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Wednesday, January 24, 2007

BERG Chairman's Report 2006

BERG's flying field
The BERG Club had a difficult yet successful 2006.
First of all, after our second year as a SAMAA register club, our club membership started to stabilize with some members leaving and some new members joining. Our current membership is 30 plus and the active members flying at the BERG field on weekends are +/- 5 to 10.

Earlier in the year, BERG members agreed that the club could host the 2006 SA National Glider championships at our field. The task was tackled by various members of our club but due to a very short lead time of two months when the Welkom Club withdrew their offer to host the event, logistical problems on the BERG field as well as an outcry by the R/C gliding community about the entry fees, saw us withdraw our offer of hosting the Nats. I would like to thank every one of our club members that was involved in this for their efforts that were made even though it turned out to be futile in the end.

However in the true fighting spirit we carried on and apart from flying our normal postal competitions, the club and our activities kept on growing and various milestones were achieved by our club and its members during the year.

BERG Field as Captured by Satellite (Google Earth)

At the 2006 Nat’s, eventually held at the Groen Goud field, the BERG team took the First place Team trophy. Individually, Evan Shaw took the First place trophy with his own design Tsotsi in the 2 meter class, and myself the 3 place trophy in the new RES 100” class.( 2.5 meter Tsotsi)

In the HLT competition we also had good results with myself ending in 6th place , Mike May, 7th place and Evan Shaw in 10th place, putting 3 BERG members in the top 10. The CLUB came in, in 3rd place overall.

In the postal results I took 8th place, followed by Evan in 9th and Mike May in 12th place and the BERG team in 4th place overall. I came First,Peter Joffe and Tony Roberts came 2nd and 3rd receptivity (first 3 places in the 2 meter class). Once more we had two pilots in the top ten(open class).
Other BERG members Tony ,Gordon, Chris McNeil and Peter Joffe also join us frequently at the away HTL competitions, making a second BERG team.

----------Emoyeni="upon the wind" Translated from Zulu To English.---------

Building group activities carried on at Evan’s Skunk works and 2 meter as well as 2.5 meter Tsotsi’s are a common site at the BERG field. During the year two more Skunk works came about as more and more of our members want to build and design their own creations. Mike May with the Ventus, Pathfinder and Stiletto projects and I took over the Zagi production form Evan as his skunk works also started the production of his Emoyene thermal duration glider. These Skunk works are just about to finish their first runs and we should be in for a treat later this year.

Gordon’s has recently acquired a AVA and Phil is in the process of building a Modified / Own design “Brilliant Vee” and new member Jason’s has thrilled us with his electric flight glider that he converted from NiCad’s to a LiPo/Brushless setup. (This has really improved the climb rate drastically, taking him up to thermal land –talking about stick time)

Jason in Thermal mode

Ventus in motion Rosendal 2006

Also during this year slope soaring became very much a part of the BERG calendar and various trips to Vloksrust were made with the Black Eagle event (that was re-introduce by ETB) a major success. A picture of Evans model Black Eagle even appeared in the International Soaring Digest Magazine and is now part of this years soaring calendar. Mike May’s 5 meter Ventus was also a show stopper at the annual Rosendal event, also attend by +/- 5 BERG members by name, Charl, Peter Karner ,Mike May, Len Thomas, Evan Shaw, Peter Joffe and myself. I sincerely hope that this facet of our clubs activities will expand as this is truly a great flying experience and just as great team building exercise.

Sun Set -Late afternoon At Volksrust (2006)

In September this year the BERG club took another step forward when we entered our club activities on the World Wide Web with the creation of the BERG Blogspot on the Internet. Mike, Evan and I regularly updated the blog so as to keep our members informed of our activities (both at the flying field and at our Skunk works).

This turned out to be a major success as not only did we attract viewers from other clubs in and around SA but also from other countries, as far afield as Mexico, Australia, Germany, Sweden and even China. We encourage all who view our blog to please leave us a comments and not to forget to leave their name and where they are from.
The hit and monitor/trace counter has registered +/- 1800 hits in the last 4 months, an average of 450 visits per month.

We ended the year 2006 in good BERG tradition with a clink of Champagne glasses
(Ha, ha! I know what you are thinking!)

I can only think that if the BERG club continues with its current trend that we will become one of the biggest and best RC soaring club in South Africa.
I therefore thank everyone of our members for all their efforts no matter how small or how big that made the year 2006 another great BERG successes.

Go BERG GO!!!,
Piet Rheeders.

Chairman 2006.


Evan Shaw said...

I must say that 2006 was a very enjoyable year for me. The company and all the great club mates is what makes BERG such a special club! I hope that the club continues to grow in 2007.
I would like to take this opportunity to thank Piet for his great leadership in 2006 and wish him and his wife Jenny all the best for 2007.
I am especially looking forward to "clinching my gasses" with him again at the end of the year!

Evan Shaw

Anonymous said...

Congratulations to Berg, all the BERGies (members), Piet & his committee for an excellent year.

We wish you all the best for 2007 and wait in anticipation for the next Skunkworks efforts.

Lionel Brink