Thursday, January 10, 2013

Landing out for more points

The "Finish Ring" is a circle of three kilometers radius, centered at the airfield. If you fly (or roll) into the circle, you have successfully completed the Task. Well done.

But wait, there's more! In order to encourage you to land back at the airfield, they have created an incentive to enter the Finish Ring at a height sufficient to make it to the runway. The incentive comes in the form of a penalty for entering the Ring below a specified height.

The height of this "floor" of the Finish Ring is typically 50 to 150 meters above the ground, an altitude from which it is, in fact, impossible to get to the runway safely.

Apparently, they assume that everyone will arrive with great speed. Where this assumption comes from is anyone's guess.

Yesterday, in a conversation with Polish Team Captain Jacek Dankowski, I learned that one of their guys landed out just short of the Ring on the day that no one got back.

It turns out that the pilot did exactly the right thing. By stretching his glide, he was able to reach the Finish Ring, barely. Instead of making a finish, he made a single circle, landed outside the Ring, and carefully rolled to within 100 meters of it. Instead of being the only finisher that day, he opted to be the closest landout. By doing this he avoided the finish penalty and maximized his score.

If you think the rules are silly, write to your IGC Delegate and tell him.


  1. I would have hoped someone on the team had read the rules, oh well.
    The penalty is 1pt/metre below finish height *NOT EXCEEDING ACHIEVED SPEED POINTS*. Of which you get none for an outlanding, so no harm in finishing below height if it's not possible otherwise. (Sporting Code 3, Annex A, 8.7 "Incorrect Finish"

  2. Me too! On some days, the number of speed points available is so small, they're not worth pursuing, and landing out increases your score.


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