Leading up to the Rally Flying World Championships that will be held at Stellenbosch in 2020 The South African Powered Flight Association (SAPFA) have decided on having a series of Rallies to around the country. Pilots and Navigators will be allocated point which will count towards the Pilot or Navigators eligibility to be chosen to represent and receive Protea Colours.
The first of these Rallies was held in Stellenbosch on 3 November, unfortunately the turnout was what the organisers hoped for, but never the less it was a very successful Rally flown in one of the most beautiful areas in South Africa.
Pre Race briefing
Current South African Champion, Mary de Klerk, had a late change in her team her pilot had to withdraw at the last moment, Richard Newton a retired airline captain stepped up to the plate and with his expert flying skill and Mary’s navigation abilities they manged to win the Intermediate Class.
The Rally did attract a few new teams to the sport, the winner of the Sportsman Class Ashleigh Prinsloo and Navigator Marko Nel did exceptionally well for a first outing, hopefully they will continue in the sport and who knows they may even be wearing a green blazer in 2020.
Shane Britz and Karen Stroud, regular entrants in the Gauteng based Rallies, flew their Jabiru all the way to Stellenbosch to compete and were rewarded with a well-deserved second place in the Sportsman Class. Their journey was a gruelling sixteen hour round trip, all for the love of flying.
Shane Britz and Karen Stroud
The route consisted of eleven checkpoints, including start and finish, after take-off the teams made their way in a North Westerly direction up towards Koeberg, before turning right and zig zagging back into the Stellenbosch valley. The Sportsman's class had to identify nine sequential photos, one on each leg whilst the Intermediates and Advanced had the daunting task having to identify twenty non-sequential photos. The course set by Frank and Cally Eckard was everything but easy, all teams managed to find their way around the course and all returned safely to base.
Frank Hard at Work
Jonty Esser and Sandi Goddard had to return to base and start the course again as their door popped open and despite their attempts to hold on half of their map ended up escaping. Jonty and Sandi were the only Advanced Class competitors.
The Remains Jonty and Sandi's Map
Neither Pilot nor Navigator have earned Protea Colours in the past was won by Ashleigh Prinsloo and Marko Nel in a Cessna 152 they achieved a very respectable score of 628. Very close behind them with 643 points was the team of Shane Britz and Karen Stroud in their trusty Jabiru. Third place belonged to Alewyn Burger and Benjamin Csverveny in a RV6.
Ashleigh Prinsloo and Marko Nel
Shane Britz and Karen Stroud
One of the team either Navigator or Pilot had previously achieved Protea Colours, Richard Newton and Mary de Klerk were the clear winners with an excellent score of only 771, Richard and Mary competed in a RV7. Second up was the team of Mauritz du Plessis and Andre Kluyts in a Cessna 206 they manged a score of 1441. Anton and Pamela Russell came in third only 46 points behind with a total of 1487, Anton and Pamela competed in a Cessna 172.
Richard Newton and Mary de Klerk
Mauritz du Plessis
Pamela and Anton Russell
Complete Protea teams compete in this class unfortunately there was only one team that qualified for Advanced. Jonty Esser and Sandi Goddard in a Cessna 172 manged a score of 905 points.
Jonty Esser and Sandi Goddard
All the points earned in this rally will be added to the Rally Championship Table the current leader board places Jonty and Sandi on top.
Current Championship Standings
Championship Points Awarded for Stellenbosh