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Rules

COMPETITION RULES

1. Preamble:
All pilots participating in this event must accept these rules in their entirety. Fly at their own discretion & accept without restriction that they make their own flying decisions & agree that they will hold the Organizers, Officials, Land-owners & the competitors blameless & waive all claims for compensation. The purpose of this FAI & SAHPA sanctioned event is to provide a fair, competitive & safe competition in order to declare winners in each category & reinforce friendship & goodwill among pilots.

2. Introduction:
a) Scope: These rules must be read in conjunction with the SAHPA Standard Regulations for Competitions, the General section and Section 7 of the FAI Sporting Code.
b) Interpretation: When necessary, interpretation of these rules will be made by the Task Committee. No interpretations however, can contradict these competition rules. Where there is conflict between the FAI sporting codes &/or the SAHPA rules & regulations & these rules, then these rules shall take precedence. All references to the male gender shall also imply the female.
c) Exceptions: Exceptions to the rules are not permitted where the rules are definitive & feasible. If compliance is not feasible, the Meet Director shall make the necessary exceptions after discussion with the Technical Director. Competitors shall be informed by: Posting a dated, written addendum to the rules on the main competition notice board & verbal advice at the next scheduled general or task briefing. If there is, rules or penalties applicable to the circumstances, the Meet Director will make a decision that is appropriate & fair under the given circumstances. Once competition flying on the first day has started, no rules or regulations may be changed.

3. General:
The competition will run over 8 days, 14th - 21st November 2009. Registration will open on Friday 13th, 18h00 - 21h00 & again on Saturday 14th, 7h00 - 8h30. After this final registration a general competition and safety briefing will take place, this is also the first competition day. This briefing is mandatory for all pilots. 3 jury members & a safety committee will be nominated during this general briefing. All flying days, a weather and task briefing will be held at the take off before the window opens. It is mandatory for all pilots to attend this briefing. Official language for the event is English.
a) Participants: The Site is closed during this week, to free flyers unless arranged with the organisers & the meet director. All participants must hold a valid FAI license. The local SAHPA regulations must be observed. All pilots shall be of sufficient standard to meet the demands of an international competition. The event organizers reserve the rights to validate and qualify all entries. Pilots flying a glider higher than a DHV2 must hold a sports licence or an equivalent to fly the glider in the competition. Non South African licensed pilots must obtain temporary SAHPA membership before taking part in this event. This can be obtained at registration. Number of Participants: The maximum number of pilots participating is fixed at 50 pilots.
b) Insurance: All pilots must have a valid medical or hospital plan which allows for Casavac, as well as Search &Rescue costs. Copies of this insurance must be supplied at registration.
c) Gliders: The glider certification as published by www.dhv.de, www.para2000.org or www.paratest.com will be used for specifying the glider class for the scoring. The highest rating (LTF or EN) will be used to specify the glider class. Each competing glider shall be of sufficient performance and standard of airworthiness to meet the demands of international championships. It must be based on a paraglider certification or a prototype certification from one of the CIVL recognised testing organisations. A prototype certificate requires a load test and a declaration of line specifications signed by the manufacturer and the testing body. The organisers have the right to refuse any glider not of acceptable standard or configuration.
d) Winching: All pilots will be expected to have winch launched prior to this event & understand the winching process. Winch manual is available on request.

4. Validation & Competition Days:
For the competition to be valid, a minimum of 1 valid task is required. The Gradient XC Open will have 8 possible competition day's, however should 6 consecutive days be flown & scored the 7th day will be an enforced rest day (as per FAI recommendations). In the evening of the last competition day there will be the prize giving event, so the land by time on the last competition day will be earlier than the previous days. All tasks that are not cancelled will be validated, however a minimum distance validation will be set on the first day.

5. Tasks:
GPS track logs will be used to verify tasks flown. The main task is to fly the furthest distance. However for safety purposes, some turn points may be used to keep pilots in a similar, general direction. For example, an open distance task on an Axis.

6. Classes:
Open Class - All contestants
Serial Class: Up to LTF-3 or EN-D max
Sports Class: Up to LTF-2 or EN-C max
Intermediate: Up to LTF-1/2 or EN-B max
Novice Class: Up to LTF-1/2 or EN-B max. + must not be competing for more than a year
Ladies Class: Pilots must Female
Teams: max 6 members but only the best 3 p/day will count.

7. Registration, Fees & Payment:
Registration fee is R850.00 p/pilot. This Fee includes: a branded Hat, a winch release, a map of the area (up to 100km radius), GPS co-ordinates, a local SIM card, 2 winches per flyable day, daily weather reports, scoring facilities, prize giving dinner, prizes for the various classes, medics & a doctor on stand - by. It does not include recovery. Payment must be made before or by the morning of the 1st day of the event. As there is limited space, pilots who pay first get accepted 1st.

8. Organisers, Directors & Committees: The Meet Director, Arnold Pansi will be responsible for the management of the competition. He will follow the rules & guidelines detailed in this manual & will have the final say on all sporting matters within the scope of the competitions infrastructure. He will co-ordinated all task briefings & ensure that all disputes &/or questions relating to the event are promptly dealt with. He will determine on safe or unsafe flying conditions. The Technical Director, Des Pansi is responsible for the overall regulation & smooth running of the competition. Safety Committee will consist of the MD, TD & 3 pilots elected by the pilots competing, as will the Jury.

9. Briefings:
a) General Briefing: Saturday 9h00 - a general competition and safety briefing will take place, this is also the first competition day. This briefing is mandatory for all pilots. 3 jury members & a safety committee will be nominated during this general briefing. Issues to be covered - Site rules, pilot behaviour, Take off rules & procedures, recovery & report back procedures & emergency procedures.
b) Task Briefing: will be held at take off / aerodrome, at 10h30 on the 1st competition day, then at 10h00 every other flying day thereafter. Weather & best possible routes will be discussed, along with a reminder on safety & any other facts that pilots need to be informed of. A sign in & Out system will passed around at this briefing.

Note it is the pilot's responsibility to remain informed of any developments or changes during the event by attending these briefings

10. Display of Results & Time Frames:
Provisional results for the day will be posted at HQ after scoring & on the Fly De Aar &/or XContest website as soon as possible after scoring the day's results. Complaints/queries can be raised up to 12hours after this posting, except on the last competition day, were the time limit will be 30 minutes after posting. The MD & the jury will have final say regarding protests raised.

11. Complaints, Protest & Procedures:
Any registered pilot can raise a complaint or protest but must be given in writing, in English. The jury consisting of 3 members will decide upon the protest and give their decision in writing as well. The time limit for a protest is 12 hrs after the publication of the task results. In case of a protest on the final day the time limit is 1 hr after the publication of the task results. The protest fee is R300.00. If the protest is followed by the jury, the R300.00 will be returned. Should the MD impose a penalty for any reason stated in these rules, the pilots time for submission of a protest is 1 hour after he has been informed of the penalty. The MD or TD must note the time on the protest, when he receives it. If the MD or TD decides the protest should proceed, he will inform the jury, who will call a hearing immediately. The TD / MD can decide that a protest should not proceed if:
a) The time limits have not been met
b) The protest fee was not paid
c) the protest was against rules as printed.
No protest will be accepted after the final results are declared. All protests are treated equally but separately, unless from different competitors concerning the same occurrence & all parties agree to treat their protest as one. The jury's decision is final. The jury has the full power concerning the final decision, to change results, to invalidate a task, to change the MD's decision &/or decide to refund the protest fee, or portion thereof.

12. Flying & Safety Regulations:
a) General: Private vehicles may enter the airfield runways before window opens & must drive down the side of the runways. Drive slowly.
b) Out Landings: Keep away from livestock. Try land near boundary lines & try walk out avoiding animals &/or crops. Use gates where possible & leave them as you found them (i.e. open or closed). Always be friendly & polite to the locals & farm workers.
c) On Tow: Pilot on tow always has right of way. A pilot who has towed & released with no thermal, will refrain from looking for a thermal on the runway. Runways not in use for towing are free for flying & landing. No landing on the runway in use, unless an emergency.
d) Winching: each pilot is entitled to 2 tow p/flying day, extra tows can be purchased at R25 p/tow. Pilots may not launch until the MD has given the all clear.
e) Ceiling: a ceiling has been set to 4300m ASL for safety reasons. Pilots are allowed to use oxygen bottles but are responsible for refilling themselves.
f) Restricted areas: There are restricted no fly/no landing zones, these are marked on the maps supplied but will be pointed at the general briefing.
g) Compliance with the local law: Each competitor is required to conform to the local air laws & rules of RSA.
h) Flight limitations: Each glider shall be flown within the limitations of its certificate of Airworthiness or permit to fly & its manufacture's published limitations. Any manoeuvres hazardous to other competitors, or the public is prohibited.
i) Damage to a Competing Glider: Any major damage must be reported to the MD & the glider may then be repaired. Any replacement parts must conform to the original specs. If permission is given by the MD to replace the glider due to damage, loss or theft beyond the control of the competitor, it must be replaced by the same wing, make & model or by one similar or with lower performance but that is eligible to fly in the same class. Should the wing be of a lower rating, the pilot will remain in the class that he was in. He may revert back to the original glider once it has been retrieved or repaired. Performance is defined as per the glider classification schedule.
j) Protective Equipment: Each competitor shall wear a protective helmet & carry an emergency parachute during all flights.
k) Fitness: A pilot may not fly unless he is healthy & reasonable fit. Any injury, drugs or medication taken which might affect the competitors performance in the air, must be reported & cleared with the MD before flying.
l) Collision Avoidance: Circuit, turning & landing patterns given at briefing must be complied with & international collision avoidance regulations obeyed. During take off, pilot on tow always has right of way. Failure to comply with the collision rules will incur a penalty.
m) Cloud flying: is prohibited & will not be tolerated. 1st incident will result in no score for the day, 2nd incident will result in disqualification.
n) Ballast: a pilot may carry reasonable ballast only in the form of fine sand or water. The total ballast including all flight equipment (including glider) should not exceed 33kg in addition to the pilot's weight.
o) Communication Equipment: Radios are compulsory & the safety frequency may only be for safety & emergency reasons. The official safety frequency is 141.600. Voice activated (VOX) microphones are forbidden. For safety reasons and for communication with the retrieve vehicles all pilots must have radios. In the general briefing there will be an official competition radio channel announced. Pilots must monitor this official competition radio frequency. Pilots shall only use this frequency in case of an emergency & to make level 1, 2 & 3 announcements. The retrieve communication must be on a different channel. The pilot must have a mobile phone, that is working in the South Africa, pilots will be supplied with local sim cards. Possible task stops will be announced on the competition frequency and by SMS to all registered pilots and drivers.
p) GPS Scoring: GPS is the only evidence for scoring. It is the pilots responsibility to have at least one working GPS. Pilots must ensure that they are using a unit that is compatible with the flight verification software that is being used.
q) Cancelled or stopped tasks: The MD may cancel a task before anybody has launched, if he deems the conditions to be unsafe. He may suspend or stop a task only in an emergency resulting from hazardous weather or for conditions that would endanger pilots safety.
r) External Aid to Competitors: Any form of help in navigation or thermal location is prohibited, to ensure that the competition is between individual competitors, neither helped nor controlled by external aids, including other airborne pilots.
s) Sign in-Sign out: On every flying day there will be a sign-in list at take off. Pilots have to sign-in themselves if they fly on the day or not. Pilots who have not signed-in are considered as not having flown. This means their score for the day will be zero. Sign-out has to be made by phone call or SMS to the HQ after landing (latest 5min after land by time). Sign-in and sign-out can also be made by a team leader/driver for the complete team. If the team is in a mobile phone no-service area, the team leader should call before to let the organization know, that all of his team members are safe.

13. Take Off:
a) Glider Control: Pilots are expected to have adequate take-off & ground handling skills. A one minute stand down rule will apply.
b) Take-Off Area: the take-off area will be marked with shade netting. Once the window is open, only pilots who are clipped in & ready to launch may step into the launch area. Pilots are expected to set up behind of the launch area. Each pilot ready to launch will be assigned to a winch vehicle once entering the launch area.
c) Multiple Launches: multiple attempts are allowed, as long as the pilot can get back to the launch site before the window closes, however preference in the queue will go to pilots who have not had their 1st attempt. Pilots launching must wait for the MD to give the all clear signal.
d) Window Open: Window open time will be confirmed each day at task briefing & displayed on the task board. For a valid task the window must be open to allow 1minute launch time for each registered contest for the day, i.e. pilots signed into fly for the day.
e) Window Extension: should launch conditions become unsafe, the MD may interrupt the task & close the window until conditions improve. The window will be extended by the time it was closed for but never for more than a total of 30min

14. Landing:
a) Landing Zone: A pilot landing before window closes may return for another attempt but is responsible for his own transport back to the launch area.
b) Landing Deadline: There will be a strictly enforced land by deadline, if a pilot does not land by this time he will score zero for the day. This is a safety rule as this event covers a large area making search & rescue difficult enough before night sets in.
c) Mandatory Safety Report Back: A strict report back system will also be enforced; pilots must contact HQ via sms (recovery drivers may do so on the pilots behalf), that they have landed safely. Report back must be done 15 minutes after landing.

15. Scoring:
a) Scoring Formula: Distance over maximum 3 turn points: 1km = 1 point. Distance over a circuit (out & return or triangles) 1km = 1.2 points. FAI triangles: 1km = 1.6 points. Flights will be scored as a closed circuit if the distance between strating & finish point is less than 5% of the total distance of the circuit. Minimum distance is 5km.
b) Source: Data will be collected only directly from a GPS. Only valid GPS data will be considered as true evidence.
c) Valid GPS data: to be valid, the track-log must satisfy the following criteria: track-log must show at least 2 minutes of data, have a valid & consistent time stamp.
d) GPS Software: GPS data is checked using software that respects FAI section 7 specifications. The software is able to check position in relation to times. The software is also able to check landing place / time of landing / the distance achieved & position at a fixed point.
e) Best position: The best position can be the landing place or flying position ahead of the landing place, i.e. pilot turned back to land in a safer position.
f) Pilots responsibility: Pilots may have multiple GPS's & must set them to the appropriate parameters to record their flight. Pilots should erase their previous task's track before each new task. GPS or data logger serviceability (software or material) is the pilot's responsibility. The pilot certifies that he gives his own track log. The organisers will cross-check track logs.
g) GPS at landing: once landed switch your GPS off, or at least the track log recorder, this must be done after landing & before leaving the landing point.
i) GPS Models: most models of GPS, data loggers & combination vario/GPS units are supported. Please check that your unit is supported & that you have a download cable for the unit. The organizer provides the following cables: Garmin round (12 type), Brauniger Competino, Brauniger Compeo, XC-Trainer, Leonardo Digifly, MLR, Log-it mini jack & Std USB. For any other accepted GPS/logger the pilot must bring his own cable.

16. Assistance to a pilot in Danger: All pilots must pack their gliders immediately after landing: a glider left lying open on the ground will be interpreted as a call for help. A pilot witnessing ant kind of accident must try to inform the organisers as soon as possible & may use the safety frequency. Calling procedure: "Mayday, Mayday, Mayday". Give details of nature & location of the accident - position of the victim, if possible GPS co-ordinates & name of the pilot reporting. Pilots going to the assistance of an injured pilot may be compensated with task points at the discretion of the MD. The compensation granted would be the pilot's average points scored per day during the competition. Any pilot intending to land & assist should 1st try obtain permission from the MD where possible.

17. Schedule for emergency procedure:
Land by time +5 min: pilot or team leader/driver calls /sms's HQ to report back
Land by time +15 min: if no report back is received HQ will call pilot or team leader/driver
Land by time +30 min: If pilot is lost the competition director will use his best judgement to decide whether a
Search & rescue helicopter must be activated. The competition director has to make the final decision if activating
Search & rescue is justified (maybe the pilot is only "lost", because he is in an area without mobile phone coverage?). Cost for rescue actions has to be paid by the pilot.

18. Risks: All pilots must sign an indemnity & with this they agree that they are informed of, and fully understand the risks involved in competition flying: e.g. factors leading to a crash either during training sessions or the actual competition, that success in flying competitions is often connected with increased risks, in particular that they may have to push themselves to their own physical limits. They know and appreciate that taking part in paragliding competitions can risk their health or even life. These risks are present for all competition participants, particularly due to environmental and atmospheric factors, technical equipment and natural or man-made obstructions. They agree that not all sequences of events are predictable or controllable, and therefore may not be avoidable or averted through preventative safety measures.
a) Risk taking: Pilots must judge for themselves if the competition or training task under the current circumstances lies within their capabilities. They must inform the organizers immediately of any obvious safety issues. By stating, they agree that the site is suitable and useable for competition flying. That they are fully responsible for the equipment they use and the route they choose in order to complete the task.
b) Personal Liability: Pilots agree that they may be liable for all damages to persons or to property, incurred to third parties through their flying activities. Pilots agree that the organisers are in no way obliged to control or check their flying equipment. Pilots agree to inform themselves about the current competition regulations and the weather conditions. Pilots agree to pay for all costs of search & rescue actions that have been activated with the purpose of rescuing them. All pilots fly at their own responsibility. All pilots accept without restriction to hold the organisers, its bodies and members harmless & waive all claims to compensation.
- Always keep in mind, that you fly at your own risk & are responsible for your safety and your retrieve, like if you would be XC-flying by yourself. For your own safety you have to be in a team for retrieve - Team members are responsible for each other & have to decide upon rescue actions in case of an accident or missing pilot.
- Since the competition area is very large and it is not possible to have radio contact with all pilots & it is also not possible to see what the weather in 100 km or more distance is like, you cannot rely on task stopping or cancelling by radio. If you feel the conditions are dangerous you must land!

19. Penalties & Disciplinary action: Except where penalties are prescribed within these rules the severity of penalties which may be imposed, range from a minimum loss of points to disqualification. Any penalty that is applied must be appropriate to the misconduct or offence, & safety & sporting considerations must be weighed up.
a) Technical Infringement: of the rules or failure to comply with requirements, caused by mistake or inadvertent action, where no advantage was accrued or could be accrued to the competitor, will carry a penality of not less than 2% of the best or maximum available score for the task.
b) Serious Infringement: These include dangerous or hazardous actions or repetition of lesser infringements & carry a penalty of not less than 5% of the best or maximum available score for the task.
c) Unsporting Behaviour: Cheating & unsporting behaviour including deliberate attempts to deceive or mislead officials, will interference with other competitors, falsification of documents, use of prohibited drugs, ill-mannered behaviour or repeated serious infringements of the rules, may result in disqualification from the competition.
d) Application of penalties: All penalties other than those described above are calculated as a subtraction of competition points







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