Grand Central Fun Rally – 4 September 2010

By Cally Eckard
Grand Central, with its olde-worlde air and historic significance was a perfect location for a rally designed to fly over some of our rich and famous locations. From Nelson Mandela Bridge to Soccer City, over luscious golf courses, and from townships of Soweto to Sandton City, the teams thoroughly enjoyed the sights of Jo’burg while also concentrating on timing, navigation and safety.

For the first time, we held a briefing on the Wednesday evening before the rally. Most of the pilots attended, and many of them achieved really good results. This briefing was really helpful, as maps and instructions were handed out, and we all “flew” the route together on Google Earth, finding most of the photographs, and identifying features which helped the teams to fly the route more accurately during the rally.

The fifteen teams included two helicopters, which were of great interest to everyone, spawning arguments over whether rally flying in a helicopter would be an advantage or not.

Praise must go to Superior Pilots Services Flying Club who hosted the event, and to African Outdoor Group, the main sponsors. Frank and Cally Eckard planned the route, and Mary de Klerk helped to organise the event on the day.

First-time rallyers Ernst Wolfaart and Jean-Pierre Rousseau won first prize of two nights at Zebula Golf Estate and Spa. Stephan du Plooy and Petrus van Graan won gift vouchers for Pooley’s Flight Equipment. Third place went to more experienced rally team of Esmond Erasmus and Johan Goosen. The Spot Landing Competition was won by the 3-man team of Dave Keijer, Ryno Visser and Ruan Visser.

Full results are attached.

The fun rally program was started in 2006 to try to attract more pilots to the sport. Many pilots are intimidated by the idea of rally flying, envisioning the flying version of Sarel van der Merwe doing handbrake turns with dust flying over the enthralled crowds. This is far from reality. Rally flying was designed to promote flying safety, and every effort is made to enforce safety first at all times. The slower a plane can fly the better, and there is plenty of time to navigate and find photographs. Pilots are encouraged and taught how to fly with “heads out the cockpit” instead of using navigational equipment. We give the teams a lot of time before they take off to ask questions, and we take each team through navigational tips and safety briefings. The aim of rally is to HAVE FUN, and it is not intended to intimidate or overwhelm pilots. Once a team excels at the Fun Rally level we then encourage them to try the Open Class, and we continue to nurture and train these teams right through their sporting careers.

2010 Grand Central Challenge - First Position

2010 Grand Central Challenge – First Position

2010 Grand Central Challenge - Second Position

2010 Grand Central Challenge – Second Position

2010 Grand Central Challenge - Third Position

2010 Grand Central Challenge – Third Position

Full Results
SPS Lives of the Rich and Famous Fun  Rally
04-Sep-10 PLACE Grand Central
1 Ernst Wolfaart Jean-Pierre Rousseau ZS-FOF 0 0 16 15 0 31
2 Stephan Du Plooy Petrus van Graan ZU-EKR 0 0 72 13 0 85
3 Esmond Erasmus Johan Goosen ZS-CHJ 0 60 43 40 0 143
4 Ron Stirk Dusty Stirk ZS-IWD 0 250 18 8 0 276
5 Roger Bozzoli Hansie Fourie ZS-NPB 0 260 121 20 0 401
6 Shane Uren Eben Strydom ZS-SPS 0 230 257 20 0 507
7 Savas Nicolaides Stojan Korda ZS-PMW 0 360 205 6 0 571
8 Johan Loubser Angelic Knox ZS-IUD 0 0 613 44 0 657
9 Richard Chance Natasha Chance ZS-BZL 0 560 95 2 0 657
10 Pierre Dippenaar Rob Jonkers ZS-KEZ 0 360 308 15 0 683
11 Alan Kynoch Anthon Meyer ZS-LGD 0 160 529 20 0 709
12 Dave Teyer Ruan & Ryan Visser ZU-RFA 0 240 696 1 0 937
13 Chase Wells Steve van der Merwe ZS-FRK 0 260 723 20 0 1003
14 Elsabe Pienaar Hendrick Venter ZS-LXE 0 470 529 50 0 1049
15 Hugo Visser Rob Osner ZU-BMF 0 490 620 0 0 1110