The Cape motoring and aviation quarters were left absolutely gutted and left with unanswered questions, after it was officially announced (without reasonable explanation as to why) the popular Wings and Wheels event, scheduled to be held at AFB Ysterplaat in Cape Town, was suddenly cancelled. While social media networking sites have been abuzz with rife speculation as to the real reason why the plug was pulled on what promised to be one of the biggest events that the Cape Town enthusiast market has ever witnessed, the organizers have received an unfair amount of criticism for the cancellation – but let’s not forget guys, they are just as much victims in this entire debacle as AFB Ysterplaat itself, along with many other vendors and racers who had spent large amounts of money in anticipation of the event.
During the media briefing for the event, which was held at the Ysterplaat base, great excitement was drummed up by the organizers as we were promised a show which had never been experienced in South Africa. The motorsport sector was especially amped, as there were promises that some of the fastest, most insane tarmac-eating monsters in the country would be present on the day to attend the 800m drag races which were to be held on the main runway. There was much hype surrounding a 1600hp turbocharged Nissan Skyline which was supposed to be competing in the drag races (sporting engine modifications exceeding the R1 million mark – by far), as well as a “DriftX” hybrid course, previously only seen at large-scale overseas events, and which promised at least one international drift champion in attendance. In addition to the motorsport action, aviation enthusiasts were preparing to drink in the sights and sounds of our rich aero history, with a wide range of military aircraft being on display, as well as fly-bys by some truly spectacular fighter jets, capable of breaking the sound barrier without even breaking a sweat.
A massive lifestyle expo was also planned, with everything from fashion to music and kids’ entertainment planned; which would have made the event a true family experience, with something for every single family member. While we may all be lamenting the sudden cancellation, it can be agreed upon that the cancellation may ultimately have done more harm than good for the tourism industry in Cape Town. While the authenticity of this (leaked) media release cannot be verified, it sounds like it may carry some merit. Still, nonetheless it’s quite a disappointment to have to deal with. Maybe next time the “higher powers” should reconsider the decisions made, and the ramifications thereof:
MEDIA STATEMENT DATE: Wednesday, 27 November 2013
SUBJECT: CANCELLATION OF AIR FORCE BASE YSTERPLAAT AIR SHOW: 07 AND 08 DECEMBER 2013
The SA Air Force’s vision is “An Air Force that Inspires Confidence”. Its desired strategic outcomes are to be ready for conceivable contingencies; to be able to sustain its capabilities and operations; to reduce safety risks to as low as reasonably practicable; to comply with the regulatory framework; and to maintain a positive image. The compliance to pertinent security measures and planned arrangements that are underpinned by approved regulatory policies & Standard Operating Procedures is indispensable for staging such a major activity on the Air Force Base. In line with government initiatives, the Air Force earlier this year instituted austerity measures, which included the scaling down of Air Shows. The impact of these measures on the viability and nature of the ‘Wings and Wheels’ Air Show planned at Air Force Base Ysterplaat was not anticipated. After a due diligence review of the arrangements for the show, and several attempts at corrective action, the Air Force command found it difficult to reconcile the planned show with the Air Force’s Vision and Strategic outcomes. The Air Force command consequently decided that there was no option but to cancel the Air Show.
Issued by: Department of Defence Corporate Communication (SA Air Force Corporate Staff Services)