2024 Gauteng Regional Aerobatic Competition

By Ricky Fouché


Arriving at the Heidelburg Airport just after seven in the morning I was greeted by misty and slightly chilly conditions. The mist soon cleared up and the scene was set for an excellent start to the 2024 aerobatic season. The Heidelburg Flying Club made their lovely facilities available to the Sport Aerobatic Club to host the event.

Three different classes were contested in this opening round namely Advanced, Sportsman and RV classes. Pilots taking part in this regional event were, RV Class, Nigel Hopkins flying his RV8, ZU-NDH and Ian Beaton in his RV7, ZU-FSG.

Kitplanes for Africa

Flying in the Sportsman class was Trevor Warner in a Pitts S2B, ZS-MZN, Harry Kassel in his Gamebird GB1, N96SD, Bernard Botha in his Decathlon, ZS-SGK and Jaco Van Zyl in the Christen Eagle, ZU-EBR.

Taking part in the Advanced Class was father and son Barrie and Tristan Eeles in their Extra 330 SC, ZS-XBE, Cliff Lotter in his Yak 55, ZU-EHZ and Warren Eva in his Yak 55, ZU-DYD.

The morning started off with the usual briefing covering all the important topics to ensure a safe and enjoyable event. Contest Director, Adam Pucjlowski, conducted the briefing and Chief Judge, Quintin Hawthorne, completed the briefing. Topics such as weather, radio frequencies, runways in use and flight orders were covered.

The contest started around 09:30 and the first set of Known programs were concluded by 11:45. Eleven flights were flown in the morning session and nine were flown after lunch. Trevor Warner had an appointment with a Flight Simulator so he flew his Unknown program in the morning. The other nine pilots all flew their Unknown programs during the afternoon session. The afternoon session started at 13:45 and was complete at around 15:20.

Flight order was: Trevor Warner, Nigel Hopkins, Ian Beaton, Jaco Van Zyl, Harry Kassel, Bernard Botha, Barrie Eeles, Warren Eva, Cliff Lotter and, finally, Tristan Eeles.

Judges on the Judging line were: Quintin Hawthorne as Chief Judge and he was assisted by a panel of five additional judges. Quintin has also been appointed as Chief Judge for the 2024 World Aerobatics Competition. An honour indeed! These judges were Johnie Smith, Laszlo Liszkay, T-K Nicholson, Nadine Brooker and Maritza Boswel. Scoring Director was Natalie Stark.

The Contest Results was provided by Natalie after all the scoring sheets had been captured.
The final results were:

RV Class
Position Name Aircraft Points
1 Nigel Hopkins RV8 80.34%
2 Ian Beaton RV7 45.213%

Sportsman Class
Position Name Aircraft Points
1 Trevor Warner Pitts S2B 76.139%
2 Harry Kassel Gamebird GB1 68.197%
3 Bernard Botha Decathlon 65.859%
4 Jaco Van Zyl Christen Eagle 36.037%

Advanced Class
Position Name Aircraft Points
1 Tristan Eeles Extra 330SC 78.374%
2 Barrie Eeles Extra 330SC 76.855%
3 Cliff Lotter Yak 55 68.244%
4 Warren Eva Yak 55 60.585%

Great event and very safe. On to the next event which is planned for Stellenbosch on 16 March 2024 for the Western Cape Regionals.

A better start to the year could not have been hoped for. Thank you to all for your hard work and effort to make this such a wonderful competition.

See you all at the next one.

SAC Gauteng Regionals Heidelberg

Events 2024

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