The 2017 SAM Champs

23 - 27 October
On the El Dorado Dry Lake in Boulder City Nevada

By Mike Myers, Contest Manager

September Update for 2017 SAM Champs Website

Champs entries—as usual—are low. You folks must be figuring out what models you’re going to break before you fill out your entry forms. Not to worry, that is pretty normal. We expect to see a flood of entries in September. But we have a good prize out there for folks who enter before September 22—a shot at a NIB Ohlsson Gold Seal Replica engine. And with low early entries, your chances of winning are good!

Good news from the Quality Inn and the conference room situation for evening meetings and socializing. We will have the use of the hotel’s conference center for four nights running---from Sunday night through Wednesday night. We can spread the action out—and increase the chance for socializing with other Champs people through the week. Speaking of the Quality Inn, I am advised that we have filled our block of rooms held at the Champs rate. If there are cancellations you might be able to get in. Call “Julie” at 702 293-6444 and see what begging and pleading can do for you. If that fails try the Hoover Dam Lodge a couple of miles down the road, any of the half dozen or so motels in Boulder City proper or the Railroad Pass Casino about six miles away. .

We will have a swap meet/collecto at this year’s Champs. We will hold it on Tuesday night from 6:30 to 8:30. Our entry blank did not have a listing for swap meet tables. But if you want a selling table, tables will cost $10. Contact either the registrar Dave Meriwether, or contest manager Mike Myers—at the same e-mail address You can pay for the seller tables at the door—but we’d like to know how many sellers we’ll have. If we run out of tables then those who reserved the tables first will get them. So let us know early if you intend to sell.

We’ll also hold the engine raffle on Tuesday night. Raffle Master Ron Boots is chomping at the bit to swing into action as raffle master maybe just one last time. If you have an engine or a kit you’d like to donate to the raffle, please contact Ron.

We will hold the concours and the membership meeting on Wednesday night. We’ll have more table room to display those beautiful models—and since Concours Chief Bob Galler insists that the model be flown at the Champs before it can be entered in the Concours that will also give you three days to put a flight up.

Now a word about the OT RC glider event. At some prior SAM Champs there was a rigid rule that only pre 1950 glider designs could fly. At other prior SAM Champs, and in the interest of increasing the number of gliders flown, that rule was relaxed and any all wood rudder/elevator only RC glider could fly. There’s been a bit of a kerfuffle this year over what gliders should be eligible to fly with good arguments on both sides.

So here is the resolution—Ed Hamler RC CD would prefer that folks adhere to the 1950 cutoff date—but will allow R/E “woodies” to fly. However if 5 or more pre 1950 gliders show up, then only those pre 1950 gliders will be eligible for prizes.

We will also be conducting an Altitude Limited Old Timer (ALOT) event. As Contest Manager, I’ll get first through fifth place stickers for that event. I know that we will have some spare ALOT units available that a flyer can borrow at the Champs if he wants to take a shot at the event. Bill Copeland of SAM 21 and Ed Hamler of SAM 27 are the experts on this event. If you plan to fly the ALOT event contact them before you come to the Champs for their latest iteration of the event rules.

Over on the Free Flight side, Ted Firsters wants me to tell you that yes, we will fly the 020 Replica event—which somehow got dropped off the entry blank we printed last month. So if you’ve got that little 020 Replica hummer, you can fly it at the SAM Champs. Make a note on your entry blank when you send it in, and we’ll fix the records here.

Ted also points out that flights in the 36 inch Bungee Launch Glider event, and in the Tomboy event will not count for the Special Events Championship Award.

A good part of the joy of a SAM Champs is the opportunity to see and socialize with old friends, and to make some new ones. At the 2015 SAM Champs Dave Harding and Colin Widdison ran a very successful “Dave’s Pub” at a small executive hospitality suite the hotel had. There were some issues—the room was a bit small and Colin and Dave had to take all the drinks and stuff out of the place at the end of each evening. A number of folks contributed some snacks and adult beverages to get the ball rolling the first night of Dave’s Pub, and others contributed during the rest of the week. Having the use of the conference center (which has refrigerators and a full commercial kitchen) this year opens new possibilities. The conference center also has room for 120 people. You’ll see references to “Members Social” on the revised Champs contest calendar. We hope that a lot of the Champs participants will choose to spend at least a bit of time in evening at the conference center. We’re planning on showing some interesting aviation related movies during the week—either on the screen on the conference center stage or on one or more televisions brought into the center.

We can’t sell alcohol, but we can give it away. So we’ll have wine and beer for the reception on Sunday night. During the next three nights there’ll be some chips and cheese and stuff that folks might want to contribute along with whatever soft drinks or adult beverages you might choose to bring and share. Boulder City itself has some interesting restaurants for dinner, and Las Vegas has its own siren call—but drop in to the conference and hang out with the rest of the contestants for a while on those “social” nights.

2017 Champs Event Schedule

Date and Time



Sunday October 22

Registration 4-6 pm

Reception 6-9 pm

Quality Inn Conference Center

Monday 8 am-4pm


Members Social

Eldorado Dry Lake

Quality Inn

Tuesday 8 am-4pm


Members Social

Swap Meet & Engine Raffle 7-9 pm

Eldorado Dry Lake

Quality Inn

Wednesday 8am-4pm


Eldorado Dry Lake

Wednesday Evening

Concours 6:30 to 8:00 pm

Membership Meeting 8:00 pm

Members Social

Quality Inn Conference Center

Thursday 8 am-4pm


Members free evening

Eldorado Dry Lake

Friday 8 am3:30 pm


Eldorado Dry Lake

Friday October 27 6:30 pm

Awards Banquet

The Forge Social House

Boulder City

For the Full Program and Entry Form Click Here

This NIB Ohlsson Gold Seal replica engine will be the prize in a drawing limited to those 2017 Champs contestants who register before September 22 nd.  The winner will be announced at the Sunday night reception.

We will not have a model of the year event for the 2017 Champs. Instead we will have a Managers and CD’s choice for the best model in each of four categories, as well as the traditional Championship awards.

Ron Boots will once again run the engine raffle which will take place at the Wednesday Swap Meet / Concours. Buy your tickets early along with your entry form submittal. Ron always comes up with an outstanding collection, some of which will be on your must have list.

2017 is the 49 th annual SAM Champs, so I had artist Dawn Burrows draw up a Champs logo using a WW II style squadron patch. Polo shirts, hats and tee shirts will be available with that squadron patch. See the entry form for prices etc.

So come on down and join the fun at Boulder City in October, 2017.

Mike Myers