Welcome to the 2017 British Open Paramotor Championships
This year the competition will take place between the 22nd and the 26th July, and will be held for the first time at Green Dragons Paragliding Centre, in Woldingham near Croydon. Our thanks go to Andy Shaw and his team for hosting the championship, and we're confident that it will be an excellent venue. You can find it on Google Maps here.
A fresh approach for 2017
In the last few years, in preparation for hosting the World Paramotor Championships in the UK in 2016, our national Open Championships have been modelled on the international task catalogue and approach, in order to test out our procedures and tasks, and to train our team pilots to this exacting standard. This paid off, with the British Paramotor Team being awarded Silver Medal on home territory, an outstanding result.
Whilst this worked well for training team pilots, we recognise that some of these tasks can also be a daunting experience for new pilots entering competitions. With WPC behind us, we now want to look ahead to the future of competitive paramotoring in the UK, and to rethink our approach to national level championships with a view to being more inclusive, accessible, and truly 'open' in the widest sense of the word - encouraging new pilots to join our competitive community and old friends to return.
To this end, whilst the core principles of most tasks will remain the same - they are, after all, designed to emulate real life flight scenarios to test pilot skills - there will be some shifts in emphasis, and some notable exclusions from the classic catalogue. In summary, these are:
- less emphasis on speed for navigation tasks, and more on precise, accurate map reading, and in-air decision making;
- removal of all 'pylon racing' type slalom tasks from the precision category;
- a return to the system of weighing of pilot+machine into and out of economy tasks, removing the requirement for 'comp' bottles and the risk of running out of fuel.
The full task catalogue can be found through our 'Championship Tasks' page.
We would also like to lay a greater emphasis on the 'Discovery Group' concept that we have been testing in recent years. This is a separate non-scored group, in which entrants may carry a readable GPS to help with navigation, and so can learn the ropes of competition without the pressure of scoring. New for 2017, the discovery group will be far more integrated to the main competition, and directed by the same director; additional briefings will be extended to provide strategy tutorials for new pilots on how to plan their tasks.
So please do come and join us, whether as a pilot, marshal, or just spectator. We look forward to seeing you there. Keep checking back to this website in the run-up to the event, as we will be adding more info as we have it.
Barney Townsend, June 2017.
Event Director: Paul Smith (Chairman, British Paramotor Competitions Committee)
Competition Director: Barney Townsend (British Paramotor Team pilot and Competitions Committee member)
Chief Marshal: Andy Phillips (ex-national and international championship director)
Chief scorer: Colin Baker (Competitions Committee member and father of 'Boris' - internationally proven scoring software)
Green Dragons Paragliding Centre
Warren Barn Farm
Slines Oak Road
Surrey CR3 7HN
First competition briefing 9pm Friday 21st July
Competition flying 22nd-25th July, with 26th held in reserve in case of bad weather
Entry fees and costs:
Competition entry £50 per pilot if paid before June 30th or £70 thereafter
Free entry for pilots under 21, half price for first time competitors and discovery pilots
Additional camping fee to Green Dragons of £3 per person per night in a tent, and a further £5 for a camper van.
Showers and toilets will be provided on site.
Catering will be provided by Green Dragons, with a meals van service offering breakfasts, lunches, and dinners at reasonable prices! Details to follow here soon.