The Ermelo Inn was the venue for the Presidents Trophy Formal Banquet and Awards Ceremony for the 2021 rendition of this prestigious air race. The PTAR has for many years been the most fiercely contested air race in South Africa although the entries are not limited to South African residents only.
By the time the crews arrived at the venue, the anticipation was clearly haunting many of the hopefuls. The nervous competitors quickly made a beeline for the bar to settle the nerves before proceedings began. Once everyone had taken their places Brian Emmenis welcomed everyone and then handed the mic to Theodor Boshoff, the Chairman of the Ermelo Aeronautical Society.
Theodor shed some light on the amount of work that went on behind the scenes in the preparation for this years PTAR. The Ermelo Aeronautical Society should be commended for the amount of effort and personal time they invested in making this a PTAR that can confidently stand next to any other in history.
Jan Hanekom then took the floor to pay tribute to Chris Booysen, a true PTAR stalwart who recently passed away very suddenly. Among Chirs’ long list of achievements was his very notable term as SAPFA Chairman. May Chris’ family and friends find comfort in this trying time.
Frans Smit then thanked all the sponsors for their ongoing support, without these generous people events like this would never be possible, Frans gave the PTAR faithful a slight glimpse into the difficulties faced in raising the necessary funds this year, as we all know Covid has caused a lot of hardship in our industry.
As we all know the World Rally Flying Championships will be taking place in South Africa’s most picturesque airfield later this year. Mary de Klerk gave a short explanation of what will be taking place at Stellenbosch in November as well as outlining the wonderful branding offers up for grabs.
Before dinner was served Jonty Esser explained how the Speed Rally format came about, the Speed Rally format has now been adopted for the PTAR and is evidently working extremely well.
Jonty with the assistance of Marc Robinson took charge of the lucky number draws for all the Century Avionics, lucky competitors walked away with, amongst other prizes, two Bose A20 headsets and we all know what they are valued at. Thank you Century Avionics not only for this year but for all the support you generously commit to year after year.
David Le Roux then announced the winner of the PilotInsure Steady Climb raffle, a David Clark headset was presented to one lucky entrant. The Steady Climb Initiative was created to assist the overwhelming number of unemployed commercial pilots that have been forced to start businesses outside of the aviation world.
A very delicious dinner was then served and the conversation was all about the race and how people thought they did, with the very close finish there were quite a few contenders for the coveted black blazers. Once dinner was done the mood got quite serious as Rob Jonkers took to the stage to share some of the brilliant tracks and some of the not so good ones, all the while not giving away any clues as to who had managed the win.
Shane Somerville from Century Avionics then presented a consolation prize to the pilot who managed the most creative route. We also learned that one aircraft had suffered engine failure and had to perform a forced landing at Arnot Power Station, the forced lob was excellently executed with no harm to the crew or the aircraft.
The moment that everyone was waiting for the awards ceremony, Brian Emmenis did his utmost to raise the level of suspense.
The Trophy for the Best Club team went fittingly to the host club Cornelius Cloete and Barend Potgieter was the recipient team.
The Natal Advertiser Trophy for the aircraft and crew covering the course in the fastest time went to Dieter Bock and Brendan Boraine in the super-fast Lancair.
Jacques van der Walt and Hein Enslin were awarded the Letaba Flying Club Trophy for the first placed far Northern Province's aircraft and crew.
The Cirrus Trophy was won by Simon Abbot and Chris Shillaw for being the first placed Cirrus crew.
The Comair Trophy for the first placed Cessna crew went to Cobus Broodryk and Mario Febrario this was a hotly contested category with many Cessna aircraft taking part.
Phil Wakeley and Mary de Klerk walked away with the Natal Mercury Trophy for the first Kwa Zulu Natal crew. Mary and Phil are members of the Durban Wings Club.
The RV Trophy is awarded to the first placed Van's RV Crew, this year that honour belonged to Johannes Strydom and Marco Barnard.
The Dolph Kruger Trophy went to Leon Joubert and Jonty Esser for crewing the first placed homebuilt aircraft.
Joggie Prinsloo and Rufus Dreyer earned the Beechcraft Trophy for the first placed Beechcraft aircraft and crew.
The Phoenix Volkswagen Trophy is awarded to the first placed Free State aircraft and crew, this year that was the team of Stefan Fourie and Derek Bird.
The first placed Piper aircraft and crew, Stefan Lombard and Martiens Marais received the Placo Trophy.
Frederik and Apie Kotzee were awarded the Kassie Kasselman the first placed parent and child team, not that one would mistake Frederik for a child.
Young Quintin Kruger was the recipient of the ATNS Trophy for the youngest competitor in the race.
The special honour of being the first placed novice team belonged to the father and son team Frederik and Apie Kotzee, they received the Brink Trophy for this feat.
The Durban Wings Club Trophy is awarded for the best club performance was also awarded to Frederik and Apie Kotzee.
The John Sayers Trophy for the first placed turbocharged aircraft and crew went to Leon Boutell and Martin Meyer in their Evektor-Aerotechnik Harmony.
Cobus Broodryk and Mario Febrario were the recipients of the Stellalander Trophy for being the first placed Cape Provinces crew.
Southern Africa Mooney Trophy was awarded to 2019 overall winners, Kobus and Sarel van der Merwe for bringing home the first placed Mooney Aircraft.
The first placed Woman Pilot, Christa Greyvenstein, earned the Wakefield Trophy for her efforts.
The Dennis Jankelow Aviation Trophy for Airmanship was awarded to Conrad Botha & Bernard Botha, sadly they were not at the event to receive the award
The Professional Aviation Trophy was awarded to Phil Wakeley & Mary de Klerk for achieving the best navigation over the two days.
Leon Boutell & Martin Meyer received the Hoofstad Pers trophy for the first placed crew for the Northern Provinces.
Then came the moment that everyone had been waiting for, the announcement of the winners of the 2021 Persistents Trophy Air Race
In third place and the recipients of the Vincent Maclean Trophy was Cornelius Cloete and Barend Potgieter
Second place belonged to Cobus Broodryk and Mario Febrario they were awarded the Air Charter Trophy.
The Presidents Trophy and overall Winners of the 2021 PTAR are the Eagles Creek team of Leon Boutell and Martin Meyer. Loen and Martin will also become proud recipients of the coveted Black PTAR winners Blazer.
Once the winner was announced the only formality left was for the host of 2021 PTAR to hand over the Flag to the host for the 2022 PTAR. Bennie du Plessis, a member of the Bloemfontein Flying Club received the flag on behalf of the Club. So New Tempe it will be in 2022.