SAC Regionals Klerksdorp 19 August 2013

By Ricky Fouche

Competition days 18 and 19 August 2023

Klerksdorp airfield played host to the Sport Aerobatic Club's North West Regional Aerobatic competition. Competitors flocked to the airfield from early in the week in order to get some practice flights done.
Early indications were that we would have eleven pilots and nine aircraft taking part in this competition. In the end we had 10 Pilots and 8 aircraft after one of the entrants failed to attend.

As with all competitions, this one also had all the meetings and briefings, conducted by the Contest Director, Cliff Lotter and the Chief Judge, Quintin Hawthorne. The Klerksdorp airfield is unique in that there are two Aerobatic boxes which allows the judges to judge from one position and do not have to relocate as a result of the position of the sun.

Once the briefings were completed the competition was ready to start. Pilots got their programs and practiced them by walking through all the manoeuvres on the ground before taking to the air.

Aircraft used were:
Two Yak 55's, One Extra 330 LX, One Extra 330 SC, One Decathlon, One Christen Eagle, One Zlin 50 and an RV 7. So we had Russian, German, American and Czech aircraft being flown in this competition.

Pilots taking part were:
Tristan Eeles and Barrie Eeles who flew the "On The Move" Extra 330 SC ZS-XBE. The Leatt sponsored Extra 330LX ZS-SMI was flown by Elton Bondi, Warren Eva and Quentin Taylor flew YAK 55 ZU-DYD, Yak 55 ZU-EHZ was flown by Cliff Lotter, Decathlon ZS-SGK was flown by Bernard Botha, Jaco van Zyl flew his Christen Eagle ZU-EBR, Ingmar Bezuidenhout flew his Zlin 50 ZS-WWJ and Harry Kassel flew his RV7 ZS-IGL

On the judging line were Quintin Hawthorne as chief judge and the other two judges were Nadine Brooker and Maritza Boswel. Cliff Lotter was the Contest Director, Natalie Stark was Scoring Director and myself as videographer.

Three categories were contested namely Sportsman, Intermediate and Advanced classes. Taking part in the Sportsman class were Bernard Botha, Jaco van Zyl and Quentin Taylor. Contesting the Intermediate competition were Warren Eva and Ingmar Bezuidenhout. In the Advanced class it was Barrie Eeles, Tristan Eeles, Elton Bondi and Cliff Lotter that competed.

Conditions were not ideal as the amount of haze caused the horizon to be very indistinct and the sky and land just blended into each other without making a clear reference point. The combination of the haze and quite strong wind made the flying quite challenging. The pilots, however, showed their mettle and achieved strong scores. It is required that each contestant flies, at least, two full scoring programs before the competition could be completed.

The Advanced contestants also used this event as a training camp to hone their skills for the forthcoming World Advanced Aerobatic Championship in Las Vegas at the end of October and early November this year.

Sponsors are a critical part of any event and without them there would be so much less competitions. Special mention needs to be made of Piet Volschenk that allowed us to make use of his hangar and facilities at Top Flight Academy. Piet also sponsored our Friday Lunch and we had lovely Spur Burgers and fries. Thank you Piet and may your Flying Academy go from strength to strength.

Andrew Blackwood-Murray joined us on Saturday. He did not compete in the contest but did bring his, Nashua sponsored Extra 300, to the airfield. Nashua had a competition running on Facebook and the lucky winner was from the Klerksdorp area. Andrew took the lucky winner for a low impact aerobatic flip.

There are so many different processes involved in having a competition. Refueling, maintenance, catering and so much more gets combined in to a well-oiled machine and voila we have a contest. Thank you Belinda Lotter and your team for looking after us and keeping us fed and hydrated.

The Contest results were:
Sportsman Class
Name Aircraft Registration Points
Quentin Taylor Yak 55 ZU-DYD 75.888%
Jaco van Zyl Christen Eagle ZU-EBR 70.615%
Bernard Botha Decathlon ZS-SGK 67.233%

Intermediate Class
Name Aircraft Registration Points
Warren Eva Yak 55 ZU-DYD 67.268%
Ingmar Bezuidenhout Zlin 50 ZS-WWJ 53.506%

Advanced Class
Name Aircraft Registration Points
Barrie Eeles Extra 330 SC ZS-XBE 82.103%
Tristan Eeles Extra 330 SC ZS-XBE 80.869%
Elton Bondi Extra 330 LX ZS-SMI 79.971%
Cliff Lotter Yak 55 ZU-EHZ 65.717%

Well done to all participants.

We also welcome Harry Kassel to the aerobatic fraternity after he completed the Graduate competition and now progresses to Sportsman Class. Well done and good luck for your future in aerobatics. Harry owns the Vans RV 7 and also a Gamebird. Blue Skies and many happy landings Harry.

With the sun setting over another successful and safe Sport Aerobatic Club competition we look forward to the Limpopo Regionals in Phalaborwa on 16 and 17 September 2023.

Event Video

Events 2023

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