WoW! What an incredible weekend of flying was had at the SAC Western Cape Regionals, held at Swellendam Airfield. We could not have asked for better weather on the day!
Initially we had a field of 20 entries, but unfortunately 3 pilots from Namibia had to withdraw, owing to high winds in their path to Swellendam, and a number of unfortunate pilots who own Sbachs had received news a week prior, that the aircraft was not allowed to do aerobatics until further notice from the XA factory.
That being said, we still had a great turnout, and as always, the members from the Swellendam Club pulled out all the stops to make us feel at home!
While we had pilots fly in from Gauteng, Eastern Cape and the Free State, the biggest contingent of pilots came from the Stellenbosch Flying Club.
The day started out with two graduate pilots, who needed to do a sequence in front of the judges, in order to be cleared to compete in the contest. When one hears the word graduate, one thinks of a newbie…someone still learning…but these two chaps blew us away. Not only did they graduate with flying colours, but they each took a gold medal, one for the RV class (Marko Nel), and one for the Sportsman class (Alewyn Burger). It needs to be mentioned, that Alewyn entered both the RV and the Sportsman classes. Well done chaps!
A special mention also needs to be made of the father and son team of Barrie and Tristan Eeles, who competed (in different classes) for their first time together.
The morning saw the pilots competing in the Known and Free Known sequences. These are sequences they have been able to practice prior to the contest. After lunch they had to fly the unknown sequences. These sequences are given to the pilots the night before the contest, and they are not able to practice them at all, other than walking the sequence on the ground. And this is always where the fun begins.
This is where a pilot, who is in the lead, can actually drop down a position or two, owing to a mistake, that drastically reduces the scores.
At the end of the day the results were as follows:
1st – Marko Nel
2nd – Alewyn Burger
3rd – Johan Ferreira
1st – Alewyn Burger
2nd – Machiel du Plessis
3rd – Tristan Eeles
1st – Mark Oostingh
2nd – Markku Torppa
3rd – Andrew Blackwood-Murray
1st – Barrie Eeles
2nd – Eugene du Preez
The Sport Aerobatic Club would like to thank all involved at the Swellendam Club, for an absolutely fantastic contest.
By Annie Boon