In 1986 our flying field was very basic. We had a few make shift shades, some carpeting for pits and dirt runway. Our club, the Desert Hawks, had about 20 members, half of which were Snowbirds. For those who do not know what a snowbird is, they are generally retired people that spend their winters in warmer climates. Of those I have had the pleasure of meeting and working with, I can only say that their enthusiasm they bring really invigorates our club.
The prospects of generating very much money for field improvements or even maintenance were pretty small. As with any small club, we needed to think of some way to generate income. I suggested we try putting on a float fly. We have a lake and a RC trade show was coming up soon and being in the business of RC, I figured my wife Katie and I could go to the trade show and get some goodies to give away as prizes. We still needed to get participants to fly in this event.
I called a friend in Southern California, Robin Hambly, owner of Robins Hobby in Glendale, Calif. and head of a loose organization of flyers called the Port-A-Potti pilots. Robin would suggest that they go somewhere and fly and generally a bunch would show up and have a great time. I invited Robin and his Port-A-Potti pilots to come to Lake Havasu and join our float fly. Thanks to Robin, 16 of their pilots showed up and we had our first float fly. Although I did not get a firm Yes or No when I proposed the idea of a float-fly to the club, when it came time for members to man the various tasks required to present the event, 90% of the members showed up to help.
As mentioned above, Katie and I attended the IMS show in Pasadena in 1987. Katie went around to our many friends in the RC industry and collected hundreds of dollars of products to give away at our fledgling event. She collected so much merchandise that after we had exhausted all the usual reasons for giving away prizes, we resorted to " has anyone had a birthday in the last year?" and they would get a prize.
This was the genesis of the London Bridge Seaplane Classic that continues today, more than 29 exciting years.
The London Bridge Seaplane Classic has endured all these years because of the dedication and hard work of the members of the Desert Hawks R/C Club. The event continues to be one of the premier float fly events in the country and those who attend as participants will attest to the quality of this great event.
The event has met all of the original goals:
1. Create an event that is fun for participants and spectators alike.
2. Create cash flow for the club to maintain their field.
3. Spread the word about our great hobby.
4. Gain additional exposure for our lovely city
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