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Monday, September 03, 2007

Spring HTL - Silverton Gliding Club & more on the Big 5

. Group Photo

Text by Piet Rheeders, Pictures by Evan Shaw

Sunday the 2nd September saw the Silverton leg of the HTL 2007 taking place in just about perfect weather. Some of the BERG team, consisting of Evan, Robert “Prince Charming” Davies, Peter Joffe, myself and Justice, met at 7am at my home. After loading Evan's kombie, we set off to SCG field just east of Pretoria. Other team members, Derek and Martie were travailing on there own. From the outset it looked like it was going to be a good thermal day. We arrived at field early and straight away Justice and I went about setting out our winches, leaving Evan to assemble his glider.
. . Derek setting up his winch while I assemble my models

One thing about the HTL is that you always meet up with old friends, like Hugh Edmunds and his "OMGC" (One Man Gliding Club) all the way form Wolmaranstad (Diamond country) +/- 300 km west of Pretoria. Hugh is in the diamond game and if you happen to find a rock that looks like it could be a diamond that is 2 X bigger than the Cullinan Diamond (+/- 4000 Carats “The World Biggest Diamond” then you must definitely consult him.

Anyway, Diamonds are forever but Thermals are not, so back to the action of the day. Apart from light lift in the first and last slots of the day most pilots managed to max their rounds regularly and it was a sure thing, that if you could hit the spot well, you were going to be up there with the best. I decided, with such good conditions, to fly my Ellipse "V", and from a thermal point of view this worked for me, but what did not work for me was the landings. I could just not slow the thing down and time after time slide from 20 meter in front of the spot to 10 meters on the other side of the spot.

Peter Joffe and Derek had their share of bad luck. Peter’s Shongololo wing was cut in half in a midair with Peter Eagle's model while on landing approach, while Derek's Shonogolo wings broke up in the most fearsome dive (from spec height) I have seen in a long time due to suspected battery failure.

On the other hand Evan and his Emoyene were giving us a good thermal lesson and his landings were as good. However one bad flight spoilt the party for Evan but even so, he did the best of the BERG open teams ending in 12th place (open class).

Another BERGish team of Mark, Kurt and Alan Smith put in a good showing, with Kurt 2nd junior and 7th overall, Mark ending in 13th place and Alan, the only RES pilot. Alan also flew in the 2 meter class with his hand launch glider.

In the 2meter class, the BERG team however did very well, with Derek coming first and our new upcoming star “Prince Charming” Robert, 2nd in his first ever competition. Well done Robert!

All results and a full report can be found on the MGA Blog.

The Big 5. (Volksrust 8th 9th September)

All is set to go with plenty space at Oom Louis place.
According to the weather people we can expect some good winds. Looks like 10 to 15 members to come along. There is still one week left so if you would like to join us you can email me at

"Prince Charming" and his 2M Spirit. ...............BERG Open team- Evan, Piet, Derek

Setting up the flight Line

Landing area with planes all approaching at the same time. Typical F3J style!

Early Morning set-up!

Lionel, the scorer, pondering the results at the end of the day! And Anton, the overall winner.

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