The 2016 Bob Hay Fun Rally at Baragwanath Airfield

By Cally Eckard

Organisers and participants

Eight teams participated in this rally, four of them first-timers, who now describe themselves as hooked on the sport. Roger Bizzoli organised the event, and made sure the competitors and spectators were well supplied with breakfast and coffee.

The weather was overcast with high cloud, so the competition was postponed by an hour, so organiser Frank Eckard took the opportunity to explain some of the finer points of rally flying while we waited for the weather to lift.

The route included a sizeable stretch of the Vaal River, and the teams had to follow the course of the river before turning back to the airfield. However, one team inadvertently crossed the river without noticing it, and were only alerted to this fact once they spotted Letaba Power Station. Another crew saw the Start Point, but chose the wrong heading and managed to miss crossing the Start Line altogether, but got back on course immediately and found all of the other turn points.

The participants

The crews managed to find most of the photographs, which is quite an admirable feat for people new to this sport. In fact, father-and-son team Arthur and Graeme de Kock found all the photographs and plotted them all accurately, receiving the top score of 0.

Six teams took part in the Fun Rally, and Ron Stirk took part in the Open Precision category, and Thys van der Merwe and his navigator Keaton Perkins took part in the Open Rally category.

Chairman Dave Gill during the prize giving explained that Bob Hay was a long-standing member of Johannesburg Light Plane Club, situated at Baragwanath Airfield. Although not an instructor, he was the go-to person for any pilot who had any queries or needed advice regarding flying and aerodynamics. He was also three times South African Aerobatics Pilot.

Prizes were handed out by Dave Gill and Frank Eckard. Arthur and Graeme de Kock are now the proud winners of the Bob Hay Memorial Trophy.

The results were as follows:

The Fun Rally section:

The winners Arthur and Graeme de Kock

The Open Class results were as follows:

The winner Ron Stirk

That ends our rally program for this year. The next Fun Rally is the Rand Airport Challenge on Saturday 28 January. All welcome. For more information go to Please enter online at

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