When I see people like Scott, Rod, Dustin, and Jason, who all dedicate countless hours to building and loving a plane, and then go out and fly it ''balls to the wall'', put it up against some of the toughest judges from other countries you will ever face, and use their own money to do it, I see a real competitive spirit. Those guys build their own, fly their own, and face the critics. Then there are guys like Graeme Mears who can build the most beautiful aircraft you have ever seen. He has forgotten more about model building than most of us will ever know, but he does not fly competitively. So he takes the plane and puts it in the hands of someone who can showcase it, like Ali or David Shulman, and that takes it one step further. Don't hate the players, hate the game. The rules are written so that it can include both groups.
For me, the experience was not whether we won or lost, but about the experience and the comaraderie you got to experience along the way. That is worth a helluva lot more than a little silver plated trophy. You can get that same experience in a local competition without the huge expense, so go for it.