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Glider competitions in the 'new normal'


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It is disappointing but understandable that many glider competitions are being cancelled due to the current situation. It is my intention to run F5J competitions at Little Bentley if possible. I believe with a little adjustment to how we do things on the flying field we can maintain a good level of safe separation between ourselves that has minimal to no impact on the actual contest and its result.
Here are some of the procedures that we could put in place:

  • Hand washing facilities on field - bring your own towel, bring your own hand wash even.
  • Park well spaced apart - Little Bentley is enormous we can easily park 2 car widths from the next person.
  • Greetings and banter can be had still be done from 3m, no need to be closer.
  • Be totally self sufficient, we all have our own clocks, pens and paper.
  • One person sets the field up, one person sets up the timing equipment, a single person uses the scoring computer - more work for said person but sacrifices have to be made πŸ™‚
  • Pilot's briefing can be online the evening before the contest, any extra instructions can be given over PA system.
  • Timing and scoring - no score cards, that's what you bring your own paper or notepad for. Timers stand 2-3m from their pilot, spots would be put further apart to give even more space than normal.
  • Fittest people would go to furthest spots, mid-fit to middle, less able, scorer, timer to nearest spots.
  • Pilot would measure their landing bonus and read launch height while timer keeps their 2-3m distance.
  • Timers give scorer the data while maintaining 2-3m from scoring tent - barrier easily set up with red/white tape and cones or something.
  • Getting to and from your car (pits), the flight line and the scoring tent - look around and choose your moment to walk with as much distance from the person in front as you want. Time between slots could be extended if required.
  • Pilots will launch their own models.
  • No prize giving, results announced over PA system - prize for winner, a bottle of hand-sanitiser.
  • Reverse field and timing system setup - same people that set it up, break it down.
  • No one has to touch anything of anybody else's at all, all day.

All the above is relatively easy for us flying F5J, it may be different for other disciplines. I would plan to have a second 'meerkat' PA system reminding everyone to 'mind the gap' every couple of minutes until we're sick of hearing it and have got the message.

All this might be academic if we get totally locked down, the current advice is here - Guidance on social distancingΒ  - most things at this moment are avoid - I would add to that, avoid reading the newspapers, watching or listening to too much tv or radio news and definitely avoid all anti-social media - except the funny stuff.

Cities are the real problem, out here in the countryside we're fine - with reasonable precautions. If you use public transport - stop. If you have contact with children or students - try not to. If you do either of these things, or have contact with people that do these things, then probable best if you do self-isolate.

I've given this reasonable thought, hopefully we can still enjoy our competition flying (even if it counts for nought towards BARCS or even BMFA leagues).
We could be on for a summer of beautiful thermal flying weather, lets enjoy it instead of being cowed at home πŸ™‚

Male βœ”
Over 60 βœ”
Underlying medical condition βœ”
Suppressed immune system βœ”
Reducing my activities βœ”
Overly worried - still ✘

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Good stuff Tony!Β 

Constructive comment

The following would need rubber gloves to avoid multiple person contact

"Pilot would measure their landing bonus"Β 

One person sets the field up, unless it was the person who brought or owned it

one person sets up the timing equipment, unless it was the person who brought or owned it

(a single person uses the scoring computer would be the owner)

Just the overnight stay in a hotel to think about for me if Sheila came ...Β 


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Good point Ian - the landing tape is a thing that multiple people would touch. Solved if everyone hits the spot for 50 πŸ™‚ - otherwise, perhaps if everyone had a glove (any glove is fine) in their pocket, they could use that to avoid contact with the tape. Put glove on spot before flight to remind you to a) land on the cloth for maximum bonus, and b) to use it when measuring. Hand washing station there for use throughout the day if an 'error' is made.

Spots, timing kit and scoring computer would all be 'owned' by the person using it. My computer - other bits to be sourced. I'll speak to Pete M about his spots and speakers (they are uncontaminated as they've been sitting in their box since the last comp. probably). We have 4 weeks before the 12th April comp. so other arrangement can be made for spots and tapes if need be. The Ipswich Model club has a decent PA system that should be available to me.

Edited by tonym
changed cloth for glove - cloth would be ok, glove better, and spelling.
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