Three weeks, two championships, one epic moment in time.

World Sportsman Glider Aerobatic Championship - GATE of OZ

That’s the beginner level of glider aerobatics.

1. Difficulty of Figures: Figures in the Sportsman category are simple and fundamental. They require basic aerobatic knowledge and skills but do not involve extreme maneuvers or high G-forces.

2. Maneuvers: Typical maneuvers in this category include basic loops, rolls, turns, and spins. There are no complex combinations or extreme figures.

3. Limitations: The aircraft requirements are minimal, and most standard gliders and training aircraft can perform these maneuvers.

4. Competitions: The Sportsman category is ideal for beginners in aerobatics who want to gain initial competition experience. It provides a safe and controlled environment to learn and perfect basic aerobatic maneuvers.

World Advanced Glider Aerobatic Championship - WAGAC

This is intermediate level for advanced flying pilots.

1. Difficulty of Figures: The Advanced category features more challenging figures that require a higher level of skill and experience than the Sportsman category.

2. Maneuvers: This category includes more complex maneuvers and combinations, such as rolls in different directions, inverted flight, and outside loops.

3. Limitations: The aircraft need to be more robust to withstand moderate G-forces and the stresses of more advanced aerobatics.

4. Competitions: Advanced category competitions are designed for pilots who have mastered basic aerobatics and are ready for more demanding routines.

World Glider Aerobatic Championship - WGAC

That’s the ultimate level of glider aerobatics.

1. Difficulty of Figures: The Unlimited category contains the most complex and demanding figures, requiring the highest level of skill and experience.

2. Maneuvers: This category includes extreme maneuvers and combinations, such as multiple snap rolls, negative, and complex vertical and horizontal figures.

3. Limitations: The aircraft must be specially designed and built to handle very high G-forces and the extreme stresses of top-level aerobatics.

4. Competitions: Unlimited category competitions are for the world’s best aerobatic pilots, showcasing the most advanced and challenging routines.

The Programs

The sequences flown during competitions are known as programs and consist of at least seven figures. The start of the program is indicated by the pilot performing the “waggling in,” which involves raising and lowering the wings three times. The program concludes with the “waggling out.”

The Program is either written and known by the pilots themselves, called “The Known”. Or it is provided by the judges and is called “The Unknown”.

The Aerobatic Box

To ensure a challenging experience for pilots and accurate scoring by judges, the program must be executed within a designated area called the aerobatic box. This box is a 1000-meter cube that hovers 200 meters above the ground. The edges and centerlines are marked with large, white ground markers, such as laid-out cloths. Additionally, an arrow along the centerline indicates the main direction of the box (against the wind). If you see large white tarps in the fields, please leave them undisturbed.

The Judges

Judges are positioned about 150 to 250 meters from the side of the box and closely watch the sky. A scribe sits nearby, ready to document the judges’ scores. The chief judge ensures that no performance is missed, mediates disputes and adjusts scores in rare cases. Occasionally, the chief judge may also score performances and generally serves as the point of contact for any issues raised.

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