This year's EAA Sun n Fun flying event was the 2nd Adventure Rally organised in this year, following the successful formula established back in 2015, and the 5th event held as part of Sun 'n Fun.
Although only 7 entries took part, there were a number registered that decided not to test the potential bad weather outlook, which in the end although windy, was good all weekend long.
This rally is about teams enjoying the more relaxed and fun kind of event mostly involving observation out of the window recognition of ground features and learning about the area being flown over.
For this year, the theme was the bushveld of the North West featuring the two key dams in the area being the Roodekopjes and Vaalkop dams, which lie in the Crocodile river valley and up to some of the foothills of the southernmost area of the Waterberg hills.
The format was in the form of a pre-defined route map that was available prior to the event starting for everybody to either plan their route with traditional map plotting tools or to program their GPS's - if they were more at home following the magenta line.
For this year, as was done in the Vryheid rally earlier in the year, navigation accuracy was also a criteria in the scoring, where a 1 km wide virtual corridor was established, where the teams had to make sure that they did not stray outside these boundaries as time penalties would be applied for the period outside the corridor.
Each route's leg had turning point photographs to be recognised (either being correct or incorrect), mostly Google Earth photos, but still featured the same view.
Martin Meyer with Pierre Dippenaar explaining plotting to Caroline Koll, Milan Daniz & Irene Naude. The booklet contained a section of wiki notes that would enable the crews to answer all the questions with a warning - "Don't read at your peril….", and guess what….?, some forgot to find the answers in the most obvious place…. or were too busy trying to keep on track.
After the briefing, and with 20 minutes prior take-off with handing out papers, the first competitors took to the skies at 09.30, with the last off at 11.10. The weather was windy and brewing hot, with plenty turbulence over the route, but otherwise an excellent clear day for flying.
Everybody found their way around, and in general the scoring was look, I guess some of the competitors having had done this a few times now were getting used to the course designers thinking….
With everybody successfully home, it was time for marking the exam papers which was left to Mark Clulow, to carry out, while Rob downloaded the loggers and scored the Navigation Accuracy.
On returning, the competitors had to carry out a spot landing where landing line judge Dave Lister was on hand to adjudicate. Milan Daniz turned out to be the winner with only 10 penalty points landing in the first box before the bingo line.
Almero Calitz with Bertie Lowers plotting with Bertie's son looking on
Kathy Burke & Alan Evan-Hanes plotting
When all was tallied up, the crew of Alan Evan-Hanes and Kathy Burke in their Super Cub ZS-ASI attained first place with 39 points, Pierre Dippenaar & Martin Meyer in 2nd place with third place going to Pierre vd Merwe and Mark Clulow.
Ian Wylde & Conrad Walker calculating distances
The Sling floating trophy was handed to Alan Evan-Hanes & Kathy Burke, this being the 5th event where this floating trophy has been awarded. Thus came an end of a hopefully enjoyable day for everybody who took part, even with the reduce field size.
Best Landing score ZU-SLF
2nd in landings ZU-SLF
3rd in landings ZS-IVC
Many thanks are extended to Arjan Schaap & the Brits Flying Club for organising hangar space for the briefing and plotting tables, Mark Clulow for assisting in marking the answer books, DJA Aviation, Pilots Post
& Wings & Things for goody bags for the competitors.
The best corridor track for the day - Alan Evan-Hanes & Kathy Burke
One of the not so good tracks for the day
1st place Alan Evan-Hanes & Kathy Burke receiving the Sling Floating Trophy
2nd place Pierre Dippenaar & Martin Meyer
3rd placed Mark Clulow and Pierre vd Merwe (not in Picture)
1st Place in Spot Landing - Milan Daniz & Caroline Koll