September 1997

1987 BMW OFS Rally

Tempe – 26 September 1997

On Friday afternoon the organisers Messrs Dr Fontanel, Dup du Plessis and Kassie Kaselman were worried men, and rightly so as the weather was low cloud as far as the eye could see – the rains, as yet, had not begun.

Colin Jordaan and John Adams
Colin Jordaan and John Adams

Saturday morning arrived with the same conditions still prevailing but nothing could dampen the enthusiasm of the Bloemfontein Flying Club and their helpers, who assisted in manning various checkpoints. A field of eleven crew was briefed by Dup and the master map was put out for the crews to copy in their allocated lime. The rally format was nicely presented with a secret leg which had to be worked out during the flight. Photographs also had to be identified – thirteen in all, plus five secret ground markers. Dup flew me around the 100 nm course just before the first competitor was due to take off. We checked to see all the ground marshalls and markers were in place at the correct spots.

The organisation of this rally was faultless, thanks to the three wise men and the time and deliberation they took to make this a successful event. At the end of the rally a spot landing had to be carried out and here some more penalties were collected by all. I think only one or two good landings were accomplished out of the whole field. The three wise men worked diligently without the assistance of modern technology – computers and managed without any sweat to have the preliminary results out by 4.00 p.m.

Once these had been checked by the competitors, and minor errors sorted out, the final results ware there for all to see at 5.30 p.m. – a record time indeed. We purposely delayed the announcement of the results and kept everyone in suspense just a little bit longer – this resulted in a record bar taking, I am sure.

Finally, the results to sixth position were made known as follows:

1 C. Jordaan & J. Adams 1592
2 D. Perelson & I. Perelson 1821
3 G. Henschel & I. Kruger 1823
4 A. Pilling & K. Croskill 2049
5 D. Mostert & A. Mostert 2103
6 J. Swart & A. Schoeman 2108

A splendid spit braai followed and everyone appeared to have a good time. We arrived back at our hotel at about 16.30 p.m. and all hell broke loose at around 12 o’clock when thunder, rain, hail, wind were unleashed from the heavens. The Natal floods had just begun. Thanks to the SAA Flight 404 on Sunday morning we were able to get back home – all seven of us from Port Elizabeth, leaving behind our aircraft and crew from W.P. The Natal boys managed to get airborne and somehow found their way back home eventually.

To all the competitors let me say thank you for your sportsmanlike attitude, and to all the Vry Staters, particularly the organisers – baie dankie vir’n plesierige naweek – ons het dit geniet