SAFA Skysailor Magazine

10 SKY SAILOR September | October 2020 The white boxed TPs are the ones already tagged by the pilot. Those in green are considered very accessible, often flown, and relatively safe. Blue is a little more challenging to achieve and will require some XC skills. If you’re pushing out to blues, you should already have gained some XC experi- ence and remote (non-designated LZ) landing experience. Red are very challenging to achieve and return back from, and those coded black are considered to be at the very experienced XC/expert level. (If you see a purple and want to attempt it, you’ll definitely need to know the required conditions to fly them and know your personal capabilities). Of course, achieving flights to, and tagging any of these is dependent on prevailing weather conditions and the skill/ desire of the pilot. The colours are only a guide, it’s up to the pilot to assess whether they are achievable on any given day. Also, the presence of a TP or its colour coding does not necessarily indicate a thermal source! Your flight, your responsibility. The colour code likely won’t show up on flight instruments, so pre-flight planning using the mapping tools is highly recommended. Is this open to any level of pilot? For sure, but you must have current SAFA membership and have taken out any local club memberships required for the launches you are flying from. We have PG2s under supervision who take pleasure in joining in the TPC game. The PG2s can tag TPs close to launch and score two, three, or maybe even four in a straightforward sleddie flight to the LZ, then pick up another TP on their next flight, and another on the next… The process encourages pilots to remain well within personal skills limits whilst spreading their wings just a little further. When conditions do come on and skills improve, the fly zone expands as conditions allow. At the other end of the spectrum, for those who already have the skills, knowledge and experience to push out farther afield or on circuits, they can collect dozens of TPs in a single flight or add to their overall scores (one TP counts once, irrespective of location or colour). Again, speed is not an absolute necessity (as in task racing), but the day is only so long, so tagging a lot in one day takes knowledge, planning, tenacity, stamina and efficiency. That’s all well and good, but surely the experts are just going to dominate the whole show? It doesn’t quite work like that. We’ve decided upon a set of skills and experience-based pilot categories where a pilot self-evaluates their level from Fun, Sport, Advanced and Expert. The pilots stick to their category for the season or duration of the event. This differentiates pilot levels, and makes it rather inclu- sive and more peer orientated. It may well come to pass that those in the less experienced categories score better than those considered to be gun pilots. We deliberately moved away from wing category and toward experience and skill, in order to level the playing field and be more inclusive. The challenge is a test of XC piloting rather than wing performance. The aim of the TPC is about ‘how you fly to where you fly’ rather than ‘what you fly’. If an expert pilot chooses to fly the challenge on an En-A wing, they are still Victoria Turnpoint Challenge 2021