The Free State Regionals were held on Saturday 19 May at the New Tempe Airfield in Bloemfontein and a word of congratulations must got to Conrad Botha and his team for once again putting together a wonderful competition which year after year is dubbed the “Best of the year” .From marking out the aerobatic box to the friendly hospitality that is always the norm in Bloem. The Free State Regional Championship always attract a magnitude of sponsorship from local and national companies.
Wednesday morning saw the first aircraft arriving to get some last minute practice for the competition. Two aircraft had technical issues and sadly could not fly, thanks to the great comradely of the Aerobatics community one pilot, Tobie Kock offered his Yak 52 to Jonty Esser and Wim Kotze to take part.
The Friday was a busy day with everyone trying to get their final practice in with some very helpful criticism especially from Gary Glasson.
Fortunately, there were enough Judges for Tobie to do his graduation evaluation on the Friday afternoon, Jason Beamish graciously gave up some of practice time to create a slot for Tobie to fly his evaluation. Tobie performed excellently and graduated with an impressive 79,8% almost 10% higher than required to receive his rating.
Saturday arrived and the Competition got underway with CAVOK conditions with a light northerly breeze blowing. The first competitor to get airborne was Wim Kotze in a Yak 52, the competition normally kicks off with the Sportsman Class and increases in intensity until the Unlimited class are unleashed.
Sportsman Class had six entries and a bit of EAST vs WEST battle ( RV vs Yak) as well as a North vs South (Tempe against Kittyhawk). Local tEmpe based Wally Goodrich took First place in his RV 7, second place when to Jonty Esser who fly’s for Kittyhawk normally however flew Tobie’s Yak which is from Tempe. Third went to a new Kid on the block Wian Du Plessis with his RV 7. Wian and his brother Machiel are serious about aerobatics, so watch these youngsters.
Intermediate Class also had 6 entries with five Extras and one Zlin. Mark Oosting took first place with his brand new Extra 330LX Flying and impressive high score, Dustin Hughes took second place in his Zlin 50 and third place was taken by Jason Beamish also in a Extra 330LX.
Advanced class had a shake up, with Eugene Du Preez taking first place in his Extra 330SC and scoring 0.32% short of 80% with a score of 79.68, leaving Gary Glasson in second place with his Pitts Falcon and third place was taken by Pierre Du Plooy.
Unlimited class had only one entry nevertheless Nigel Hopkins achieve a very competitive score of 79.81%.
Thank you to Natalie Stark for doing the scoring and our Judges headed up by John Gaynor.
And a very big thank you to all the sponsors that made this possible.
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EAA Chapter 1503