SEN 2372 - 29 Nov 2017 - Pole sitting and associated subjects

Table of Contents – SEN 2372


  1. EuroFly Bern : ”Not according to the rules” 
  2. Subdividing rounds
  3. Observation on the time slot limit
  4. Apples and Oranges 





EuroFly Bern : ”Not according to the rules” 


From: Wolfgang Gerlach : F1Q flyer , assistant of an F1A-Junior and Jury member for 2 days.


The discussions about supposed discrepancies in jury decisions take more space in SEN  than the reports of WCh 2017 in Hungary, there with many points ”Not according to the rules”.

I’ve attendedthis year at  Junior-ECh in Prilep and WCh F1E in Turda ( TM GER ). There are so many points  ” Not according to the rules” you think there is no Sporting Code available. The CD of the FAI WCh in Romania was a young guy coming from ship modelling, never seen  F1E and he had obvious no support from the FAI-Jury. The two WorldCups were on extrem poor standard.


It was a kindness to experience the EuroFly Bern, with much more competitors !

Chief of EuroFly, Walter Eggimann, looked urgently for jury-members. He asked me and other 

(active !) flying competitors to make this disliked job.

Me, coming back from retrieving my F1Q, neither with a printed version of the Sporting Code

in the pocket, nor an USB-stick to find the according rules- paragraph.

I was asked to co-decide 4 or 6 minutes flight time in round 5 – only for those who had 4 maxes!!

An immediate decision needed, not to delay the running competition, I supported the 6min version – knowing that I had a full house in Q and to fly the 6 minutes !


Okay the decision looks wrong for some and is  ” Not according to the rules” – but it was rational and NOT a disadvantage ! And to avoid the blasted and confusing group FlyOffs “according to the rules”.


It is easy, days / weeks later open discussions and find argues and protests while anything was 

” Not according to the rules”


I can understand the disappointment and irritation of Frederic with a flight of just 80sec in the 120sec round 2, but this is not an argument against the 4 – 6 mins and to be frustrated of organisation, timekeeping, jury and other circumstances.


Another point is the upcoming discussion about “starting time-window”. 15 min is too long.

In F1E it is usual in local events and WC’s to have 5 min from call-up to start and is agreed by all, though ”Not according to the rules”.


Probably timekeepers should record the preparation time of us ( towing, waiting for lift) to find out and make public, that just a few – but most the same guys – are unfair and make the contest difficult.



Subdividing rounds


From: Martin Gregorie


(Editor: And what about when you got to a contest with 6 on a pole)


In the 1970s and 1980s this was the norm at the large Pierre Trebod and

Poitou contests. I don't know how others did it, but on British poles

we divided the round length by the number of contestants, and that was

your launch window. If you hadn't flown by its end or had a no-flight,

you went to the back of the list for that pole. Depending on who was on

the pole, we'd either agree the flying order before the first round or

draw for it.


I thought it worked pretty well: with the exception of a few pole

sitters (and we all knew who they were) fliers tended to be fair and

not abuse the system. 


So there you go: as a possible rule, its already been tested and found

to work. If the organisers have done their job and evenly loaded all

poles its about as fair as you can get.


Editor’s Comment:


Martin – the issue appears to be those few who aren’t fair and abuse the system.  In your example it was aided by people who knew each well and would generally cooperate. What would have happened if the organizer had put one UK flyer per pole ? of there had not been such a big group ?  What did you do with the ‘bad boys’ ? Make them fly last ? or banish them from the British pole , so some others had to deal with them ? My experience has been generally positive, but a flying friend arrived at his pole at Poitou where all the other flyers were from one country (not UK!) to be greeted by “Hi Bob we have voted and you are flying last” and he wasn’t moved up as others dropped. It would have be courteous to have at least put him in the middle of the group.  That’s what a group of French flyers from the Montcontour club did with me a few years later and one acted as the “team manager” making sure people were ready to fly, not wasting time  and moving people up in the flying order as some dropped, I was very happy with how everyone worked together, but they were a group who all knew each other well, except for me of course. I appreciated the hospitality they showed me.


Observation on the time slot limit


From:Allard van Wallene


Question:( a concern from Aram ) Would all flyers on a pole each use up their 15 minutes, even if good air passes through after 1 minute?


Allard’s Observation (who has been involved in some of the discussion around proposed tow/wait limit) 


In practice nothing will change much, apart from anomalies like in Bern (45 minute towing) will be filtered out. Using up the full 15 minutes will mean you’re last in the queue, with all the risks that go with such decision. So there is a strong incentive not to use the full 15.

Grounding your glider before the 15 minutes expires (or any other abort) will be an attempt, just like before. Waiting or towing past the 15 minutes means the timekeeper will stop timing and the sportsman has to go back in queue.





Apples and Oranges 


From: Aram Schlosberg


Due to time pressures (a pending bad forecast or a large potential fly-off) the Germans (SEN 2370) combine the first fly-off with the last round fight for the clean flyers (those with a full score). If the last round’s max is 4-minutes, a clean flyer has to exceed 4-minutes for his time to count as a fly-off. The non-clean flyers (those who dropped time) just fly the last round. 


In the German setup, pole positions don’t have to be reshuffled. Clean flyers can fly anytime during the round – not head-to-head against other clean flyers. 


But this is really mixing apples and oranges! There are really two contests going on – the clean flyers should be flying to a strict fly-off format with a 10-minute working window, not piggy backing off the non-clean flyers. And simultaneously, the non-clean flyers that should not be interrupted by the clean flyers.


To achieve this they should be evenly the same class of flyers along the poles with one or two clean flyers per pole (depending if they are <=25% or <=50% clean flyers). If there are two provisional fly-off shifts, they should be flown back to back to even the conditions as much as possible. Similarly, the non-clean flyers should be distributed evenly along the poles (2 or 3 per pole). Their round’s length is adjusted to allow at least 15 minutes per shift. 


Who flies first – the clean or the non-clean flyers is a decision by the organizers.


However, for this to work smoothly and quickly, flyer pole (re)assignments should require a reasonably few pole switching. Setting up a hypothetical last round example, assume there are four flyers per pole and that 50% of the flyers are clean. Let a pole with three clean flyers and one non-clean flyer be denoted as (3,1), etc.


To spread out the flyers evenly one can start at the first pole with an excess clean flyers ((3,1) or (4,0)). The clean flyers are shifted up to the first pole with less than three clean flyers ((0,4) or (1,3)). At the same time, the non-clean flyers from those poles switched with them.  And if the initial pole has a shortage of clean flyers ((0,4) or (1,3)) the swap is reversed. This cascades up the line until all poles have (2,2) flyers….. Off to the races.