Torrey Pines Gulls Thermal Competition Rules

The Thermal Coordinator shall coordinate all thermal soaring events and ensure that thermal contests are properly governed and directed. The Thermal Coordinator shall maintain a complete record of performance by all thermal contests entrants and be the chairman of the Awards Committee. The Thermal Coordinator may appoint any staff he feels will be required to conduct any event. This staff can include: scorekeeper, assistant contest director, field manager, Safety officer. etc. Any permanent positions must be approved by the Executive Council. The Thermal Coordinator shall act as safety officer at all thermal events sponsored by the society.

Contest Guidelines

Competition Classes

There shall be two competition classes, flown at the same contest: Unlimited and RES.
Unlimited may be flown by any sailplane without a motor.
RES may be flown by any sailplane that is controlled by Rudder, Elevator and spoiler. No movable trailing edge may be used on the primary wing.

Entry Fees

Entry fees will be $5 per class
Contest Location

All contests will be flown at the Encinitas or Poway CD will be responsible to have equipment for at the Poway field. Rain: (Encinitas Field only) – if there is rain within 5 days of a scheduled contest, (less than ¼ inch will not be considered a rain) the contest will be moved from Encinitas to Poway and an update will be posted on the website and sent to the TPG e-mail list.

Competitor Classes

There will be three competitor classes flown in unlimited:

Master—determined by average normalized from the prior year scores above 925 or if no contests flown, previous experience/placing (i.e. member of an FAI team, etc)

Expert—Average below 925 but too good to be in Sportsman class

Sportsman—everyone else

All classes will be determined by the above criteria and pilots will remain in their respective classes until promoted OR demoted. There will be a review after the June and December contests and the standard for promotion/demotion will be based on average normalized scores (with high and low thrown out) as follows:

925-1000 = Master
850-924 = Expert
849 = Sportsman

There will be one competitor class flown in RES, pilots will fly against each other.
First time novice pilots will fly in the Sportsman class but will not be required to pay an entry fee for their first two contests.

Exception: First place winners for the year for Expert and Sportsman shall move to the next class i.e. Expert to Master and Sportsman to Expert


All contests shall have at least 4 rounds with the exception of man-on-man events which may have 3, subject to weather or other conditions. Contest Directors will coordinate tasks with the Thermal Coordinator and provide contest announcement on the club website. Announcement shall be submitted no later than the 15th of each month. In addition, the CD will write a brief article following the contest to appear in the next newsletter.


All timing shall be consistent with the “rounding” method. Times which show X:XX.50 shall round up to the next second. Times which show X:XX.49 shall use the seconds shown on the watch.


All competition classes and competitor classes shall be scored together at each contest. All scores shall be maintained to two decimal places.

Yearly Cumulative Scoring

All Unlimited and RES pilot classes shall be scored together and normalized to 1000 points. The season championship shall be determined by the best 9 of 12 contests. If one or more monthly contests are cancelled, there will be at least two throw-out contests allowed to determine the season champion in each class. For example—if we only fly 9 contests, your best 7 will count and so on.

Awards & Prizes

Monthly contests will feature ribbons for each class. 1st, 2nd & 3rd place. There must be at least 5 pilots in each class to qualify for ribbons 1st-3rd.

Year-end awards shall be given for Sportsman, Expert, Master and RES. In addition to the top 3 positions in each category, the following will be awarded:

1. “Most Improved” Awarded to the pilot who shows significant improvement throughout the season (based on contest point totals from beginning to end).

2. “Bulls eye” award for the most 100 point landings

3. High Score Award given to the pilot with the most total points for the season with no throw outs. This award will be given only if the winner is a different person from the season point champion.

4. All first place winners from Expert and Sportsman shall move up to the next class. i.e. Expert to Master and Sportsman to Expert class.