2024 SAC Freestate Regional Aerobatic Competition

By Ricky Fouche


I got to New Tempe airport on Friday 17 May 2024. By then Kayle Wooll, Leigh Le Gonidec and partner Lana had already been there from Thursday and had already done some practice flights.

Kayle was flying his NAC Branded Extra 330LX ZS-XLX and Leigh in his Sbach XA 42 ZS-XAA.

Barrie Eeles and wife Karen drove through to Bloemfontein while Tristan flew their On The Move branded Extra 330SC ZS-XBE to Tempe. Gary Glasson in his, self-built, One Design ZU-IWG and Quentin Taylor in his Extra 300L N30PZ were the next to arrive.

Harry Kassel was last to arrive in his Game Bird GB1 N96SD. Harry also brought his family along to the event. This turned in to a great family event with wives and children being included in the SAC gathering.

Locals Machiel Du Plessis (RV 7 ZU-WMW) and Conrad Botha (Slick 360 ZU-JSS) brought the number of contestants to nine.

Sponsors are always welcome and great to have on board. A branded aircraft is a great billboard and great advertising.

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Three different classes were contested in this round namely Unlimited, Advanced and Sportsman. Pilots taking part in this regional event were;


Gary Glasson One Design DR 107 ZU-IWG
Barrie Eeles Extra 330SC ZS-XBE


Tristan Eeles Extra 330SC ZS-XBE
Leigh Le Gonidec Sbach XA 42 ZS-XAA
Kayle Wooll Extra 330LX ZS-XLX


Harry Kassel Gamebird GB1 N96SD
Machiel Du Plessis Vans RV 7 ZU-WMW
Quentin Taylor Extra 300L N30PZ
Conrad Botha Slick 360 ZU-JSS

Competition day was 18 May 2024. The weather was great with clear skies, light winds and not too cold. The morning started off with the usual briefing covering all the important topics to ensure a safe and enjoyable event. Contest Director, Machiel Du Plessis, 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.

On standby was two Paramedics from ER24 in a rapid response vehicle and a fully equipped ambulance. Retha van Vliet supported by Tebogo Busakwe were in attendance since early morning till the last flight later in the afternoon.

The contest started around 10:30 and the first set of Known programs were concluded by around 12:00. Nine flights were flown in the morning session, with breaks in between for parachute drops, and nine were flown after lunch. First Flights were the known programs and the afternoon sessions were the unknown programs. The afternoon session started at around 14:30 and was complete at around 17:00.

Flight order for the morning session was Harry Kassel, Quentin Taylor, Machiel Du Plessis, Tristan Eeles, Leigh Le Gonidec, Kayle Wooll, Gary Glasson, Barrie Eeles and Conrad Botha.

Aerobatics is hard work. From fuelling, De-Fuelling and pushing aircraft to rehearsing the next sequence makes your day quite a busy one.

Judges on the Judging line were: Quintin Hawthorne as Chief Judge and he was assisted by a panel of five additional judges. These judges were Mike Stark, Helm Ludwig, T-K Nicholson, Nadine Brooker and Maritza Boswel. Scoring Director was Natalie Stark.

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

The final results were:

What a great event and enjoyed by all. Other than two minor mishaps with intrusions in to the aerobatic box everything went smoothly. A huge thank you goes to Machiel Du Plessis for the great hospitality and all the arrangements to make everything run like a well-oiled machine. As usual Tempe was a great host and a fantastic venue with a well-marked aerobatic box, great fuelling services and ample hangarage for all the visiting aircraft.

Meals were had at the Airborne Café and our Saturday night closing function was held at Bossa in Langenhoven Park.

A personal thank you goes to Christine Schoeman from Skylife Adventures for providing me with a place to stay on Friday night. It was great to have a nice clean place to stay and not having to do the commute from my house to Tempe and back every day.

Next competition is Limpopo Regionals at Phalaborwa hosted by Ingmar Bezuidenhout and his very capable team. I hope to be there. Date is 20 July 2024.

See you all at the next one. Keep it safe and practice hard.

Sport Aerobatics Regionals Klerksdorp 2023

Events 2024

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