Competition

This page lists a variety of resources available regarding competition flying, from the competition calendar, to the national ladder.
There are also other club based competitions - best to contact your local club for more information.

Competition Manual - (This is also available in the Member Zone under "Documents".)

Competing in FAI Sanctioned Events?

 

You Need to be on the FAI Sport Database

As of September 2010, the process for obtaining an FAI License has changed. The HGFA membership renewal form will soon be updated to allow you to simply check a box indicating you need an FAI License however it will take a full 12 month membership cycle to complete this change so please note the following for the season 2010/11:

 

If you are an Australian pilot competing in an FAI Cat 2 sanctioned competition in Australia, then DO NOTHING. Your details will automatically be added to the FAI license database.

 

If you are an Australian pilot competing in an FAI Cat 2 sanctioned competition overseas but not competing in any Australian Cat 2 comps, please contact the HGFA Projects Officer to be added to the FAI license database.

 

Please be aware that by obtaining an FAI license you agree to the following:

 

I hereby authorise the Hang Gliding Federation of Australia (HGFA) to release any or all of the above personal information, electronically or otherwise, to both the Australian Sport Aviation Confederation (ASAC) and the Federation Aeronautique Internationale (FAI) for the purpose of enabling the FAI to have a centralised database of Sporting Licence holders taking part in international competition, which will be distributed by FAI when needed to FAI Contest Administrators and others as required by the FAI.

SANCTION FORM

Sanction application form - This is a fillable PDF. Some browsers may not support this facility. If so, you should then try selecting the option to open with Adobe Acrobat.

If you cannot submit the form online, via email, select the "print" option, then scan and send the printed version to compscommittee@hgfa.asn.au. You should also do this for your own records.

Technical matters Scoring, ranking and GPS info

History of the Australian HG Open

 
FAI Fédération Aéronautique Internationale
 
CIVL Commission Internationale de Vol Libre

Why compete?
One really popular aspect of hang gliding and paragliding is competition flying. This not only lets you see how good you are compared to the next pilot, but also lets you improve your skills by learning from the better pilots' techniques.

And in case you've only just got your license, don't worry - there are lots of different kinds of competition, so you won't be asked to fly against world champions the same week you finish your beginner's course. Many clubs hold really basic challenges that absolutely anybody can enter and win, but they do provide an insight into how competitions are run, and how to learn from other more experienced pilots. At the other end of the scale the top class pilots earn their living from being professional comp pilots, and travel the world doing what they love best while being paid for it. What a life - but you have to be very good!

Competition flying usually asks the pilots to complete a set route, or task. This is either a straight line to a set destination, or a circuit of several points that have to be visited in order. Points are gained by getting there first, by being more accurate flying over the turn points than the other pilots, or by flying farther if that is what the task demands. Generally, competitions are held over several days to allow fluke wins and tricky weather conditions to be evened out over a period of time. So skill will always come out on top. Tasks are checked or validated by using cameras to take photos of the places visited, or by using GPS waypoint marking - but both these obviously demand extra equipment and flying skill the absolute beginner may not have. Once the pilot has done well enough in a number of local competitions, they may be selected represent Australia and to fly overseas and in international competitions.

Club and social competitions are generally less demanding and often include things like spot landing accuracy, glide distance attempts and even fancy dress too. Some bigger clubs hold competitions against each other - these are a good stepping stone to the more serious events if you fancy mixing it with the top gun flyers but don't want to enter a top level competition.

For most competitions, you will need a current model wing (flying in a really old or ragged out wing won't really prove anything), a camera, and a vario. Many also stipulate a reserve parachute and a UHF radio, and some require you to have a retrieve driver and car as well to fetch you from wherever you end up. All this does mean a bit of extra outlay if you intend to become a serious competition pilot. But for end of the day talk, and for hearing endless stories of narrow escapes and amazing flying feats (sometimes imaginary, sometimes real) there is nothing like a competition. Give one a try and see how much your flying improves.

 

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