Call for bids to host the 2012/13 series of FAI Sailplane Grand Prix Qualifying events

IGC President Bob Henderson looks forward to an enthusiastic response to the call for bids to host the 2012/13 series of FAI Sailplane Grand Prix Qualifying events. The more the terrain and conditions vary between sites, the greater the challenge for the competing pilots, whether home-grown or taking up the 5 or so international visitor slots per contest. All of which produces a series where excitement and interest grow as the individual qualifying races single out the finalists to fly for the ultimate title. With entries limited to a maximum 20 pilots, to ensure safety during the regatta starts and, usually, very close, breathtaking finishes, potential bidders need fewer organising staff than for a conventional, longer championship. Fewer pilots take less time to launch so your task-setters can take full advantage of even very limited weather windows should your event fall in a period of patchy weather. Recurring evening storms, for instance, damped last month's French qualifier at Saint Auban but clever tasking still produced a very enjoyable series of flights. Spectators watch as the gliders make their tactical getaway and, at the final, can often track the action beamed to large screens positioned at the heart of the airfield’s activity. Saint Auban used a smaller screen in the airfield reception hall which was enjoyed not only by crews and visitors but was visible to the director from his office. No more wondering who the winner is, as is often the case in aerial contests, due to complex scoring systems. In a QGP, as in the final, you know the result as soon as the winning glider flashes past you. Have a look at the document in the GP section of the IGC pages entitled QGP Guidelines 2011 while you and your team think about bidding to organise one. IGC experts, who are constantly improving and developing the Grand Prix format, will support and advise you at all stages and an IGC-appointed Referee will oversee the whole contest on site. And, wherever you are in the world, watch out for reports from this year’s Grand Prix final, beginning at Germany's mythical Wasserkuppe, in the site's 100th birthday year, from 23rd to 31st July. But don't forget, if your airfield has got what it takes, send in your bid for the 2012/13 qualifying series as soon as you can. The deadline is looming! Don't miss the opportunity to give gliding in your country something special to boost its public appeal.