High winds, rough surf ground first day of Seaplane Classic

November 10, 2018

The 33rd Annual London Bridge Seaplane Classic opened Friday to high winds at Windsor Beach Site 4, where hopeful pilots were grounded due to rough waters.

With wind speeds of about 20 miles per hour, with gusts as strong as 30 miles per hour, the event’s radio-controlled seaplanes were unable to take off from Lake Havasu’s shore when the event began Friday morning.

“When it’s windy like this, there’s so much surf that planes can’t get off the water,” said event organizer Ed Heil, of Havasu’s Desert Hawks RC aircraft club. “We’re hoping it will be nicer this weekend. We should have planes in the air from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday, followed by a cookout at SARA Park. The best time for spectators to come would be about noon. Spectators will be able to visit the pit, talk to pilots and see the planes up close.”

The three-day event usually brings about 50 to 60 pilots to Havasu from throughout the U.S., Heil said. The event will feature more than 100 radio-controlled planes of varying models as hobbyists encourage their craft on Lake Havasu’s shores.

Despite Friday’s high winds, Saturday is expected to offer only a light northwestern wind, according to the National Weather Service. High winds could return Sunday, however, with wind speeds of about 20 miles per hour and gusts of about 30 miles per hour by Sunday afternoon.

Admission will be free to the public.

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