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So much for straight-out fights...

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Old April 2nd 18, 04:44 PM posted to rec.aviation.soaring
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Default So much for straight-out fights...

Whether its Kowbell Klassic, Dust Devil Dash, Crystal Squadron, or Ramy on a safari...
The OLC League now requires that a flight not only start within 15km of the launch point, but also end within 15km of the start point.

Breaking News: OLC’s League/Speed-Update - Hands up for the Sport of Soaring

It is no big secret that during the past few years ‘motorized glider pilots’ have been taking advantage of their engines to strategically enlarge their Speed- and League-distances and thus fly faster and farther than others. We have been keeping an eye on this practice for a while but never thought it would be anti-competitive. It seemed not (yet) necessary to change the rules.
But this has fundamentally changed in the 2017 OLC-season: During our annual League-closing event in Poppenhausen last October, a study of selected league-rounds was presented and commented to the audience. It became obvious that especially during those rounds with less favorable soaring conditions the tactical options you have have with auxiliary powered gliders have been exerted more and more (e.g. returning from a better region after a good flight). Competitors with unpowered gliders do not have the chance to win such a weekend - a League weekend with minor weather is dominated by almost 2/3 auxiliary powered gliders (and about half of them are actually using their engines under these conditions).
Statistics show that in good weather half of the League competitors do not even have an engine available. During such a weekend for example only 7.5% of the ‘pure’ gliders end up landing out while - despite good weather conditions - about 30% of the powered ships pull their engines to fly home. After a close look into the statistics it is obvious: Those significantly many engine-helped returns were tactically planned (e.g. to take advantage of long downwind legs). This effect has now tilted the scores in an extreme way and distorts the competitive element when comparing (auxiliary) powered and unpowered sailplanes flying together in their particular OLC-Leagues.
We have decided to now step in and adjust the problematic element. OLC is changing the rules in a way so it is completely irrelevant for a League- or Speed-task if a competing glider is equipped with an engine or not.
The idea is by the way part of our OLC-philosophy which has been enunciated more than 15 years ago, which is still valid and has never been altered: OLC does not differentiate between (auxiliary) motorized and unpowered sailplanes.
Beginning March 30, we will in addition to the well known start circle now be introducing a finish circle with a radius of 15 km.
The additional and definite new rule says:
Subsequent to the finish point of the sprint the unpowered flight has to conclude inside or cross a cylinder with a radius of 15 km around the start point.

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