New U.S. Competition Style2011 More fun for pilots, spectators and media
The 2011 Beach Blast competition had quite a few spectators and one TV station. But tasks were scattered all over the place and it wasn't very viewer-friendly. With input from other pilots, especially Pavel Brezina (who wound up winning the thing), we came up with some ways to improve the experience for all, while at the same time, encouraging pilots to excel at the basics.
The competition committee seems to be in favor of it as does the competition director of the next event (Endless Foot Drag) where we're going to try this format. If you can launch and land consistently well, you'll have a chance.
The primary change is how the tasks are run. Launch and fly only ONE task then do a power-off spot landing. Pilots launch one right after the other initially so there is always one waiting to start to keep things moving but pilots don't wind up circling in different places. That caused confusion. Each launch and landing is scored but with a few twists. On launch, you can score a few extra points by kicking a stick during the run or just after liftoff.
The landing is a power-off spot landing where the motor must be off for only 7 seconds. Make your first contact on the bullseye for maximum points, then run towards and kick a cone 30 feet upwind of the target for a few extra points. Landing within a 15 foot ring (PPG3 size) gets some points and within a 40 feet ring (PPG2 size) still gets some points. Even if you miss the rings, run your wing to the upwind cone and kick it for a few points. Just kick it before the wing touches down. This new scored landing is done at the end of every task.
So each run scores a takeoff and landing, meaning that consistent launchers and landers will have a chance regardless of wing size. Right now, the tasks mostly favor small wings and, even moreso, reflex wings. These are still probably an advantage but a bit less so.
Another benefit of this style is that there's no issue remembering what's done in what order. There will always be a launch, one or two tasks, and a landing. Simpler and more discriminating since there are so many more scored tasks. The detail changes are below.
Here is the New Scoring Software (subject to change). Glen Boyd will be looking over to clean it up and check for errors. If you're interested in gaming the tasks, this is a good way to do it. It's setup to allow two complete sessions and will count the pilots best session (NOT his best task). There will be up to three launches on any given session. You'll be busy.
Here are the judges score sheets. These are what judges use to write down the information as pilots fly. Filling out pilots on sheet 1 will populate all the other scoresheets. These are filled out just after registration closes, then a random number list is generated by the scorekeeper or director and that becomes the pilot's numbers. The list is sorted but the pilot number column.
Here are the modified rules with the modified launch and "Quick Spot" landing task. An additional changes clarifies how the kiting war is scored. There was confusion on this during the last competition.
Proposed Competition Changes
2011 May 10 by Jeff Goin
After talking with a number of competitors, judges, spectators and media, here are some suggested competition improvements that will be more fun, easier to judge, more visually interesting, and more discriminating (less luck).
Hopefully we can try this format out at our next competition, the Endless Foot Drag on if you guys are ok with it. Here are the proposed changes:
On takeoff, we have a cone (or 2' tall flexible sticks). The launching pilot gets an extra points for kicking the cone (or stick) during takeoff. He can be airborne but cannot circle around to get it. The kick must be either while running or within 5 seconds of liftoff. A successful kick gets an additional 20 points on the launch.
The purpose of this modification is to reward those with better launch control while being easy to judge.
Pilot shuts off his motor just before landing and touches down on or near as possible to the bullseye then runs or swoops through, kicking the upwind cone before his wing touches the ground. His motor must be off for at least 7 seconds before touchdown.
As with other spot landings, the bullseye must be hit with the pilot's feet to count. The pilot must remain standing, the cage must not touch the ground for more than 1 second, and cannot be damaged as a result of the landing.
100 points for hitting the center.
50 points for getting within circle #1,
25 points for getting within circle #2,
25 points for kicking the upwind cone.
The purpose of this task is to reward pilot skill but be easy enough to keep the pilot close to the target, be easy to judge (there's no measuring), reward kiting skill (pilot may kite through the cone), and get the pilot off the field quickly since he can keep running his wing to the launch area if he wants.
© 2016 Jeff Goin & Tim Kaiser Remember: If there's air there, it should be flown in!