A Note from Pete Smith, Winner of The First International, 1954

(posted with his permission)
March 30, 1998

Hi Goran,

First of all let me congratulate you on your web site. I have been visiting on and off for about 15 months and the development you have done in that time is fantastic. Congratulations!

The last time I visited your site I found your link to the "Short History of the Early Years....." article by Peter Soule. This brought back some fond memories and I was suprised to find a mention of myself and my "Footprint". One thing I hadn't really appreciated was that the meeting at the Hague where I won in 1954 was the FIRST International Control Line Championships. It was a great meeting for me. Although I had done quite a bit of team racing, I was mainly selected for C/L stunt, having won the British Nationals that year - (after a 5th and three 2nd's in previous years!). The FAI specification was new and I had to build a new model for the Hague which I first flew about three days before the meeting. I had hardly ever flown speed before but a friend lent me a model to fly in the speed event. Much to my amazement, everything worked like clockwork on the day of the competition and I ended up coming 5th in speed, 3rd in stunt, 1st in T/R and winning a prize for the best overall performance !!!!!

I drifted away from active modelling in the late 50's but I retained an interest and about 3/4 years ago a friend persuaded me to start again. Knowing that F2C would be beyond my reach, I decided to have a go at Vintage "A" Team Racing which is quite popular in the U.K, and built another Footprint - by the way, I still have the original (rather battered) model! I still use my old Mk.II Oliver which runs and starts as well as it did 40 years ago but, whilst it can still pull a model round at between 80-85 mph, I really need another 10 mph to be able to compete with the re-worked Chinese Olivers and the other tuned motors around today! Since then, I have built another T/R and a couple of stunt jobs but although I have entered a few small local races, most of my flying is just for fun these days.

Incidentally, I often fly with Chas Taylor and Gordon Yeldham who came 3rd in first WORLD Championships at Budapest in 1960. Both have been involved with control line flying ever since. Chas makes glow plugs and has a very formidable McCoy .29 which he flies in Class B Vintage T/R to good effect, winning the event at the British Nationals in 1996. Gordon still flies F2C very competively as well as Vintage but I don't see so much of him as he lives rather further away.

Hope you find the above comments to be of some interest and haven't been too bored with my chatter! Keep up the good work.

Pete Smith (psmith9966@aol.com)