The entry list started off with 15 pilots but Brandon cancelled and Andrew Blackwood Murray succumbed to the flu so we ended up with 13 guys. Poor Andrew flew up from the Cape on Friday already so that he could practice but arrived not feeling well at all and by Sunday decided to keep it safe and pull out. (that sounds more like a teenager on his first date). Jonty Esser arrived on Friday as well, champing at the bit and flew a few practice sequences. Well, to say he flew the first few sequences is not quite the right wording, more like “fell through “, but by the end of the day, with a bit of coaching from all and sundry, he was doing well for a novice sportsman pilot. Go Jonty, you’re getting better with every flight! And then on his last flight of the day, thinking that he has to impress us all with a really low fly by, he damages our only tar runway with his prop! The town council is not impressed Jonty and will be contacting you soon! But all is well that ends well, Nigel and the boys negotiated borrowing a prop from Boris by promising him free beer and better scores once he starts flying comps again. Thanks Boris!
By this time I had only had 6 flights in the Yak 55 and was having second thoughts as to whether I had made a mistake buying it, I just could not get through the sequence without mother earth trying to kiss me goodbye. Come Saturday and Nigel and Bugs arrive in their usual style, give me a stern talking to, and suddenly I am flying a different aircraft! Thanks guys, you did me a big favour! By this time Conrad had also arrived all the way from the Free State and was wearing shoes for a change. Conrad you should really consider wearing shoes a lot more often, your flying was so much better than when we last saw you flying in Bloem! Andrew Fletcher arrived quietly and impressed us with his flying too. Andrew, practice those flicks more! So practice on Saturday went well with everyone flying as many sequences as they liked and finally left after copious amounts of beer had been consumed and went off to enjoy supper.
Sunday morning and everyone enjoyed breakfast before the 9 o’clock briefing. The weather was perfect with a 10 knot north westerly that gradually tapered off to 1 or 2 knots by the afternoon, clear skies with an eventual air scavenging density altitude of 7100 feet at 30 deg C!
First flight was at ten and so the show began. Some character posted on facebook that it was an airshow, and that caused of bit of worry in case the crowds started rolling in, but it all turned out okay as the couple of hundred spectators added a bit of colour and pretty entertainment for all the starved pilots. There were numerous nubile distractions causing many pilots to miss there start times giving the judges lots of time to discuss flights at leisure. It is rumored that Elton was so pleasantly distracted that he considered not flying the comp at all!
Apparently one of the competitors was so upset with what he perceived as unfair judging on his first flight that he paid William, our master braaier, to make sure the judges would not get steak for lunch, but not be outdone, the judges just changed and cancelled unknown sequences in a valiant attempt to get even! The guilty pilot then realizing the error of his ways and fearing reprisals from Conrad, made sure that they all received special steaks at the end of the comp, except Laz who had to leave early as he had left the stove on at home or something to that effect.
On a serious note, the comp was enjoyed by one and all and I want to once again thank everyone for their support, enthusiasm and camaraderie at the event! We really have a special club where everyone works together to a common goal of doing well where it really counts, world championship events!
Congratulations not only to the winners, but to all competing pilots!