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Jan 25, 2019, 06:29 PM
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South Bay Soaring Society Season Championship Rules


A. Classes: Open, RES and Electric
B. Ability Levels: Expert, Sportsman and Fledgling
C. Tasks: Will be determined at the time of the contested based on conditions -no shorter than 5 minutes.
D. Windows: Tasks will be flown within a time window that will allow all pilots to launch within the window. Windows will be extended due to launch equipment problems. Any pilot not launching within the designated window will receive a score of zero for that task.
E. Flight groups: The contest will be set up using a fly one/time one format. This will provide two (perhaps three) groups of pilots – A and B (self-chosen). A will fly first in the first window followed by B. In the second window B will fly first followed by A. They will continue to alternate throughout the contest. For three groups – A, B and C. C will time for A, A will time for B and B will time for C. The groups will rotate between windows: first window order A, B then C, second window B, C then A and so on.
F. Scoring: 1 point per second under or over target time. Landing on 0 to 100 point tape measured to the nose of the aircraft. Zero points for an inverted landing or loss of parts. NOTE: Times are rounded i.e. 8:54.49 =8:54, 8:54.5= 8:55. There will be no normalization.
G. Timing: Timing starts when the sailplane releases from the tow line (electric when motor stops). Timing ends when the model touches the ground or a ground-based object (animate or inanimate).
H. Obstructed landing: If the landing zone is obstructed, abort the landing and fly to get task time. At the end of the window a chance will be given to fly a 2 minute precision duration flight to get a landing score. The over/under time points will be deducted from original score.

I. Launch equipment malfunction: In case of a launch equipment malfunction, the pilot has the choice of continuing the flight or taking a relaunch. The pilot must declare his intention within one minute and land as quickly as possible if he opts for a relaunch.
J. Popoffs: A popoff is defined a premature release from the tow line not caused by an equipment malfunction. Experts are allowed zero popoffs. Sportsmen are allowed one popoff per contest. Fledglings are allowed unlimited popoffs. HOWEVER, it is strongly suggested that a more experienced preforms the launch for a fledgling if popoffs become excessive. Fledgling must fly the remainder of the flight. Pilot must declare intention within one minute and land as quickly as possible if he opts for a relaunch.
SBSS will hold 2 club F5J/ALES contests per year. The purpose is twofold:
A. To encourage pilots to try F5J/ALES and
B. To allow a pilot to substitute one F5J/ALES score for a lower score in the season championship.
C. F5J/ALES will be flown using Glider Score. Times will be truncated i.e. 8:54.49 = 8:54 and 8:54.59 = 8:54.
A. Is open to all SBSS members.
B. Consists of 11 thermal duration contests scheduled for the last Sunday of the month (rain date: first Sunday of the following month) January through November. Plus, two F5J/ALES contests.
C. Scoring: Each contest is normalized with the highest scoring pilot receiving 100pts and other pilots receiving a score determined by (pilot’s score/winner’s score)x100.
Season championship is determined by the total points accumulated for the year with the following adjustments: 1. After 6 contests, the lowest score will be dropped and after 9 contests, the lowest 2 scores will be dropped. And 2. The best score from the F5J/ALES can be substituted for one of the thermal scores.
D. In addition to awards for 1st through 3rd place in the Season Championship, awards will be given for the various classes flown during the year.

These rules are open for discussion. Please contact me at [email protected] or in person.
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Jan 26, 2019, 04:06 PM
Don McCullough's Avatar


I still don't understand rounding in your rules vs. truncating in both AMA and FAA rules. Why do we need to do this differently than ALL other contests world-wide?

Electric Timing:
ALES and F5J all have timing start when the planes leaves the hand, not motor cutoff. For Electric TD, that is not an AMA/FAA event, do what ever makes sense.

Inverted Landings:
For F3J and F5J there is no penalty for landing inverted.

For F3J, F5J, and ALES all launches should be per the rule book - your windows and flight groups should not apply.

Landing tapes:
ALES, F3J, and F5J use different metric tapes. I have a set of F5J tapes and I believe we already have F3J ones

All events, both AMA and FAA, use 75 meters as the distance for out-of-bounds. I carry a laser measuring device with me or, it is easy to pace off. You did not mention that rule, but it is a good one to be consistent with the rest of the USA and world

Impact to National Rankings:
These two rules alone have a serious impact to F3J and F5J. F5J in particular has set rules for the USA Tour. Our last two F5J contests were part of the Tour. If we have different rules, even minor, the contest will not be part of the Tour and standings for pilots at the contests will be null. ALES similarly has national standings, but only if the rules are followed.

Again, we need valid reasons to buck the national and international rules. I would like to see the rationale for every change. Note, not all of your rules are different, the changed rules need a rationale. The fact we did this in the past is just not good enough!

For simplicity, I recommend we mention only where we differ with US and international rules.

This needs to be an open discussion. I encourage all to post here rather than private correspondence.

Last edited by Don McCullough; Jan 26, 2019 at 04:28 PM.
Jan 26, 2019, 05:22 PM
Registered User
Thread OP

SBSS rules

It has been a tradition at SBSS that we have rounded the flight times and only applies to SBSS thermal contests

We do not as of now fly F3J.

I should have been clear that F5J/ALES follow the normal rules of those competitions i.e. Timing starts on launch.

Did not know inverted rule on F5J/ALES. We will follow those.

On F5J/ALES note that I said we will be using Glider Score which sets flight times and window.

We will use F5J/ALES tapes.

We will use the 75 meter rule for F5J/ALES as long as we have a means to measure.

Note: The two supplemental contests are NOT part of the F5J tour.
Jan 26, 2019, 05:42 PM
Don McCullough's Avatar
Tradition is not a good reason to time differently than all national and international contests. This gets very confusing Like having one US state declare it will drive in the left lane because some drivers already do it.

Inverted landing is not a penalty for FAI events - F3J and F5J. It is a penalty for ALES, TD, and can be for ETD.

The 75 meter is for ALL events: TD, F3J, and F5J. Pacing out the distance works. I have a laser measuring device. One can be obtained for under $100.
Jan 29, 2019, 01:59 PM
Registered User

F5j / ales

Hi Bob D.,

I will have an electric sailplane for this season so I'm particularly interested in learning that game and how SBSS will run the two F5J/ALES contest days. I understand F5J & ALES are both electric sailplane events, but are quite different from each other (personally I'm interested in F5J, not ALES). So on the F5J/ALES days do you plan to run two separate contests? Must a person pick just one or do we enter both F5J & ALES? Maybe we don't have enough electric flyers to split us between two contests? Will you alternate, one round F5J then one round ALES? How many rounds will we fly? Will there be fly-offs for F5J? Sorry for so many questions, I'm just trying to picture what the day will be like as I've never attended such an event at SBSS or anyplace else.

I'm also wondering why the two supplemental contests are NOT part of the F5J tour. It seems easy enough to register them with the tour and you stated we will be flying by the rules so they would qualify. I don't have any dreams of being a force in the USA season tour my first year but it would be fun to see our SBSS scores up on the big score board and it might draw in some outside competitors.

Jan 29, 2019, 10:39 PM
Registered User

F5J / Ales Contests

We are holding F5J contests as close to the tour rules as we can. We're working on a scoring board and sound system. The F5J contest will be only F5J no ales.

Why aren't they on the tour? I've been working with Chris to get an SBSS date for a weekend contest. Hollister our field is scheduled to be remodeled starting in April. It's supposed to take a year. Hence we have no field for this years tour. If we could find a field SBSS would be on the tour again.
Jan 30, 2019, 02:05 AM
Registered User
wizzzer's Avatar
All modification to the field by the city has been delayed until December or later, according to Parks. Bob Brown and I attended the Parks meeting today.
Jan 30, 2019, 03:13 AM
Team Hello Kitty
SoaringDude's Avatar
Hi guys, hope you don't mind if I jump in (I plan to fill out my membership application with your club soon). If the park is going to be available for contests this year that is really great news. Tim, please feel free to call me and discuss how we can get 1 or both of your F5J events linked into the F5J USA Tour (if that is what you all want).

Also FYI, the Tour is very open starting this year to having Tour events that also have separate classes as long as they follow certain guidelines. Maybe this can help address your desire for including less expensive or beginner planes. We hope this helps encourage more F5J participation. Check out this page for more info on that.

Anything else I can do to help please let me know.

Jan 30, 2019, 02:26 PM
Registered User
Good news about the field! Maybe a 2-day F5J can be considered now. I believe SBSS did one last year, but I was not into F5J at that time.
Feb 01, 2019, 12:57 PM
Registered User
I am working with Chris on dates to have a two day at Hollister. We will do one tour date in Hollister with additional club F5J contests.

Anyone reading this thread please post if you are interested in ALES but not F5J. We are trying to judge interest in ALES.
Feb 09, 2019, 04:45 PM
Registered User
Thread OP


After taking into account the input of several people, I have appended below what should be the final draft of the SBSS Thermal Competition Rules.
Last edited by rdemattei; Feb 09, 2019 at 04:57 PM. Reason: add file

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