What is the BPCup all about?
The BPCup is a friendly, learning proving ground for pilots that wish to try competition as well as for the more experienced pilot that likes a more 'relaxed' occasion. It is a competition where you will learn an awful lot and hopefully improve your flying too.
What pilot standard is expected?
You must be comfortable flying cross country in the company of other pilots although competition experience is not required. Tasks depend on the day but are generally in the region of 15 to 40K.
What about accommodation?
We will publish an accommodation list for each event in due course. There are usually plenty of B&Bs around but most pilots camp, usually at one preferred site, and usually where registration, briefing and scoring takes place. So get yourself a nice big tent (the big ones are just as cheap as the small ones why be a masochist?) and a sleeping bag and join the fun. There will usually be a barbeque or other meal laid on for the Saturday night but please remember the 12 hour rule and DON'T fly with a hangover.
Can I turn up on the day?
Yes, but please check the event is not full. We will NOT be accepting entries on the day for events that are shown as full on the website. If an event is not full, we still cannot give any guarantee of a place. If there are places on the day there is an additional admin charge of £15. If an event is full, or we are not accepting entries on the day, we will notify pilots via this website and the BPCup Google Group.
How will I know if I have a place?
Numbers are limited for each round according to many factors, if you are able to 'buy' a round and pay for it then, your name will appear on the pilot list and you will be entered for that event.
What happens if more than the max number of pilots pre-register for an event.?
When an event is full pilots will be put on a reserve list. Once the reserve list is 10% of the field, entry will be closed.
Can I compete in the BPCup if I am also in the Championship?
Yes, however, to reflect its status as a competition suitable for first time competition pilots, only pilots flying wings classified up to DHV 2/3 or AFNOR performance will be allowed to compete in the competition.
How can I find out about any changes to the site?
We will notify significant changes on the home page and on the BPCup facebook page and the BPCup Telegram. You can also use a website such as WatchThatPage or ChangeDetection to notify you automatically.
What if I miss the last registration window?
Unless agreed with the organisors you will not score in the competition. Pilots who think they may not be able to make the latest registration time must notify the organisors in advance. Unless agreed beforehand, a pilot will not be able to register once scoring for the event has commenced.
What is the procedure at Registration?
Try to get to registration during the evening before the first event. If you cant, make sure you turn up before 9 am on day 1 of the comp otherwise you may lose your place. Come to registration with the following:
1. Valid BHPA card, you may not be allowed to fly without it!
2. Your GPS, and optionally a backup.
3. Entry fees you may owe
If you have a Garmin GPS, have it set to the following values:
1. UTC offset = +01:00
2. Map Datum = WGS84
3. Interface = Garmin/Garmin
If you have an MLR have the serial port Active, make the Datum WGS84. The Coordinate system may be set to whatever you like .
Read this document for a full breakdown on using the Garmin 76 Series for comps.
Note that you may need to change the GPS datum if you are given TP co-ordinates on the hill.
Delete all your waypoints in the GPSs. This is not essential, BUT if you subsequently have problems navigating the task due to conflicting waypoints or pilot numbers (see below), you will have no comeback against the organisers. In any case make sure you have no waypoints with negative signs before them.
If you dont know how to do these things please ask someone else before getting in the queue to upload. Once you have your GPS correctly configured, go to the desk with the plumbers Mac PC on it. Tell the nice man behind the monitor your pilot number and get your GPS(s) uploaded with the turn points for that weekend.
If you have a Garmin, the first waypoint on your GPS will now be a 3 digit negative number. This is your pilot number, eg -004, -058 -101 etc. If it is not 3 digits, change it or ask for help to do so.
Once uploaded, go to the next nice man with the laptop and tell him your pilot number. You will be given a print out of all the details have you have previously submitted. Check the information is correct and add any other required info, eg: where you are staying for the duration of the comp, and any changes to your wing. Note that wing modifications require documented evidence that it is still safe to fly.
Sign the form, collect any handouts/clothing/grub tickets/maps etc etc then go and start enjoying yourself. Dont overdo it though!
What is the process at briefing?
Normally a loud air horn will signify the imminent start of a briefing, ideally at 9 am on day 1 after registration is completed. Bring a pen and a note pad as you might get more information than you can remember.
Apart from the usual niceties regarding thanking hosts etc, the important bits will touch on safety. The BP Cup is an entry level comp and the concept of having a good time whilst improving your flying is encouraged. The Cup generally has a fair selection of experienced competition pilots flying in the comp either as wind dummies or in the Open category. If you want information on anything to do with comp flying, they will be very pleased to give you the right pointers.
The weather situation will be discussed and the site of choice will be announced. If the weather is not playing ball, a re-brief will be called and the time of that given there and then. Sometimes if a site is a reasonable distance away, there may be a briefing in the car park or on top of the hill.
Please try to double up with transport as some car parks cant cope with the numbers.
What happens at 'On The Hill' briefings?
The Meet Director will have the local club pilots as advisors on weather, airspace and what is considered an appropriate task for the day. The primary consideration will be safety, and several questions will be addressed.
1. Can a large group of pilots all take off safely, given the size of hill and the weather conditions?
2. How can pilots be spread apart to avoid clumping when the gate opens?
3. Are excessive walkouts involved if pilots go down along track?
4. Will the topography and weather allow safe landings along track and at goal?
5. Is the weather set fair or may conditions become dangerous during the task period?
You are likely to experience several comp days in which individual flight was both possible and enjoyable but a task could not be set because of such safety criteria. Eventually a taskboard will be shown and it will have a lot of information on it. Make sure you have your pen and paper handy. See the tasks section of the FAQ for what all the abbreviations mean.
A phone number for SMS reporting of your safe landing will also be on the board along with a voice check in number and any emergency numbers you may need.
The task will be stated with respect to the waypoints that have been uploaded to your GPSs. Its not unknown though for a completely new waypoint to be given to you for manual entry. Make sure you know how to do this. If these are British Grid references, which is likely, you will need to change the GPS datum to British Grid or ORD SURV GB 361 before you enter the TP co-ordinates.
BP Cup tasks are usually quite straightforward. A race to goal directly, or via 1-2 turn points is the norm, but depending on the weather an elapsed timed race may be declared. In other words its not who gets there first but its how long the flight took.
Air starts are the norm these days and you will be given times as follows; Take Off Window Open and Close,Task Start and Finish,Goal Close, Check-in Close, Land By, Report By.
Normally you are allowed to fly before the take off window opens, but you must land again and take off after the window opens to score in the task.
Do I need a working radio?
Yes, emergency frequencies will be given and you should be able to monitor transmissions on that frequency. It is not for general chit chat. If you want to fly and talk to a fellow pilot or a retrieve driver then you must have an alternate frequency. Some radios allow transmission on a set frequency but will periodically scan another. Find out if yours does this before launching. On the subject of radios, a common pain is PTTs (Push To Talk) and VOX (Voice operated transmit) hardware. We have all heard an incessant vario and wind noise coming out of our radios. If you never do, then theres a good chance you are the one transmitting. Dont use VOX and if you have to have PTT switch, make sure its in a location that needs positive action to enable it.
Are multiple attempts allowed?
This decision is task specific and made by the meet director. Sometimes, multiple attempts are allowed within the time frame constraints already posted. Details will be given on the day.
Can you help explain cylinders?
A graphical representation of the task with respect to the turn points will be on the board along with the text version of the task. The pictures are there to help you understand the context of the cylinder into which you are flying. For example, turn point 1 (TP1) may have a 10km radius external cylinder around it declared as the start gate. This means that you must record a GPS point outside that radius after the start time has elapsed. If you enter the radius before the start time you must exit, record a point and then return. Once inside the start gate radius you then still have to get within the 400m radius of the turn point to score it if it is also declared as a turnpoint for the task. Conversely the start gate might be, for example, 2km radius internal cyclinder from the take off, in which case if you go outside it before the start, you have come back inside it after the race start before proceeding.
Always check your understanding of the task before take off. If in doubt, ask.
Do I really need to use the 'Thermal Direction'?
Yes. This is a safety feature and can apply to an area around take off as seen fit by the Meet Director. It might be 1000 feet ATO and 1km radius or simply anywhere out side the start gate. It depends on the task. Failure to comply may lead to points penalties or disqualification.
Do I really need to sign the 'Sign to Fly' sheet?
Yes, it is imperative if you intend to fly the in the task. Once the task has been announced, a Sign To Fly sheet will be circulating the take off area. You must sign this to indicate YOUR decision to fly. Once signed, it is then your responsibility to make sure the organisation knows you are safe at the end of the task. If you fly and then go and get ratted in a pub for celebration or consolation, we may well be in the process of calling out the Mountain Rescue/Police to find you. This is a waste of resources, expensive and is irresponsible. You will only do this once before being banned from comps. It occurred last year and the pilot concerned won't be in the BPCup again.
One last point on the sign to fly sheet, if you forget to sign, your score is zero, even if you get to goal first.
What do I do when I land?
Immediately gather your wing and not leave it open on the ground. The latter is a distress sign, probably because crashed pilots dont normally get up and gather their wing. An open wing will attract attention and may force a Good Samaritan down to help you, when all youre doing is having a cigarette after your epic flight - a particular concern if you're a non-smoker. This applies to a side landing on the takeoff hill too.
Leave your GPS on while you are packing your glider then press Mark + Enter on your GPS to declare the end of your flight. This prevents problems if you leave it on to navigate yourself back to civilisation.
Send an SMS message to the appropriate number as given in the briefing, including your Name, Pilot Number, and location. If several of you are together, then one text will suffice for all. If you are in the boonies and expect a long walkout then try and contact the organisation with this info.
What do I do if I see a suspect injured pilot from above?
First, try to extablish if the pilot is injured or is just slow at packing up their canopy (see above). We are all charged with helping a down pilot as long as we are not endangering ourselves. You can help by either landing and supplying first aid or if landing is not an option you can relay messages of position, access, possible state of the pilot, etc etc to the meet director on the safety frequency. Your task score will be adjusted accordingly.
What do I do when I'm back at the competition base?
It is important to get your GPS to the upload PC even if you just did a TTB. You may well score points just for the attempt. Every pilots flight is integral to the overall score of the task. If you flew the task and then realise you didnt sign to fly, we still need your track log.
We also need to know you are back and safe from your flight. We dont want anyone left in the boonies. Please make sure you have been signed in back at base as safe. If you send in your GPS with a fellow pilot, then their word you are safe is acceptable.
How do I ensure I don't upset the locals?
Observe the County Code of conduct and respect other peoples privacy and property. Use gates and styles. Dont climb over walls or fences. If a gate is open leave it open, and if its shut, close it afterwards. If you land in a field full of stock, make your apologies to the farmer and explain the nature of the sport. The farmer might be annoyed but some calm, apologetic and valid arguments for landing where you did often have the desired effect. You might even get tea and biscuits and a lift to civilisation afterwards. It has happened. Take your litter home with you or find a bin.
How do I contact the organisers?
Email Gareth or Viv
What do I do if my question is not answered here?