By Robin Spencer-Scarr

"What the hell are we going to do if the weather forecast is correct and we get rain?" Neels van Deventer's nervous voice begged over the phone on Friday afternoon. "Don't worry," I said, "the weather man is an even bigger liar than a politician." I tried to sound a lot calmer that I felt.

Well, as it turned out, the weather held and we all arrived to the welcoming voice of Nigel, the safety officer and advisory ATC for the day.

A hearty breakfast washed down with a steaming cup of coffee settled a few nerves although Neels, Nigel, Chris and Robin had to struggle with the decision of which runway to use as the wind remained in favour of 19 after it knew we were all set up for 01

"What if we let them finish here?" somebody asked. ".... and then let them land at Wonderboom," came a quick response, "because when they're screaming over the runway, we can't have anyone on short final can we?" "Not unless we want to spoil everybody's day with an aluminium shower!" "Well then what if we .........." and so the conversation went on and on until finally an acceptable solution was found.

Derek from African Outdoor Group had set up his rig with a podium and P.A. and, more importantly, he had set up the most fabulous 'lecture room' situation with chairs and long tables that would have such a good idea if it weren't for the wind again. We are all so looking forward to seeing this setup at the next event as it looked like exactly the right way to do a briefing.

The briefing was held in the clubhouse which was very comfortable after Derek's guys had kindly moved the podium and microphone inside to avoid the weather. Robin did the safety and detailed briefing and Mary gave them the track and a quick lesson on how to navigate.

With the planned 01 runway no longer feasible and 19 having to be used, there were no fewer than 22 aircraft on the start line for a "PTAR day 2" type start. It was decided that this would be the most exciting way to start and more so because the Handicappers had managed to get the handicaps so well calculated that we anticipated a really exciting finish.

The start went off well with the ground marshals doing an excellent job in keeping the flow going whilst keeping the movement safe at all times. It wasn't too long before the many spectators at or in the clubhouse were suddenly alerted by the sound of a 180hp Lycoming purring in the front of Rudi Greyling's RV7 as he came bulleting over the finish a good minute or two ahead of the A2 (Botswana) Jabiru who was pedalling as hard as he could because, right on his tail was the Meerkat flown by Chris Spencer-Scarr and George Brink who managed to just pip him at the post for a second place.

The Jabby, sadly, had logger failure and therefore didn't feature in the prize giving but, because it was a school and a fun race we are going to record his 3rd place for the day.

See the attached file for the full results.

The prize-giving was a huge success enjoyed by all who stayed. It was compered by Chris SS and ably assisted by Mary de Klerk. Prizes were generously sponsored by AOG, Zandspruit and International Flight Clearances. A spectacular trophy was awarded to the winners, Rudi Greyling and Jan Hanekom. Second third fourth and fifth also walked away with prizes. Emmie Oelofse won the First Lady Home prize and then loads of Lucky Draws were pulled out of the hat.

The weather held and many crews stayed to enjoy the clubs hospitality before barrelling off down Rwy 19 to head for home bases.

Another great SAPFA aviation event, a lot of happy pilots and navigators and exhausted ground crew completed the day, and returned safely home in anticipation of the next event at Swellendam on 6 March. See you all there!

 
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Kitty Hawk Mini Air Race Results 27.5 KB