; Bob McKeon on the right. Chris Lidberg is on the tailgate covering his A1 wing. JN


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Lee Hines with his catapult glider.JN

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Tim Batiuk with his CLG in the HLG/CLG 'pen'. Norm Furutani looks for lift. JN

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Daniel Heinrich with his big Satellite. JN

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Dan Kaiser with a Texan. JN


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Gene Wicks in action with a big T'Bird. JN

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Steve Roselle, Gerald Martin, and Jim O'Reilly with Gerald's Gollywock. JN

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Bob Hanford, doing OK! JN

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Ted Firster with his Strato Streak .020 Replica. DK


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I've looked at this picture a dozen times - and I'll let you write your own caption for it! One suggestion: "Never give up something that you love doing!" DK


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Lots of neat engines were offered at the swap meet, including this group of green Orwicks. DK

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Toby Blizzard had this Zenith old timer for sale. Guess it's not a real good idea to fill wings with helium! DK

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Zeek-ers! Gene Wicks, Elmer Nelson & Tom Gaylor. EN


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Dan and Tom Carman with Texans. EN

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Bruce Augustus with big Ram Rod. EN

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Bernie Crowe with 'MAXIE', John O'Donnell's Wakefield from 1953. MW

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John Bailey of the UK came over to fly his FAI power model in AMA A Gas - which he did, taking 2nd place. He gave me this collection of stickers.


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Bud Romak - even the exceptional modelers break one now and then. MW

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Carl Redlin and Paul Andrade, rubber flyers. CAH


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Sevak, George and Taron Malkhasyan

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This picture was taken at the SW Regionals at Buckeye circa 1963-65 and represents all of the California Free Flight entrants. I'm [Al] in it because even though I was from Phoenix, I had come over from Navy duty in San Diego for the contest. Back row: Kenny Happerset, Al Lidberg, Nat Antonioli, Ray VanDeWalker, Sal Taibi, Ed Simpson, Jere Lesnick, Tom Carman. Front row: Joe Lombard, Ronnie Young, Jim Scarborough, Bob Beecroft, Larry Simpson, Don Doyle. The picture is neat for another reason - Tom Carman, at the right end of the top row, was also here at SWR 2009! The picture was found on the internet by Larry Huerta of the Phoenix Model Airplane Club who sent it along to me.


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Carl Redlin flys a Gollywock, too. MW


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Dan Keegan with a SAM fuselage model. MW

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Dick Nelson - check out Dick's ideas on wing spars here. That's a very wide box spar. MW

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Frank Pollard with Rapier rocket model. MW


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Gerald Brown. MW

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Glenn Schneider. MW

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John Oldenkamp. MW

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Organized storage! Believe the racks are closet organizers from a big box store. MW

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Jim O'Reilly looking happy about something. MW


Observations from AL

Our turnout was great - slightly bigger than last year at 54 entrants. Now that the AMA contest has grown to 3 days, we've discovered that it's more difficult than before to satisfy 'everyone' with respect to placement of events on specific days. One comment I heard was, "You can't put P-30 on Monday, no one will fly it!". Sure, there's that fear we have that lots of people will go home Sunday afternoon, but we did schedule P-30 on Monday and had 11 entrants, so Monday isn't such bad news after all. We have grown to 41 events, offering all of the NFFS National Cup events, plus many AMA, NFFS and SAM events. SWR 2009 was designated a National Cup "Exempt" contest, which is a good thing for folks who are chasing National Cup points. Speaking of that, when you see the National Cup winners for 2008, you'll realize that many of those high finishers fly with us at Eloy!

The weather was very nice. Maybe it was a little cold Saturday morning, but each of the 3 days got into the mid and high 70s. Wind wasn't bad at all and we had set up the AMA & FAI flight lines for a possible move from the north side of parking to the south side. Sure enough, at about mid-day, models began landing near their launch points on the north line, signaling the beginning of the 180 deg shift in direction, so we relocated everyone to the south flight lines each day. By late afternoon, the winds got stronger, but there was only a little blowing dust.

This was the first year in a very long time that Greg Tutmark wasn't able to be with us, holding down the officials' desk. Lots of people asked about him and we can hope that he's able to return with us for 2010. Sitting in for him and helping me at the desk were Bob McKeon, Chris Lidberg and Annie Lidberg - see, Greg, how many people it took to do your job!

We got a real treat this year watching a couple of Junior flyers from California, Taran and Sevak Malkhasyan. These boys really know how to fly hand [i.e. tip launch] launch and catapult gliders. They know how to find lift and they really know how to achieve altitude. 

Bob Hanford was really busy this year, taking 5 firsts and 3 thirds in gas events. My son Chris asked Bob about his fuel pressure systems and learned some useful tricks. Sadly, we learned that R. Hanford, the 'elder', Bob's dad, passed away some days after the contest. He was a real gentleman, seen at Eloy in years past, and a darn good modeler - who will be missed.

It was good to see Bruce Augustus flying with us - believe this means that the weather in Idaho was clear enough to let him fly out. Funny thing tho - as he drove off the field on Monday, he said something like, "See you at the SAM Champs in Las Vegas, where I'll give you flying lessons!". When I asked if that would be in the Bonanza, he said, with a big smile, "No, no, model flying lessons!".

Over at the eastern end of the flight lines, Ben Nead and some helpers were conducting the Carlo Godel Rapier [modern replacement for Jetex rocket motors] postal contest. In this special event, builders send their models to Ben who undertakes to fly them all with contest-furnished motors from the same production batch. Evidently the wind and some other difficulties prevented completing those flights, but Ben will pick up on this at the Marana field near Tucson or at the next Eloy contest in February. Ed Augst, one of Ben's assistants, flew his own model in the SWR Jetex/Rapier event and took first.

Caley Ann Hand from 29 Palms, CA brought over a P-30 for her first contest entry. She got in her flights and was quite pleased at that mark of success. She began the hobby with RC models [only club in her home area flys RC], but that wasn't much fun for her. She also flys Rapier rocket models, so she also came to Eloy for Ben's postal contest. 

Dick Nelson won the Powerhouse event this time around. Each previous time, Powerhouse had been won by Jean Andrews, so now Dick will have to have his name engraved on the perpetual trophy.

It was really great to see Gerald Martin from Hereford, TX at Eloy flying his Gollywock. Gerald is usually seen flying RC Old Timers, but he hasn't been traveling much for a while and really wanted to fly that rubber model.

Three people entered Twin Pusher. Jim O'Reilly's model never achieved the altitude of the other 2, but it managed to stay up the longest, with but 14 seconds separating the 3 places. This is a SAM event and the models tend to be of early 1930s design. Jim is the new president of SAM [Society of Antique Modelers] by the way.

Some words from Greg Tutmark

Hi all- As Al mentioned, I was not there this season. An unplanned financial crisis pretty much demanded I not go on the road this winter-

Some things anyway - First, Congratulations to Dick Nelson for having finally separated Jean Andrews from the Powerhouse Trophy. I suspect some sort of Tucson conspiracy. Just wait until next year - Dick - put your name on the trophy and bring it to the next SWR and maybe I can win it from you.

Been a tough season - We lost some great friends. Bill Langelius, Art Hillis and most recently, Bob "the ELDER" Hanford. Bill always seemed to have a cheerful smile and a good word. Art, the lanky slow-talking cowboy, was a pretty decent jet driver - I remember sitting with Art one night at the SWR OT campfire listening to his tale of getting a passenger jet into some middle of nowhere airport in a blizzard. He took it "business as usual". And what can I say about Bob Hanford? He was a genuine straight shooter. He was a crusty, and still humorous individual; and you couldn't ask for a more worthy competitor - or a better friend. These men will be missed. Fare thee well, friends

Marion Keegan - Keep my coffee cup ready for next year 


AMA etc Results



2009 FAI Southwest Regionals Model Airplane Championships


The weather for the 2 days of FAI flying at the 59th SWR was pretty nice with blue and sunny Arizona skies. On Saturday, Jan. 17, it started out a cool 40°F with winds at 8mph but then dropping to 4mph. It then warmed up to 74°F with the wind speed increasing again in the afternoon. Sunday morning was a bit warmer with 42°F heating up to 78°F and nearly calm until 11 AM.

We had a total of 52 sportsmen signed up for the 8 FAI events. They were from  AZ, CA, CO, CT, KS, LA, MI, NV, OH, OK, OR, PA, TX, WA and Great Britain (3) and Bosnia-Herzegovina. F1A, F1B, F1C/P were decided on Saturday. Jim Parker was the only one in F1A to do the 5 min. in the 5-man fly-off and repeated his win of the December Arizona Champs. Blake Jensen, the 2008 F1B America’s Cup winner, also repeated his December win by coming out ahead in the 5-man F1B fly-off. Paul Crowley launching in the F1B fly-off was not so lucky. As he jumped on his retrieval bike he inadvertently hit the RDT button which brought his Wakefield down in 27 seconds. In F1C/P Ed Carroll was the only one to get all 7 maxes to win this combined event. In F1Q, the electric event, we had 7 people (Julie Faust and 6 guys) flying. The max. motor run was 25 sec. but all used 20 seconds. After 7 rounds we had 3 with all maxes.. The F1Q fly-off was the last on Saturday with a 10 sec. motor run. Bernie Crowe was the only one to achieve the 180 seconds and won like in December. We had 4 FAI Juniors flying. Miles Johnson from Connecticut , the F1A winner last year at Las Vegas, was the highest score Junior and was 2nd overall in F1A.

On Sunday we flew F1G, F1H and F1J. In F1J we had only 3 flying. Faust Parker was the only one to max-out to again win the “Bear” as he did in 2008. After 5 rounds in F1G there were still 6 flyers (Tiffaney O’Dell and 5 guys) all clean and also in F1H 5 sportsmen were maxed-out. At the end of the last round it had become really windy and some dust was blowing – and big thermals were still about. We waited and then decided to have the F1G and F1H fly-offs at the MaxMen Sunday in Lost Hills.

A big thank you to all participants and to Elmer Nelson, Mike Bower, Tom Gaylor and my wife Brigitte who all made this contest a memorable event.

Peter Brocks, CD     

P.S.  The fly-offs for the classes F1G and F1H were held on Feb. 15 in Lost Hills, CA. They were held about 1 hour after sunrise in cold windy conditions. The F1H “Bear” goes to Brian Van Nest while the F1G “Bear” again will be with Tiffaney O’Dell.  


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Very nice action sequence of Mike Roseberry's F1Q electric. JN

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Bernie Crowe with his F1Q, waiting for lift. JN

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Bernie launches. JN

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Elmer Nelson with his F1B. Will have to ask him how effective that color trim scheme is! JN


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Something's just not right here [Elmer again]! JN

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Rich Roarke launches F1B. That's Eugene Jensen at the right. JN


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Jim Parker 2 for 1 retrieval of F1As! JN

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Ed Carroll with 4 bladed prop F1C. JN

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Lynn Pulley with F1C. JN

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Lynn launches. JN

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Mike Woodhouse, our frequent visitor from the UK, with his F1B. JN


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Peter Brocks, FAI CD, confers with Larry Bagalini, F1Q flyer. JN


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Tiffany O'Dell & Blake Jensen, F1B day. JN

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Al Ulm with F1B. JN

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Elmer Nelson at the right observing Paul Crowley with F1Bl. JN

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F1Q electric flyoff: L. Bagalini, B. Crowe, M. Roseberry. JN

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F1C action. JN


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Larry Bagalini launches F1Q. JN

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Are we still trying to tell people how simple free flight can be? DK


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Nice holder for FAI power model. MW

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Dave Oldfield from the UK with F1A. MW

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Here's a multi-function timer in an F1B. MW


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Elmer Nelson anticipating a good flight. MW

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Tiffany O'Dell, editor of the NFFS Digest and winner of F1G. CAH

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John Bailey from the UK. CAH

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Elmer, concentrating now. MW



FAI Results

[The FAI scores attachment shows the final scores after the Feb. 15th fly-offs.]


RC Old Timers


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Don Bishop launches his Bomber. DK

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Nice Clipper Mk II. DK

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Dale Tower with an electric Bomber. DK

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Under the cowling of the electric Bomber. DK

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Key Crawford holds while Eut Tileston cranks. DK

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Key launches the little Taylor Cub, not a Piper. Eut tells me that these were also known as "Silver Cubs" without the color finish. DK

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George Tallent holds / Bob Hawkins cranks. DK

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Bob Hawkins does like those Bombers! DK

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Bob's trim scheme from above. DK

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Key Crawford sends his big Hayseed off. DK

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Kloud Queen with a Brown Jr. DK

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Sheet metal mount for a McCoy .60. DK

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Phil Pearce and his electric Dallaire. DK

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RC1 with Ohlsson .60. Could have sworn the picture was backwards - see the number on the body side - but, notice that the printing on the prop reads correctly. DK

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Bob Holman launches for Rick. DK

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Thermal Magnet. DK

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Foote Westerner. DK

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Looks like all of the RC Old Timer entrants, with names. Naming was a joint effort on the internet's SAM Talk. GM


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From Key Crawford: I guess that this picture depicts the "blind hog that finally found an acorn!"  The award was for 1st place in Ohlsson Sideport.  Bob Hawkins and I were in a fly-off for 1st and 2nd.  We decided to do it the first thing Monday morning, since the wind got a little frisky about quitting time Sunday afternoon.  In the cold morning air, I managed to flood my Ohlsson, and I believe that "the Hawk" got off with a lean run which heated the element in his spark plug and caused his engine to over-run.  I just remember that when I finally cleared the flooded engine and Bob Angel released my airplane (the Pink and Yellow Thermal Magnet in Doug's pictures) I heard people telling me that I was the winner because of Hawkins' over-run.  The first words out of my mouth were, "Let's fly it over!"  I heard a very quiet but definite, "No!" from Bob Angus who was standing behind me.  Hawkins and I were both really looking forward to competing head to head.  All that I had to do was to land in the landing zone, and I won.  It really didn't taste too good to win like that! Pic probably from DK
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Texas Eagles, SAM 105: Gerald Martin, Bob Hawkins & Key Crawford. GM


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I think you did the right thing asking Bob to let fly again Hawkins and Bob Angus did the right thing as CD saying No, and finally you did the honest thing landing your plane in the landing zone. Contests are contests! Anyway the Texan team brought back home the first and second place. Congratulations Key, from Alfredo Herbon. DK
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George Tallent's place at Picacho, AZ, a few miles down the road from Eloy, going toward Tucson. Residence is above the middle with the shop at the top of the picture. RC OT flyers congregate there before the SWR contest and often do test flying from George's yard! ET

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The cookout. DK

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The Griswolds, cooking. DK

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In the cool evening after the cookout, a fire is most welcome. DK


RC Old Timer Results


Well, that's our contest. We [SW Regionals Modelers Association] may have as much fun putting the contest together as the contestants do flying in it!

AMA/NFFS/SAM  FAI / Randy Archer Invitational RC Old Timers
CD: AL Lidberg CD: Peter Brocks CD: Bob Angus


We would like to see YOU here at Eloy next year for the 60th anniversary Southwest Regionals!

Watch for announcements for the MLK long weekend in January, 2010.

Southwest Regional Modelers Association
AL Lidberg, Peter Brocks, Elmer Nelson, John Nystedt, Steve Riley, Bob Angus, Greg Tutmark, John Patton, and Herman Andresen.

Back to SW Regionals Introduction

Webmaster, editor, caption writer: Al at