I was invited by Jannie Brink from AkaVlieg Potchefstroom Gliding to attend the official grand opening of the 2023 Jonker Sailplanes SA National Gliding Championship on the Friday evening at the airfield clubhouse, before the competition starts the next day. The event was opened on time by a formation display of three (3) jet-propelled JS Sailplanes, two RV's and two local crop sprayers respectively to conclude the amazing dusk aerobatic display sequence.
The 200th JS3 and 300th JS Sailplane were handed over to their new owners, Rob Tiffin on his JS3 named Dori and MT (Mitch Thomson) on his JS3 RES in his absence from the USA.
A well-prepared pictorial presentation by Uys Jonker off the amazing history of Jonker Sailplanes was followed by a walk-through of all the two hundred employees by each department working for Jonker Sailplanes, contributing on average every fifth (5) day a new sailplane is rolled out from the final assembly hangar.
The night was concluded by an impressive variety of food served by the team of Jannie Brink, his mother, and their kitchen assistants. Enough finger treats was in stock for all that attended, to enjoy the Jonker Sailplane evening to its fullest.
The Saturday morning of day one of the competition, started with a well-spread breakfast by Jannie Brink and his mother and their helpful kitchen team. Up early and on time that is always it treat.
Pilots briefing was conducted at 09h00 by Jason Adriaan who was the safety director for the contest. Sven Olivier gave the weather forecast for the day and Oscar Goudriaan developed the day's tasks for the Club, 15m, 18m, 2Seat and Superclass groups as either Task A, B or C.
To qualify as an official national gliding contest; at least four days has to be completed.
36 glider pilots competed in five classes this year. The most competitors that I have known competing since I started to cover the gliding event for Pilot's Post.
The first competition day in photographic sequence started with the tug launches and ended with late afternoon landings. I captured the day with too many photos to publish all in an online summarised article.
Unfortunately I could not stay for the prize giving the Saturday evening. However, it was also a lavish affair / closure like the grand opening.
Our congratulations to those that made it to the podium. Excellent flying in really demanding conditions.
1st: Dicky Daly with 5609 pts
2nd: Dave Maver with 5236 pts
3rd: Maarten Jonker with 5137 pts
1st: Wayne Schmidt with 6191 pts
2nd: Mark Holliday with 5816 pts
3rd: Uys Jonker with 4536 pts
1st: Oscar Goudriaan with 5907 pts
2nd: Phillip Jonker with 5853 pts
3rd: Attie Jonker with 5755 pts
1st: Yamauchi/Greenhill with 5854 pts
2nd: Nouwens/Nouwens with 5665 pts
3rd: Pieter Geldenhuys with 5354 pts
Pilots Post would like to thank and congratulate the organizers of this year's event for their great hospitality and for a very enjoyable and successful glider nationals. We are already looking forward to the next one that will set another new record of competing glider pilots. To all the prospective glider pilots, please mark this event with a big red circle on your aviation calendar for next year.
The next event on the SSSA calendar is the KZN Regionals which will take place from the 24 to 31 March 2024 at Vryheid. "Be the first KZN Champion!"
SA 15 metre, club and 2 seater Nationals, Potchefstroom 2022