Every year Julio Isidro holds a contest in the quiet town of Santarem in the country of Portugal but it's not like anything one would expect. It's a gathering of friends and competitors from around the globe to enjoy a passion, model airplanes, and view the sites and sounds of a truely wonderful country.
  Our host has done a remarkable job organizing,combining  the event with tours, to show the history and life of the people in this area and, at no cost to the quests. The American contingentcy was meet at the airport in Lisbon and traveled to the local university where Julio had arranged accommodations for all the competitors and their spouses. The rooms were vacant for the summer break and were excellent, nice queen size beds with showers and labratories in the room,  johns are located on each floor with privacy doors, no air conditioning but, at night the cool breezes were enough.
  Later that afternoon the tour bus came where we meet the other quests and traveled to Vale Dos Lobos, a training facility for both matadors and to weed out bulls for the fights. The animals are not killed in this country verses Spain and Mexico, one photo shows the 'catchers', the guy with the funny hat leads until the bull charges and the others join in to hold the animal so the barbes, that the madador inpaled, can be removed, cool action here.  
  Afterwards we visited Vale de Lobos, an old olive factory that makes wine now, for a nice wine tasting of their products. Photo to the right is of the interior, I think the Brits realy enjoyed this part of the trip.
  To the right is a photo atop a castle in Santarem with the racing competitors and their wifes after our visit from the wine tasting, on the left, is a shot outside  the Taverna Do Quinzena were we had a complementary dinner with a variety of local food.
  On the mornings of the competition, the bus greets the quests who didn't have their own transportation, to take them to the cafateria at the Cnena National Center of the Exhibitions, for a complementary beakfast.
  The contest is held at The Cnena National Center of Exhibitions, we had paved circles for the racing and speed, and a very nice grass soccer field for the stunt, combat and R/C events.(Note: the grass is like a fairway you'd find on a golf course). The contest had 77 competitors with 200 entries in the various events. While the guys were racing, Julio arranged for a tour and shopping outings for the ladies of the group.
  The American group consisted of Pat and Scott Matson, Dave Mcdonald and myself, Wayne Trivin. We had entries in NCLRA Fox Racing, Quickie Rat, F2C National, 1/2A Vintage TR and Handicap Speed. The standing start deal that is practiced in Europe presented some problems for me, quess I have to work on that. In TQ, the final pitted the Matson's, Julio and myself. The M&M team was off to an early lead with Julio right behind at a slower pace, I was still on the ground trying to start the engine with the lead off, when I finaly got started and into the air, my flyer kept on hitting the fuelshutoff wtih his aggessive flying style, he pitted six times. M&M was going strong until the last pit where, their K&B won't restart and leaving Julio to take the win, myself coming in second and M&M with third.
  In Fox Racing, the Matson's showed that they are the team to beat. With Mcdonald on the handle the M,M,&M team flew to victory with a rookie Portuguese in second and the English in third.
Dave Mcdonald and Scott Matson ptting Rodger Reese's BTR
  To the right is a picture of the racing director Dave Rudd, a colorful Englishman who kept the flying clean, provided some blow by blow comentary during the flying action and some humorous tips to a couple of pilots who were lagging behind.
  In F2C National, the final featured Daglish/Worgan, Isidro/Eep, and Hart/Hart. Even though my plane had excellent airspeed, an early pit for lack of economy in the first heat and a false start flameout on the third pit of the second heat, caused me to miss the feature by 4 seconds, wait til next year!
  The vintage events had some fierce competition, the English know their diesels and can turn some fast times. I had built a Thunder Thrush for the 1/2A Vintage TR and flew it for the first time with the help of Mcdonald on the handle and anyone with an accent to help me get it dialed in.
The 'colorful' racing director Dave Rudd
  On Friday evening, Julio hosted a banquet for all the competitors in the main Cnena hall with local dignetaries, complete with a band and even an Elvis impersonater. Here Julio introduced the contestents by means of a small bio of each to get some new friendships going.
Dick Hart catches National for his son Mattew
Eep Buys pits Julio's National