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The 11th Jets-R-Us Gariep 2018 event took place on the weekend of 4th to 8th July, The week leading up to the event was stressful for all competitors as the whole country was caught in a cold spell.
Arriving at Gariep on Wednesday morning early we were all highly surprised by the weather, it was breathless, no wind, no clouds, sunny and warm. We were met by the manna from the west coast as they had already arrived at Gariep on the Tuesday afternoon. This was their first visit to a Gariep Fly in. It was really awesome to meet all of them and also those I haven’t seen in years.
The first day is always used to set out the flight line, ready box area, crowd barriers etc. The early birds all got stuck in to do some flying as they could not resist the awesome weather. After booking in at tour beloved accommodation we set off to our local loved watering hole for some refreshments and some good supper. This is the spot where we meet the locals as well as all those that arrive just before sunset. The remainder of the pilots arrived over the next 2 days due to travelling as well as work commitments.
By Friday lunch time all who had preregistered were there. The weather throughout the weekend was awesome. Early morning a slight breeze blew from the dam side that causes the air to be cool but as the sun warms up in the day the weather became excellent.
Flying took place from around 08h00 till after 18h00 every day except Sunday. All the guys with fancy flashing lights on their planes were having fun flying in the calm weather just as the sun was setting over the horizon. A total of 75 pilots registered for the event and a total of 175 aircraft were counted. Planes ranged from foam trainers to twin turbine jets as well as some awesome sounding large war birds. The quality of flying as well as the behaviour of pilots was awesome and fun was had by all who attended. Very few mishaps occurred with only some minor incidences considering the amount of flying that took place
The normal memorabilia was handed out at registration to all pre registered pilots which was caps, beanies, beer glass etc.
Saturday evening was set aside for the annual supper and prize giving. All congregated at the local bowling green for a very good sit down supper. The evening was used to say thank you to all competitors, helpers and sponsors. Each and every pilot that attended received a gift of some sort that evening. A total of 110 people attended the supper.
A few things that was special this weekend was a missing man formation that was flown by 4 pilots chosen to commemorate the passing of 2 pilots and close friends in the weeks leading up to Gariep. We were all deeply saddened by the untimely passing of Louis Genade from Cape Town and Oluf Larsen from Henley airfield. These two gentlemen played their own important role within the model fraternity and will be missed by many.
We had a first ever at an event which is a slot for all junior pilots got to fly together. We had 8 junior pilots ranging from 6 to 17 years old who got to fly at lunch time together very successfully under the watchful eye of their dads, pilots and spectators. They deservingly received a huge round of applause. These youngsters are the future of our hobby.
One youngster stood out over the weekend putting even some of the older pilots to shame and that is young Zandre Potgieter from Mosselbaai. He is only 8 years old and put his dad Theo Potgieter (Grootbek) PMS Python 100cc through its paces. Well done lytie you did well.
The youngsters who participated are:
Christian Robinson 6
Zandre Potgieter 8
Harry Marangellis 9
Gabriel Robinson 10
Daniel Potgieter 11
Jade Powell 14
Pedri Lategan 15
Jaco Spangenberg 17
You are sure to see these youngsters at more events throughout the country. Well done guys.
A special thank you to all pilots, your wives and helpers and last but not least to our sponsors who help make this event what it is.
Johan VD Merwe
Unique Wooden Creations
RC Toys For Boys
See you all again at Gariep 2019!