Articles Rally

The SAPFA SA National Rally Championships Stellenbosch 2021

15 to 18 April

Compiled by Willie Bodenstein

Sunrise at Stellenbosch Airfield.

Stellenbosch Flying Club and the views of the Hottentots-Holland mountain range.

After months of planning, behind the scenes work and practicing the SA Rally Nationals was concluded yesterday at Stellenbosch at what without a doubt is the prettiest airfield in SA.
The teams, marshals, planners and orginisers.

Fifteen teams entered the competition that will eventually determine who will be representing SA and the World Championships that are on track for 14 to 20 November and will again be hosted by the Stellenbosch Flying Club.

Colin Jordaan, Competition Director, left with Cally and Frank Eckard.

Working mostly behind the scenes Frank and Cally Eckard had the unenviable task of setting routes that will be worthy of world championship status. That, combined with the fact that most of the teams were flying in totally different topography and weather conditions, more like that that European and others will fly in regularly, made for challenging routes.Cally, when interviewed exclusively for Pilot’s Post said: “Frank and I , as designated route planners for the World Champs, set some challenging routes for Nationals. These routes will be used as Practise Routes for the World Champs, and it was therefore necessary to make them worthy of world class standard. Unfortunately, this was a huge level-jump, as most routes we plan are of necessity, suitable for first-time Fun Rally crews. Some of the Turnpoints were more obscure than those we use in Fun Rallies, and the plotting for the navigators was more difficult than usual. Flying over the mountains of Stellenbosch, though magnificent, was treacherous for some less experienced pilots, especially for those flying lighter aircraft. Wind of Day 2 made the route over Sir Lowry’s Pass and the Caledon area exceptionally challenging, and will probably be spoken of many years from now as being the flying experience of a life time for most of the pilots. However, the timing on that route was fairly good, and did not reflect the difficulty of the conditions. The scenery was spectacular over both this “Southern Route” and Day 3’s “Mountain Route”, which explored the Franschhoek Mountains, over Theewaterskloof, and parts of Paarl Valley. Fortunately, Day 3, the last day of the competition, was calm and clear, and pilots did not experience any adverse weather conditions.”

“Despite the frustrations, hard work and long hours of creating the routes, then checking and re-checking the routes to ensure that there are no mistakes, we are very heartened to see quite a few new crews make it into the top ten results list. This makes it all worthwhile.”

“It has been very challenging to create routes that challenge both the veteran rally crews as well as those who are flying Nationals for the first time. Added to this was the fact that most of our flyers are used to the flat topography around Johannesburg, which proved to be a great advantage to the local Cape pilots.”

Colin Jordaan handled all the safety briefings.
A typical morning briefing.
Rob Jonkers and Martin Meyer plotting their route

“Having secured the 2020 World Rally Flying Championship to take place in South Africa, with the chosen venue to be Stellenbosch, and with planning already under way from 2018, we were dealt a cruel blow have all our activities scuppered in 2020, and nothing more glum than having had to cancel this prestigious event, as well as the Nationals that would have taken place in April. With the world recovery slowly taking hold in 2021, we rescheduled our 2020 events to 2021, and secured the WRFC to again take place in November of this year, and our Nationals was also rescheduled for this April, and allowing all our teams to experience the actual venue for the Worlds, it would be beneficial to have the event in Stellenbosch.” Rob Jonkers, Chairman of SAPFA told us.

Some stunning in flight and ground pics by SAPFA chairman, Rob Jonkers

“My Navigator Martin and I had had limited practice opportunities this year, as such we arrived at the airfield just before midday on Wednesday the 14th April to find the aircraft we were going to use unserviceable with a broken magneto, which the local AMO was able to repair in time for us to at least get in a practice rally flight in the late afternoon, where we flew a route known as Bliksem – which was a route used as practice a few weeks prior as a local rally competition, and after having flown it – it lived up to its name, although we did initially fly it twice in the simulator, finding the turnpoints and photos still tough, especially those involving powerlines in the fading light.”“With at least one orientation flight behind us, we went into the next three competition days with some trepidation, at least the weather was good, although the wind and turbulence in the mountainous areas very hectic in places, our first route was towards the north in the mainly flat areas, the 2nd day’s route was towards the South East near to Hermanus with at least 30 kts of headwind up the Shaw’s Mountain Pass, and then the same tailwind going west, which is north of Shaw’s Mountain thus keeping the speed constant a significant challenge. The 3rd day’s mountain route took us over Bain’s Kloof then to the Worcester area, thereafter keeping east of the du Toit’s mountains working our way back to Stellenbosch via Franschoek. Both the Southern & Mountain routes kept us busy managing the power and altitude as we ascended and descended over the passes to keep our timing as accurate as possible. Needless to say it was difficult to do given our scores were not our best, but that is what flying in this environment entails, on top of which attempting to find photos of ground features at the same time made matters even more tough. Must say the area is for sure the most beautiful area to fly around in, just a pity we are working in the cockpit instead of enjoying the scenery…. Overall we did not have stellar performance but at least we had the opportunity to practice in the area prior to the main event planned for November.

Iaan (navigator) and wife Tarryn (pilot) Myburgh were probably the youngest team at the Nationals. They entered their first rally a month after Tarry was signed out and are hooked on the sport.

Talking to Tarryn she said, “Our first National Rally Flying Championships couldn’t have been set in a more beautiful but challenging place than Stellenbosch. Having never flown much further than Mpumalanga before, the mountains and the weather in the Cape were a new experience for us. We came up a few days early to try get used to the conditions, have some fun doing old routes and figure out the lay of the land before the serious stuff started.”“Day 1 of Nationals and we arrived bright and early to a plane that wouldn’t start. A bit of a stressful start to the day but we got our race time moved out and the plane sorted and enjoyed the Northern Route. We made a few silly mistakes and hoped to improve on Day 2. Day 2 was the Southern Route and the wind gave us hell all the way around the course. Timing went out the window as we bounced and blew over the mountains just hoping to stay vaguely on track. Day 3 was the Mountain Route, which was something special to see in the very few moments we had spare to look at the scenery. We had a good day, things gelled nicely, and we found all the turn points within the timing windows.”

The Myburg’s taking off and the final leg on Saturday.

“When all the results were tallied, we ended 9th overall. We are both happy with our results, considering this is only our third Rally competition ever. The bug has bitten, and we will be practicing hard, hoping to be back in November.”“We have to say a huge thank you to Frank, Callie and Colin for their hard work and to Ursula and the marshals for time and effort in helping everything to run smoothly. Thank you to Mauritz for all the tips throughout the year and for the hard work over the event and to Coach Jonty, thanks for all the training, advice, guidance and spare renoster snot. We have learnt more in the last few months than we could ever have done on our own.”

The electronic equipment setup at the spotlandings.



Some action during the spotlandings.
The spotlanding judges.

Piet Meyer and Adrienne Visser After competing in the SAPFA speed rally series during 2019 and 2020, decided they needed more of a challenge and decided to try their luck with the Navigation Rally and enter for the Stellenbosch National Rally Champs in preparation for the World Championship that will be in Stellenbosch in November 2021.

Piet Meyer when speaking to us said; “My navigator Adrienne Visser and I fly a Jabiru J400 and with a few friends made it our mission to practice and qualify for the World Championship. We downloaded a few routes from SAPFA and with the help of the team coach Jonty Esser started flying these routes. After a few training sessions we took the long trip down flying from Wonderboom in my trusty Jabi on Friday 9th April to have some training days in Stellenbosch before the Nationals.”
“Needles to say, we bit off a little more that we could chew but stuck it out and braved the high mountains of the Cape. After a few sessions flying local routes and after months of patiently waiting, race day arrived. The route was planned to the North of Stellenbosch over flat areas with hardly any distinct features. We had a hard time flying the arc…. And if I say we, I mean me, the pilot. As I got to the beach with clear blue ocean, looking at my map to see no pretty beaches or for even a small dam that I could pretend was the beach with pretty girls, umbrellas, and cooler boxes, I knew I messed up. Luckily, my navigator finished plotting the route and could get her head up and help me get back on track. Humbling experience and I felt sorry or my navigator who did well but the pilot not so good.”

Piet and Adrienne taking off for another leg of the Nationals.

“The second day took us to the South over Hermanus, some extreme mountain tops and beautiful scenery. On this day we did very well. Navigator finished plotting well ahead of time, the pilot, slight headache from some cold refreshments the night before but much calmer not too shabby on the route as well as time management.”“As for the 3rd and last day, the route was towards the mountains and over some very scary terrain. We were way out of our comfort zone as the only mountains I am used to is the northern ridge of Hartebeespoort dam. Again, my navigator did an exceptional job, but the pilot could not maintain the correct times over the turn points.”
“We approached this week as a learning experience as well as some quality times with good friends all sharing the same passion. As novice competitors in navigation rallies, our bubble got so much bigger, and the learning curve was more of a straight line up than a curve. The rally championship was a great success and we, as a group of first-time competitors enjoyed it thoroughly. As newbies to the sport, our flying skills improved, our confidence levels improved, and it makes for a safer pilot. Organization was great and well done to all involved. For all who has never done this or who thinks that they are not good enough, please come and give it a try. You will not be disappointed.”

“As for flying 9 days in a row, exhausted, happy, proud, team “Where the Hell is North” is signing off. Mic Drop. Piet and Adrienne out.”

The marshals without who the event would not have been possible.

When we arrived at the airfield there was much to discuss and to be arranged to ensure that we all knew the tasks that was at hand to ensure that we as marshals can assist the teams .To enable the teams to comply with the applicable rules, we as the marshals had to do the following tasks :-

Jumping a gate to place a marker. Drive the routes and put out ground markers

1. Body search all competitors

2. Check all aircraft for GPS devises

3. Paint white lines on aircraft wheels (needed for the landings)

4. Issue the competitors their envelopes on time (Minutes / Seconds)

5. Man, the landing box and verify the landings by means of visual reference / video’s and electronically (Bingo Box)

6. Once returned from the route, the competitors had to give us their answer sheet that was sealed and taken to the de-brief and scoring room.

Sealing cellphones and other electronic devices.
Handing over the route information.
Searching for devices or other items that may cause an advantage.
Right up to a body search.

Stellenbosch Flying Club organised members / student to assist the SAPFA Marshals on the day. The necessary training was given and everybody knew his designated task.

We had lots of fun, made new friends, and looking forward to marshal at the World Rally Flying Championships to be held at Stellenbosch airfield later this year.

Ron Stirk and Hans Schwebel getting ready to plot.

Steve vd Merwe and Alewyn Burger relaxing after a day’s hard flying. We spoke to Alewyn Burger who together with Steve vd Merwe fly for SAFAIR and he told us that when Steve asked him if he would like to team up with him for the 2021 SA National Rally Championships he immediately said “Yes!”

“Later he send me the FAI Rally rules and I said to myself “Oh Veldskoen!,” this is going to take something spectacular to not to make fools of ourselves. Two weeks before Nationals we attended a very valuable training camp held by the “Grey Beards” of the SA rally scene. The very next day we flew our first official rally together. The route was called “Bliksem”, need I say more. Our results were a reality check, the learning curve steep but we were hooked.”

“It was a long two weeks before Steve could fly back down to beautiful Stellenbosch, the home of the Stellenbosch Flying Club in order for us have another run at the “Bliksem”. Thanks to the rally prep team there was an additional five routes worked out for this area to cut our teeth on and so, we got to work or should I say, plan, plot, cut, stick, fly, time, spot and observe. Don’t forget the spot landing at the end!”

Steve and Alewyn concluding their day’s leg at the spot landings..

“The competition finally arrived. We are in quarantine and all cellphones are sealed away. We will only know where we flying too in 3 hours’ time. The butterflies are doing aerobatics in my stomach. For a moment I relax and reflect, asking myself why we have placed ourselves in this situation. We are out of our depths but in our hearts, we are aviators! This is what we do, flying is what we do! After day one of the nationals, it feels like the monkey is a little lighter. We are still making rookie errors. However, there are many things we are getting to grips with. In truth we can be proud of how far we have come. The camaraderie and hanging out with fellow rally folks are fantastic!”
“See you at the next rally and perhaps you too will discover and pursue this challenging sport. Thank you, Steve, for asking.”

Andre Kluyts and Don Lucas
Tony and Pamela Russell
Henk and Ilse Oosthuizen, they too were newsbies.
Sandi Goddard and Jonty Esser.

Entry 9 in the competition consisted of participants Marko Nel (pilot) and Leon Bouttell (navigator), this is a new team that was formed 3 weeks before the national event with limited time to prepare. Marko the resident CFI at the school has excellent knowledge of the area and flying experience. Like most of the established competitors the team elected to use a C172 flown at 75K for the event.

“Lessons learned from day one lead us to significantly improve our performance for the later routes.” Leon told us. “Of particular note was during the third routes flown we did not miss a single turn point correctly identified the photographs, this was an absolutely brilliant effort on the part of the Marko with a less than adequate map. Our navigation scores also improved with every successive day flown. However, the on-route photographs did present a real challenge to find and this was a large component of the penalties scored in the competition.”

Frederick and dad Apie Kotze with umbrella girls Ursula and Leonie.
Fanie Scholtz and Herman Haasbroek. This was their first nationals.

Father and son Hendrik and Jeandre loots taking of for their final leg…….

…….they took the honours in the spot landing segment of the competition.
Jonty and the newbies. The presence and enthusiasm of these competitors bodes well for the future of rally flying in SA

After to prizegiving Jonty Esser, the RSA Team Coach made the following statement: “Firstly I would like to thank all the new Elite Rally crews that have invested their time and commitment to joining this Extremely Elite Group of Pilots and Navigators. You all did extremely well and have learnt a lot especially Windy Mountain flying to the second. I am really proud of all Crews that have gained superior flyings skills during this World class Difficult Competition. We will continue to train and do our best to prepare for the Qualification Round Two competition that will be held in June in Brits”.

“Thank you to the Media for covering this prestigious event and thanks our competition director and route planners.”

Frank Eckard with Adrian Piling and Mary de Klerk with Colin Jordaan. Adrian and Mary took the honours at the championships

Defending one’s championship title for the 8th consecutive time since 2008 is no mean task….. especially when one is competing with a lot of younger sharper and competitively hungry aviators. Well this is what I was determined to achieve at the South African National Rally Flying Championships held recently at Stellenbosch Airfield. I have not missed a National Championship competition since 1991 having flown the first 20 odd years with Barry de Groot, then with Adrian Pilling (after Barry retired), only once with Nigel Hopkins, himself a World Champion, and now in 2021 again with Adrian.

I knew the competition was going to be challenging, but actually did not realise quite how challenging, until we took off against the backdrop of the magnificent Helderberg Mountain range surrounding Stellenbosch. With 15 well trained and heavily practiced teams competing for the title, and having to best interpret and plot the challenging routes planned by the Eckard team, we were all facing 3 days of pin point accurate navigation and precision flying in order to achieve the ultimate win and possibility of selection for the South African Rally Flying Team to represent our country at the World Championships due to take place in Stellenbosch in Nov 2021. Fortunately the weather gods were smiling down on Stellenbosch and surrounds in terms of wall to wall blue with visibility to “foreverland”…..

Adrian and Mary on the way for another leg of the Nats.

Day 1 Route took us over some flat land to the north. Most teams found this route to be extremely challenging and the results for this day were not pleasing to most. Even though Adrian and I were placed first, we knew there was a lot of room for improvement. World Class teams need to return to base with only double-digit scores and ours was a triple digit.

Day 2 dawned and brought with it howling easterly winds pumping in the south. The route was taking us down south and so no crews were spared the enormous buffeting and turbulence, not to mention the fight against 30-40 knot headwinds screaming down the valley with venturial force only to turn our backs on the wind and then have to pull out all stops to slow the craft down while listening to the stall warning screaming ……. But the spectacular mountainous scenery somehow managed to overpower this sometimes rather terrifying experience. Fortunately, all crews landed safely but the experience was not over for Adrian and myself. For some unaccountable reason, both of our loggers bombed out and only fragments of the route had been logged. Despite being thrown around like a cork on a choppy sea, we knew we had flown a good route and so were bitterly disappointed to hear that we faced the possibility of no result for the day. But thanks to the supreme skills of Frank Eckard, he managed to somehow piece the entire route together between what was retrievable off both loggers and the result was delivered. This time we were placed second by a mere 2 penalty points behind the brand-new team of Marco Nel and Leon Bouttel.

Day 3 awoke to a perfect day for flying and the crews took to the skies to enjoy and incredibly magnificent mountain route that really showcased the sheer beauty of the Western Cape area. By now everyone was settling in and both the plotting and the flying seemed somehow to get easier.

Prize giving took place on the lawn in front of the picturesque club house and winners were announced with certificates, medals and trophies being handed out to all the deserving marshals, organisers and participants. Colin Jordaan had directed the 2021 South African National Championships in a most successful and near flawless event and I got to defend and retain the title of SA Rally Navigation Champion for another year.

Second time National contenders Anthony and Pamela Russel finished in second place
With Marco Nel and Leon Bouttell in third place.

The teams to represent SA are still to be announced.

I have been fortunate to cover and report on a number of SA Rally Nationals as well as the previous worlds held in SA and this year’s one has without a doubt been the best organized and as far as I can remember the best supported as well. The number of new teams, not only in experience but in age, is very heartening to see.

Thank you to all at SAPFA for your hospitality. We are so looking forward the world championships!

The run-up to the SAPFA Rally Nationals is in full swing 

By Rob Jonkers, Jonty Esser and Willie Bodenstein

The run-up to the SAPFA Rally Nationals is in full swing to practice before the teams all head down to Stellenbosch in April, where the 1st round of qualifying for the International Rally Championships taking place in November, which also takes place in Stellenbosch and where team SA is working hard to enter as many teams as possible to compete against formidable overseas teams.

The Championships will take place at Stellenbosch Airfield, located about 8 km from Stellenbosch Town, 35km from Cape Town International Airport, and 50km from Cape Town City Centre in the Western Cape Province of South Africa. 
Established in 1973, the Stellenbosch Flying Club is located among the picturesque mountains and vineyards of the Cape Winelands. The club offers excellent facilities, with the recently upgraded restaurant and relaxing outdoor area adding value.


                                                                               Participants at the 2019 training camp held at Stellenbosch

Stellenbosch proudly boasts one of the most beautiful airfields in the world. The famous Stellenbosch Winelands are protected by the Hottentots-Holland mountain range and offer breath taking and spectacular scenery stretching from the Atlantic Ocean as far as Tulbach in the North.The rally flying will take place over a vast area of magnificent mountainous and flat terrain.

The Rand Airport training camp participant


And participants at Brits on Saturday the 13th March

Jonty Esser, as the SA coach, has put together a series of training camps to give the new teams that are entering the sport the best opportunity to qualify. Saturday the 13th March was one of these that took place at Brits and one of the 2014 Nationals Routes was dusted off for the teams to practice on.

The focus was on photo recognition and accurate timing. The route for those who could remember was a long and difficult one, and the photos hard to find, especially with some years having passed and vegetation looking different. As a training route, everybody learnt plenty and would have gained valuable experience. 

Saturday’s results

The next practice round will at Stellenbosch on 27th March, with the Nationals 15 – 17 April.Your RSA Team is working hard to make us all proud. The 1st selections will be made on the 14th – 18th of April 2021 and 2nd selections will be in September 2021 in Gauteng – Please come support your potential team members –
Pilot – Fanie Scholtz Navigator – Herman Haasbroek
Pilot – Jonty Esser Navigator – Sandi Goddard
Pilot – Tarryn Myburgh Navigator – Iaan Myburgh
Pilot – Piet Meyer Navigator – Adrienne Visser
Pilot – Hendrik Loots Navigator – Adele Loots
Pilot – Fredirik Kotzee Navigator – Apie Kotzee
Pilot – Andre Kluyts Navigator – Don Lucas
Pilot – Steven van der Merwe Navigator – Alwyn
Pilot – Tony Russell Navigator – Pam Russell
Pilot – Ashleigh Prinsloo Navigator – Marco Nel
Pilot – Adrian Pilling Navigator – Mary de Klerk
Pilot – Hans Schwebel Navigator – Ron Stirk
Pilot – Rob Jonkers Navigator – Martin Meyer
Pilot – Thys van der Merwe Navigator – Sally
Pilot – Laura McDermid Navigator – Stuart McDermid


All are welcome to join us at our training camps and come try out for the selections
Visit to enter

Check out the World Rally Flying Championship 2021 – 22nd WRFC in

This is what we are all working toward – don’t lose focus and hope – we are going to be a formidable team in the worlds.



The 17th Rand Airport Challenge Nav Rally 27 Feb 2021

By Willie Bodenstein

Thirteen teams, twelve in the Advance Class and one in Sportsman, entered for the Rand Airport Challenge that was postponed from January because of inclement weather. Althought not perfect on Saturday conditions were flyable and the first aircraft eventually took off almost an hour after the planned time. By then Ron Stirk and Hans Schwebel had withdrawn due to bad weather forecasted on their route home to Brits.

With the SAPFA National Rally Flying Championships set to take place from 15 to 17 Apr 2021 at Stellenbosch Airfield time is running out for teams to qualify for the 22nd FAI World Rally Flying Championship set to also take place at Stellenbosch from the 6 to 20 November 2021.
The cockpit of Rob Jonker’s and Martin Meyers steed before the race
Jonty Esser and Sandi Goddard finished in 1st place

Adrian Piling and Mary de Klerk was 2nd I ZS-KSF after NBN went US……..3rd was Mike Heffill and Leon Boutell

4th went to Hendrik and son Jeandre Loots………Rob Jonkers and Martin Meyers was placed 5th

Piet Meyer and Adrienne Visser finished in 6th place

Saturday’s route planned by Cally Eckhardt took into account the fact that most teams have had little experience this past year and that teams need lots of practice in order to be prepared for Nationals. Her route was a mixture of super-easy and quite challenging sections. This allowed for everyone to be able to focus on aspects of their game that they need to improve.

7th place went Andre Kluyts and Don Lucas

Father and son Ryan and Chris Shillaw 8th…………Fanie Scholtz and Herman Haasbroek 9th

Father and son Apie and Frederick Kotzee 10th ………………Tarryn and Iaan Myburg 11th

Stephen Sands and Neil de Lange were the only Sports man competitors

In order for teams to qualify for selection for the World Championships teams need to score less than 692 points. At this stage and with the results from yesterday’s rally only one team would have qualified for selection.

However, that said our local pilots will have the advantage of flying their own aircraft in terrain that most are familiar with. There is no doubt in my mind that Team SA will make us proud. We have after all been world champions in this aviation sport and has almost always performed admirably when under extremally difficult conditions when competing abroad.

SAPFA Rand Rally Training 30 Jan 2021

By Mary de Klerk

The 17th Rand Airport Challenge was scheduled to take place at Rand Airport on Saturday 30th Jan 2021. However, the weather gods were not playing ball this time, and with “Eloise” blanketing almost the entire country in clouds and rain, we had to revert to PLAN B.

With the 22nd World Rally Flying Championships postponed to November 2021, the pressure is on to train and select the best Air Rally Team to represent South Africa at this prestigious event. With most of the “old guard” still in place and planning to take part, the opportunity, however, exists to bring some new fresh blood into the South African Rally Flying Team.


The sport of Rally Flying is not an easy sport. It requires an exceptionally strong “2-man” team of both Pilot and Navigator. Unlike most of the other Air Sporting disciplines which are flyable at competition level, as long as one member of the team is well trained, in Rally Flying a strong pilot without a strong navigator and vice versa is as good as having no team at all.

For this reason, Jonty Esser, who himself is a well-seasoned Protea Rally Flying Pilot (as well as a local aerobatic pilot) has been selected to coach the 2021 South African Flying Team to victory, as soon as they have been selected which should be post the National Championships in April 2021. Now for the official team to be selected, this team has to be sufficiently trained in order to fly to the required standard criteria as laid down by the world organisation.

The past decade (plus) of Fun Rally Programs, introduced by Frank Eckard and Mary de Klerk, and the more recent program of Speed Rallies introduced by Jonty Esser and Rob Jonkers, has produced a remarkably high standard of potential Protea Pilots and Navigators that now need to be put through the Rally Flying Grinder Training modules.

There was no better opportunity to start the 2021 training program than the cancelled Rand Airport Challenge on Saturday 30th Jan 2021. No less than 25 exceptionally keen potential Team members arrived for the “On The Ground” training Modules. The Pilots were herded off into a separate venue and were taught some intricacies of rally flying in terms of fine tuning their approaches and timing over turn points etc by Jonty. The navigators were put through their paces by 30 year rally veteran, Mary, who spent the best part of a 4 hour period unpacking the plotting procedures, tools required and methodologies with the teams. She was adequately assisted by the other Protea Rally veterans, Frank & Cally Eckard, Hans Schwebel, Ron Stirk, Rob Jonkers, Martin Meyer, and Sandi Goddard. It is interesting to note that even though the “old guard” have between them, thousands of hours of local, national and international experience, they still managed to find time to drive through to Rand in the rain in order to sharpen their own skills and assist with all the newbies. Hats off to you guys!

Also in attendance was the Aviation Legend Chester Chandler who, in his eighties now, still dedicated his day to visit and monitor the training session with great interest. He also stayed for the SAPFA AGM which was held at 14h00 and chaired by none other than Rob Jonkers with his dedicated SAPFA Committee members. We all welcomed Ian and Taryn Myburgh as new members onto the committee.

Rally Flying is a well renowned international sport recognised by the FAI. To represent one’s country at an international event is a supreme achievement. I applaud everyone who is taking the sport seriously in order to up weight their own personal skills and achieve what many others would only dream to achieve. However, nothing comes easy – it all requires many hours of hard work and input in order to succeed. Training training training ……

Watch this space to monitor all the upcoming training sessions and who the final SOUTH AFRICAN RALLY FLYING TEAM to represent our beloved country and the World Championships this year will consist of.

The 2020 Brakpan Airport Nav Rally

By Cally Eckard – Photos by Willie Bodenstein

Participants and officials

Rob Jonkers talked about the Aeroclub’s 100th Anniversary to be celebrated during Airweek to be held at Middelburg 1st to the 3rd of May 2020

With the National Rally Flying Championships only two weeks away, most of the existing Protea rally team members took part in the Class 1, or “Open” category of the sport at Brakpan Airport. It was also encouraging to see that after all the training sessions held by Mary de Klerk, Rob Jonkers and Jonty Esser, many of the previous “Fun Rallyers” stepped up to Class 1 as well.
Von Hammon, Hans Schwebel, Andy Gouws and Ron Stirk plotting

Thys van der Merwe and Sally Shaw plotting 
Rob Osner who flew with Hilton Wolf in the Mushack plotting
Novice ladies and the only completely female team Clarissa de Costa and Kerry Mathysen only got theirs wings late last year and were looking forward to this, their first rally. They have already entered the Bethlehem Speed Rally

Disappointingly, few of the local Brakpan pilots supported this event, even though one of the training sessions was held at the club recently. Hopefully, more of them will be inspired to put their flying and navigational skills to the tests, especially as this sport improves general flying safety.
Two tracks, both scored well in navigation

Organisers Frank and Cally Eckard kept the route fairly simple, so as not to discourage the first-timers. They all managed to complete the task sheet quite easily, except for one navigator who plotted the start point from the wrong Brakpan Airport, which found his pilot heading off to start at the finish point and was surprised to find another aircraft flying directly towards him.
More Plotting 
Martin Meyer and Rob Jonkers busy in their Cessna 182

Quentin Taylor and Derek Bird who flew the Super Decathlon getting readyFanie Scholtz and Herman Haasbroek who flew a Sling 2 plotting

Fanie and son Frederick flew their Robison R66. Willie Bodenstein went along and took photos during the flight

The “follow-the-feature” (a railway line) was easily managed by most of the teams, except for one who followed the wrong railway line. Frank did not include arcs in the route, as these require more skills and will be incorporated into the next event.

Some of the competitors taking off
Derek and Quentin in the Super Decathlon

Rob and Martin in their Cessna 182

Anthony and Pamela Russel who again flew up from Cape Town and rented a Cessna 172 and Jonty and Sandy in the Cessna C150

Fanie and Herman in the Sling 2

Andre Kluyts and Don Lucas in the Cessna 172

The weather cleared in time for the scheduled take-off and the winds were light, with just a very slight cross-wind over the run-way. It was decided to judge the landings after the rally and the results showed that a lot of practise is required before the National Champs. For the first time in a SAPFA event, a helicopter set the record by winning the landing stage of the rally. (That’s not hard for a chopper?)

Hilton and Rob taking off in Hilton’s Mushack, the only of its type in the country

Apart from the Robbie 66, another aircraft of interest was the Mushack, which is featured in the latest edition of Pilot’s Post.

Frederick just before crossing the starting line

The start line was this intersection just past the Ergo Slimes Dam

Then it was left to follow the highway for a while

Intersections makes good turn points like this where one had to follow the left road

Or this bridge, a number of which straddled that section of the railroad 
Was this the one or the one we have just passed or the one in the distance? Calculating arrival time between turn points is absolutely essential

The route took them to a start point near Ergo Slimes Dam, then South towards Heidelberg, to a point along the N3, then East towards Leandra, then back North along the railway line to Delmas and then home via Selcourt.

Von Hamman and Andy Gouws won the Sportsman Class 
Thys van der Merwe and Sally Shaw was placed first in the Intermediate Class

Jonty Esser and Sandy Goddard took the honours in the Advanced Class

Anthony and Pamela Russell took second place…..

with Rob Jonkers and Martine Meyer in third place

Although the results were far from what is required from a National standard, the selectors trust that the skills the entrants will pick up at Nationals will enable them to put together five “A” team and five “B” team partnerships to give SA the best chance of a good team result.
The full results are:


2018 National Rally Championships

held at Brits from 11th to 13th April 2018

Competition Director: Frank Eckard


National Rally Champs 2018 – 13-Apr-14 – Brits – OVERALL RESULTS – Unlimited

1Adrian PillingMary de KlerkRSAZS-IFMUnlimited278003034015636
2Frank EckardCally EckardRSAZS-DOSUnlimited279050430150774
3Rob JonkersMartin MeyerRSAZS-IVCUnlimited185005658045875
4Hans SchwebelRon StirkRSAZS-IWDUnlimited36703358840301059
5Jonty EsserJonathan EsserRSAZU-DYEUnlimited555016765743301452
6Mark ClulowShane BritzRSAZU-FEPUnlimited4420097783301532

Individual Day results – National Rally Champs 2018 – 11-Apr-14 – Brits – Green – RESULTS – ADVANCED

14Adrian PillingMary de KlerkRSAZS-IFMUnlimited38000515200915
26Frank EckardCally EckardRSAZS-DOSUnlimited41401005901001114
31Hans SchwebelRon StirkRSAZS-IWDUnlimited6820100745001527
47Thys van der MerweSandy vd MerweRSAZU AFPUnlimited50401009751001589
53Mark ClulowShane BritzRSAZU-FEPUnlimited60800142510002133
62Leon BouttelFrans SmitRSAZU-FBJUnlimited100002009004002140
75Jonty EsserJonathan EsserRSAZU-DYEUnlimited102404009206002404

National Rally Champs 2018 – 12-Apr-18 – Brits – MDK – RESULTS

12Frank EckardCally EckardRSAZS-DOSUnlimited14400270200434
28Jonty EsserJonathan EsserRSAZU-DYEUnlimited21600280600556
33Hans SchwebelRon StirkRSAZS-IWDUnlimited11200440200572
41Rob JonkersMartin MeyerRSAZS-IVCUnlimited96003851200601
59Thys van der Merwe RSAZU-AFPUnlimited18400530200734
66Shane BritzMark ClulowRSAZU-FEPUnlimited362007753001167
111Leon Boutell RSAZU-FBJFun175010010902001385
25Bennie du PlessisFrans SmitRSAZS-DWZFun3680010806001508
310Pierre Dippenaar RSAZU-PLDFun2220100102020001542
44Nic CristodoulouAndre KluytsRSAZS-SYAFun646050012204002406

National Rally Champs 2018 – 13/04/2018 – Brits – Blue – RESULTS

11Adrain PillingMary de Klerk0ZS-IFMUnlimited17600906030356
24Hans SchwebelRon Stirk0ZS-IWDUnlimited30800580100901078
33Rob JonkersMartin Meyer0ZS-IVCUnlimited2740074540901149
45Mark ClulowShane Britz0ZU-FEPUnlimited35600730120901296
56Jonty EsserJonathan Esser0ZU-DYEUnlimited426010077010901396
611Nick ChristodoulouAndre Kluyts0ZS-SYAUnlimited14340300109020902934
112Thys van der MerweThinus Coetzee0ZS-DXZFun12000804090330
19Pierre Dippenaar000Fun242002151090557
28Markus JagerSteven Theron 0ZU-XYZ Fun1980041020090898
310Pierre van der MerweSandy van der Merwe0ZU=FWYFun32900410300901129
47Jan CoetzeeMax Coetzee0ZS-KNJFun75700260200901307
52Bennie du PlessisFranz Smit0ZS-DXZFun7790200117030902269

Competitors & Organisers

The SA Rally Flying Championships took place from 8 – 10 April at Aviators Paradise in the North West Province.

The event was generously sponsored to the tune of R20,000 by BRITS FLIGHT TRAINING CENTRE, and R15,000 by AFRICAN OUTDOOR GROUP.

Piet Smith, CEO of BFTC, provided all the food and hospitality in the Clubhouse at the airfield as well as 1000L of fuel for all participating aircraft. BFTC offers flight training from PPL to Commercial Licences in Technams. As the only school on the airfield, and operating in uncontrolled airspace, they enjoy virtual freedom of the skies and can maximize the student’s time on the ground and in the air.

Derick Lategan from the AFRICAN OUTDOOR GROUP provided stunning tented accommodation for all teams at the nearby De Rust Training Centre at Hartbeespoort Dam. AOG also hosted a braai for all participants on the Friday evening, as well as the Gala Awards Dinner together with a Live Band on the Saturday Evening.

The Competition was ably directed by Tony Russell from Cape Town with route planning by Deon Van den Berg. Jacques Jacobs once again handled all the Ground marshals.

The Competition allowed for both Open and Sportmans (Fun) Class entries.

Day 1 dawned and brought with it some suspiciously marginal weather which delayed the start by a few hours. At around Checkpoint 6, things started to look rather bleak and slowly one by one, the pilots started to announce their intentions to abort and return to base. Only two teams managed to push through and complete the route – Barry and Mary in ZU AFP (C172) and Jonty and Sandi in ZU EIL (Yuma). Even they had to skirt around a few tracks to avoid heavy cells over the Magaliesburg Range. Barry and Mary landed minutes before a microburst, which caught Jonty and tested his landing skills to the maximum in the 30kt crosswind.

Day 2 provided some respite from the weather with the cloud base allowing for the full route to be completed by all competitors. Route Planner, Deon van den Berg, tested the skills of the Navigators to the hilt with extremely difficult plots to work out. Temperatures in all cockpits reached boiling points as we all discovered when sharing similar stress levels back on the ground. “The objective” said Deon “was to raise everyone’s skills level in preparation for the World Championships in Europe in August.”

Selection for the World Championships takes place over 2 sets of Nationals each year. The first leg was held in November 2009 in Parys. The results of this competition were:
1 Barry de Groot Mary de Klerk ZU -AFP
2 Jonty Esser Sandi Goddard ZU -EIL
3 Walter Walle Ron Stirk ZS-CNZ
4 Rob Kennedy W Kritzinger ZU-ORV
5 Emmie Oelofse Andrew Lane ZU-DTB

The results of the second leg of the competition were:
1 Barry de Groot Mary de Klerk ZU-AFP
2 Hans Schwebel Ron Stirk ZS-CNZ
3 Rob Kennedy W Kritzinger ZU-FHD
4 Jonty Esser Sandi Goddard ZU -EIL
5 Frank Eckard Cally Eckard ZS-MOC
6 Emmie Oelofse Andrew Lane ZU-DTB

In is very interesting to note that three of the top six teams were borne from competitors who less than 18 months ago, had joined the Fun Rally Series run by Frank Eckard and Mary de Klerk. This is truly testimony to the success of a program that has proudly seen over 600 pilots fly through the system. In fact Rob Kennedy with his Navigator Wikus Kritzinger, were so determined to achieve their place in the team, that Rob invested in a brand new Savanah to participate in the competition. What is of even greater interest is the fact that 30% of the field is female, (when traditionally only 5% of total World participants are female).

The results of the Sportmans competition were:
1 Walter Walle Stephan Burger ZS-CNZ
2 Derick Lategan Francois van Eeden ZS-OJZ
3 Wynand Uys Kobus Kruger ZU-ESO
4 Carl Dollenberg Sean Murphy ZS-IRL

The Final Team to represent South Africa at the WORLD RALLY FLYING CHAMPIONSHIPS in SLOVAKIA in August 2010 was announced at the Gala Dinner held at the African Outdoor Group Training Centre in Hartbeespoort at De Rust.

They are:
#1 Barry de Groot and Mary de Klerk
#2 Hans Schwebel & Ron Stirk
#3 Frank Eckard & Cally Eckard
#4 Rob Kennedy & Wikus Kritzinger
#5 Jonty Esser & Sandi Goddard
#6 Emmie Oelofse & Andrew Lane (Reserve)

Team Manager : Tony Russell
Team Coach : Frank Eckard
Team Captain : Mary de Klerk
International Judge : Jacques Jacobs
Judge Observer : Arddyn Moolman
Judge Observer : Sabrina Kennedy

The Team, together with supporters (23 pax in total) will participate from 1 – 15 August 2010 in Slovakia, Europe, in a field of up to 80 Aircraft from 20 countries worldwide. Between now and then, the team will enjoy rigorous Ground and Air School Training by Frank and Mary, who will have to work around the World Cup Soccer dates to accommodate the training camps.

Click HERE for pictures of the event.

Attachment Size
Full result sheet 53.57 KB


Parys 5 – 7 November 2009

By Mary de Klerk

Mary de Klerk & Barry de Groot

The South African National Rally Championships were held from 5 – 7 Nov in Parys. Twelve teams entered, six in the Sportsmans Class and six in the Open Class. The Open Teams consisted of four good old stalwarts being Barry de Groot, Mary de Klerk, Ron Stirk & Walter Walle and four teams made up of guys that have only flown Fun Rallies for a year and who decided that it was time to upgrade to the real thing. They were Jonty Esser and his partner Sandi Goddard, Rob Kennedy and his partner Wikus Kritzinger, and Emmie Oelofse and her partner Andrew Lane.

These 3 new teams were quickly brought up to speed with the Open Class Plotting requirements in a few Classroom sessions held by Mary prior to the event. This training stood them all in very good stead during the competition and all sailed through the plots with ease and confidence.

All Teams were welcomed by Wynn Dedwith and his wife Tacye in their cottage on the Vaal River and in their beautiful home in Parys.

The Competition Director, Frank Eckard, worked tirelessly for weeks to plan and produce the routes with his normal military precision.

Day 1 dawned and brought with it a very challenging route which was not made any easier by the strong westerlies. There was also much murmuring about confusion in the plot because 2 roads were marked N1…..Results after day 1 were:
#1 Barry de Groot Mary de Klerk
#2 Walter Walle Ron Stirk
#3 Jonty Esser Sandi Goddard
#4 Rob Kennedy Wikus Kritzinger
#5 Emmie Oelofse Andrew Lane

Scores were close between the 2nd and the 5th position so the competition screws tightened on Day 2. Again the wind was not on their side. Other challenging factors for some of the teams were the choice of aitcraft. Rob was flying an RV7 and Emmie her Dyn Aero. Neither of these aircraft are suitable for Rally Flying for two reasons – Low wing and Too Fast. Whilst there was nothing they could do to alter the wing structure, they both reduced their speed on Day 2 and both improved their performances enormously.

Day 2 also brought with it some new faces and 6 teams arrived to fly Sportsman’s Rally which is in essence exactly the same route as Open Class, but it is pre-plotted on the ground and flown with sequential photos as opposed to random.

The Final Results for the competition were:
#1 Barry de Groot Mary de Klerk
#2 Jonty Esser Sandi Goddard
#3 Walter Walle Ron Stirk
#4 Rob Kennedy Wikus Kritzinger
#5 Emmie Oelofse Andrew Lane

#1 Kobus Kotze Frank Smook
#2 Ralph Hurwitz David Stein
#3 Roger Bazolli Freek Stegman
#4 Corno Badenhorst Ronsard Lazare
#5 Rick Barnardie Esmond Erasmus
#6 John Shaw Chris Shaw

Prize Giving was held in the clubhouse and by 15H00 the last aircraft had flown back to base to avoid the nasty weather that was approaching.

This 2009 SA Rally Flying Championship results will count towards the SA Team selection to attend the World Rally Flying Championships in Slovakia in August 2010. The final selection will take place at the next SA Rally Flying Championships to be held in April 2010.

Attachment Size
Open Results 30 KB
Fun Results 28.5 KB