SAC Western Cape Regional Aerobatics Stellenbosch

By Pete van der Spek


I must admit that this was only my second aerobatic competition that I have attended. The last one was way back in 2003/4 when Glen Dell won the competition in East London. As the action takes place way above your head (and almost beyond my cameras reach), I have steered clear of the sport.

However, I was asked to report on the Stellenbosch leg of the 2022 season by Willie for Pilot's Post and I accepted - I need to get back into aviation after Covid compromised all the air shows worldwide!

I am glad I did attend. I learnt something new and enjoyed the morning immensly.

The pilot's briefing was well presented by Quinton Hawthorne and Annie Boon during which they explained the proceedings for the day. There were nine pilots due to fly and the order in which they would fly was given by Annie. Safety was uppermost in everyone's mind and Annie stressed several times that if it didn't feel right, rather back out, take a short break and then continue with the sequence. The four different categories were Advanced, Intermediate, Sportsman and RV.

I decided to stand next to two of the judges who I know and respect. John Gaillard needs no introduction and Eon de Vos, who I last saw when I did an air-to-air shoot with him in the mid 2000's - Eon flying the Traffic helicopter around Durban. Eon was also an aerobatic pilot in his early flying days. So, no question, here were two of the best judges around for the day.

I listened in to the traffic control and the chief judge with one ear and the two judges with the other ear. (Yep, I can do thatÖ) It was fascinating to hear what each one's comment was for each manoeuvre. Having seen the sequence sheet on many occasions (and not understanding them at all) - I am still trying to figure out EXACTLY what each manoeuvre means to the layman.

Annie Boon came along and talked the judges through the sequences on one occasion so they could just watch the aircraft ballet happening above us. I saw many nods of appreciation from the judges and some - "oops - slightly wrong but not too bad".

The Working on Fire spotter aircraft provided good shade for the judges - the box was to the west of the airfield so that normal take offs and landings could be accommodated all day. People arrived for a day of aviation and lunch or just to be there to enjoy the airfield's great position with an amazing backdrop. Stellenbosch airfield must surely one of the best airfields in the world if not the best in SA. The spectators, or should I say aviation enthusiasts, were treated to some good aviation

Unfortunately, I was not able to stay the whole day but really did enjoy getting back into aviation photography again.

The pilots involved on the day were:

∑ Jurie Steyn - Zlin 50 (ZS-WSZ)
∑ Iain Fergusson - XA42 (ZS-XAA)
∑ Div Visser - RV8 (ZU-SER)
∑ Alan Fergus - RV8 (ZU-CHI)
∑ Markku Torpa - Zlin 50 (ZS-WWK)
∑ Mark Sampson - XA41 (ZU-XAX)
∑ Cliff Lotter - Zlin 50 (ZS-WWK)
∑ Marko Nel - RV8 (ZU-SER)
∑ Mike Brissenden - RV8 (ZU-DLZ)

Personnel involved:

∑ Annie Boon - Contest Director
∑ Quinton Hawthorne - Contest Chief Judge
∑ Natalie Stark - Scoring Director
∑ Eon de Vos - Judge
∑ John Gaillard - Judge
∑ Johnie Smith - Judge
∑ Helm Ludwig - Judge

Results were as follows:

Thanks to Quintin for the results as well as the photos of the prize giving.

Congratulations to everyone involved - an interesting and perfectly run day. Now for Stellenbosch Air Show at the end of next month!

Events 2022
Sport Aerobatics

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