The sleepy industrial town of Vereeniging was woken by the sound of high powered aerobatic aircraft on over the weekend of the 2 and 3 December. The Sport Aerobatic Club of South Africa held their last aerobatic competition for the year.
The Ace of Base competition is different to any other competition held in South Africa, in all other competitions the winner of the unlimited class is crowned the overall winner, in Ace of Base the pilot that achieves the best score from any class is crowned “Ace of Base”.
Saturday 2 December was set aside as a practice day but due to the persistent rain not many of the pilots were there, fortunately the weather on Sunday was way better the only minor problem was a very strong wind blowing from the North.
After a safety briefing and final checks the Sportsman Class got Airborne, ten pilots took part in the sportsman class. Chris Joubert manged to just nudge out Kayle Wooll by less than 1% followed by Dustin Hughes in third and Jonty Esser, Walter Goodrich, Derek Bird, Roger Deare, Wim Kotze and Bern Asbeck, Charlie Marais unfortunately didn’t complete the second round.
Chris Joubert Zlin50
Kayle Wooll Extra 300L
No sooner had the last of Spotsman Class landed and the Intermediate competitors took to the perfect blue skies. Charles “Borris” Urban was the clear winner in this class he managed 5% better than Jason Beamish in second place, Andrew Blackwood-Murray came in in third place followed by Andrew Pucjlowski and Conrad Botha.
Charles Urban Extra 300L
Jason Beamish Extra300
Andrew Blackwood-Murray Extra 300L
Advanced Class were next up and Gary Glasson proved to be the winner in this class narrowly beating Elton Bondi and Eugene du Preez.
Gary Glasson Pitts Special S-1S
Elton Bondi Extra 300
Eugene du Preez Extra 330SC
Enter the masters, the Unlimted Class is the pinnacle of Aerobatics, Barrie Eeles walked away with the laurels followed by Mark Hensman, Nigel Hopkins could unfortunately not complete the second round as his aircraft went technical
Barrie Eeles Extra 330SC
Mark Hensman MX2
Nigel Hopkins Extra 330SC
With all the individual classes finished no one knew who would be crowned “Ace of Base”. Charles Urban was then announced as the overall winner for the day with 77,96%, Chris Joubert came in a very close second with 77,58%, third place belonged to Kayle Wooll with a very respectable 76,95%.
The Contest Director Adam Puc, Chief Judge John Gaillard, and Scoring Director Natalie Stark assisted by Judges Helm Ludwig, Laszlo Liszkay, Quintin Hawthorne, Mike Stark and Johnnie Smith did a brilliant job despite being burnt to a crisp in the very hot December sun. It was also great to see Natalie back after her horrific accident motor earlier this year during WAC 2017 in Malelane.
Thank must go to the good people of Vereeniging for making the airfield available for this amazing competition and for all the hospitality.
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