On Saturday the 10th February SAPFA held the Rand Airport Challenge Fun Rally, traditionally the word challenge was incorporated into this fixture as it was to be a challenge together with the local flying schools, but they have been absent to take part in the last few years which is a great pity.
This was Frank Eckard’s 14th Rand event that he has organised, and back in 2003 had to still take photos for the route with a film camera and lug around a 386 computer with a lumbering CRT screen. These days with google earth and an I7 spec laptop it has become much easier to organise and run a rally.
This year there were twelve teams participating, seven as Fun entrants, two as Fun Advanced (these with Protea Pilots and newby navigators) and three Advanced (Protea teams), with a variety of aircraft from Cessna’s to Slings with a R44 helicopter as well – word had it that to make the right time over a check point he hovered and reversed a bit which was all revealed on the logger incurring some penalty points.
After a good briefing by Frank and the group photos taken, the teams took to the skies just after 11:00 , the Advanced teams having to wait to receive their papers 40 minutes prior take-off as they had a different set of rules to fly than the Fun class. The fun class had all the turning point photos correct and had one photo per leg to recognise, whereas the Advanced class had their work cut out for them having to find 20 leg photos and turning point photos that could be correct or incorrect and taken from any direction. The weather remained good for flying with prediction of rain only later in the afternoon, thus the competitors had excellent prospects to do well.
In the Fun class, it was Shane Britz and Karen Stroud who came first in a Jabiru ZU-FEP, followed by Marc Krauss and Tarryn Pucjlowski in a Robinson 44 ZT-RAF. Third place belonged to Edzard and Cecile Verseput in another sling II ZU-IIT.
Shane Britz and Karen Stroud
Marc Krauss and Tarryn Pucjlowski Edzard and Cecile Verseput
In the Fun Advanced it was Ron Stirk and Willie Bodenstein in first place in a C150 ZS-IWD who also scored a clear round in Navigation. Thys van der Merwe and Cheryl Smit came in a close second in Cessna 17.
Ron Stirk and Willie Bodenstein
Thys van der Merwe and Cheryl Smit
In the Advanced Class Leon Bouttell and Mary de Klerk took first place in a Sportstar ZU-FBJ. Second spot was claimed by Rob Jonkers and Martin Meyer in their stunning Cessna 182 ZS-IVC. Mauritz du Plessis and Andre Kluyts came in third in a Cessna 172 ZS-SYA.
Leon Bouttell and Mary de Klerk
Rob Jonkers and Martin Meyer Mauritz du Plessis and Andre Kluyts
Fun Rallies popularity is really growing and this year SAPFA will be hosting on every month all around the country so please check out our Events Calendar to see when one will be held in your area.