WORLD FLYING CHAMPIONSHIPS – 2006 – Part 3 – The Rally Flying Championship


Incorporating the 15th World Rally Flying Championships,
and the 17th World Precision Flying Championships

Troyes, France – 21 to 31 July 2006.

By Chris Booysen

S A Rally and Precision Team Logo

Part 3 – The Rally Flying Championship

Thursday, 27 July

The official program for the Rally Flying Championship is an official practice day on 27 July 2006, followed by three competition rallies and then a reserve day and the prize giving on the 31st July.

The competition director has spaced the field in such a way that aircraft would be flying from 9:30 in the morning up to 17:00 in the afternoon. This, combined with a forecast of severe thunderstorms, leads to the officials postponing the official practice day. All teams are handed the route for the day and all fly the route as a practice with no weather related problems. The forecast thunderstorms never appear so the event could have been run as planned.

The forecast for the second day is also for severe thunderstorms. After the incorrect forecast of the previous day it was decided that the official practice day would be run but with the field far more compressed so that the flying will completed earlier in the day. The official practice day is run as if it is a competition except the scores are not taken into account

Once again the forecast is incorrect and the weather is good, overcast and much cooler. The practice was a good one for the South African team as it allows us to sort out the last few problems. The team is now ready for the competition.

The first competition day dawned. The teams are given their instruction 25 minutes before take off. Added to this are another 5 or so minutes flying to the start which means most can plot the entire route before the start line. The route contains an away landing, an arc that needs to be flown and some turning points that are in a sealed envelope. The first competition day is a bit of a disaster. Each of the our teams made a silly mistake which results in penalties. All the SA team members are lying between 30th and 44th place. The local French team is doing well as are the Poles (of course). As a country we are lying in 9th place, far below our expectations.

As a result of a protest by Poland a number of legs are cancelled. The instructions in the sealed envelope follow after three turning points from the turning point that indicates which envelope must be opened. The rules require four points.

The route for the second day of the competition was similar to the first day. A long time to plot, an arc to fly and an away landing.

The South African team had an even worse day than day one. Most of the team do not see that they were not allowed to fly over a small village that was situated on the flight path immediately after the touch and go away landing. This resulted in 200 penalties. Added to that were a few missed check points, a some incorrect plots, a bad landing or two and a number of missed photos. Frank Eckard fare the best of our team with 658 points. They are followed by Barry de Groot and Mary de Klerk who flew incredibly accurately (46 flight penalty points) but ended on 686 points due to the landings, en-route photos and the penalty for overflying the village.

The top South African team is only in 32nd place. A huge disappointment for the team. The dissapointment is tempered slightly when the team manager, Chris Booysen, is called up at the prize giving to accept the Credit Agricole Trophy for “Team Spirit and Fair Play”.

Full results and pictures can be found at the Official Troyes Website

Pictures taken by various team members
Ernie and Francois
New SA Team Ernie and Francois
Emily, Chris and Frank
Emily of the Info Desk
Anita, Lorraine and Barry
After a hard day
Typical scenery
Typical scenery of the area
Typical scenery
Typical scenery of the area
Typical scenery
Typical scenery of the area