Free take--off without any set order within a predefined time period.
This time period is normally limited to 1 to 1 1/2 hours to ensure
pilots compete in the same conditions.
Open window requirements:
A large enough rigging area for competitors with enough marshals
to ensure easy entry into the take-off corridors.
There should be at least one ramp or take-off place for each 25
competitors, and competitors should be able to take off at a rate
of at least two per minute.
Designated Start Order Window
Pilots choose their take-off time on a time board.
Requirements. A board marked with suitable time intervals (e.g.
30 seconds) with a nail or hook at each time space. The board should
have spaces for about 3-4 hours time. Each pilot is given a small
disc bearing his contest number.
Each pilot hangs his contest number disc on the take-off time hook
of his choice. Only one disc is permitted on any hook. Pilots may
rehang their discs on any empty hood until ten minutes before take-off,
If a pilot is not ready to go at his time he must pull out of the
line and hang his disc on an empty hood giving a time at least ten
Pilots take off in a scheduled order which advances automatically each
A take-off order is made by lottery before the first task. This
order advances each day by a proportion of the competitors (say 2/7).
If space allows (as in an aerotow launch competition) the gliders
can be placed on numbered spots before first take-off time.
The “Tarp Start”
is the most relevant timed race.
Tarp starts can provide spectacular finishes on short races, creating
great gaggle racing and tight finishes. These often requiring large
goal fields to accommodate multiple landings and reliable goal judges
Tarp (Air Gun) starts are most effective when accompanied by a short
launch Window following the start time. Timed starts are often considered
to have poor validity due to changing soaring conditions
Pilots launch before race time, soar and try to climb out as high
as practicable and photograph the tarp when it is laid out at a predetermined
time. The pilot may then cross the start line.
Conditions must be soarable in a large enough three dimensional
block of airspace to avoid dangerous congestion.
Pilots left on launch are given a strictly limited time period to
take off after the tarp start time.
Timer starts, while labor intensive, are excellent for difficult launch
conditions. The more lengthy the start window, the poorer it is at assessing
how individuals perform against the group. (Weather becomes a factor)
Timers at launch and finish are labour intensive and require reliable
timing pieces and officials. Timed races are good at testing pilot
skills against their own past performances. A heat system should be
used with large number of entrants to reduce the effect of inconsistent
weather conditions. Contests should be designed to reward the best
Timing devices must be synchronized.
Clocks and other time recoding equipment shall be checked over a
period of 3 hours against official time signals, the 10 AM CBC time
signal, or the NRC Atomic Clock at 1-613-745-1576 both immediately
before and after the event to factoru out errors put into scoring
A Speed Task
(or speed section of a distance task) shall be timed from:
from a pilot’s photograph from the air of a (tarp) clark laid out
at a defined position and adjusted at predetermined time intervals.
or, if approved time-recording cameras are used, of a marker. (If
a pilot’s camera prints a time on the film this time shall not take
precedence over a time shown on the official clock.)
The Launch Window
(Duration of time in which pilots may start their race) for all tasks
should be strictly limited. Should pilots wish to relaunch they must
do so within the designated time period and may only relaunch after
landing in designated bomb out LZs. (ie 30 min timed start)