Welcome to the 2018 British Open Paramotor Championships
Event Director: Paul Smith (Chairman, British Paramotor Competitions Committee)
Competition Director: Barney Townsend (British Paramotor Team pilot and Competitions Committee member)
Chief Marshal: Details will be published soon.
Chief scorer: Details will be published soon.
Near Chester, full detailswill be published soon.
First competition briefing 9pm Wednesday 29th August
Competition flying 30th August-2nd September.
Entry fees and costs:
Competition entry fees will be published soon.
Showers and toilets will be provided on site.
Catering details will be published soon.
An All-new XC format for 2018...
(Adapted from article published in Skywings, March 2018)
For the 2018 British Open and National Paramotor Championships, we present a significant shift in the entire PPG Comps philosophy. We want to offer pilots the opportunity to maximise what they enjoy doing the most, by enabling as much flying time as possible, navigating over a wide area of terrain, supported by an organisational structure to assist with retrieves, refuelling points etc, and with an absolute minimum of rules, restrictions, and lengthy briefings. We want a championship to be perceived as an enjoyable fly-in type event, a gathering of friends to fly together on their own terms, as opposed to a high-intensity and intimidating competition environment. That said, it is still an official national championship, and we therefore also need to ensure that we do have a rule structure that is clearly enough defined to remove any scoring ambiguities and is sufficiently challenging for the team pilots who do want to push their skill level and go on to represent the UK at international championships.
Fundamentally, the competition will consist of an extended, large-scale turnpoint hunt that takes place over a period of 4 days in late August. Total map area to be confirmed but anticipated at least 100km by 100km. Pilots will be permitted a maximum number of flying hours each day (e.g. 7 hours), for which they make free choice when they fly within a much longer flying window that utilises the majority of available daylight hours. Pilots may make any number of refuelling stops within each daily flying period, and can gain extra points from landing in particular designated landing zones as part of their route, or by flying certain prescribed sections of the route accurately and in a more similar way to traditional comp navigation tasks (e.g. a snake navigation task-within-a-task). Pilots will normally conclude their day’s flying by returning to the airfield; occasionally an alternative final landing point may be briefed if windy conditions dictate (i.e. a downwind dash).
Therefore the skills tested by the competition will primarily be on XC flight navigation and planning around weather forecasts, and aircraft selection to maximise the distance/fuel economy balance of long distance flight. In addition to the precision navigation route bonuses, we hope to include options for extra points from performing spot or bowling landings at certain points on the course. We have also planned an option for, on certain days or periods, a limitation to be placed on the amount of fuel used; this is deliberately in the rules to ensure that pilots bring economical equipment, to reward pilots with strong traditional thermalling skills, and to reduce the advantage of selecting tiny wings for the championship.
There will be two core classes: Open Championship and Discovery; within each of those there are paramotor footlaunch solo, tandem, and solo trike classes. The crucial difference between the Open and the Discovery classes is that Discovery may carry GPS and any other navigational aids that they want to, whereas Open Championship pilots must use the published printed map only. There will still be a score and a trophy awarded to the Discovery class, and if there are pilots who want to come to the event simply as free-flying fun for, say, only the weekend days, they are welcome to do this also by registering in the Discovery class. All pilots will be given a GPS logger for scoring, for which I intend borrow the live-tracking loggers that are now being tested at international level so that we can have a live feed back at the airfield of where all pilots are at any point.
There will be one primary competition briefing, which will take place at 9pm on the evening before flying starts. And I hope just one more short top-up briefing each evening throughout the competition to give any specific details of any variations in place for the next day’s flying – for example if it’s looking windy and we’re planning a longer downwind flight to land out in another airfield.
The graphic below shows an example diagram of how the map might look; the full task catalogue and regulations document will be published soon on this website. We invite all UK pilots to read it and consider coming along to have a go.
Map key: AF – Airfield, FD – Fuel Depot – storage and refuelling point, Single Ring – scoring turnpoint, Double Ring – landing turnpoint, A-D routes – precision navigation options