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Where is this place?
Lake St Clair is two hours north of Sydney and is one of the most picturesque flying sites, sometimes called the Annecy of Australia. It has 2 launches; a top launch and strong wind launch and takes wind directions from SW-NW. It is a soaring site which becomes thermic after midday.
How is the competition scored?
There are 2 Classes, Amateur and Elite, and 2 divisions for each class, Novice (PG2/3) and Open (PG4/5) with a total of 60 competitors. The competition is scored per Hike and fly flight, with points tallied from the vertical meters hiked as well as the score of the landing. The comp has a duration of 6.5 hours of hike and fly with Prizes for 1st and 2nd for each division in each class (Trophies and prizes from industry).
Pilots score 450 points each hike to the top launch and 430 points each hike to the bottom launch (Points are scored in regards to the vertical meters climbed to the launch sites). There is a bullseye target in the LZ and pilots score 400 points for landing in the bullseye, 350 points for the next ring and 300 points for the outside ring. The target will be extended with tarps by 5m downwind of the target and 15 upwind of the target, to make it easier for new pilots to score points at the LZ with 250 points scored for hitting the tarps outside the bullseye target. Scores are then tallied up for each HnF with hike points and LZ points cumulative. T
The classes are then set by Amateur - no more than two hike and fly and Elite class, which is as many flights as they can in the 6.5 hr window. The divisions for each class are Novice (PG2/3 - New pilots) and open division (PG4/5 - intermediate and advanced pilots).
Elite Class - This is aimed at pilots who want to test their physical capabilities, as well as their landing skills. Pilots have the entire time window to hike and fly and add points to their total score. If you enjoy endurance sports, this is the category for you… Open to both Novice (PG2/3) and open class (PG4/5) to ensure pilots of all flight experience remain competitive…
Amateur Class - This is aimed at pilots who want to compete but don't have the capability or the desire to hike up the hill multiple times…. This class has a maximum of 2 Hike and flights to score maximum cumulative points in the competition window. Again both divisions compete in this class so regardless of physical capability or flight experience, all pilots can compete and be competitive in this class.
What qualifications do I need to take part?
To take part you must be a current member of SAFA and current PG2 rating or above. There will be instructors/SSO on launch and landings who can supervise/assist pilots of all experience. You will compete against pilots in a similar experience level to yourself, with videos and debrief available for those that want it in the chillout area of the LZ…
What time does it start?
Registration and sign on opens at 08:00 am. You must be at the safety briefing at 9am. If you don't attend the safety briefing you will not be allowed to fly on the day.
What time does it end?
The competition will end 6.5 hours after the start. For example, if the weather allows for a start at 09.30 the competition will finish at 4.00 pm, with results and prize giving shortly after in the LZ.
What equipment should I bring?
Certified paraglider which you are current on and licensed to fly (no miniwings in novice divisions), Certified harness, radio capable of SAFA channels, reserve parachute, Vario/GPS to show altitude in flight, food and water for the day (Powerade have sponsored us with each athlete receiving 2 bottles of powerade during the comp).
Open division pilots can fly any paraglider they choose (regular, light weight, tandem, mini wing) however there are no wings smaller than 17m allowed, due to the glide to the LZ and the powerlines.
How far is the walk up?
The walk up is approx 3.5 km long up a rough 4 wheel drive track. The vertical meters gained is 450m to the top launch and 430m to the bottom launch. Athletes must keep to the track to allow the safety team to know exactly where all competitors are, and then be able to use vehicles to assist if required.
Do I have to fly top to bottom, or can I ridge soar before landing?
Pilots can fly for as long as they want and the conditions allow. There will be an instructor/SSO on launch to supervise PG2/3 pilots during the flight phases and can radio if required. The site is often ridge soarable and thermic in the afternoon which creates easy lift to maintain hill height (and above). All landings must be made before the competition window closes to be counted. Prize giving will be given 30mins after the competition window closes.
Note… If there is a lot of congestion in the air, you may be instructed to head to the LZ and land to avoid overcrowding on the hill or on final approach to the LZ…
Is there a chair lift if I don’t want to walk up the hill?
Sorry, it’s a hike and fly competition. There is no alternative apart from your legs to get to the launch. There has never been a time in history where pilots were able to pack their aircraft into a bag and walk with it…. Cherish the moment and enjoy each flight you earn after hiking up (and the hike earns you much needed points too :)
What are the prizes?
Firstly, fame and glory from your fellow pilots in an innovative new competition format.
There are trophies for 1st and 2nd place in both novice and open class in both the amateur and the elite classes. There are also industry prizes from XCmag and manufacturers of the industry.
There will also be some great lucky draw prizes for all entrants and volunteers. You need to be at the ceremony to win the prize.
What facilities are on site?
Lake St Clair is a beautiful, natural resource and we are privileged to fly there. You should arrive with everything you need for the day including food, drinks, sunscreen etc.. and be prepared to take all rubbish home with you.
There is the campsite at the Lake, which is approx 500m from the LZ. At the campsite are the only toilets in the vicinity…
I am coming from out of town, where can I stay?
Singleton is just down the road with some great accommodation options, have a look here https://www.visitnsw.com/destinations/hunter/hunter-valley/singleton
Alternatively, we have the support of the local campground and the staff have assured that all competitors will have space to stay at the park if they wish to camp. We recommend this as we are sure the drinks and good times will continue after the competition… There is no shop at the lake or the campsite so ensure you have water and food to last your time there otherwise you will have to drive to Singleton to replenish supplies.
I am bringing my family, what else is there to do in the area?
The campsite is a beautiful place to stay, with a fresh water lake full of fish and perfect for paddling. The Hunter Valley is famous for its wineries, restaurants and golf courses.
The region offers many outdoor activities and is also a short distance to Newcastle
For more information look here:
What is the wet weather plan?
As you are aware paragliding is dependent on the weather. The day of the competition will be locked in 5 days before the scheduled start. We require 1 day to hold the event, preferably on a Saturday. If weather is unsuitable on the 17/18 of September then we will postpone it to the following weekend of the 24/25 September.
What is the refund policy?
If both weekends are unflyable your money will be held over on credit until a new date in March 2023.
I have a question not answered here, who do I contact?
firstname.lastname@example.org or Club info email