It is widely recognised that one of the best ways of improving your flying skill is to participate in competitions. Below are the details of the most popular local and national competitions.
Local and national leagues
The Dales club participates in the popular national cross-country league for hang gliders (www.uknxcl.co.uk) and paragliders (www.xcleague.com). Registration is free for the hang glider league and for the Dales aspect of the paragliding league in which any distance of over 5km flown from a Dales site counts. The national aspect of the paragliding league requires a modest registration fee which contributes to the annual prizes and running costs. Unique and much coveted Dales XC mugs are awarded each year for cumulative distances of 50km and upwards.
More recently an XContest UK has been set up, which promises a modern platform, hassle free igc upload, simplified scoring and several other benefits, plus it is free. Dales members are encouraged to submit their cross country flights to both the national league and XContest UK (https://www.xcontest.org/united-kingdom/).
On a national level the British Paragliding Cup, which usually holds a round near the Dales each year, is where you can sharpen your XC skills in more formal but friendly tasks, pitching individual pilots against each other. There is usually a group from the Dales representing the club at each round. Check out www.bpcup.co.uk.
The British Championships represent the top national-level paragliding competition, and although it has largely given up on the weather in UK, is always represented by Dales’ pilots. See www.pgcomps.org.uk for more information.
In hang gliding terms a round of the British Open Series (BOS) is normally held each year in the Dales and details can be found at www.bos.bhgcomps.uk.
The club presents a number of awards, normally at the farmers’ dinner or a club night in the spring. Members are invited to submit nominations for ‘Cock of the Dales’ and the ‘Fairbrother Trophy’.
- HG XC Shield - 1st place XC league
- PG XC Shield - 1st place XC league
- 2nd place XC league
- 3rd place XC league
- Founders Trophy HG - Longest XC from the Dales
- Founders Trophy PG - Longest XC from the Dales
- Baildon Sod PG - Fun Glide Comp
- Baildon Sod HG - Fun Glide Comp
- Northern PG Trophy - Best total distance in first* year of XC
- Active Edge PG Cup - Best first* XC
- Cock of The Dales - Most enthusiastic pilot
- Cockcroft Cup - Most improved pilot
- Fairbrother Trophy - Pilot’s pilot
- Mark Sellen Trophy - Services to the club
- Northern Paragliding XC cup - Best triangle, out and return or flight to goal made in the Dales
- Best Skywords article - Decided by the editor
* based upon performance in this year’s XC league with no entries in previous years
The Dodd Grid Challenge
Inspired by the Parlick Grid Challenge, DHPC are proud to present the Dodd Grid Challenge. The concept is simple, take off, and then try to achieve at least one tracklog point in each cylinder, in numerical order. We think most of the cylinders up to about number 12 could just about be achieved with dynamic lift alone, but the rest would need some thermal assistance. Some of the later ones may be tricky....
Cylinders are all 400m except for no.1 at 200m. All cylinders are centred on British national grid squares, so the distance between adjacent centre points is 1km.
The competition will run over each calendar year, with the yearly winner being the pilot scoring the greatest number of cylinders in sequence. In the event of a tie, the leader will be the pilot scoring most recently... so if somebody beats you, have another go and try to do better.
Download the waypoints below (right-click and select "Save target as" or "Save link as"):
Use GPS babelfish to convert formats if required: http://www.gpsvisualizer.com/gpsbabel/gpsbabel_convert
By downloading the waypoints pilots acknowledge that the decision to participate in the challenge, take off and fly, and responsibility for judging whether flying conditions are suitable, is entirely their own.
Three Peaks Challenge
The club has a unique challenge: to fly a loop around all of the Yorkshire Three Peaks - Whernside, Ingleborough and Pen-y-Ghent. It's only been successfully completed a few times, although a couple of top pilots have been caught out by a technicality. If you want to give it a go study the rules carefully.
Northern Challenge Series
The 2023, Northern Challenge Series (NCS) is now OPEN. This is an informal paragliding competition/pilot development challenge based on pre-defined tasks covering the area of all the local clubs. Tasks can be attempted at a pilot's convenience and vary between grid challenges, cat's cradles, triangles, and hike and fly routes of varying size and difficulty. All information and task details can be accessed using the following links.
For information and guidance, including background, aims and other notes:
For details on the tasks and scoring, including task file downloads for various instruments, uploads for scoring, results tables and explantory notes on the scoring system:
The Baildon Sod
Most years a fun event on Baildon Moor called the Baildon Sod is undertaken. It takes the form of a gliding task, in which each competitor attempts to fly as far as he/she can in a straight line or dog leg, to perform a stand-up landing within two glider spans of a predetermined line out from the hill.
The coveted prize 'The Baildon Sod' symbolises a turf cut from beneath the boot of the winner at the winning touch-down. Conditions should be nil wind or very light for the best fun to be had. Keep an eye on the website for details.
Dales Site Records
View our current site cross country records.