Welcome to The XContest UK!
This is a three flight XC league for paraglider and hang glider pilots in the UK. We want to promote the adventure of XC flying on our small islands and encourage you on, whatever you fly!
What’s the big idea?
A lot of thought has gone into this new format. Firstly, a three flight score helps make things more equal for those in areas where opportunities to score big days are rarer. Secondly, we’re leveling the playing field with a handicap system – meaning that EN A, B and C paraglider pilots can score more equally each day with higher performance flyers. Third, the multipliers for triangles and ‘free’ triangles encourage circuit flying on lightwind days, but equalise the challenges of such flights with the complexities of open distance flying. We think scoring should reflect the fact that there’s only ever been one 300 km straight line flight in the UK done by paraglider (Richard Carter), and two by hang glider (Carl Wallbank and Nev Almond).
Also, we’re keen to award prizes for the big milestones, to help celebrate your achievements. Fly your first 100 km straight line XC and you’ll be sent a Cross Country XContest 100 T-shirt. Go on to crack your first 200 points, and you’ll earn a Cross Country Speed Top (with gold sleeves).
We want to help celebrate the magic behind the numbers too. There will also be a people’s choice award for the most interesting, technical and aesthetic flights each month. The first prize is a set of three fine wines, donated by Guy Anderson.
Above all this is a pilot-represented league, run by a committee, who are here to listen to pilots’ views and shape the contest accordingly.
The XContest UK ends 30 September 2023, and restarts on 1 October each year.
The XContest UK is...
There’s no need to declare tasks (and risk invalidation due to an instrument error) - just plan and fly the day as best you can. The system will score you automatically as either open distance, or closed circuit.
Download the free XCtrack app (or use your preferred live-tracking platform, such as FlySkyHy) to automatically log your flights when you land.
3. Open to all:
It is open to hang glider and paraglider pilots
4. Fair ranking:
There’s an open category featuring all classes, with handicaps to even things out, and each category of glider has its own individual class ranking, too.
5. Your chance to win a cup:
A small one, but a meaningful one.
1. Be quick:
Submit your flight tracklog (IGC file) within 14 days. Our system is robust and accepts a wide range of file formats. For 2023, we will accept back-dated flights to 1 April 2023.
2. Be qualified:
You must be a BHPA member with an appropriate qualification and rating for the flying you are doing.
3. Be good with airspace:
Flights must be conducted in accordance with UK law and the CAA Skyways Code. The pilot is solely responsible for ensuring this compliance. If a flight infringes airspace, it is disqualified. There is zero tolerance, and zero tolerances.
4. Be prepared to donate!
If you submit a flight that infringes permanent or temporary airspace (eg a NOTAM), you will be asked to make a £50 donation to your local Air Ambulance charity, and your flight will be removed.
5. Be helpful:
The XContest UK needs to be self-marshaling. If you spot a problem with someone else’s flight, contact them and work it out together! Please use your instrument manufacturer’s support to help you with any technical issues.
6. And finally:
The rules and multipliers are based around current national records, average time to fly and overall altitude gain required for each flight type, based on existing flight data.
1 km = 1 point
Closed Free Triangle:
1 km = 1.8 points (a closed circuit flight using three points, with a maximum circuit gap of 800 m between start and finish. No minimum shortest leg)
Closed FAI Triangle:
1 km = 2.1 points (a closed circuit flight with a maximum circuit gap of 800 m between start and finish. The shortest leg of the triangle must be at least 28% of the total triangle distance)
Hang-glider (FAI 1), Rigid (FAI 5), Paraglider: Open (CCC) Serial (EN D) Sport (EN C) Standard (EN A and EN B) and Tandem
Within the Open and club rankings, standard (EN A and EN B) category and tandem paraglider pilots will benefit from a 1.25 multiplier. Sport (EN C) paragliders score at a 1.1 multiplier. Within the club rankings, those flying rigid hang gliders will score at 0.8, and flexwing hang gliders at 0.7. They’re not perfect, but they’ll help!
Compete for your club or team:
The top 4 pilots from each club score. The XContest UK also includes ranking for North and South pilots for the annual North South Cup.
We encourage UK pilots to also log flights in the official UK XC League (www.xcleague.com) – not least because it helps the BHPA gather evidence of our airspace needs.
How To Enter
To enter, just REGISTER for this competition and all flights you submit to XContest after the date you register will show up here.
Any flights you entered into the World XContest BEFORE registration into the UK XContest will not be claimed automatically (the process is automatic only if the flight is claimed AFTER your registration). Please go to World XContest - My flights -> edit flight -> add checkmark to XContest UK -> Save.
For 2023, entry is free. This competition is kindly supported by XContest and Cross Country (www.xcmag.com) along with independent prize sponsors to be announced.
How to Claim a Prize
To claim a prize, email your name, address, T-shirt size and a link to your flight to firstname.lastname@example.org. Your flight has to be a first for you in the UK (here or in any other league), done on trust. Remember, your 100 km claim needs to be a straight line distance, not via turnpoints. The 200 points prize is for your first flight netting 200 points (either a circuit, or free distance via 3 turnpoints). Please do not contact email@example.com for any technical or other issues - prize claims only. Thanks.
Three is the magic number...go fill your boots!