President's Trophy Air Race - 2019

By the Race Director Rob Jonkers

To all competitors and officials that made the 2019 PTAR a memorable event in Saldanha, a huge thank-you. Also your support for me as the Race Director to make it all work out is greatly appreciated, under circumstances that were trying at times.

Planning for Saldanha started around a year ago, and at the same time the wish from you as the competitor to look at changing the race format, as well as the management aspects, and as SAPFA we took up that challenge, and spent the effort to develop renewed excitement and enthusiasm for the PTAR, which I trust you were able to experience over the weekend. The weather of course was always a consideration, and a toss-up whether it would play ball on the nominated race days, which was earlier on the calendar to take advantage of still good days before the cold fronts rolled in, and as fate would have it, the first of the winter cold fronts affected the west coast weather system.

As a result, this year's race was one of many firsts, the change in race format, the renewed inclusivity of the media, an overhaul in the handicapping & test flight system amongst others, and having only one race day to work with at the end of the day, given that day 1 had to be scrubbed due to lingering low cloud base in the north-eastern hills. I am sure the 2019 PTAR will go down in the historical records as unusual and establishing a new standard.

I welcome you all to share your experiences to make the next PTAR even better. We all have the time over the next year to establish a new standard to become more mature and refined, so that we can add more competitors from around the country to take part in this one of the oldest and most prestigious events in the world. See you next year in Ermelo.

Events 2019

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