November 1986

1986 Comair W P Provincial Air Rally

Held at Stellenbosch – 29 November 1986

By Brian Ferguson

By Wednesday afternoon, it had stopped raining and the North-Wester had started to make way for the South Atlantic high. It moved in slowly over the Cape Peninsula, in other words, good weather could be expected for the Western Province Air Rally, but, the South-Easter could still be a factor to reckoned with.

Dave Mostert and Anton Mostert
Dave and Anton Mostert (Natal), winners of the WP Air Rally.

I’m sorry, it’s not a weather forecast on SATV, but more like how the organizers and competitors kept a somewhat worried eye on the progress of the weather.

By Friday, most of the entrants had arrived in Cape Town and some had already put in a great deal of practice. That evening, the Good Hope Flying Club opened its doors to some 120 pilots, navigators and guests for the pre- rally reception. Snacks were served and the wine flowed as old friends remninisced and new friends were made.

Saturday, the 29th November dawned, and Stellenbosch Airfield was a hive of activity. With a record number of 44 entries, including nine Springboks, namely John Adarns, Colin Jordaan, Dave Mostert, Adrian Pilling, Dave Campbell, John Stratford, Dave Perelson, Maurice Nathan and Mike Seymour, everyone knew it was not going to be an easy rally.

Ernest MacDonald and Mike Seymour
Ernest MacDonald and Mike Seymour (WP) 7th in the WP Air Rally. Good Hope Flying Club

The route which Martin Pollack drew up for the competitors stretched over the most scenic parts of the Western Cape and Boland. It left Stellenbosch for the start on the beach at Strand, then on to Pringle Bay followed by a curved track up the Bot River valley to Franschbock. From there the route followed the Berg River valley past Paarl, Wellington and through the Swartland wheatfields to Bokbaai. Then competitors flew Eastwards past Fisantekraal to Lynedoch and finished overhead the picturesque surrounds of the Stellenbosch Airfield. In the end 39 aircraft completed the 200 nm rally, and crews moved to the Bellville Holiday Inn for the Prize-giving function.

It was late at night when the results were announced. In first place were Dave and Anton Mostert, who with 125 penalties, have done well during this year’s rally circuit in the Mooney, LHE. Johan Swart and Andre Schoeman from the University of Stellenbosch Flying Club came second, only 9 penaties behind the winners in a Cessna 152, JYU. These two Stellenboschers were last year’s winners and came 3rd and 2nd respectively at the National Precision Flying Championships in Grahamstown this year.

Third place was taken by the Springboks John Adams and Colin Jordaan, while in 4th Place was the wife/husband team of Ivanhoe and Dave Perelson. Another husband/wife team, Peter and Di Norton came 5th, followed by Dave and John Campbell (Natal), Ernest MacDonald and Mike Seymour (WP), Frank White and James Craven (WP) Adrian Pilling and Rob Crosskill (Natal) and in 1Oth Place, Maurice Nathan and John Stratford (Tvl).

Johan Swart and Andre Schoeman
Johan Swart and Andre Schoeman (WP) 2nd in the WP Air Rally University of Stellenbosch

As the W.P. Air Rally is the last in the circuit, Ivanhoe and Dave Perelson (EP) are overall winners of this year’s rally circuit, with Dave and Anton Mostert (Natal) coming second.

The following trophies were also awarded:
Best Performance by a Lady: Ivanhoe Perelson
Best Performance by a Pilot with less than 150 hours: Pieter Rabic (WP)
Best Performance by a Pilot under 21 years: Georg Gruber (EP)
The First Family Team: Dave and Anton Mostert
The Team who succeeded in fooling all concerned. Howard Parker
First Cessna: Johan Swart and Andre Schoeman
First Piper: Ernest MacDonald & Mike Seymour
First Beecheraft: Patrick Murray & 0 Pletzer

The organizers of the W.P. Air Rally wish to express their sincere gratitude to all who assisted in making this rally possible. In particular we would like to thank the sponsors which allowed us to offer record prize money to the value of R2700,00