The Misasa Africa Cup 2020 Hotel Numbi, Hazyview

By Brett Hickman. Photos by Paul Meanwell and Limpopo Flying School

An Aerial shot of the field with visiting aircraft and the hotel.

The Africa Cup is the longest running and oldest Microlight Event in South Africa. It started on 10 June 1987 and is held each year around 24th September (Heritage Day) at the Hotel Numbi in Hazyview, a stone's throw from the world-famous Kruger National Park.

Looking down the runway on a misty morning.

Pilots of all disciplines are invited to join each year from novice to seasoned veterans. There are no entry fees for the competition and we cater specifically for the Rookies in an effort to encourage the sport of recreational flying in South Africa. It started as a microlight competition and over the years many other different recreational aircraft have taken part.

Some of the visitors.

This year saw the arrival of 12 microlights, 7 light sport aircraft and 5 gyrocopters. In the evening the traditional initiation of the new pilots took place with them having to do a barrel roll!!

Getting ready for the famous Africa Cup barrel roll.

During and after the navigation task

The competition consisted of a navigation task in the morning and runway tasks in the afternoon. The navigation task took the form of the aircraft needing to fly a route from Numbi to Bat Hawk City, Sabie, Inyaka Dam and back to Numbi. The pilots were given their first turn point and 8 photographs that they needed to identify. They had to perform a full stop spot landing at Bat Hawk City to collect the details of the remainder of the route and had to continue on their way, identifying the remainder of the photographs with another spot landing at Numbi.

The runway tasks consisted of a timed circuit, spot landings, a flour bomb drop and a ribbon cutting (bogroll) exercise. It seemed like some of the pilots were a bit rusty on their tasks and we didn't get the accuracy of previous years but a lot of fun was had by all participating in the tasks.

The prizegiving took place in the evening and true to Africa Cup tradition it was a fancy-dress function with the theme being Peter Pan and anything that begins with a "P". Everyone made a great effort and we had a diverse range of costumes like Peter Pan himself, Priests, Policemen and Women, Pirates, Peaky Blinders, Pumpkin Eaters and Punks.

Rob McFie generously donated a new trophy for "Best Dressed" and this was awarded to George and Kerry Mienie. Fines and booby prizes were handed out with Rob McFie presiding over the official prizegiving and we were honoured to present the trophies for the following categories to the deserved winners:
Airmanship: Martin Burt - Gyrocopter
Navigation: Rob McFie - Gyrocopter
Spot Landings: Paul Oosthuizen - Microlight
Flour Bombing: David Cameron- Ellis - Microlight
Ribbon Cutting (Bogroll Boss): Andre van Zyl - Gyrocopter
Circuit Master: Andre van Zyl - Gyrocopter
Rookie 1st: Paul Oosthuizen - Microlight
Rookie 2nd: David Cameron Ellis - Microlight

Africa Cup 1st: Paul Oosthuizen - Microlight
Africa Cup 2nd: Andre van Zyl - Microlight
Africa Cup 3rd: Willie van der Merwe - Microlight

Once again it was a good and safe Africa Cup. I'd like to thank all the competitors for taking part and displaying outstanding flying skills.

I'd also like to thank the following:
Hotel Numbi for hosting us, feeding and watering us, buying the take home trophies and supplying two free weekends to the winners, Spearmint Services for donating prize money, SAGPA for their generous donation to provide fuel for the participants, Nico Willemse and Rob McFie for all their assistance with the event. And finally, a huge thanks to MISASA for providing funds, providing the ambulance and arranging all the legalities to make the event happen.

I look forward to seeing many new faces at Africa Cup 2021.

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