We often get asked by our pax what we do outside of Tandem Paragliding and naturally the unequivocal answer always is competing in Paragliding  competitions of course….

The next question to follow usually is something along the lines of : But how do you compete against each other?

Well, we basically have three disciplines that we can compete at against each other.

1) Racing

2) Aerobatics

3) Accuracy landing

In this article we will discuss: Racing

Racing usually requires the pilots to complete a predetermined set route or task. Competitions are generally held over several days  with a different task every day to allow fluke wins and tricky weather conditions to be evened out over a period of time. The Tasks are determined by a Task committee who gets elected before the race.

So what does a Task entail?

Paragliding-Cape-Town-Task

Paragliding-Cape-Town-Task

A Task is either a straight line to a set destination, or a circuit of several points that have to be visited in specific order.  In a Race to Goal points are gained by getting there first, but with the new scoring systems extra points can also be attained by leading the race without having to actually cross the Goal line first.

Tasks are checked or validated by using GPS instruments with way point marking. Way points are uploaded to the pilot instruments before the race and GPS tracklogs are downloaded every day at the end of each task.

A typical task would be a Race to Goal with four to five different turn points and a Goal.  A window to take off safely is predetermined by the task commitee.  Lets say the race starts at 13:00. The task commitee will allow sufficient time for all competing pilots to take off and get to to the start gate before the race starts. The window to take off will usually be 60 – 90 minutes before the race starts.

Paragliding-Cape-Town-Startgate

Paragliding-Cape-Town-Startgate

Pilots will take off and try to position themselves right outside of the start gate if it is a entry gate. Once the race starts pilots tactically navigate themselves through the course in the hope to finish first in goal.

In part two we will discuss racing tactics.

Stephan Kruger
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Stephan Kruger

Owner & Founder of Fly Cape Town Paragliding at Fly Cape Town Paragliding
Stephan is the owner of Fly Cape Town Paragliding. He is an avid tandem, competition and aerobatics paragliding pilot He loves to share the joy of paragliding flight with anyone who is keen...He is also a qualified paragliding instructor and a paragliding endurance athlete.
Stephan Kruger
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