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View Full Version : Rare Bear Victory - A View From Afar



AAFO_WSagar
09-20-2004, 11:45 PM
I truly can hardly believe how my weekend went, but that's not the story here.

I'd been "watching" the drama develop all week, in between my necessarily frequent naps and the half hour that I have to devote about every 3-4 hours to preparing my MANY medicines for mixing into the food I've got to eat through a tube in my stomach... again, not the story here...

As I read the reports of problems with THE RARE BEAR, I could actually "feel" the crew's frustration and fatigue, I've been there with them, I know their dedication and vast VAST... that's not a big enough word ENOURMOUS fortitude that crew possess when it comes to being in the trenches with that airplane and problems.

Several times I bopped into the message board to see that THE RARE BEAR was all done, prompting me to have to hook into the "network" of phones that are on all of the team.. Stacey and I were both "cut off" from the action directly but he was the first to call each time, he was getting the "straight scoop" and then Sharon Coates and I would speak each time also before I opened my trap on the site here so that I did not spew anything that the team did not want said.. good or bad...

Bottom line... I just felt "there" for the most part, despite being 600 miles away and, well... pretty darn sick. And I could feel the crew's feelings, frustrations, active minds probing for an answer... an answer that finally came with Mel Greguire (excuse me Mel for slaughtering your name spelling) with the correct diagnosis of just exactly what was wrong with the Bearcat we all love..

My job for this year was to just to the best I could from home and stay healthy so I can live a few more years to enjoy Nellis, then Reno and whatever other shows for as many years as God's gonna let me.. I had a plan, my LOVELY lady (beer nazi) recently bought a wonderful getaway at the Washington coast and we were to head down there Saturday afternoon, missing only two hours of "coverage" because once we got there, I could hook into the new DSL line that I'd had installed the week prior, barring that, knowing how that stuff sometimes goes, at least we'd have the phone and I could use AOL and hook in and continue without a hitch, uploading photos, updates and results that Griffon Girl, Bill Pearce, Mike Gallagher and, some that I was gathering via phone...

You have to love service based jobs.... Yes MR. Sagar, the phone is active at this very moment, here is your number, the DSL decoder will be sent to you in time, all will be well...

Long story short, We got there and there was not even a dial tone, and my cell will barely work out there in the SW Washington boonies at the tip of the long Beach Penninsula....

Anyway... I was getting bits and peices of info, Was told about Bear's third place finish, prompting me to hope, PRAY for at least that on Sunday to keep the quest moving ahead.... maybe slower than we'd all like but moving, at least.. I learned of the wonderful race between Darryl and John Parker in the Sport Division, in short, I was getting updated pretty well as good as before I left to go to the "retreat" to try to heal myself and work on the site at the same time....

On Sunday, I knew it was getting close to UL Gold race time and my cell phone rang It was my good friend and associate Bob Avery founder of World of Wings who was calling me in the middle of the early started Gold Unlimited race with a play by play narritive, with sound....

Mind you, I barely have a voice right now, a whoop or wahoo is pretty well out of the question but when the description of Bear right on Dago's wing and the sound of both going by blending to one came over me via the phone, I was doing my best to keep control.... In the end, we were all totally pleased that the Bearcat had delivered another second place finish, this was certainly not the win/money that the team would like to see but... Solid baby SOLID.....

I immediately got off the phone with Bob and called Jim Misshner, a "former" Rare Bear crew member, who just by chance is undergoing the same fight that I am at the very same treatment center in Vancouver, Washington and told him of the second place.. he, as I was nearly in tears...

Hanging up on that call, It seemed only seconds later when Griffon Girl called and gave me the news about the cut and subsequent RARE BEAR GOLD WIN IN 2004! Which she confirmed, officially, while I was on the phone... Now, my no voice is actually trying to whoop and holler... Immediately I call Jim back, give him the news.... he is now closer to tears as I also am...

But I'm not done... I've gotta talk with ANYONE... I call Stacy and here was my warmest moment of the entire week... me: Congrats Stacy... Stacy: yea man... another second, we'll take it... me: where you at? Stacy: driving back to SFO for my flight back to Chicago, gotta be back to work afraid of missing the flight I had to leave right after the plane landed..... me: Stacy.... Dago Red cut a pylon, The Rare Bear has been declared the winner.... Stacy: no way!!! NO WAY!!!!!!! me: Way! YOU WON DOOD! YOU WON!!!!!!!!

Let's just say that I don't think Stacy or I will ever forget that moment.

I'm going to go back to talking a but about the week the guys and gals spent getting through the problems, which they did and did well, no matter how hard it was on them and you can bet your ass, it was hard on EACH AND EVERY MAN WOMAN AND CHILD on that team....

A crew who then handed their pilot a healthy airplane to race with and John Penney, my hat is off to you, I did not see the race, I heard it, I've seen a few pictures and from what I can see, you did exactly what you should of and could have done.... dog your opponent, dog him hard, push him, make him break or give you a break... which he did, plain and simple... Skip's human, humans can make mistakes!

Congratulations to ALL OF YOU GUYS! Congratulations to all of the fans who did their part to make this miracle happen and yes.... "DO YOU BELIEVE IN MIRACLES" fits here like a golve!

To those who I've seen make statements like "Bear won on a tech"

Winning is winning, you win by going across the finish line first after not getting any penalties that would drop you back. John Penney's Rare Bear victory over Dago Red and Skip Holm is NO less a victory because one pilot flew a line that contained a mistake and got caught in that mistake...

Don't you guys DARE take an ounce of the luster of this miracle away from these guys. They did it, they did it the hard way and it just does not get any better than this....

Thanks Lyle Shelton, John Penney, Sharon Coates, and the entire god blessed crew for bringing one of the most exciting races I've ever "heard" into being....

Thank you!!!!!!!!

WOOO HOOOO GOOOOO BEAR!!!!!!!!!!!!

God, I wish I could have been there!!!!!!!!!

Wayne Sagar

Leo
09-21-2004, 07:22 AM
It was wonderful to see!
Sometime I'd like to hear the full story of the week, as the rumors sure made it sound like hell on the crew.
I was so glad to even see her FINISH after the pit talk, from some good sources. I should know better.
Know doubt about it now, The Bear IS BACK!
Wayne, e-mail me and I'll get somthin' to ya.

Leo

Kilo Hotel
09-21-2004, 09:31 AM
[snip]

But I'm not done... I've gotta talk with ANYONE... I call Stacy and here was my warmest moment of the entire week... me: Congrats Stacy... Stacy: yea man... another second, we'll take it... me: where you at? Stacy: driving back to SFO for my flight back to Chicago, gotta be back to work afraid of missing the flight I had to leave right after the plane landed..... me: Stacy.... Dago Red cut a pylon, The Rare Bear has been declared the winner.... Stacy: no way!!! NO WAY!!!!!!! me: Way! YOU WON DOOD! YOU WON!!!!!!!!

Let's just say that I don't think Stacy or I will ever forget that moment.

[snip]

WOOO HOOOO GOOOOO BEAR!!!!!!!!!!!!

God, I wish I could have been there!!!!!!!!!

Wayne Sagar

Bless you, Wayne, you've got me all misted up, too.

First: I can't imagine what it cost you to write this, between naps and meds and radiation and feeling like crap, and not being able to be there in person. Thanks, from the bottom of my heart.

Second: To all the photographers and correspondents who've posted their stuff from race week, my heartfelt gratitude goes out to you all. I couldn't be there, either, but seeing the photos and reading the accounts on aafo have been a boon, a real lifeline.

Third: When is somebody gonna tell about Riff Raff's win in the Silver? All I know is that race 99 was one-flippin-tenth-of-a mph faster than Spirit of Texas, which my questionable meatware calculator translates to about two lousy plane lengths at the finish; that much I can get from the results on RARA's website. Musta been a great race: so talk to me, already!

speeddemon
09-21-2004, 09:46 AM
Third: When is somebody gonna tell about Riff Raff's win in the Silver? All I know is that race 99 was one-flippin-tenth-of-a mph faster than Spirit of Texas, which my questionable meatware calculator translates to about two lousy plane lengths at the finish; that much I can get from the results on RARA's website. Musta been a great race: so talk to me, already!


Miss A led from start to finish. She varied from between about 50 plane lengths at one point, down to maybe 20 or so near the end.

Riff Raff was close at the start, but settled into a comfortable second and stayed there. Hoot was flying his usual low, tight course that is such fun to watch. Behind him, Precious Metal and Spirit of Texas had a good battle going on for a couple of laps, until P.M. got caught in some turbulance, and allowed Dawson to get past him.

Dawson caught up to Gibson, and tried for several laps to get around him high and on the outside, but could never really get past him. They were racing pretty hard, and were visibly catching Miss A on the last two laps or so. Both just ran out of time.

So Riff Raff 'won', when Miss America chose to bump up to the Gold. Spirit of Texas was a very close second, and Precious Metal was third, about a half a straightaway back.

Kilo Hotel
09-21-2004, 09:56 AM
So that's how it went down; thanks, speeddemon. I do like the way Hoot flys the course. Was he penalized for low flying again this year?

dineega
09-21-2004, 10:02 AM
Well said Wayne!!

Both crews were awesome and worked so hard all week.
We are Bear fans, and spent a couple hours a day just hanging around and watching this amazing team work. We were there from Monday morning about 630 am, and after reading some of the posts from the past week, I know we received pretty straight info on what was going on all week, and NEVER ONCE did we think the Bear was done.
This crew does not know the meaning of the word quit. I saw them exhausted, and still smiling and joking, even when they were searching for the mystery problems. I saw a bunch of guys all working together with one goal in mind.
We are a group of four nobodies from Canada, and we didn't ask questions unless they spoke to us first, when they had time. We are small time fan sponsors, though I keep trying to win enough at Reno to get a jacket :)
Our group is more educated than many, as we are building a roundie ourselves, so our guys knew a lot of what was going on just by watching. The crew would smile and give us the nod when we showed up every day (repeatedly). They knew us, even if not by name. How this group keeps going, and keeps smiling and being friendly to the fans when they are stressed out and exhausted is beyond me. I read somewhere that someone said you couldn't pay them enough to do what they did this week, and it's so true.
The two wrenches I travel with would have dropped their cameras in a second to give up their vacation and not sleep for a week to help the cause. It's just the nature of the sport. We saw so many teams helping each other out all week, then going like hell around the pylons.
There's just nothing like it.
If you want to learn something about teamwork and what you can do if you put your mind and muscle to it, go see the Bear team for an education. Nothing is impossible.
Rachel

YOU GUYS ROCK!!!!!!!!!

Victor Archer
09-21-2004, 12:07 PM
When is somebody gonna tell about Riff Raff's win in the Silver? All I know is that race 99 was one-flippin-tenth-of-a mph faster than Spirit of Texas, which my questionable meatware calculator translates to about two lousy plane lengths at the finish; that much I can get from the results on RARA's website. Musta been a great race: so talk to me, already!

Spirit of Texas got a very ruff start, they cut the formation short to miss some heavy rain and just as they called "you have a race" Dawson was all out shape. Bouncing around like a ping pong ball. Also the Silver race was anything but lined up the planes were all over the place. I have a good shot of the start, try and get it up later today.