On the weekend of the 27th and the 28th of February Henley Model Airfield and Family Entertainment hosted the first pylon racing event for the 2021 season. Pilots came from far and wide to participate in the event.
The lineup of the club 2200 planes before the first race
A Wasabi during ID pre-race
The first day saw the Club 2200 class run which is an electric class that limits the pilot to a 2200Mah battery. The other classes that ran on the Saturday were sportsman, which means a plane any Saturday flyer has in his hangar with a .55 size engine. The last class of Saturday was the standard quickies, which is raced with the viper 500's.
Donavon's racers for the day
From the word go, the new pilots and callers got in to the action and into the spirit of pylon. The first class up was Club 2200, which saw some close racing and gave a few close calls. The class unfortunately had its injuries with one crash happening. This class always sees more and more pilots joining every time.
And away we go
The results saw Pierre Mentz earn a 6th place with a total time of 861.80 seconds; 5th place went to Charl van Vuuren with a total time of 721.43 seconds. Johan Visser finished 4th with a total time of 713.34 seconds, Donald Dold in 3rd with a total time of 707.23 seconds and Matthys Botha in 2nd with a total time of 660.10 seconds. The winner in class 2200 was Mike Nicholls with a total time of 636.86 Seconds.
A lady caller getting involved on the action
The judges setting up their point for the racing
The Sportsman Class saw new reveals take to the sky and it was a close fight for first place between Stuart Kirby and Roland Suhrmuller. Kobus du Preez, after his race, said that it is the most fun he had in a long while.
A quickie just before landing
The results for sportsman were as follows: In 4th place Kobus Du Preez with a total time of 887.12 seconds, 3rd place, went to Christopher Parker with a total time of 780.03 seconds and 2nd place went to Roland Suhrmuller with a total time of 748.73. The winner of the Class was Stuart Kirby with a total time of 699.94 seconds.
Kobus banking with Stuart just behind him
Stuart brings in his LA racer for a soft landing
The last Class for Saturday was the standard Quickies, which had a great grouping and which meant every race was fought till the end. Marius Randall returned for the first time in 2 years after taking time off from the racing.
The end results of a bad crash
The results for the class were as follows: 4th place, went to Jan Coetzer who had a total time of 743.36 seconds, Marius Randall with a total time of 736.07 finished 3rd and Roland Suhrmuller with a total time of 631.98 seconds took 2nd place. The winner was Christopher Parker with a total time of 590.57 seconds.
With the class completed, it was the end of the first day and the second day lay ahead with close racing.
And we are cleared to land
A locally produced 4-koffie
Sunday arrived which saw pilots return for another day of racing. This time it was the turn of the hot quickies as well as the quarter midgets (Q40). The Hot quickies are the same airframes as the standards but use a special racing engine. The Q40's is semi scale aircraft with high performance engines and can reach up to 300 km/h.
Trevor Budd seconds from touching down…….
The first class up was Hots and saw the pilots fighting for every position and some close calls which ended in a racer crashing between two of the pylons. It was also in this class which saw Marius Randall collide with a pylon while landing his plane.
Trevor and his caller waiting for his plane to stop
Marius Randall with a total time of 830.83 seconds took 4th place, 3rd went to Russell vd Westhuizen with a total time of 785.00 seconds, 2nd to Arrie Schoeman with a total time of 680.78 seconds and in 1st place Trevor Budd with a total time of 419.49 seconds.
The judge's tent with a quickie coming in to land
And around the pylon we go
The last Class of the weekend was Q40's and which saw another sad end to a classic of the pylon racing scene when Wayne Willcox lost one of his planes on landing. The class also saw multiple pilots struggle to get there engines up and running but it was still a very close affair with seconds being the only thing that separated the pilots at one stage.
A bobcat Q40
The results were as follows: in 4th place, Russell vd Westhuizen with a total time of 883.79 seconds, 3rd went too Trevor Budd with a total time of 656.42 seconds. Wayne Willcox with a total time of 380.03 seconds finished 2nd and Patrick O'Donovan won with a time of 369.99 seconds.
A big Bruce minute man Q40
Donavon on final
After the weekend racing was completed, the pilots all shared a laugh and a good story before they start to embark to their different destinations. The next race for these pilots is the autumn races that will be held at RMAC on the weekend of the 27th and the 28th of March.
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