9 September | October 2020 SKY SAILOR This differs from the traditional task-based comps in that there are no given start times, pilots fly whenever it suits them, from whichever sites they choose and fly whatever direction or route suits both them and the conditions, flying to their own style and skill level. The scoring is really simple without complex formulae, one TP tagged equals one point. It is very inclusive since it doesn’t discriminate or separate on, say, weight as a disadvantage. The actual flying usually avoids big distance retrieve pick-ups and has proven to be a whole a lot of fun! The concept is designed to give the pilot all the initiative to fly their own day. It’s less about outright distance flight or chasing an elusive triangle, more about getting yourself from one point of interest to another. There is no specified route, speed has much less bearing, as has tactical navigation. The pilot is in charge of their own destiny, rather than having a dictated time and route. Tagging the TPs mainly involves good navigation skills whilst utilising good thermalling skills and efficient XC flying to go where you please, when you please. The challenge rewards tenacity and patience in XC flight without undue penalty to those who are slower to climb or poorer on glide. A TP missed today can be got tomorrow. Of course, those who do fly fast and furious, core tight and fly hard, will get a multitude of TPs in a long duration/ distance flight, but this then makes it difficult to add more unique TPs to their overall score. A weaker, less XC prone day may see pilots tagging as many as possible as the conditions dictate. Other days may see pilots going out for the outlying TPs. Those unique TPs can be tagged over a period of several flights throughout the season on days that offer the bigger flights, the challenge lasts the whole season so there’s less pressure to rush to get them all at once. How do we earn the points in the Turnpoint Challenge? Basically, there are two categories to score points. A TP tagged counts one point, irrespective of where it is located. Scoring and listing is automatic each time you upload a tracklog. 1. Most unique TPs tagged during the Turnpoint Challenge season in a given flyzone. 2. Most unique TPs tagged during a single flight. How does a pilot record and score their turnpoints? Every TP tagged scores one point for every pilot category, irrespective of difficulty or distance away from launch. Neither the choice of route nor the TPs tagged have to be pre-defined by the pilot. Get what you can, when you can. The IGC file determines if the pilot has gotten within 400m of the TP to thereby score a point as tagged. The majority of pilots already have instruments which can store an IGC file. Simply fly your day and download the IGC file to the Turnpoint Challenge web platform, and the system will score your day and add those scores to the results table. Browse the web page and you’ll find a how-to on upload- ing/downloading to some of the more popular instruments. XC-track and FlySkyHigh are the most popular navigation software tools. There are many others. Best to read the instrument manual or seek assistance. Navigation skills are key to tagging TPs efficiently, which means familiarisation with these in-flight navigation tools is required. How many of these turnpoints are listed? We have over 750 TPs currently listed in Victoria. Each one defaults to a 400m radius of a co-ordinated waypoint. Get inside that 400m radius, and the software will pick it up as tagged. We have allowed for a high density of TPs near our more popular sites and picked out popular XC routes for those who want to chase the game further afield. We’ve fixed the VIC TPs for this season and will revise them if necessary next season. Sounds like it’s all about flying inland XC, what about the coastal pilots? We have plenty out there for the coast-based pilots too! There are over 100 TPs scattered along the coastal regions adjacent to all popular launches. It’s possible to just tag the coastal TPs to get a very respectable score, but you would need to fly quite a few sites to get them all. No one site holds the majority of TPs within common flight distances. Again, it should encourage pilots to visit other sites (when they can). Similarly, our wonderful Victorian flatlands have their own nuances. Outback, we’ve spread a grid of TPs aiming at pilots picking an XC route through them depending on wind directions. It’s not unreasonable to pick up several flatland TPs on a good XC day. We’ve tried to be reasonably balanced with the distribution across Victoria. Best check out the mapping on turnpointchallenge.com. au to see the distribution. We’re happy to consider changes for following seasons, but the Victoria TP file is now fixed for 2020/21. Looking at the map on turnpointchallenge.com.au , I see you’ve applied a colour code to the TPs. What’s that all about? We engaged several experienced XC pilots who fly these regions to give a guide how difficult it may be to tag the TPs.