Bona Bona leg one of this year's four planned Speed Rallies
By Willie Bodenstein
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Roger's speedy PA28R201T Piper Turbo Arrow III
Mark de Jongh and Roger Brozzoli
Steven Briggs and Mike Blackburn
The airfield at the lodge
Rand Airport, Gauteng 05.54 and we are getting the aircraft out, pre-flighted and ready for departure to Bona Bona lodge in the North West Province approximately 1 hour 15 minutes away. Roger Bozzoli who had kindly offered me a lift in his speedy PA28R201T Piper Turbo Arrow III was in the left seat with Marc de Jongh who was building hours for his com in the right and me in the backseat. Following us in the Sling Four were Mike Blackburn and Steven Briggs in Mike's Sling 4.
Competitors and others outside one of the hangars at the lodge.
The Lodge also had a fly in on the day and besides the 20 Rally Aircraft there must have been at least another 25 casual visitors
Rally safety director Nigel Musgrave and one of the casual visitors.
Some of the participating rally aircraft.
Bona Bona was the host the first of 2023's four speed rallies. This rally was capped at twenty entrants and was fully subscribed days before the competition. Approximately half of the entrants left on the Friday and stayed over while the balance, like us, opted to fly out on Saturday.
Race Director Iaan Myburgh during the safety briefing.
Competitors and others during the briefing.
The weather did look a bit iffy but was all right except for a rather ominous cell close to the lodge. This fortunately moved and after some chit chat with friends we took the shuttle to the lodge for a lovely buffet breakfast before making our way back for the briefing that was held in what for the event was called the Century Avionics Hanger. Century is one of the few companies that really support almost all general aviation events.
A light drizzle was the order of the day. Fortunately, a break in the weather at around 11.30 made it possible for the first competitor to leave the starting line. It being a handicap race the slowest aircraft, the Jabiru of Tarryn Myburgh with dad Derek Orford, led the of 19 of the twenty entrants.
By the time the last landed it had started raining lightly. We went for a quick game walk, admiring the Cheetahs, Lions and Hyena's in their enclosures before leaving for Rand unfortunately missing the awards ceremony that only took place at 19.45.