Thursday, March 17, 2005

The Great Western Province 2005 Aerobatics Championships -- Claude Mackrill

12TH& 13TH MARCH 2005

Peter Kapp & his band of loyal slaves pulled of a brilliant Western Province aerobatic competition; brilliant from all aerobatic flying in the Cape has taken off & is doing double Immelmann's & snaps like u won't believe.
The judging panel had their hands full with separating the men from the boys but unfortunately there were no 'boys' the task of judging became much more difficult, also there were areas of very tight competition, this again compounded the problem....Thanks judges for sitting out there & braving the weather & giving it your is greatly appreciated by the flyers....The judging panel was made up of (they were all chief judges) 1st The Chief of Chiefs Christo 'Grootbek' Rust the judge with a built-in home entertainment centre, who saw to it that there was always entertainment on the judging line..... Then came Theo 'Hi Speed' Marnewick, followed the 'Quiet Assassin' Kas Hamman.......then the Old Man of aerobatics Willie 'No Nonsense' Krynouw.
The Contest director John 'The Boss' Cunningham had no problem in herding his troop of unruly pattern junkies into a well behaved bunch of pattern hooligans, rumour has it that he threatened that if they do not fall in line.... to tell the wives how much the models actually cost, This kept them extremely well behaved,
For once the CapeTown weather played along, Saturday morning was virtually windless, this took many by surprise as we Capetonians have no experience in flying in these windless conditions. In the pit area some pilots were praying for just a little wind to make it feel like 'Home'. Nevertheless flying got of to a good & early start with a large contingent of Sportsman flyers - even our new pilots just seem to know what to do - the ready boxes were filled at all times.
For once the competition was running ahead of schedule, so much so that we could fly 3 rounds of F3A, Expert & Advanced ...thanks to the slick coordination between of the CD John & Peter Kapp who is the clubs head 'honcho'
The one thing that was great about this comp was the level of flying; there were no 'bad' flyers so the scores were tight. In the sportsman category in the first round an early lead was taken by Anton Pretorius flying his Swallow. There was one flyer from CRF, young Nic Southorn who is being coached by 'The Woof Man' (his bark is worse than his bite) and supported by his Dad...A very proud dad indeed & rightly so....Just to digress here it seems that in our hobby there are lots of father son teams ...Dirk Van Ryhn (Snr) had developed a plane specially for his son, it's a mix of the now famous Swallow & Typhoon, (it has many innovative constructions) I think we will baptise it 'The Swaloon' ..Just as a matter of interest, if you are a father son team, don't call for your son - things can get pretty heated on the line....much to the amusement of the judges...the stress is just too much for us 'Ou Toppies' ...Then we also have the 'Smit Foundation', consisting of Josh the pilot & Louw the very able Mechanic & Jane (the boss of the foundation).....Then Kurt & yours truly....the no-good caller...on occasions we use some 4 letter words on the line that does not seem to be in the pattern...but like all teenagers he does not listen to his dad even when he is the caller. I believe that Dirk van Ryhn also had some flight line dramas - his 'Ou Toppie' got so carried away by Dirk's flying that he called the wrong 'stuff' ...I rest my case - a father son on the flight line is just too stressful.....
In the advanced Category it was a fight of two PRF members, namely Josh & Rodney...the same Rodney who took out a helicopter at last year's Nats......I'm proud of you ...Now in the expert Category we have an interesting situation Pieter Kapp was supposed to take part but rumour has it that he 'chickened' out (he has a valid excuse...But why should we believe him?) ...Gerhard Mitton took part with a pattern ship that must date back to the early day's of 'jet style' pattern - the kind that John Cunningham , yours truly & Digby Cranke of Bloem cut our pattern teeth on in the 70's...the faster the better.........Just to prove that pattern flying is all about skill, Gerhard, who flew 4 great rounds with this very fast, very basic '60' size ship that he has been flying for aeons, was in the lead right up to the very last flight (he is still flying with a Gold Series Futaba that has no computer 'stuff' ...what an amazing flyer)...Kurt on the other hand was flying a 'loan' machine - mine - & did well. I find it totally amazing that these young pilots can adapt to flying a 'strange' machines so quickly, Josh did the same at the Gauteng Champs by flying into 1st position with a plane Andre Stockwell loaned him as his Swallow's engine let him down.
In the F3A the competition was cooking. There was Nazeem 'Mr Perfection' Harris (a name he earned as all the aircraft he builds are finished to perfection) flying his trusty Alliance. And now we come to a very unassuming, quiet, calm, tranquil & reserved (I lie a lot) Mark Wolffe, flying the colours for CRF. Flying another Alliance.......A very pleasant surprise came in the form of a Vaalie F3A pilot Carel Germishuys who came down especially for the Comp, He happens to be a full size Boeing pilot, but has free time on his hands after some old fuddy duddys in the 1st class complained to SAA when he entertained his passengers by doing a 4 point roll.....these old well oiled 'old f**ts' in 1st class were very upset as their Klippies & coke spilt, their dentures fell out & their gazillion Rand 'natural' hair toupees fell of when he was inverted..... (in the economy class the seats are so narrow you get forced in, so when Carel was inverted they could not fall out) ..........guess what - a 'noga' Alliance.....Don't the F3A pilots have any sense of individuality? ....all they change is the colours scheme - they should take a leaf out of the Sportsman class ...variety is the spice of life...
Just one question at this stage: Why do all pattern pilots love blue? PRF's kit is blue, TMFC Aerobatics' team is in blue, Mark Wolffe's designer gear was all in blue..... If you did a snap survey of Pattern Pilots 'Fashion', Blue is the Black of fashion for pattern..... Now meanwhile back at the ranch in the 'Coffee-Huis' where the scores were being 'done' another drama was unfolding, The case of the disappearing score sheets - as Deidre (Nazeem's boss) & Jane (Louw & Josh's strategy consultant & nutritional provider) were entering scores, the computer would sometimes just reboot. It was found, every time someone wanted a cup of coffee, & the kettle was used, the voltage did a disappearing trick....soon they learnt that whenever anyone wanted coffee the scorers took a well deserved break....I must tell u that the scoring was so slick that by the time you switched off your engine, your scores were ready....Three cheers for the scorers. Also in the 'Coffee-Huis' working hard to keep the hungry masses fed were Lynn & Mary, who happens to be Willie 'No Nonsense's' wife, slaving over hot stoves to keep hungry Pattern Hooligans fed ......Thanks a lot Ladies.....
In round one in the Sportsman division Dirk flew very well to take an early lead, with Kallie & Anton in close pursuit, but in the second round Anton started to put his foot down with a stamp of some serious authority, Dirk did his best by flying some great scores but the ever confident Anton could not be stopped, and then Kallie came trailing these two. Nic Southorn, 'Woof Man's' protégé did well to fly into 4th place - under 'normal' conditions his flying would see him at least in the first 3, but Pattern is taken so seriously in the Cape now that you have to practice long & hard to get a good position......Mike Rabeling also had some bad luck with an engine that would not behave - it was suggested that as he normally flies near the nuclear power station, his engine has picked up a dose of Nuclear Radiation ...Marcel Viljoen from Worcester had some bad luck in his first flight but recovered well to do 50% plus flights with a small 40 size model - the Soprano. Just another example proving that it's the skill not the model that gets you the points... but a well trimmed model helps.... Now a new-comer to pattern from the PRF stable, Ozzie Parenzee did well for his first comp - one of his flights included a very entertaining & highly 'original' double Immelmann with a humpty bump & inverted top hat for effect, so low that he had some foreign objects in the wheels when he landed. Finally Johan Grove just had a heavy dose of bad luck, he flew a loan Swallow but unfortunately the motor was not run in properly & kept cutting....On the Thursday before the WP champs he 'planted' his own trusty Swallow, but as luck would have it, in CapeTown we are experiencing the worst drought in 50 years, the ground was so dry that nothing germinated.
........Vaalies better watch out - the Capies are coming for the gold.......
Now I must tell you this that Anton has a very innovative way of stopping his swallow from moving forward before take of ...he cut a serious flat on the bottom of the main wheels, so that they sit flat on the runway.....Now just a thought, if when cutting the flat, what if he had got it wrong & cut the flat on the top of the wheel, what a problem that would be .......Now Anton's innovation did not stop there.......he & Johan Grove did an impromptu Wind Dance on the runway, BUT unfortunately his Choreographer got things a bit mixed up & taught him the Haka with a hint of Toy Toy....The end result was that his engine kept on cutting in the totally still conditions........
Now in the advanced section we have Josh & Rodney both from Peninsula Radio Flyers. Josh, although younger, had the experience to carry it off, but Rodney had his fair share of drama. In one flight, when attempting to land, his throttle got stuck and then had to 'do' another practice round. Now his official mechanic Nazeem had some explaining to do - it was rumoured that Rodney stopped the last payment because of sloppy workmanship. To compound the problem, on the very next flight his tail wheel came off & nearly hit one of the judges. Lucky for him it did not go near Judge Christo, as Christo's mouth is always open & that would have been the last we would have seen of the tail wheel .......Then on landing, he accidentally hit the throttle - the aircraft lunged forward and Rodney & his trusty mechanic (Nazeem) had to do some fancy footwork to get out of the way.
Now after the judges kept on calling 'box', one rather astute caller realized that someone had put the end flag in the wrong place & made the box 30% smaller. This was soon rectified, and the flyers were offered the chance to re-fly. Kurt & Carel Germishuys took up the option & bettered their scores....
In the Expert division it was mainly a 2 horse race with yours truly bringing up the rear; Gerhard Mitton was in the lead all the way with Kurt following closely on his heels. In the last round both Gerhard & Kurt flew their hearts out - the score at the end gave Kurt the 1st prize by only 0.03%. I don't think anything could be closer that that..... Things are hotting up in CapeTown.... Now I have been practising hard for the last 3 months and came 3rd (last). How sick is this that I have to practise hard to come last - what would have happened if I had not practised? Perhaps 5th out of 3??
In the Masters division things got rough. Mark, Nazeem & Carel were fighting tooth & nail for position - in the first round only a difference of 0.4% between Woof Man & Mr Perfection - in the second round it narrowed even more to 0.3% Carel who was doing some excellent flying was flying a creditworthy 3rd place, only trailing by only 5%...the heat was on...but in the 3rd round Mark pulled ahead by 1.2%, and in this round Carel flew a very credible 70%. In the last round Mark pulled one out of the hat & flew a humdinger of a flight scoring 76.7%, & Nazeem a 72.9% flight,......... Good..... I'm sorry - great flying by anyone's standards; Carel flew a 69% flight. Flying of this standard from CapeTown is
going to make us a force to be reckoned with in the future.......
The Western Province Champs of 2005 was in all respects a resounding success...
Thank to Pieter Kapp, Willie Krynouw, Nazeem Harris & band of many slaves too many to mention, WELL DONE, we the flyers do not have a clue of how much organizing it takes to make a great event such as this. Thanks again from ALL the flyers.
The pattern flyers of the Western Cape region should build on the momentum that started with the well run Province & Nationals 2004 that was run by Jean Vos & Co, and then continued this year by TMFC in 2005. To all those concerned with the organization of these great events, a heartfelt thanks.
Pieter Kapp had mentioned that the Western Province Aerobatics Association is looking at awarding Provincial Colours soon, so come on all you Pattern Junkies, Colours will soon be up for grabs......Looks like our WPAA is alive & well & kicking butt. Please support the WPAA in any way you can.....We need sponsorship & slaves.....

NOW FOR SERIOUS GRIPE TIME..........Pieter told me that he had approached hobby dealers for sponsorship & advertising - all he got was an advert from Southern Hobbies & not one of the other dealers were prepared to support Tygerberg Model Flying Club with any advertising .......I think that this is a downright disgrace as we, the modellers, support their business's all year round, spending thousands of our hard earned Bokke with them. Without our support they do not have a business..... It seems they have no respect for our patronage as they are not prepared to support us with even a measly advert at such an important event, nevvermaaind a sponsored prize or two........a disgraceful state of affairs, methinks......
Now to all the dealers around the country a warning .....In future should you refuse a reasonable request to sponsor us in major events, or even minor events, we will have no option but to name & shame...... So be warned.... WE are forming the AEROMODELLERS Consumer Union.......So don't stuff us around...We WILL support you...if you support us......

Link to pdf file with results

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