Baragwanath Fun Rally - 2 July 2011

The Fun Rally finally returned to Baragwanath Airfield after two years of waiting.

Holding these rallies in various venues introduces the sport to members of those clubs who have not before participated. Baragwanath is a case in point, where six local club pairs took part in this event, three of them being first-time rallyists.

Bee and Gerhardt provided a delicious breakfast along with bottomless coffee, which was in great demand in near-minus temperatures.

Once everyone had warmed up, and all ten teams had registered, map preparation began in earnest, under instruction and guidance from veteran rally pilot Frank Eckard. Although several of the teams had not flown rallies before, and some had not even planned to take part, they all managed to find most of the turn points, and even “newbies” were finding photographs with enthusiasm. First-timers Dominique Van Roey and Leon Bouttell claimed that home-ground advantage enable them to take third place, and were very encouraged by their result, so veteran rallyists should look out for this competitive pair!

With nerves on edge and pulses racing they all took off by 10h30, flying at speeds varying between 70 and 100 Knots, which are nominated by the teams themselves. By 12h20 all teams had returned, exchanging their experiences with each other and looking forward to seeing how their routes looked once Frank had downloaded their loggers onto his laptop. They also had to fill in answer sheets, which were checked by Cally Eckard.

Mary de Klerk had planned a lovely easy route, ideal for first-timers to try out the sport, and for veterans to hone their timing skills. The directions took them through 10 turn points, down to Vaal Barrage, and then over the old Vanderbijlpark Airfield and back home to Baragwanath. Maps with the turn points and route printed on them were handed to each team, who then had to fill in other details such as bearings and times.

At each rally some of the Protea team members are available to give their advice and to encourage new pilots to the sport. We urge every pilot to try out this sport, to improve their flying and navigation skills, and to enjoy a morning’s flying with other pilots.

The top 3 results were:
POSITION PILOT/NAVIGATOR
1 Henk Koster/Jan Roode
2 Esmond Erasmus/Johan Goosen
3 Dominique Smuts-Stein/Leon Bouttell

Please join us for the next Fun Rally at Nylstroom (Modimolle) on Saturday 16 July. This event will be combined with Nylstroom’s Taildragger Fly-in, and all types of aircraft are welcome to join the rally.

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