The Adventure Fun Rally format was designed to be exactly what the name suggests, Adventurous and Fun, The first Adventure Fun Rally was held in 2015 and has become a favourite amongst the not so serious rally pilots.
The Adventure Fun Rallies have been part of the EAA Sun n Fun since 2015 and have become something that many people look forward to at the Sun n Fun events. Twenty teams took part this year ranging from very young to the very experienced and every one competes on the same level.
The “Theme” at this year’s rally was Waterways around the Brits area, there is no shortage of waterways as there are well over 540 km of irrigation canals and tunnels in the Crocodile River valley.
GPS’s devices are allowed and can be pre-programmed when the map is received but to really challenge yourself it is encouraged to plot your course the “old fashioned” way on a map.
The route took the contestants south of Brits to the Magaliesberg and Hatebeespoort Dam following canals and other waterways, some of the contestants followed the river instead of the canals as was seen by their logger printouts. The Northern part of the route, an ANR, in the bushveld required the teams to fly with some accuracy in a 1 km wide corridor over terrain that required accurate navigation as the bushveld tends to hide many features.
Each route’s leg had turning point photographs to be recognised (either being correct or incorrect), mostly Google Earth photos, a few real world one’s taken some time ago, but still featured the same view.
Questions are set up for the crews to answer, they are all general questions about the area and added to the flight papers was a booklet of wiki notes that if read would make answering the questions much easier.
After the briefing, and with 20 minutes prior take-off with handing out papers, the first competitors took to the skies at 10.30, with the last off at 12.00. The weather was brewing hot, and although not much wind, there was plenty turbulence over the route, but otherwise an excellent clear day for flying.
Assumption seemed to plague many of the contestants, a prime example of this was the runway at turn point 2, and many of the crews assumed it must be Bundu Inn, Odi or Kroon when in fact it was a farm strip along the R566.
Up in the northern part of the route, where careful and accurate navigation was required as the ground features are sparse in the bushveld, many missed the first Turn point in the corridor it was a lodge that proved very elusive, the Google photo was an incorrect one, and appeared in any case as if the lodge had become a ruin in the meantime.
On returning, the competitors had to carry out a spot landing where landing line judges Hans Schwebel and Ron Stirk were on hand to adjudicate. The point system for the landing is calculated in one meter blocks stating at the bingo line each block is worth 10 penalty points so if one lands in the third block a penalty of 30 is added to the total.
When all was tallied up, the crew of Leon Bouttell and Karyn Purchase in their Sportstar ZU-FBJ attained first place with 33 points, Rob McFie and his flying buddy “Neil Armstrong attained” 2nd place, with third place going to Mark Clulow and Deon Coetzee. 4th Place belonged to the all woman team of Marie Reddy and Carmela Lattanzi. The Sling floating trophy was handed over to Leon Bouttell and Karyn Purchase, this being the 4th event where this floating trophy has been awarded.
Leon Bouttell and Karyn Purchase
Rob McFie and “Neil Armstrong"
Mark Clulow and Deon Coetzee
Marie Reddy and Carmela Lattanzi
1st Place in Navigation Accuracy in the Navigaton Corridor Section Michiel and Greyling Jansen.
The best landing of the day honours was taken by Von Hamman he managed to put it down just one meter off the bingo line.
Richard Nicholson Jnr took the title of youngest pilot at only 17 and as an added bonus he managed to beat his father in the overall standings.
Thus came to the end of a hopefully enjoyable day for everybody who took part, and given the large amount of competitors, it should bode well for doing this again in the future.
Many thanks are extended to Rob Jonkers for setting up the course, Marie Reddy for the assisting with the administration of the event, arranging the prizes, also the prize sponsors, Comet Aviation Supplies, Aviation Direct (the makers of Easy Plan), Shell, Flightline Weekly and SA Flyer.