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Contest Class Development for Future Success - The Case fordeveloping the Handicapped Classes



 
 
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  #21  
Old May 21st 19, 12:41 AM posted to rec.aviation.soaring
[email protected]
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Default Contest Class Development for Future Success - The Case fordeveloping the Handicapped Classes

As far as development for the Nationals, the 1-26 group is the one group that traditionally has gotten scheduling the best for someone that is still woking. Usually practice Monday and Tues with the contest beginning Wed, and ending up in time to have a couple of days to drive home. So only 2 weeks vacation are burnt.

Kevin
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  #22  
Old May 21st 19, 01:47 AM posted to rec.aviation.soaring
Andy Blackburn[_3_]
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Default Contest Class Development for Future Success - The Case fordeveloping the Handicapped Classes

On Monday, May 20, 2019 at 2:39:04 PM UTC-7, Steve Leonard wrote:
On Sunday, May 19, 2019 at 6:45:44 PM UTC-5, Tim Taylor wrote:
Actually Kevin,

The DG400 can fly in 15M, 18M and/or Club class. I don't see you signed up for the Sports Class Nationals.

Tim


Not Club Class, Tim. Those with motors have now been removed from the approved list, even if they were within the range. Also, those in range but with greater than 15 meter span were removed from the US Club Class List.

Steve Leonard


One alternative would be to expand Club Class beyond the FAI definition to include motorgliders, longer wingspans and a wider range of handicaps. Then we could retire Sports Class because it would be totally redundant.

Some people seem to not like keeping Club Class close to the FAI definition. Others seem to want to keep Club Class pure to the FAI definition (no recent generation Standard Class ships, for example). How far afield should we go in expanding Club?

Discuss.

Andy Blackburn
9B
  #23  
Old May 21st 19, 06:38 AM posted to rec.aviation.soaring
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Default Contest Class Development for Future Success - The Case fordeveloping the Handicapped Classes

I think Sports Class has done a lot and we need to keep it - I just question the purpose of crowning a National Champion, especially if a Sports Nats weakens turnout at the other Nats.

The FAI classes, let's conform as best we can to field a team that can win at the Worlds.
  #24  
Old May 21st 19, 05:53 PM posted to rec.aviation.soaring
Tim Taylor
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Default Contest Class Development for Future Success - The Case fordeveloping the Handicapped Classes

To improve the US performance we need to:
1. Provide as many opportunities for US pilots to race as possible under conditions that will match what they will see in the Worlds.

2. Allow pilots to race under the rules they will use at the worlds.

3. Focus the limited resources on a few classes until we improve the results.

This is why I believe we should have multiple national level contests for each class each year. This can be done without holding more total contests by holding combined class contests in the east/west/central regions.

Sports class should be limited to regional contests and club class should be expanded to allow all gliders in a reasonable range to compete.

The rules need to be changed to match the FAI rules so we are learning the correct game.

  #25  
Old May 23rd 19, 04:12 AM posted to rec.aviation.soaring
Phil Chidekel
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Default Contest Class Development for Future Success - The Case fordeveloping the Handicapped Classes

One alternative would be to expand Club Class beyond the FAI definition to include motorgliders, longer wingspans and a wider range of handicaps. Then we could retire Sports Class because it would be totally redundant.

Some people seem to not like keeping Club Class close to the FAI definition. Others seem to want to keep Club Class pure to the FAI definition (no recent generation Standard Class ships, for example). How far afield should we go in expanding Club?

Discuss.

Andy Blackburn
9B


I fly a Glasflügel 401 Kestrel (which has 17m wings). It was "grandfathered" into club class last year, after it was neglected to be removed from the list when the club class was restricted to a span of 15m.

In my opinion, the purpose of the club class is to take old, inexpensive, and accessible gliders and make them competitive in a racing class. The club class should stay true to this spirit.

The Kestrel fits in the [American] club class handicap range. So does the Open Cirrus. My Kestrel might be worth $15k, and there are numerous Open Cirri listed for under $10k. Despite this, neither of these gliders can compete. Apparently an extra two meters of wing is a bigger advantage than another 25 years of airfoil/structural design evolution found on the Discus 2 or ASW-28.

I can immediately think of two US clubs that own Open Cirri, but these clubs can't send these gliders to compete in the club class nationals. I know of zero US clubs that own an ASW-28 or a Discus 2.

As I see it, we should either adopt the FAI club class definition and conform to the rest of the world, or expand our definition to be more inclusive. I'm not sure where span/motor restrictions came from. These seem like arbitrary and unnecessary limitations, particularly because the spirit of the club class has already been lost when gliders designed in 1967 that cost $10k are racing against gliders designed in 1997 that cost $70k.

To be clear, I'm fine with the new stuff remaining in the class. However, given that the list is already completely whack, there is *no* basis to limit the rest of us from having fun, too.

Rant over. I'm extremely grateful to UH for letting me borrow his ASW-24 to compete this year. But it feels wrong to be going to the club class nationals with something 20 years newer and 2-3 times more expensive than the poor Kestrel who gets left behind.
  #26  
Old May 23rd 19, 01:26 PM posted to rec.aviation.soaring
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Default Contest Class Development for Future Success - The Case fordeveloping the Handicapped Classes

I agree with the ideas from Tim Taylor and Phil Chidekel. The US is one of the few countries that has a national for every FAI class and our own Sports Class.

What we see as a result is smaller and smaller national attendance due to the decline in numbers of pilots due to other causes but also because we keep spreading the remaining numbers between more classes. Many countries with successful teams on the World level have combined similar performing gliders into a single handicap class. An example would be 15 Meter, Standard Class and 20 Meter. They are all within a reasonable performance range and with a small handicap adjustment can fly together with Discus 2, Ventus 3 and Arcus flip flopping at the top of the scoresheeet. There are many advantages to this arrangement including flying against 50 gliders instead of 15, less trouble finding three different contest venues, increased returns for the host, etc.

The US Club Class I do like how it is set up with a performance range that essentially matches the FAI handicaps. The FAI is from a Libelle 201 to an ASW-20A and the US extended that to an LS-6 which is only a few years older and not competitive in pure 15 Meter. That did lump in many that are not on the FAI list including the HP series and then at the higher end the more modern Discus 2/ASW-28 but these perform basically identical to a flapped ASW-20 which is on the list and the current World Champ in Club Class.

I do agree with Phil that I don't see why a Kestrel, Open Cirrus or similar glider with 16, 17, 18 Meter of span should be allowed because they are in the performance range. The FAI handicap list does include a 16 meter Cirrus B, so I would view it the same as winglets or other performance modifications that are allowed.

It is my understanding from the rules and a discussion that motors are allowed in US Club Class Nationals (Pik-20E for example) but possibly would not be eligible for Club Class selection.

Overall, I'd rather see more of a combined class approach and have 3-4 big nationals instead of 8 small nationals.

  #27  
Old May 23rd 19, 06:30 PM posted to rec.aviation.soaring
Christopher Schrader[_2_]
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Default Contest Class Development for Future Success - The Case fordeveloping the Handicapped Classes

I don't understand how a glider gets "grandfathered" in. When Sandhill Soaring Club (my home club), purchased an Open Cirrus and I noticed the rules had changed eliminating the 17.7 Meter Open Cirrus from the list of Club Class approved ships in the USA (but not the 16.6 Meter Std. Cirrus), I called UH and was told the Open Cirrus had been eliminated from the class in an effort to align the rules with FAI. Hank can correct me if I'm wrong, but this was the gist for the change in the rules (even though the Discus 2 and ASW-28, who are not FAI Club Class approved gliders for WGC purposes were "approved" gliders under US Rules). To me the rule making is inconsistent.

While I didn't agree with the assessment considering Discus A/B/CS, ASW20's, 304CZ, were permitted to fly FAI Club Class (and in the USA Discus 2 were being permitted to fly Club Class too), I'm just one pilot; I don't deserve special consideration.

Having said that, I wholeheartedly agree with Phil's statements; we should stick to the spirit of taking old, inexpensive gliders of similar performance, and give them their own racing class. To adulterate the class by allowing for Discus 2, and at the same time prohibiting Open Cirrus and Kestrels makes no sense to me. While the theoretical best L/D of the Cirrus gives it long legs (a nice feature for beginners), the polar of the Cirrus at high speed isn't much better than the Std. Cirrus. There's simply no way it can keep up with the likes of Discus CS, ASW-20, ASW-24, let alone an ASW-28 or Discus 2 being flown by a skilled racing pilot.

On another note, the transition from an Open Cirrus to LS-4 for purposes of fielding a competitive US Team is probably less significant than Discus 2 drivers downgrading to the same at WGC.

From a Growth & Retention standpoint (I speak for myself here), I operate under the presumption that the health of Club Class is closely tied to the future of soaring in the United States and the more contest pilots we recruit to Club Class the better off our sport will be. Thus creating barriers to entry to Club Class doesn't make any sense to me. Moreover, as Juniors move into adulthood, and Millennial newcomers make their way into our clubs, "Club Class" offers both individuals and club-members (and partners of small consortium), with access to these older ships, the most economical entry point into sailplane racing and sailplane ownership.

For those reasons, I say let Discus 2 drivers demonstrate their talent by competing against others flying the same state-of-the art FAI Standard Class gliders that were designed to compete at the Worlds in Standard Class. Let pilots flying club class ships and those of similar age, performance, cost, etc. fly Club Class.

Several individuals and clubs have asked my opinion of the Cirrus, and while I have nothing but great things to say about it for pilots transitioning to high-performance on a budget - I think it makes a wonderful club ship (it handles beautifully), I have to warn them that sadly, any pilot who aspires to fly Club Class Nationals with it won't be permitted to compete. Moreover, its handicap in Sports Class is thought of by many to put pilots at a significant disadvantage to other ships (I believe there are RAS threads going back at least 2 decades om this subject).

I really can't add more to what Phil said, accept that I'm inclined to host a Formula 1.0 GP style contest in 2020 or 2021, and just hope the rules committee will re-consider their decision to eliminate older 17m ships from Club Class.

Respectfully,

Chris Schrader (flying Chicken Noodle)



On Wednesday, May 22, 2019 at 11:12:05 PM UTC-4, Phil Chidekel wrote:
One alternative would be to expand Club Class beyond the FAI definition to include motorgliders, longer wingspans and a wider range of handicaps. Then we could retire Sports Class because it would be totally redundant.

Some people seem to not like keeping Club Class close to the FAI definition. Others seem to want to keep Club Class pure to the FAI definition (no recent generation Standard Class ships, for example). How far afield should we go in expanding Club?

Discuss.

Andy Blackburn
9B


I fly a Glasflügel 401 Kestrel (which has 17m wings). It was "grandfathered" into club class last year, after it was neglected to be removed from the list when the club class was restricted to a span of 15m.

In my opinion, the purpose of the club class is to take old, inexpensive, and accessible gliders and make them competitive in a racing class. The club class should stay true to this spirit.

The Kestrel fits in the [American] club class handicap range. So does the Open Cirrus. My Kestrel might be worth $15k, and there are numerous Open Cirri listed for under $10k. Despite this, neither of these gliders can compete. Apparently an extra two meters of wing is a bigger advantage than another 25 years of airfoil/structural design evolution found on the Discus 2 or ASW-28.

I can immediately think of two US clubs that own Open Cirri, but these clubs can't send these gliders to compete in the club class nationals. I know of zero US clubs that own an ASW-28 or a Discus 2.

As I see it, we should either adopt the FAI club class definition and conform to the rest of the world, or expand our definition to be more inclusive. I'm not sure where span/motor restrictions came from. These seem like arbitrary and unnecessary limitations, particularly because the spirit of the club class has already been lost when gliders designed in 1967 that cost $10k are racing against gliders designed in 1997 that cost $70k.

To be clear, I'm fine with the new stuff remaining in the class. However, given that the list is already completely whack, there is *no* basis to limit the rest of us from having fun, too.

Rant over. I'm extremely grateful to UH for letting me borrow his ASW-24 to compete this year. But it feels wrong to be going to the club class nationals with something 20 years newer and 2-3 times more expensive than the poor Kestrel who gets left behind.


  #28  
Old May 23rd 19, 07:04 PM posted to rec.aviation.soaring
Christopher Schrader[_2_]
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Default Contest Class Development for Future Success - The Case fordeveloping the Handicapped Classes

On Thursday, May 23, 2019 at 8:26:32 AM UTC-4, wrote:
I agree with the ideas from Tim Taylor and Phil Chidekel. The US is one of the few countries that has a national for every FAI class and our own Sports Class.

What we see as a result is smaller and smaller national attendance due to the decline in numbers of pilots due to other causes but also because we keep spreading the remaining numbers between more classes. Many countries with successful teams on the World level have combined similar performing gliders into a single handicap class. An example would be 15 Meter, Standard Class and 20 Meter. They are all within a reasonable performance range and with a small handicap adjustment can fly together with Discus 2, Ventus 3 and Arcus flip flopping at the top of the scoresheeet. There are many advantages to this arrangement including flying against 50 gliders instead of 15, less trouble finding three different contest venues, increased returns for the host, etc.

The US Club Class I do like how it is set up with a performance range that essentially matches the FAI handicaps. The FAI is from a Libelle 201 to an ASW-20A and the US extended that to an LS-6 which is only a few years older and not competitive in pure 15 Meter. That did lump in many that are not on the FAI list including the HP series and then at the higher end the more modern Discus 2/ASW-28 but these perform basically identical to a flapped ASW-20 which is on the list and the current World Champ in Club Class.

I do agree with Phil that I don't see why a Kestrel, Open Cirrus or similar glider with 16, 17, 18 Meter of span should be allowed because they are in the performance range. The FAI handicap list does include a 16 meter Cirrus B, so I would view it the same as winglets or other performance modifications that are allowed.

It is my understanding from the rules and a discussion that motors are allowed in US Club Class Nationals (Pik-20E for example) but possibly would not be eligible for Club Class selection.

Overall, I'd rather see more of a combined class approach and have 3-4 big nationals instead of 8 small nationals.


I agree we should have fewer but larger contests, however, I don't see a problem with hosting concurrent National Championships at one contest site. In other words, why not host the Club Class along with Std. Class, or say 15M with Std. Class or 20M, or 18M with Open, or any combination thereof. I would also look closely at making sure we accommodate pilots owning 20M ships to make sure we don't overlap 20M with those other FAI Classes. For purposes of pilot development and US Team selection I've got to think we want highly competitive nationals and don't want to see 20M overlap those other FAI Classes, except for maybe 15M, but to the extent 20M overlapping can be avoided it should. I also wouldn't hold 15M with 18M as a lot of 18M pilots fly 15M Nationals too.

As for Sports Class, it seems to me that the Seniors, Perry, and Nephi have turned into defacto Sports Class Championships of sorts. Keep in mind teams are not presently selected from Sports Class events. For this reason, dropping Sports Class Nationals and marketing the Seniors, Perry, and other Sports Class contests as special contests for those looking to compete at a National level but who aren't interested in being considered for the US Team makes a lot of sense to me.

Embrace these contests, call them "Sports Class Championships" by adding the phrase to the contests names, and by all means continue to make the social aspects of the contest desirable for people traveling from all over the country - but think of them as 2nd tier National-level contests similar to the Players Championship in golf or the Miami Open in tennis. In other words, they are not "Majors" like the US Open, Wimbledon, or the Masters, etc. I have a hard time thinking attendance at these events would change simply because Sports Class Nationals was dropped from the nomenclature. I just don't see that happening.

Just my 2 cents.

- Chris Schrader
  #29  
Old May 23rd 19, 08:14 PM posted to rec.aviation.soaring
Ron Gleason
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Default Contest Class Development for Future Success - The Case fordeveloping the Handicapped Classes

On Thursday, 23 May 2019 12:04:37 UTC-6, Christopher Schrader wrote:
On Thursday, May 23, 2019 at 8:26:32 AM UTC-4, wrote:
I agree with the ideas from Tim Taylor and Phil Chidekel. The US is one of the few countries that has a national for every FAI class and our own Sports Class.

What we see as a result is smaller and smaller national attendance due to the decline in numbers of pilots due to other causes but also because we keep spreading the remaining numbers between more classes. Many countries with successful teams on the World level have combined similar performing gliders into a single handicap class. An example would be 15 Meter, Standard Class and 20 Meter. They are all within a reasonable performance range and with a small handicap adjustment can fly together with Discus 2, Ventus 3 and Arcus flip flopping at the top of the scoresheeet. There are many advantages to this arrangement including flying against 50 gliders instead of 15, less trouble finding three different contest venues, increased returns for the host, etc.

The US Club Class I do like how it is set up with a performance range that essentially matches the FAI handicaps. The FAI is from a Libelle 201 to an ASW-20A and the US extended that to an LS-6 which is only a few years older and not competitive in pure 15 Meter. That did lump in many that are not on the FAI list including the HP series and then at the higher end the more modern Discus 2/ASW-28 but these perform basically identical to a flapped ASW-20 which is on the list and the current World Champ in Club Class.

I do agree with Phil that I don't see why a Kestrel, Open Cirrus or similar glider with 16, 17, 18 Meter of span should be allowed because they are in the performance range. The FAI handicap list does include a 16 meter Cirrus B, so I would view it the same as winglets or other performance modifications that are allowed.

It is my understanding from the rules and a discussion that motors are allowed in US Club Class Nationals (Pik-20E for example) but possibly would not be eligible for Club Class selection.

Overall, I'd rather see more of a combined class approach and have 3-4 big nationals instead of 8 small nationals.


I agree we should have fewer but larger contests, however, I don't see a problem with hosting concurrent National Championships at one contest site. In other words, why not host the Club Class along with Std. Class, or say 15M with Std. Class or 20M, or 18M with Open, or any combination thereof. I would also look closely at making sure we accommodate pilots owning 20M ships to make sure we don't overlap 20M with those other FAI Classes. For purposes of pilot development and US Team selection I've got to think we want highly competitive nationals and don't want to see 20M overlap those other FAI Classes, except for maybe 15M, but to the extent 20M overlapping can be avoided it should. I also wouldn't hold 15M with 18M as a lot of 18M pilots fly 15M Nationals too.

As for Sports Class, it seems to me that the Seniors, Perry, and Nephi have turned into defacto Sports Class Championships of sorts. Keep in mind teams are not presently selected from Sports Class events. For this reason, dropping Sports Class Nationals and marketing the Seniors, Perry, and other Sports Class contests as special contests for those looking to compete at a National level but who aren't interested in being considered for the US Team makes a lot of sense to me.

Embrace these contests, call them "Sports Class Championships" by adding the phrase to the contests names, and by all means continue to make the social aspects of the contest desirable for people traveling from all over the country - but think of them as 2nd tier National-level contests similar to the Players Championship in golf or the Miami Open in tennis. In other words, they are not "Majors" like the US Open, Wimbledon, or the Masters, etc. I have a hard time thinking attendance at these events would change simply because Sports Class Nationals was dropped from the nomenclature. I just don't see that happening.

Just my 2 cents.

- Chris Schrader


Lots of ideas, suggestions and thoughts in this thread. One area that has only been lightly touched upon is getting locations and sites for contests.

Anybody notice that no new, ok maybe a couple, sites have held contests? Notice it is the same sites year over year? Notice how many sites no longer holding contests? Recruit all the competition pilots you want but if there are no sites or folks to run the contests then what are you going to do?

Chris, go back through the contests and you will see that classes are combined but it the groupings have changed over the years with introduction of 15/18M configurations and now 18M/Open glider configurations. These owners want the opportunity to fly multiple Classes per year.

Larger contests are a huge challenge when comes to glider movement, launch order, available tow planes, density altitudes etc. The Open class has a maximum weight of 850 kg, 1,873 pounds, so think about what is needed for tow planes, runway length with high density altitudes. Also some of the newer gliders have recommended tow speeds of 85 knots or higher!

Lots of variables to dal with
  #30  
Old May 24th 19, 12:20 AM posted to rec.aviation.soaring
Dave Springford
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Default Contest Class Development for Future Success - The Case fordeveloping the Handicapped Classes

IIRC, one of the original concepts of a club class was that it could be defined by any limited handicap range. It seems to have morphed, at the FAI level, into a strict, these 10 models only class.

Depending on contest size, instead of one sports class encompassing 1-26 to Arcus and trying to apply handicaps, why not split it into 2 or 3 club classes of defined handicap range? Of course, you need to maintain a minimum class size to have a reasonable competition. Set ranges like Club A .80-.89 Club B .90-.99, Club C 1.00- 1.10 and keep the gliders close in performance in each class.

Class ranges likely need to be finalized the day of the contest once all gliders in the contest are known.



 




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