Checklist for Competitions

General things to do before a Comp

 - when is the best flying for the proposed site?
 - register with SAHPA, get bid form, return to SAHPA, get it approved , try for CAT 2

- Entry Fee? Early bird reduced entry fee?

 - Spread the word, also overseas, XC MAG,  Aero Club events calendar, SAHPA comp calendar  
 - Setup a website, which has info on when, where, how to get there, where to stay, how much, bankdetails
 - Prepare an indemnity form , the legal fine print that one signs, to make sure you do not get taken to the cleaners when things go wrong
- Appoint some steward/jury to avoid protests and when they happen to handle them
-  Prepare an entry form, post it on the web for any extra info which is not collected by what you can get via the web based entry that you can get via 

 - CAT 2 or CAT 3 ?
 - look at CIVL website for latest CIVL rules re CIVL comps
     guidelines from
 - arrange Paramedics , inform local police that you run a comp and who to contact if there is a problem
 - maybe inform ATC, and have a  NOTAM, NOTAM 6 months lead time
 - check with SAHPA Ops and Proc Section 10 , 10-A,   if the link still works

- Get the comp rules to SAHPA for approval

- Get SAHPA to inform CAA , if necessary, NOTAM
 - Big sponsors  need  a year for budget planning
 - Press, media coverage ?
 - trophies ? categories ?
 - budget
 - accommodation facilities
 - local towncouncil , local community, food specials, internet cafe, mountain bike rentals, bad weather alternatives,
 - takeoff big enough , transport, garbage bags/bins, toilets/toiletpaper,  food/drinks ?

 - recovery vehicles
 - hamper bags, goodies, give aways , T-Shirt ?
 - indemnity form, rules, regulations
 - sponsor logos, bitmap files for rules booklet, RACE results, T shirts
 - setup a website with info of when , where, accomodation, contacts,
       and  inform CIVL website to register, advertise comp
 - meet center, scoring venue, meet center, desks, power points, extension cables
 - kokie pens, flipchart paper, notice board, prestic , printer, printerpaper

- task board

-  balloons, +helium for wind direction,  from a party shop

- windsock , streamers
 - a 2 hole punch file to file/keep the entry forms and paperwork of the pilots. File the forms in pilot number sequence. When the pilot crashes, then you need the medical aid info and family contacts from this file in a hurry. Most of the times we got pilot number x is missing, or has crashed, so... sort by number. Or use RACE to query the details.


- put up a board, stick up some info stating when registration starts

- Stick up the rules. No need, I reckon, to print them for everyone.
- have some tables lined up
 - have an entryform with a checklist prepared, each station ticks off on the form as the pilot gets processed

 table with entry forms, indemnities, pens for pilots to get a form and sit down and fill out form/s

 1. - check if pilot is current, has a current license and SAHPA membership. One can use the SAHPA2RACE code to do this. Otherwise  send him off to a SAHPA rep to pay SAHPA or temp membership
 2. - allocate a pilot number, check if someone has a certain preferred number, that there is no clash, make use of the spreadsheet
 3. - write the allocated number on the form
 4. - check if he has pre paid entry, otherwise has to pay now his entry
 5. - enter into RACE , there is a code called SAHPA2RACE who does the checking and enters the pilots
 6. - hand out any pilot number sticker,
 7. - give out hamper bag, maps, T shirt ,....
 8. - collect the entry form, indemnity and put it in the file
 9. - and have some GPS turnpoint upload facilities for pilots to get their turnpoints uploaded, this could/should be the same place where the scoring will happen

 or something like that. Comps tend to start of chaotic at registration.

Scoring related , before the Competition

Arrange 1 PC for 30 entries, in average a SAHPA comp with 80-100 entries needs 4 PCs .
Best have them networked together.
Dataxfer using stiffies gives problems.
Find volunteers ,best have  2 per PC to operate the GPS downloads and take over from each other.

Ideally have 1 person assigned to be in charge of the RACE  scoring and 1 person assigned to be in charge of the GPS scoring.

Have one person to handle DNF, and tick off each pilot as down and safe.

 The RACE admin person handles the printing of results, fixes wrong names, allocates the pilot into the correct category, does the sponsor text,...

  The GPS admin person handles track queries, updates GPS firmware, handles Comms problems with GPS devices,

Decide on categories and publish the categories on the web along with your comp announcement.
      Like Novice, Intermediate, Sports, Serial, Open, Tandem, ...
  which impacts on the Entry Form
        And if  you got prizes  for male and female
 It all depends on the number of trophies, sponsored prizes that you got to give away.
Then define the category by  x amount of flights, x years of experience, licence grade,  x amount of years of flying, ..
 And publish it along with the entry forms
Have an early entry form  on the web that caters for preferred pilot number and category.
 The database Catalog for RACE has to be setup upfront with the categories before the beginning of the comp.
 RACE Catalog has to be ready before  you start defining a competition in RACE using that catalog.
When you start loading pilots into RACE then the categories have to be in place.
 To change them afterwards,  like trying to add another category, becomes a problem.
Decide on short names for Categories, like NM, SP, OM.
Long names use up space in the results tables in RACE and make the design and layout of the printed result sheets a problem
Use the SAHPA2RACE ,if possible, to load the pilots. Otherwise the names and details of pilots differ from one comp to another.
 Which will cause problems  when calculating the National ranking and WPRS if the names differ slightly.

   ------- RACE related  -----------------------

RACE is a must for any SAHPA CAT 3 and FAI Cat 2 comp. For a fun comp you can do without it.
But for a comp which is used for National ranking on for WPRS ( World Pilot Ranking System) one has to deliver the results in a RACE database at the end of the comp.

Install RACE , with  latest level from the CIVL/FAI web site
RACE SP2 or higher  includes the SAHPA Formula  Version1.
Version 1 has a fixed approach for using the entry classes and licence grades.
It uses IM, IF, NF, NM, OM, OF, T .
And requires 1 entrant at least for each class.
( if one is zero, one gets a divide by 0 error,  sorry no score , big bummer... ..)
The RACE2003 from the CIVL website contains the SAHPA Formula V2 which has a bug and wrong defaults.
Get the latest SAHPA Formula code from the author.
In 2003 RACE 2003 with FAI number field came out. Make sure the FAI number is filled out  in CAT 2  for the WPRS.
In 2004 the SAHPA db got changed.  Use SAHPA2RACE S2RV6 code level.

   Step 1 - Get and install RACE

   go to the CIVL website and download RACE.
 Contact whoever is in charge of the SAHPA Formula for RACE to get the latest story on what works and what not.

   Step 2 - For a PG comp add or modify the SAHPA Formula for RACE to the RACE Code

Use the latest SAHPA Formula for RACE  Version  of the code which is available for download from the   website.
Version 2 requires an avapk.csv file in RACE/DATA and caters for different pilot classes.
Recommend to have MS ACCESS at hand to figure out the pointer id's which are used within RACE to
get the cross reference right between RACE and the names used.

Step 3 - Define the RACE Catalog with the correct attributes for License and Category to work correct with the SAHPA Formula

  Build up a CATALOG first in RACE.
Pre load RACE with the turnpoints , takeoff, goals. Either by hand or using  the Waypoint2Race code or TP can feed turnpoints to RACE.

If you run a PG comp, pre-load the Catalog in the correct sequence for the SAHPA formula with Attributes for License and Category.
To get the correct sequence, use a previous comp RACE database that worked and see how it was done.
 Add a Team attribute.  Use another comp that worked and figure out how it was done

   Step 4 - Define a RACE Competition from the Catalog

 Once the catalog seems to be in place, create a competition in Race based on the catalog.
 RACE SP2 SAHPA FORMULA V1  allows to set a minimum distance. RACE2002 SAHPA FORMULA V2 has a fixed value of 3 km.
If the 3 km needs changing, one has to climb with MS Access into the catalog of competition mdb file.
And make sure your have exported the tblAttributeValue value as csv, Delimited, Comma to C:\avapk.csv

   Step 5 - Fill the competition Catalog or Database with turnpoints and pilot data

One can pre load the Competition either by hand or use the SAHPA2RACE program to fill it with pilot info.
Important that avapk2 matches the license grade id as programmed in the code and the comp database.
Visual Basic compiler can be handy to recompile the code to match the RACE database setup for your comp.
SAHPA2RACE will do the  checking if entrants are current members.

If pilots register upfront, you can load them into RACE already, reduces workload at the 1st comp day.
And warn expired pilots to renew beforehand.

Do not load  non SAHPA  pilots into the comp and accept them.
Expired pilots,  or foreign pilots without a local permit to fly, are flying illegal in sunny South Africa.
Not adhering to any legislation can give an insurance an excuse not to pay.
Expired local pilots are not covered by any insurance and make the organizers liable for any damage that they might cause.
Also expired pilots are not FAI registered and as such put the comp at risk to be accepted by FAI.
CIVL reckons that a comp should have stewards to check that every pilot has an FAI card.

Also make sure everyone has paid to the comp organizers and signed the indemnity.
For this a 2 hole punch  file is still the best solution where you keep the entry forms and paperwork for each pilot in pilot number sequence.

Once you got the system setup give it a test with some invented task to see if the GPS to RACE interface and the RACE Formula works.
All the way to printing results.
The printouts need fixing in every comp in the RACE layout to get the names and scores aligned properly.

Have MS ACCESS at hand in case one has to climb into the RACE database and rearrange the Attribute entries.

When using SAHPA Formula make sure every pilot got non empty entries for Category and License grade in RACE.
Otherwise the RACE scoring falls over when using the SAHPA formula.

  ------------ GPS related  ---------------------

  Step 1 - Collect all the GPS coordinates of Takeoffs, Turnpoints, Goals,...

Best use a GPS which also collects Altitude info of a waypoint. Like GPS12 Map, eMap, eTrex.
 Normal GPS12 will not store Altitude in a waypoint.
Ensure the GPS uses the correct grid system.
Avoid collecting GPS coordinates by hand and writing them down.
Leave the GPS in Averaging mode when collecting a turnpoint until the error is down to 4 meters.
Collect the Waypoints inside of a GPS by using Mark/Enter. And then use TP or Gartrip or  Gardown, or similar code to download and store them.
For the pilots who fly with a GPS Vario combination rename the turnpoints  using the  last 3 digits as altitude in 10 meters
Example T01156 means Turnpoint 01 and is 1560 meter above sea level.

Step 2 - Create a file with the coordinates, either using TP csv format, or Gardown, or Gartrip format  ...

And post it on the web as a download file.
This way  pilots who arrive early can already upload their GPS before the comp and start preparing themselves.
And you have less pilots at the day before the 1st task nagging you for downloads.

Step 3 - Install the  GPS scoring code on all the scoring PCs

Install the GPS scoring code on multiple PCs. Expect one PC to die every 2 days during the comp.
Avoid having only one PC with multiple downloads. It gets confusing of who is processed in what window with what score.
The one on one approach , one person handling one PC and processing one pilot at a time , will avoid any confusion.
Organize enough GPS interface cables. Obviously at least one per PC.
Have at least one eMap cable and 3 GPS 12 cable for an average SAHPA Comp.
Announce which cable you got and which have to be provided by pilots.

When  pilots arrive to register, check SAHPA, assign a number  and get their GPS and pilot ids uploaded.

During the comp you will have pilot number changes. Expect, cater for re assigning pilot numbers.

Step 4 - Test before the comp

 Make sure on each PC the up and downloads work ok
  Ensure the data looks ok, the file formats are compatible, all the PCs run on the same date and time format.
  Ensure the GPS grid system setting of the GPS are all the same

Also have Gartrip or other GPS software installed which will enable you to analyze tracks.
In case there is queries, problems.


During the Comp

each flying day

In TP create a new TASKx comp directory
Maybe reuse upload, pilnrid file and ini file from previous day, if available, or create new ones .

Start TP and create a new task and save it into the taskX directory
exit TP
start TP, load TaskX, Settings and change and save the Settings
exit TP
start TP, load the task, check if settings are set the way you want it

Then setup the Task in  RACE,  and get the Taskid from RACE.
Update the taskid used by RACE  in TP.
In TP, restart from scratch and check if everything works.
Check RACE Bulk XML output. No good to generate the bulk and something is wrong.
Make sure the correct RACE Task Id is used for the day. Otherwise you overwrite the data of another day.
start collecting GPS tracks
analyze and accept score
once all GPS are done
Use RACE/BULK and create XML bulk file called TASKxyyy
Read the XML file into RACE to get results into RACE

If there is a crisis and the XML does not work, write down each pilot score and type in by hand the score into RACE

Make zip backups of the results, downloads, scores onto stiffies of each day

Prize Giving

Thank you list

Sponsor banners

Decide if you give out trophies and if you raffle away the prizes. So that everyone gets something?

Catering for prize giving. Can be tricky if last day gets cancelled.


Alternative program

In case a day is blown out prepare an alternative program.

Like handtow fun event , weather and wind permitting.

Or if there is parawaiting, get some GPS guru to run a GPS workshop for the novice pilots.

Or some other events, visit whatever, ... swim,... hike,...