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Aug 14, 2019, 01:47 PM
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Some Thoughts on ALES vs. F5J


Looking back at the 2019 MidSouth ALES and F5J competitions and comparing them to the same contests at the 2019 Soaring NATS, it occurred to me that there was an unexpected benefit in the way it was done at the MidSouth, which was to interleave rounds in the two events and allow participation in one or the other but not both. At the Soaring NATS, ALES was held on Saturday and Sunday while F5J was held on the following Monday and Tuesday, allowing fliers to enter both contests.

At the MidSouth there were 17 in ALES and 15 in F5J, which was almost an even split. As I see it, the serious competitors who prefer strict rules, practice hard and often, and strive to master complex strategies, were separated from the less serious who were there mostly to enjoy soaring and socializing with those who share their hobby. In other words, the MidSouth one-contest-or-the-other structure separated the FAI crowd from the AMA crowd and, I suspect, made the event more appealing and enjoyable for everyone.

I'd like to see this format catch on, at least in major events, and perhaps it could even be extended to Thermal Duration vs. F3J.
Last edited by Miami Mike; Aug 14, 2019 at 09:25 PM.
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