My 2019 F3A World Championship

A note of gratitude:

Bryan and I spent many drives to the practice field talking about how lucky we were to be doing what we were doing. At our 5th World Championship, representing our country in a sport we both love so much, largely funded by the incredibly generous and supportive pattern community. It doesn’t take long while driving through the idyllic Italian countryside to start reflecting on what an incredible gift it is to even attend a World Championship. Add to that my unique position of having Bryan’s support and wealth of knowledge on my side and I can’t tell you how truly humbling that is. We spoke at length about how the large majority of competitors, about 3/4ths of them, had come all this way for only 4 flights and knew that from the very beginning. There are so many out there, many of you reading this right now, who labor towards their competitive goals with a passion and drive many of the best fliers in the world don’t even come close to rivaling. It’s a joy for me to see the fire in those eyes – maybe I will dub it “the burning and the yearning” – in people from all over the world with all different levels of resources and skills. You all know who you are and I am grateful I get to meet you all and engage with you all in this sport.

There are so many people involved in our effort that I must extend my gratitude towards. To start, my wife Laytan for understanding, or at least pretending to understand, this somewhat ridiculous thing I do which takes up so much of our time, energy, and money. At the end of the day we are just a bunch of grown men gathering in a field to fly our toy airplanes together. Our egos elevate the importance of our pursuits in F3A and without the grace of our better halves to accept those somewhat irrational sacrifices none of it would be possible. Regardless, I continue to love F3A, and she still loves me. I don’t know why. I think sometimes she can’t figure it out either… but I’m smart enough to appreciate it! I love you Laytan.

I of course have to also thank profusely my partner in crime, Bryan. We started CK Aero together but as most of you are aware Bryan is truly the one running the business. He has done so much for me since we started working together, I cannot even begin to imagine what attempting to compete without him would be like.

I also cannot overlook my incredible sponsors. Without the support of Futaba, YS Engines, Morgan Fuels, Central Hobbies, and F3A Unlimited there would simply be no way for me to compete. I use these products and support these businesses because they are simply the best out there. I’ve never sacrificed the equipment I use to chase a sponsorship and I am eternally grateful these great companies continue to support my efforts.

I must also thank all of you out there who donated time, money, and energy towards supporting myself and the USA team in Italy. From the big financial donors to those of you who sent me a simple congratulations your contributions are greater than you know. I am always so truly and completely humbled by the many gifts of time, money, and good will.

In addition I want to specifically thank Mark Atwood for doing such a great job as team manager once again. The team manager position is many times a thankless one. He has done (and is still continuing to do one month after the contest) so much work to raise money, coordinate travel and accommodations, wrangle occasionally unreliable team members (we practice too much), wrestle with event organizers, put out fires, and on and on and on. His contribution towards the team for 4 consecutive world championships is not small and should not be overlooked. I, and I know I speak for the rest of everyone involved in our efforts, am grateful beyond words for his great personal sacrifice of time and energy. Thank you Mark!

Thank you all for a great pattern season. We can’t wait for the next one!

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