Wings ‘n Tracks National Precision Flying Championships
Brits, South Africa – 28 to 29 April 2005.
By Adrian Pilling
Wednesday, 27 April
The enthusiastic town of Brits was the host to this prestigious event, again. This town is truly amazing as the marshals and all the officials are so dedicated to this sport that quite literally if they did not do what they did the sport would battle to survive. Thanks guys and gals.
The evening briefing was fun with most of the crews settling down for the night. However one of the crews, Nigel Hopkins, was still flying the Boeing back from Bombay and we were not sure he could make it.
Thursday, 28 April
The day dawned, cold and a little hazy. The first off for the day was Adrian Pilling, into flight planning at 8am. The rest of the crews followed with Nigel Hopkins racing across form Jhb International to make the competition and Frank Eckard arriving in time to join too.
The route was tough but fair. One mishap however got the competitors talking amongst themselves is that Mary de Klerk forgot to put her logger in the plane and in doing so scored maximum penalties for the day (OOOOOPS). The route featured 12 photos, 4 ground markers and 9 legs. A deceptive route to say the least.
The Competition was scored swiftly and accurately and before the evening meal was served by the Brits supporters, the results were out. 1st Place Nigel Hopkins, 2nd Place Barry de Groot, 3rd Place Adrian Pilling, 4th Place Jan Hanekom, 5th Frank Eckard, 6th Place Ron Stirk, 7th Place Hans Schwebel, 8th Place Ernie Alexander, 9th Place Mauritz Due Plessis, 10th Place Walter Walle, 11th Place Mary de Klerk (due to the logger story, otherwise Mary would have been 5th).
A great evening was had by all and after much merrymaking the crews retired for the night and prepared for the coming battle.
Friday, 29 April
The day started with a bright and sunny morning and the usual Brits enthusiasm had everybody panting with anticipation for the coming competition. The start order was the same as yesterday with Adrian taking off first.
The route was again a deceptively simple route around the province, featuring much difficult terrain and difficult photographs, a typical tough Brits competition.
The day proved challenging with many mishaps occurring. Adrian had a problem with his logger which failed to record the flight and as a result scored maximum (OOPS), Nigel had a mishap in flight planning scoring maximum (OOPS).
The landings produced their own set of dramas with Ron Stirk clearly in the lead, but scoring a skip and putting him down the field (OOPS). Then with Barry slightly in the lead over Nigel and with one landing to go, Barry executed a perfect landing and was clearly set to pip Nigel at the post when it was discovered that he had taken off with ten degrees of flaps and had forgotten to remove them for the final landing and in so doing scoring maximum for this landing (OOPS), thus handing the championship to Nigel. Wow what a nail biting finish for the competitors.
Adrian won the landing competition thus making up somewhat for the logger problem earlier in the day.
That evening the competitors waited in eager anticipation for the results. A huge braai was enjoyed by all and then down to business. The final results were:-
- 1 Nigel Hopkins 583
- 2 Jan Hanekom 635
- 3 Hans Schwebel 670
- 4 Ron Stirk 760
- 5 Barry de Groot 772
- 6 Frank Eckard 938
- 7 Ernie Alexander 1509
- 8 Walter Walle 1909
- 9 Mauritz Du Plessis 2406
- 10 Adrian Pilling ** 3387
- 11 Mary de Klerk ** 3452
What’s more the provisional squad to the World Championships in France next year was announced. The squad comprises:- Hopkins, Pilling, Hanekom, de Klerk, Schwebel, Stirk, de Groot, Alexander. Well done to you all.
Thank you to the following for a great event. The Competition Director and Chief Judge was Chris Booysen ably assisted by his wife Denise. The Jury comprised Dicky Swanepoel, Thys Herman and Tony Peeters. The Chief Marshall was Jacques Jacobs. The Safety Officer was Ruben Knotze. The Route Planner was Deon Van Den Berg. The Fuel Officer was Paul Hermann. Of course a big thanks to the Brits Flying Club and all the supporters for their very hard work. A special thank you to Wings n’ Tracks for their sponsorship and of course to the marshals for all their hard work.
Thank you all.
Wings ‘n Tracks National Precision Flying Championships – Brits 2005 – Detailed Results
|Day One||Day Two||Land||Grand|
|5||Barry de Groot||1||20||140||66||0||227||0||20||100||192||0||312||233||772|
|9||Mauritz Du Plessis||4||40||160||770||0||974||0||40||140||943||0||1123||309||2406|
|10||Adrian Pilling **||0||40||60||156||0||256||0||20||80||3000||0||3100||31||3387|
|11||Mary de Klerk **||0||40||60||3000||0||3100||0||0||80||210||0||290||62||3452|
|– M de Klerk was penalised 2 768 penalties due having to return to the field after take-off to collect a logger|
|– A Pilling had a logger failure on Day 2 resulting in the allocation of maximim flight penalties|
Jacques and Walter
Marshall at AFP
2005 Precision Jury
Jacques Jacobs – Chief Marshall
Maurits landing ZS-MAE.
Landing competition spectators
Jan Hanekom landing ZU-CNG
Barbara – Event Sponsor
Nigel and Barry
Hans Schwebel – 3rd Place
Jan Hanekom – 2nd Place