August 1998

KWA ZULU NATAL Rally Flying Championships

Cato Ridge – 9 August 1998

Barry de Groot

Cato Ridge airfield was once again a hive of activity with the KWA ZULU NATAL Rally flying championships held on 9th August 1998. While the number of competitors was only 7 a great time was had by all. This was partly due to the fact that Ron Stirk has the ability to keep the jokes and laughter going non stop, and makes so much noise that you would be forgiven for thinking that there were at least 20 teams present.

Andre Fourie designed a tough course for us with 18 en-route photographs and 9 turn point photos covering a distance of 138 nautical miles. The course was split in two at approximately the half way mark, 9 photographs marked with a green border covered the first half and 9 photos with a red border covered the second half. Andre designed the course in this way so that microlights wishing to compete could do so by flying only half the course. Unfortunately only one microlight pilot Jas Van Wyk took up the challenge.

Friday the weather was typical of the past 3 months �..perfect! Hans, Ron, Dicky, and Quinton had terrific flights down from Gauteng. But true to form Saturday dawned overcast with drizzle, keeping the guys wishing to practice firmly on the ground, at least in the morning, for after lunch at about 2.OOpm the sun came out. This was great as apart from making it possible to practice, it allowed two teams from Bloemfontein to get through, namely Walter with Nico and Jack Onderstall with Lucas Wiese, who are a new team flying a beautifully constructed KITFOX.

Unfortunately Andre had to be in London for business during the week before the event and handed the completed course over to me to run it. Naturally I preferred to fly it, and besides we needed to have the JABIRU compete to help make up the numbers. To accomplish this I roped Mickey Biermann in to run the event for us. Mickey has organised and run several events for the microlights, so he only required a quick conversion to enable him to run a S.A.P.F.A. event. All went well with the exception of the computer program which we could not get to run on our computer, a second program was emailed to us by Dave Perelson in Port Elizabeth but was still unsuccessful. Undaunted Mickey quickly made up a spreadsheet and had results out in a short time. This was made possible partly to only having 7 competitors.

The event was flown on Sunday in perfect weather. All made it around the course safely except Jas Van Wyk who had to return to base with a very green looking navigator, fortunately arriving back before he dished his egg and bacon up for the second time.

Results of the KWA ZULU NATAL Rally are as follows:

  • Barry de Groot / Mary de Klerk
  • Dicky Swanepoel / Quenton Taylor
  • Hans Schwebel / Ron Stirk
  • Frank Eckard / Nico Henning
  • Walter Walle / Nico
  • Jack Onderstall / Lucas Wiese