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BMFA F3F League Events Early Weather Call


Martin_N

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Martin_N

I'm not sure that debating this is the best way forward, but I am going to stick my neck out and suggest we implement an early weather call process.The main reason behind this now, is the cost of fuel, at approximately £1.35 - £1.39 a litre, it is becoming far to expensive for people to travel and sit on the hillside for 4-5 hours waiting for the competition to be called off.Registration is currently covered online using yahoo groups, therefore notification of the decision shouldn't be a problem by email, but in addition to this I could setup a text notification providing you are happy to supply me your mobile details.As a starting point I would propose to do the following:

  • An average is set as acceptable conditions to run a competition.
  • 2 - 3 weather stations are used around the event site to take an average.
  • If it is equal to, or above, the competition will run.
  • If it is below it will be cancelled, but sport flying would be acceptable.
  • The local CD and league coordinator will make the decision.

Obviously there is always a chance the conditions could change for the better or worse, but if we have an agreement, then it is final.  We would also need to set a time when this call would be made and in special circumstances consideration to extending this time.Let me know what you think, ideally keep it polite if you can. Thanks Martin

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simon_t

Agreed - it is time to bring in a system to make a call ahead of time - My closest event is a 170 mile round trip, the next closest a 300 mile trip, and all the others are more than 500 mile round trips.  With overall running costs of a typical car about 50p/mile, that is a lot of money lost if a comp doesn't run!

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Phil.Taylor

Absolutely agree - its one of the reasons I've pretty much given up on BMFA races - too many wasted journeys that could have been avoidedSuggest - Just use a similar system as for the Welsh KPT & winter racesPhil.

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One thought (my 1 for the week),   as we sit on a new forum, discussing how to call on/off an event that is supposibly open to all BMFA members, in a league without a dedicated web site other than BMFA's events calendar that we do not have agreat record with. How is the notification to be done?  Who, when, how? I'd be happy not to spend my limited number of passes out sitting in my car on a wet hill side.  I assume the races would just not happen rather than a reserve date (with the number of races in the calendar this would probably be a Tuesdaynight floodlit race anyway) Ian

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satinet

Once everyone enters it is closed shop in terms of entrants after 10pm on the Wednesday.i.e you know who you need to contact to tell them the race is off - the trick is finding a method to get to everyone.

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satinet

you might strictly need to get the rules amended. The rule book, such as it is, makes no provision for cancellations.  I was always aware of the issue when i was doing the league co-ordinator job, but was always put off by talk of "protests" and of people booking accommodation for the race. It's a two fold problem because you also have the issue of insufficient league events actually taking place, as Ian correctly alludes to.  That is not an easy one to solve.

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simon_t said:

Agreed - it is time to bring in a system to make a call ahead of time - My closest event is a 170 mile round trip, the next closest a 300 mile trip, and all the others are more than 500 mile round trips.  With overall running costs of a typical car about 50p/mile, that is a lot of money lost if a comp doesn't run!
Simon, Its alot of money even if the Comp RUNS!
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isoaritfirst

I use XC weather for the Mynd winter series and make the call for th eSAturday comp based on Friday lunchtime forecast.At that time it needs to be predicting >7mph at some time during the 10 am - 4pm Saturday window. The numbers or the directions can be adjusted to suit each slope, but once set they should be adhered to. Calling off for predicted showers etc should not be considered, as hilltops have very localised weather. The predicted windspeed should be used with a local factoring that is known to typically produce wind that meets our 5m/s limit.That needs care - it would be easy for such cancellation ruling to end up creating comps that only run in "good" conditions.F3f is as much about fighting a cross wind or teesing out a speed from poor wind as it is about doing sub 40's.I know we all prefer good conditions but its the variety that makes the good days good. 

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jwest532

I'm also fully supportive… I also think that communication (or the lack of it) can't be used as an excuse not to do this.  After all the dates are communicated by email, the entries are taken by email, the confirmation of the event, attendees, and Freq's are sent out by email, and the results are posted by email. Therefore a call on/off system on a friday night sent by email can't be beyond the call of man. With regards to Mike's comments regarding flying in less than perfect conditions.  I'm sure that this system, if adopted would not be used to only call comps ON when the conditions indicate world record speeds but rather to call OFF those comps that only have a 5% chance of running due to heavy rain or fog etc.

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isoaritfirst

I agree Joel I would not expect anyone to use the system to their advantage, But we do need to be aware where this path could potentially lead..

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Rocket Ronnie

Sorry Guys but this is a slippery slope(only when its wet)How do we know what the conditions are going to be like, lets say at the HOH.Forcast says heavy rain, But it goes either side of the hill. (it happens)7mph forcast for Tinkers, But its 35mph on the day.OR what the forcast says it doing in the South Wales area, and up the Bwlch its, clear and flyable.( Happened just this year) I agree its a lot of expence.But its got be each persons decision whether they want to turn up or not. If enought guys turn up for the race then the race should go ahead.Ronnie

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Phil.Taylor

Rocket Ronnie said:

But its got be each persons decision whether they want to turn up or not. If enought guys turn up for the race then the race should go ahead. Ronnie
LOL – the race should go ahead – in lashing rain & 70mph wind? – Bwlch BMFA F3F June (!) last year – it was forecast7mph? – thats legal, and probably 2x that on the slope edge – local CD knowledge would know thatWelsh KPT & winter series "weather call" system works well enough – met office mountain forecast helps – lets have similar for the BMFA races Phil.
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Rocket Ronnie said:

But its got be each persons decision whether they want to turn up or not. If enought guys turn up for the race then the race should go ahead.Ronnie
Its not about what the actual weather turns out to be, or the chance of getting a race in!Its about the cost and the pressure to attend. The race should be called off its ulikely that a race can happen, this is the correct action to take.As mike says, we practise this every winter league which i believe makes it successful
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Rocket Ronnie

Sorry RichardI dont agree, the pressure to attend is self inflicted, and the cost just does'nt come into it.Ronniewho will be going this weekend. I hope,maybe,probably,could be, oh just cant make up my mind,should ishould'nt i Iam goingi think

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I think an early call system could be a good idea, but it is fraught with the constant danger of making the wrong call. Round 1 of the 2011 F3F would have been called off this year without a doubt, but we managed to get a comp in (I personally am very glad about the 1000 points laughing.gif ).This weekend is looking a bit 'iffy' with the mist prediction coming and going.Calling a comp off at the SWSA sites due to wind predictions only, is never (rarely?) going to happen and would have to be based on the level of wet stuff (which spoils most of our parties). If it is sunny and even a very light breeze, the times can still be pretty quick. (You can also be forced to push out, forfeiting your run to find the next thermal pretty quickly too). Calling a comp off because of rain, cloud, etc. seems to be a bit hit and miss at other sites around the UK. tis a conundrum!  I will be there on Sunday with as heavy a Skorp as I can manage because if the clag doesn't materialise, the conditions are going to be EPIC. cool.gif

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simon_t

Skip said:

I think an early call system could be a good idea, but it is fraught with the constant danger of making the wrong call. Round 1 of the 2011 F3F would have been called off this year without a doubt, but we managed to get a comp in (I personally am very glad about the 1000 points  ). 
But only because a number of folks took the difficult decision to not travel.  I understand you may not have completed the comp if everybody had turned up.
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Hang on a minute Ronnie!didnt you cancel a bmfa event earlier this year on the friday because the forecast fro race day predicted rain and a wind direction that was not favourable, and the majority of competitors considered the race was unlikely to happen?tongue.gif

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Simon Said:"But only because a number of folks took the difficult decision to not travel.  I understand you may not have completed the comp if everybody had turned up." We might have, we might not? We will never know confused.gif I guess that is what I meant.How many cancelled events do you want to hear about fantastic flying conditions from those who utilised the slope on the comp day? I don't envy the decision makers in this at all tongue.gifI am actually 'for' the idea and am hoping a workable system can be found.  I am just playing devil's advocate a bit. HOLD THE PHONE!!!! are you implying that I only got the 1000 points because a number of people decided not to travel?rolling.gif Sounds like the words of a scaredycat grin.gif Clayt (I am fully aware that my bum would have been handed to me on a plate had the rest of the field turned up and stolen my nice slots cool.gif )

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simon_t

No you won fair and square on the day Clayts - you have to turn up to participate, and Martin and myself anguished for a long time before our decision.  I have been lucky so far that I have about a 5:1 rate of correct to incorrect calls.  But that has been honed because I almost always have to travel a long way to compete.  I could have bought a Freestyler with the money lost if I had travelled to every event that didn't happen, just last year!  Unfortunately one of the factors is that those that live further away from the slopes have more to lose.  Pity poor Gunga! Simon

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