13th WORLD RALLY FLYING CHAMPIONSHIPS
Pilanesburg/Rustenburg 26 July to 3 August 2003
The fact that South Africa were going to compete in a World Championship event on home ground really sunk in when the team was announced just after the S A Nationals at Rustenburg held during the first week of April 2003. The team selected was:
Adrian Pilling and Renier Moolman – 2003 S A Champions, Brits Flying Club,
Nigel Hopkins and Dale de Klerk – 5 time S A Champions, Brits Flying Club,
Hans Schwebel and Ron Stirk – Brits Flying Club,
Barry de Groot and Mary de Klerk – Cato Ridge Flying Club,
Frank Eckard and Quinten Tailor – Gauteng, and
Walter Walle and James Lidderd – Bloemfontein Flying Club.
Robin and Chris Spencer Scarr – Rustenburg Flying Club, and
Ernie Alexander and Wendy Barter – Brits Flying Club
A few meetings were held and a training schedule was laid down and the preparations began. We all knew that the only way that we were going to achieve a good result was to put in absolutely everything and a bit more. And did this team put in everything? Guys, (and girls) were travelling from as far as Durban and Bloemfontein almost every second weekend to attend the training camps. The Brits & Rustenburg airspace was a buzz of activity with training and even two inter provincial competitions were squeezed in. Deon v Greunen, our trusty “shrink” offered his services at a rate that we could not refuse, and, did he perform some magic with some of us? (Most of us, I think) It was amazing how he got us to build a team spirit of note in such a short time. The man is a true champion in his own rights.
By the middle of July we had flown every square mile of the area where the championships would be held. The navigators had plotted more routes in these three months than they would normally in a year. Every aspect of rally flying was covered from every angle you could imagine. WE WERE READY!
On the 25th July, We all booked into the Cabanas at Sun City and got ourselves settled so that we could do what we had been training to do.
28 July Official Practice Day
What a wake up call ? The G P S loggers had taken their toll and Deon certainly didn´t make the rest any easier.
29th July. Day One.
30th July. Day Two.
31st July. Day Three and the final day.
It was all over bar the shouting. Everyone was exhausted, now waiting for some form of results. Only on Friday the 1st August did we get results for day one. By now everyone had found something to keep themselves busy with and most of the foreign crews went on the trip to cultural village. By Saturday we had been given results for day two and we could now do our own calculations. South Africa was looking good.
A first place for the individual team of Nigel Hopkins And Dale de Klerk, The New WORLD CHAMPIONS. And a team gold medal for the South African team of Nigel Hopkins, Dale de Klerk, and Adrian Pilling, Renier Moolman
- 1st Hopkins N – de Klerk D – RSA
- 2nd Darocha J – Chrzaszcz Z – Poland
- 3rd Strube N – Sicard P – France
- 4th Tremblet J – Bertranier J – France
- 5th Filip J – Filip M – Czech Republic
- 1st Hopkins N & de Klerk D and Pilling A & Moolman R – RSA
- 2nd Strube N & Sicard P and Tremblet J & Bertranier J – France
- 3rd Darocha J & Chrzaszcz Z and Bartler M & Wieczorek M – Poland
Just as we thought it was all over, we realise that we need to go and defend our titles in Denmark during July 2004