The 2015 Eldorado Gold Rush SAM Champs

19th - 23rd October
On the El Dorado Dry Lake in Boulder City Nevada

Speed 400 RC Mass Launch Competitors


August 27th Update

Old Time RC Glider Rules click here

August 11th Update Important 

Deadlines Coming Up For Low Cost Hotel Reservations and Low Cost Entry Fees


Here we go again. The 2015 SAM Champs are less than ten weeks away. . We have a block of rooms at a group rate at the Fiesta Henderson Hotel. You can make reservations at that rate by phoning the Fiesta Henderson at 888-899-7770 . Ask for the SAMChamps 2015 rate. You might also give them the Booking Code; RCISAM. Or you can make your reservation online by clicking this link;


Fiesta Henderson Rates & Availability

There’s a limited number of rooms in the block and we’re close to the limit. We might be able to add some more rooms, but the hotel says that there will be an absolute cutoff of the group rate if a room reservation isn’t made by September 17. So if you want to stay at the Champs headquarters hotel at something less than the rack rate, pick up that phone and dial now! Get er dun before September 17. If you’re having trouble with getting the right rate at the hotel, e-mail me, or my co manager Dave Harding I’ll be out of the country from August 16 to September 14, but will have e-mail access and will help you out with the hotel if I can.


And while you’re making your hotel reservations, go download a contest entry form from the Champs website. There is a $25 late entry fee for entry forms postmarked after September 18. Save yourself some money and enter before that date. Believe it or not, there’s a good bit of administrative work to be done (ordering the correct number of contestant plaques, ordering shirts, setting up score sheets, arranging for banquets etc) after the entry forms are received. While we’ll still accept entry forms if you just show up at the contest, you can do us all a favor by registering early.

As the entry form notes, you can get a full refund of your entry fees if you have to cancel or are a no show at the Champs. Sometimes plans change or your favorite contest planes all crash, (it happens sometimes) and so you need to cancel. We’ll refund your entry fees. And if you make a reservation for the reception and/or banquet, and cancel before October 1 st, we’ll refund that as well. (The hotel asks that we guarantee the number of meals well in advance of the actual date,)

So go ahead and make that room reservation and submit that Champs entry form now.


Boulder City Recreation Department Says No Camera Drones Can Be Flown At The SAM Champs


The Boulder City Recreation Department controls access to El Dorado Dry Lake Bed, where we fly the SAM Champs every other year. The Department issues us a permit to fly on the lake bed, and without that permit we could not hold the SAM Champs there. Over the years the Department has been very good and helpful to us. There are certain requirements and hoops we have to jump through to get the permit, but the process has not been difficult.

In the last year or so, the subject of drones (quadcopters and such) has received a lot of attention in both the modeling press and the national newspapers. Aside from the magazines and the press, the FAA has been interested in the topic. I’d say that the FAA has been very interested in the topic.

So this year when we went to the Recreation Department and asked for a permit, they told us that “due to FAA requirements” there should be absolutely no drone flying on the lakebed during the SAM Champs. Part of that comes from the FAA; part of it comes from concern for the Boulder City Airport located a few miles away from the lake bed.

Whatever. The good folks at Boulder City made it crystal clear “No drones on the lakebed”. So guys, if you were planning to bring your new quadcopter to Las Vegas and try it out in the wide open spaces, do us all a favor—and leave it home. And since in the popular mind a drone is a remotely controlled camera carrying vehicle, leave your photo planes at home as well.


Is it fair? Is it right? It’s probably neither, but “no drones” is the price of continued access to the lakebed. We are a “guest” on the lakebed, and a good guest obeys the host’s “house rules”. We first flew at El Dorado for the 1997 SAM Champs, and we’ve since flown on it in 2001, 2005, 2007, 2009, 2011 and 2013.

This will be the 8 th Champs flown at El Dorado—and I want to have a chance to fly on it again in 2017.


Mike Myers

2015 Champs Contest Manager


Here are pictures of this year's merchandise; Click Here



May 26th Update

36 inch Bungee Launched Glider Rules released; Click Here

April 15th 2015 Entry Form Available to Read and Download

The Entry Form is now available for download here; Click on This to open the Entry Form

Here is the Schedule of Events;

March 13th 2015

It’s time to begin making your plans for the SAM 2015 Champs on El Dorado Dry Lake in Boulder City Nevada, a few miles south east of Las Vegas. Map of the Area, Map of Boulder City and El Dorado. Aerial view of the dry lake. SAM President Al Heinrich has already done good work for the Champs by securing a date reservation for the lakebed from Boulder City


We’ll be holding the 2015 SAM Champs on El Dorado Dry Lake in Boulder City Nevada from October 19 through October 23, with registration on Sunday, October 18 from 4 to 6 p.m. There’s a reason why this update focuses on changes, because we’re going to run this year’s Champs a little differently than has been done in the past.

We’ve got a three man team performing the Contest Manager function (although my partners stuck me with the title of “Contest Manager”). Dave Meriwether will be serving as registrar and working on shirts and caps. Dave Harding will be handling scoring, the website and most digital issues, and I’ll be like the guy following the circus parade sweeping up what’s left over.

Between the three of us we’ve been Contest Manager for six or seven SAM Champs, and when you throw in FF CD Ted Firster’s tour as Contest Manager for the 2005 SAM Champs, we’ve got “experience”. And RC CD Andy Latowski has a long track record as a successful RC CD in the Midwest—so we’re good to go.

Pictures; Mike Myers, Dave Meriwether with Dick Bartkowski and Dave Harding with former SAM President Ed. Hamler.

Ted Firster is shown here at Eloy Southwest Regionals with his big Powerhouse.


Andy will be RC CD, the . Andy Latowski, shown here on the right was assitant RC CDs for the 2014 Champs. He has performed this role for several Mid West Champs too. On the left is SAM President Alan Heinrich.

Models of the Year ~ Any Goldberg Model

Charlie Bruce with his Goldberg Valkyrie at the SAM Champs on El Dorado Dry Lake in 2007


The Fiesta Henderson will be the Headquarters Hotel for the 2015 SAM Champs –You Can Make Your Room Reservations Now

The 2015 SAM Champs will be headquartered at the Fiesta Henderson Hotel in Henderson Nevada. We’ve negotiated a favorable room rate for a block of 50 rooms for the nights of Sunday October 19, through Friday October 24. We’ll have registration at the Fiesta from 4 to 6 pm on Sunday night October 19. That will be followed by a reception with cheese and cocktail sandwiches and a cash bar from 6 to 8. The reception will be a great time to start the social process that goes on at each Champs, and meet and greet old friends. Who knows the RC Contest Director might sneak in a pilots meeting at the end of the reception!

The SAM Board will meet at the hotel on Monday night. Tuesday night we’ll have a concours, a swap meet and a membership meeting at the hotel. Friday night will be the awards banquet.

The Fiesta is a hotel that works well for us at the Champs. It’s the closest big hotel to El Dorado Dry Lake. We had a good experience using the hotel for the 2007 and 2009 Champs. If you like to get a cup of coffee and a sandwich for lunch before you head out for the flying day, there’s a Starbucks and a Subway Sandwich shop in the hotel’s food court. There’s plenty of parking, and there is room for RVs, although there are no RV hookups at the hotel.

Room rates in general in Las Vegas these days are quoted at one rate—and then they add a hotel service charge, and a room tax. It’s a puzzle. The Fiesta offered us a room rate that’s about ten dollars less than their “rack rate” for Sunday through Thursday night, and about fifteen dollars less than their “rack rate” for the Friday night.

So the Champs Fiesta room rate is $34.99 a night, plus a $6.99 “Hotel Service Fee”, plus Clark County room tax of 13%. . That works out to $47.61 a night for Sunday through Thursday.

The Friday night rate is $74.99, plus a $6.99 Hotel Service Fee, plus Clark County room tax of 13%. That works out to $92.64 for Friday night.

So you are a Champs Contestant, how do you make a reservation and get the Champs rate? Here’s the word from hotel management, sent to me in a recent e-mail.

Your group is all set and guests can now start making their reservations.  Your attendees have the convenience of booking their reservations by either calling our reservations line or by booking via the web link listed below.  Please note that the group rate will be available until 9/17/15 or until the block is full (whichever occurs first).  Please provide the following reservations instructions to your attendees:


So there it is. Make your reservations now. I expect to have an entry blank up on the website by the end of March. It will also appear in hard copy in an upcoming issue of SAM Speaks.

See you in Boulder, The Champs Management Team:
Mike Myers, Dave Meriwether, Dave Harding, Ted Firster and Andy Latowski.

Mike Myers
2015 Champs Contest Manager
Mike Myers

(818) 241-9154