I can think of at least one plane that would make ALES cross country soaring pointless
That is of course if you allow for relights but then you would be limited by the amount of daylight. Thinking of it as just a different launch method is a good idea I think because some people don't like to use winches plus if you find yourself losing altitude quick in a bad location you can motor yourself to safety (which certainly was a possibility on the new course) . We would need to devise a way to determine motor run time, most likely a device similar to what the ALES guys use and simply say any relights after the initial launch earns a zero for the flight, that way if you fly too low because you were getting cocky and realize you're about to lose your plane you can trade a zero for its safe return.
I hope this years weather turns out to be as nice as last years and I can't wait to confuse the locals again with our large ships.