2010 SA National Rally Championships

Competitors & OrganisersCompetitors & OrganisersThe SA Rally Flying Championships took place from 8 – 10 April at Aviators Paradise in the North West Province.

The event was generously sponsored to the tune of R20,000 by BRITS FLIGHT TRAINING CENTRE, and R15,000 by AFRICAN OUTDOOR GROUP.

Piet Smith, CEO of BFTC, provided all the food and hospitality in the Clubhouse at the airfield as well as 1000L of fuel for all participating aircraft. BFTC offers flight training from PPL to Commercial Licences in Technams. As the only school on the airfield, and operating in uncontrolled airspace, they enjoy virtual freedom of the skies and can maximize the student’s time on the ground and in the air.

Derick Lategan from the AFRICAN OUTDOOR GROUP provided stunning tented accommodation for all teams at the nearby De Rust Training Centre at Hartbeespoort Dam. AOG also hosted a braai for all participants on the Friday evening, as well as the Gala Awards Dinner together with a Live Band on the Saturday Evening.

The Competition was ably directed by Tony Russell from Cape Town with route planning by Deon Van den Berg. Jacques Jacobs once again handled all the Ground marshals.

The Competition allowed for both Open and Sportmans (Fun) Class entries.

Day 1 dawned and brought with it some suspiciously marginal weather which delayed the start by a few hours. At around Checkpoint 6, things started to look rather bleak and slowly one by one, the pilots started to announce their intentions to abort and return to base. Only two teams managed to push through and complete the route – Barry and Mary in ZU AFP (C172) and Jonty and Sandi in ZU EIL (Yuma). Even they had to skirt around a few tracks to avoid heavy cells over the Magaliesburg Range. Barry and Mary landed minutes before a microburst, which caught Jonty and tested his landing skills to the maximum in the 30kt crosswind.

Day 2 provided some respite from the weather with the cloud base allowing for the full route to be completed by all competitors. Route Planner, Deon van den Berg, tested the skills of the Navigators to the hilt with extremely difficult plots to work out. Temperatures in all cockpits reached boiling points as we all discovered when sharing similar stress levels back on the ground. “The objective” said Deon “was to raise everyone’s skills level in preparation for the World Championships in Europe in August.”

Selection for the World Championships takes place over 2 sets of Nationals each year. The first leg was held in November 2009 in Parys. The results of this competition were:
POSITION PILOT NAVIGATOR CALL SIGN
1 Barry de Groot Mary de Klerk ZU -AFP
2 Jonty Esser Sandi Goddard ZU -EIL
3 Walter Walle Ron Stirk ZS-CNZ
4 Rob Kennedy W Kritzinger ZU-ORV
5 Emmie Oelofse Andrew Lane ZU-DTB

The results of the second leg of the competition were:
POSITION PILOT NAVIGATOR CALL SIGN
1 Barry de Groot Mary de Klerk ZU-AFP
2 Hans Schwebel Ron Stirk ZS-CNZ
3 Rob Kennedy W Kritzinger ZU-FHD
4 Jonty Esser Sandi Goddard ZU -EIL
5 Frank Eckard Cally Eckard ZS-MOC
6 Emmie Oelofse Andrew Lane ZU-DTB

In is very interesting to note that three of the top six teams were borne from competitors who less than 18 months ago, had joined the Fun Rally Series run by Frank Eckard and Mary de Klerk. This is truly testimony to the success of a program that has proudly seen over 600 pilots fly through the system. In fact Rob Kennedy with his Navigator Wikus Kritzinger, were so determined to achieve their place in the team, that Rob invested in a brand new Savanah to participate in the competition. What is of even greater interest is the fact that 30% of the field is female, (when traditionally only 5% of total World participants are female).

The results of the Sportmans competition were:
POSITION PILOT NAVIGATOR CALL SIGN
1 Walter Walle Stephan Burger ZS-CNZ
2 Derick Lategan Francois van Eeden ZS-OJZ
3 Wynand Uys Kobus Kruger ZU-ESO
4 Carl Dollenberg Sean Murphy ZS-IRL

The Final Team to represent South Africa at the WORLD RALLY FLYING CHAMPIONSHIPS in SLOVAKIA in August 2010 was announced at the Gala Dinner held at the African Outdoor Group Training Centre in Hartbeespoort at De Rust.

They are:
#1 Barry de Groot and Mary de Klerk
#2 Hans Schwebel & Ron Stirk
#3 Frank Eckard & Cally Eckard
#4 Rob Kennedy & Wikus Kritzinger
#5 Jonty Esser & Sandi Goddard
#6 Emmie Oelofse & Andrew Lane (Reserve)

Team Manager : Tony Russell
Team Coach : Frank Eckard
Team Captain : Mary de Klerk
International Judge : Jacques Jacobs
Judge Observer : Arddyn Moolman
Judge Observer : Sabrina Kennedy

The Team, together with supporters (23 pax in total) will participate from 1 – 15 August 2010 in Slovakia, Europe, in a field of up to 80 Aircraft from 20 countries worldwide. Between now and then, the team will enjoy rigorous Ground and Air School Training by Frank and Mary, who will have to work around the World Cup Soccer dates to accommodate the training camps.

Click HERE for pictures of the event.

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Full result sheet53.57 KB