Domagoj Juretic - Sun, Nov 30 2008 11:02 am
Bid for 2009 Canadian Hang Gliding Nationals
Location: Sun Peaks, BC
Dates: Week of August 15 - 23
Fri, Sat - Official Practice Days and/or Travel Days
Sun - Sat - Competition
Sat night - Awards & Dinner
Sunday - Travel Day
Classes: Class B GAP/Racing Meet
King Posted Class
Other classes will be considered if interest warrants
The focus of our event will be on rebuilding declining pilot participation at all levels. We plan to achieve this by providing a well organized event at an exciting location, which offers something for everybody, and putting increased effort into promoting participation well in advance. The 2009 Nationals will be designed to appeal to the serious competition pilots as well as the less experienced intermediate pilots and will also provide a vacation experience for the spouses and drivers.
The Flying Site:
First and foremost, Sun Peaks is an excellent cross country flying site, which appeals to intermediate and advanced pilots alike. It is one of the higher sites in BC with a launch altitude of 6800 ft. The extra altitude often allows pilots to soar even when it is difficult to get up from lower sites. Soaring conditions in the summer months are generally excellent. There is a good, safe launch which faces three directions and has plenty of set-up room for as many competitors as required. Cross country flights are possible in all directions, providing the task committee with a greater variety of potential tasks than most other flying sites. We have access to a large, safe LZ within easy glide of the launch and there are generally good XC landing options in the area.
We have been in touch with management at Sun Peaks Resort and have confirmed that the Burfield chair lift will be made available to us for the duration of the event. The chair lift is a fun way to get people and equipment efficiently up to launch and eliminates the need for arranging rides up the mountain. The chair lift would be operated exclusively for the hang gliding competition and has been used successfully in past competitions. There was some concern at the 2007 Sun Peaks Fly-In that the chair lift hours of operation were too early in the morning, but this has been addressed with the Resort and will not be an issue if they have adequate notice to arrange staffing. The Sun Peaks Resort is supportive and excited about having us there, which makes all the difference. They would be operating the chair lift at a loss, but would view the event as a way of increasing exposure to the adventure aspect of the resort in the summer months.
HPAC insurance will be mandatory for all competitors. The Meet will be open to all pilots with an HPAC rating (or equivalent) of Intermediate and above. Acceptance of anybody not possessing this qualification will be at the discretion of the Meet Director and/or Safety Director. The intention is to encourage attendance from as broad a group of pilots as possible while ensuring all competitors have an acceptable level of safety.
The event has been scheduled for mid-August with a number of considerations in mind. The dates are later in the summer than previous years in order to avoid conflict with a number of prescheduled June/July competitions, including the Worlds, US Nationals, Willi XC and more. The later dates have the added benefit of allowing all competitors to be more current and confident, with more flying hours into the season than if the event were held in early summer. These dates work well with the Sun Peaks venue, as conditions tend to be dry, sunny and still very soarable at that time of year, unlike some other sites which are already becoming more stable later in the summer.
Sun Peaks and Area:
Sun Peaks is a very picturesque resort town which is well known in the winter for skiing, but is also a lively and scenic town in the summer months. The self contained village has all the basic amenities, including accommodations, dining, shopping, pubs, etc. Local attractions in the summer include an 18 hole golf course and driving range, swimming pool, hiking, mountain biking, tennis, horseback riding and more. The nature of the Sun Peaks Resort venue provides a great holiday experience for pilots and non-pilots alike. For additional amenities, the city of Kamloops is still reasonably close by.
Sun Peaks is within reasonable driving distance for most western Canadian competitors, approximately four hours from Vancouver and eight hours from Calgary and Edmonton. Commercial flights are available to Kamloops airport, Vancouver airport and also Kelowna airport, about 2.5 hours away.
Many types of accommodations to fit all budgets are available, all within close proximity to each other. A wide variety of hotel and condo accommodation is available for rent at discounted offseason prices. For the more budget minded, with the cooperation of Sun Peaks Resort Corp, Ian McArthur will make his property available for camping at nominal rates. The proximity of the accommodations and "village atmosphere" of Sun Peaks will provide a great social setting for pilots, family and friends in the evenings.
Entry fee's will likely average about $150/pilot, with a pre-registration fee structure to be determined. The following will be included:
Trophies and prizes
Contribution to World Team
Not included in the fee:
Daily chair lift fee. Payable directly to Resort and expected to be about $20/day.
The meet will be organized by Ralph Herten and Ian McArthur. Ralph will be the Meet Director. We plan to appoint a Competition Scorer and a Safety Director. We are in discussion with several people for these roles, but have not confirmed them at this time.
Ralph has been a regular competitor in the Canadian Nationals for about eight years and has also competed in other regional and international competitions, giving him a good perspective on what is involved with organizing such an event. He has been involved in organizing other hang gliding competitions, including "Miles in May" and "Fly for a Cure" competitions in Alberta. Ralph is a past resident of the Kamloops and Sun Peaks area and is familiar with the local flying scene.
Ian has been flying for 20+ years and competing in competitions for most of this time. He has had extensive experience organizing prior competitions, including several previous Canadian Nationals at Sun Peaks and East End Saskatchewan. Ian has been a resident of the Kamloops and Sun Peaks areas for 40 years and is well connected with the Sun Peaks Resort and surrounding community.