Richard Nicholson, Chairman of Nylstroom Flying Club, requested SAPFA hold a fun rally at the Taildraggers Event that he organised in July. Frank Eckard agreed to organize the rally, and 8 teams participated.
Most competitors stayed over at B&B’s, or camped at the airfield overnight. The organizers ensured that no pilot went hungry; Friday night dinner was prepared at the pub, and it was difficult to choose from a myriad of stall holders on Saturday, ranging from traditional breakfasts to curry vetkoek.
Pilots were easily distracted from their navigational tasks by all the activity at the airfield, but they were eventually airborne by 11 am, and flew a route that Cally Eckard had planned with the stark beauty of the area in mind. All pilots agreed that it was “pretty”, including one of the teams, who got lost shortly after the first turn point, and had to use their GPS to find their way back to Nylstroom.
After the second turn point the teams had to follow a road down a steep valley to turn point three, providing spectacular scenery along the way. From there the route took them westward to an old abandoned mine, then south around a game park and back parallel to the N1, over the Finish Point, which was Nylstroom Hospital, and back to the airfield.
Long-time participants Carl and Shaun were thrilled to take first place, saying that everything just fell into place. Local knowledge, first-timers’ luck or excellent flying and navigational skills provided Nylstroom’s only team of Lukas and Leon Eksteen with second place. This pair not only found most of the check points, but also a lot of the photographs, and incredibly good timing for novices at the sport, especially considering their nominated speed was 100 knots. Hopefully this father and son team will continue in this sport and provide some stiff competition for long-time contestants.
Also taking part were Emmie Oelofse and Jonty Esser, Frank Persson and Keith Irwin, and Juri Nyssen with Francois Wuras.
Long-time veterans Ron Stirk and Hans Schwebel took part in the Precision section of the rally, in training for the World Precision Champs in October.
The results for the Fun Rally were:
POSITION PILOT NAVIGATOR CALL SIGN SCORE
1 Carl Dollenger Shaun Murphy ZS-IRL 172
2 Lukas Eksteen Leon Eksteen ZS-NFA 639
3 Ralph Hurwitz Stephan Theron ZS-FLF 754
|1||5||Carl Dollenger||Shaun Murphy||ZS-IRL||Fun||52||0||0||0||120||0||0||172|
|2||1||Lukas Eksteen||Leon Eksteen||ZS-NFA||Fun||189||0||0||0||450||0||0||639|
|3||6||Ralph Hurwitz||Stephan Theron||ZS-FLF||Fun||384||0||0||0||370||0||0||754|
|4||2||Emmie Oelfse||Jonty Esser||ZU-LNI||Fun||720||0||0||0||60||0||0||780|
|5||3||Frank Persson||Keith Irwin||ZS-IOU||Fun||561||0||60||0||500||0||0||1121|
|6||4||Juri Nyssen||Francois Wuras||ZU-FAX||Fun||720||0||1020||0||820||0||0||2560|