Season Finale Speed Navigation Rally ’22

The Holborn Assets Springs Season Finale Speed Navigation Rally – 1 October 2022 by Rob Jonkers (photos by Jaco Pitout, Rob Jonkers)

The South African Power Flying Association (SAPFA) organised the 2022 Season finale Speed Navigation Rally on Saturday 1st October 2022 to take place at Springs. This being the 4th event in Season 4 of the Speed Rally series. As a season finale it would end with a black tie gala dinner on the Saturday evening against the standard already set in 2020 ending Season 2. Our Season 4 events were held in Witbank, Middelburg, Groblersdal and lastly Springs. Groblersdal was a new venue for this season, where SAPFA has been looking at diversifying venues and partnering with clubs to hold these events, and we hope to look at other venues again in 2023.

As most will remember, the 2021 season finale also at Springs was rained out, and this time, conditions were totally the opposite, with summer like clear skies and temperatures, in fact the Density Altitude was around 8000 ft with wind and turbulence affecting aircraft performance, many speeds seen were somewhat reduced from expectations.

Entries for this finale were 14, and as with previous entries since Witbank also somewhat subdued given the economics seen in the Aviation industry with fuel priced over R35/l in most places. The Springs club provided their facilities to hold the event and the briefing was held in the new open area adjacent to the club-house. As with Groblersdal, the competition would be arranged over 2 days, being Saturday and Sunday, with prize giving as an evening function. Arrivals would be on Saturday morning with a start mid-morning (previously a Friday arrival and early morning start), and departures on Sunday.

Race Master David le Roux called for the briefing to start at 10 am, where the teams were introduced and race numbers were handed out. We welcome back the Mach 1 school entry of Manaf Mubarak competing in a Beechcraft Sundowner. Thereafter Iaan Myburgh as the competition Director went through the safety and route briefing for the day. After that all the teams prepared their aircraft, scruntineered, and were handed out their papers, with a minor map glitch had to move the take-off times by 25 minutes. Martin Meyer and myself were under starters orders to man the start line on runway 03, and waved off (air carrier style…) all the teams. The arrival time was 13h25 with the Lanceair crossing the line first followed by the Sling. Everybody were home safely, just the Falco had some engine difficulties and had to return early (missed 2 turnpoints) but still finished to score. The scoring team got on to provide individual results for everybody that were handed out in the afternoon, then most retired to their lodges or returned home to come back to the airfield for the gala dinner.

The gala dinner took take place in Gavin Brown’s Classic Wings hangar with a great backdrop of some of his classic aircraft. The décor was being prepared during the day, with guests of around 60 starting to arrive at 6 pm. Everybody was seated by 07h00 and Race Master David le Roux opened the proceedings with thanks to all the helpers, officials and the Springs Flying Club for hosting this event. The main Season Sponsor Holborn Assets gave a short brief on their business, and also drew the lucky winner of their money jar. David also advised about planning being done for 2023’s fixtures that would be concluded within the next week. David also recognized Rob Jonkers as the previous competition director for all the work carried out on Speed Rallies since inception to create the foundation on which the future of the sport can be built. It is now more relevant than ever to bring in new competitors to enjoy the sport.

With the main course enjoyed by all, it was time for prize giving, firstly the placings for the Springs event, where first place went to Leon Joubert & Jonty Esser in their Lanceair ZU-LNC, second place went to Hendrik & Jandre Loots in their Sling ZU-IHK and in third place Sean Cronin and Roger Ford in their Jabiru ZU-JBJ.

The overall season placings went to father & son team of Quintin Kruger & Johan Whiteman in their Piper 235 ZS-FVV, in second place Phil Wakeley and Mary de Klerk in their C210 ZS-CNY and in third place Leon Joubert & Jonty Esser (also Sandi Goddard) in their Lanceair ZU-LNC. In fact the season standings had the top 3 placed identically in the Handicap and Accuracy categories as well.

The formal proceedings were closed off with Leon Joubert and his band WASP to get everybody into the mood for party time and good music from a bygone era.


Many Thanks to all the officials who put in the effort to make the Speed rally what it has become, David le Roux as the Race Master, Nigel Musgrave as the Safety Officer, Iaan Myburg as Competition Director and scorer, Sean Cronin & Martin Meyer doing test flights and starting, Marc & Shane for Century Avionics for GPS & Fuel Scrutineering, Chareen Shillaw & Anthea Cronin on Scrutineering. ATC from the Special Air Events team are always on hand to support our events. Anneke Pretorius put together a fantastic gala dinner spread with all the décor and trimmings fitting for a black tie event. Thanks also extended to the team at Springs, Raymond Ayre, who graciously supported the officials in their hangar and Gavin Brown for the use of the Classic Wings hangar for the gala dinner.

Without sponsors these type of events would not be possible, thanks to Holborn Assets, Prompt Roofing, Beegle Tracking, Gemair Maintenance, Century Avionics, 4 Track Mover

An almost perfect track – with a minor excursion at turnpoint 10

A very wobbly start on leg 1, with good recovery after turnpoint 2


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