May 1961

The last time the Governor-Generals Cup was awarded was in 1961. The event was held on 26/27 May 1961, the last weekend before the Republic of South Africa came into being.

The race has the traditional routing of a course that covered at least 1 000 miles and entered all four of the provinces. The race started at the Baragwanath airfield in Johannesburg and finished at Benoni. The route was going to be via Kimberley (refuel), Ladybrand, Harrismith to Ladysmith for a night stop) and then to Benoni via Nelspruit, Tzaneen (refuel) and Potgietersrus but the route was shortened to avoid the Drakensburg.

An article in the 30 March 1961 issue of Flight magazine (see attached) indicated that this would be the last race and that “the organisers of the 1961 race, mostly loyal monarchists, have decided that if this year’s race is to be the last it shall certainly be the best” This statement obviously created a stir as a retraction was published in the 27 April issue of the magazine (attached).

The race was one by Mr A P Nieman in a Fairchild 24. There were 37 finishers out of a field of 39. A report on the race was included in the Flight of 22 June.


Attachment Size
Flight – 30 March 1961 348.92 KB
Flight – 27 April 1961 358.79 KB
Flight – 22 June 1961 351.22 KB