This information may be of particular interest to anyone new to competition flying or who has been away from UK competitions for some time. If you still have questions about any aspect of the competitions after reading this guide, please feel free to email us on hgcompspanel@gmail.com or post a question on the Telegram Chat group referred to below.

Why enter a BOS competition

Flying in competition allows you to challenge and expand your flying experiences in one of the most supportive and welcoming environments you will find. 

What is involved and what happens next? 

This brief guide covers what to expect during the first few days at your first competition.

What to do in advance of a competition

Find out about the Base:

The Base is normally in or near a Caravan Site.  Information on the Base for each round is published on the HG Comps Website
Find out about the Sites: Read the site guides for the clubs surrounding the area where you are going.  You will find links to the relevant clubs on the BOS tab on the  HG Comps Website

Join the BOS Telegram Chats:

If you do not use Telegram then you need to download Telegram first.  BOS Official, BOS Scurrilous (others may be added)
If you know another pilot who is on the group, ask them to invite you, otherwise email us on hgcompspanel@gmail.com

Mobile Phones & Trackers

For Android users, install Richard Hunt’s Tracker application. 
Tracker will:
  • automatically send your location by text to up to two of your contacts, at a time interval of your choice, which will relieve the stress from your retrieve and get you back to base quicker;
  • record an IGC tracklog which can act as a backup in case your main GPS tracker fails;
  • connect to Livetrack24 and other online services so that your friends can follow your progress on the Internet in real time (e.g. on https://xcrt.aero).

Download Richard Hunt’s Tracker from here

  • Follow the instructions on the website carefully, in particular the instructions at https://www.mycloudbase.com/tracker/readme.htm for preventing your phone’s battery management tools from switching Tracker off when you don’t want it to!
  • Once you press start Tracker will send messages as soon as it has reception - that may be once you take off and climb.  So even if you don't have reception on launch, press START anyway.
  • If you choose to use auto-stop,  remember to restart after top-land, or if you move more than the set [200m] distance away from where you started Tracker.
    • You are recommended to test your tracker in advance of a competition, e.g. travelling to work.
For iphones users: FlySkyHy is what is generally pointed to for iPhone

Check Mobile phone coverage:

The different operators, coverage varies greatly between venues.  A cheap pre-pay phone on a different network is useful as a backup.  Please use a mobile phone coverage checker or ask for information on the Telegram Chat.

Upload Waypoints to your GPS:

Waypoint files for the competitions will be posted on the HG Comps Website no later than one week before.  Upload the waypoint files if you know how to do so, or can get someone to help you.  If you need help with this please email us on hgcompspanel@gmail.com and we will help make arrangements for support.

Entering Coordinates into GPS:

Occasionally you may also need to enter coordinates into your GPS.  If you do so, then this will be in "decimal minutes" format (DDD.MM.MMM), so set your instrument accordingly and try from the comfort of your sofa.  Again you can ask for support with this at the time.

Controlled airspace:

An openair format file for controlled airspace will be available for download from  this section of HG Comps website no later than one week before. You are recommended to use an instrument that can display airspace and provide warnings. The responsibility for remaining legal remains with the pilot. Feel free to carry an up to date paper map also.

We may also provide additional updates for NOTAMS and such during the competition.

Register in advance

Procedures for registration will be posted on the HG Comps Website. If you register before the date set for registration you will pay less.  Surcharges apply after this date and for individual round entries. 

Car sharing:

Use the BOS scurrilous Telegram chat to liaise with other pilots participating in the same event as you about options for car sharing. 

On arrival

Try to arrive in good time, the afternoon before if possible. This will give you an opportunity to set up camp, meet people, and gently settle into an initially alien world at ease.  Competitions are all about being organised and minimising the stress of last minute panics.

In the evening:

You are advised to check with someone that your GPS and your Tracker is set up correctly.  There will be experienced pilots on the campsite who can help with this but please try to  make arrangements in advance through the Telegram Chat.

If you have arranged to car share, try to meet up with others in your group. Meet up early with the rest of your group to decide which cars will be going up the hill, and then load it up with (say) three gliders.  If this cannot be done the evening before then meet early the next morning. 
This needs to be done before the briefing as everything happens very quickly afterwards.  


You will have registered for the event on-line in advance.  This will normally be followed up  at the first morning briefing: usually 9.00am, where:

  • You will be marked as present (if you arrive late, you must register with Meet Director before flying)
  • BHPA membership will be checked if necessary (e.g. expiry was due after online registration). Note that BHPA provide an online membership card so you can show your membership on your phone.
  • Important telephone numbers will be shared
  • Access to the Telegram Groups will be confirmed.
  • Information about how to get involved in social events may be shared though this is more likely to happen on Telegram group.
  • It is important to check that you do in fact have ALL the waypoints required.  On some instruments you will need to delete all the existing ones first to make space and if you have neglected to do so may have less than you think.
  • If you have not yet made arrangements for car sharing, make this known now so that the number of vehicles going to the hill can be reduced as far as possible.

On the first day

Briefing is usually 9.00am for 15 - 30 minutes (depending on weather and site).  This will be at the campsite or other nominated meeting point nearby.  Time and location will be announced on the BOS Official Telegram group the evening before. 
The briefing will normally include: 

  • a weather briefing, 
  • NOTAM briefing, 
  • which site we are heading to
  • anything else organisational that cannot be done on Telegram
  • In the case of bad weather: talks may also be arranged and alternative tourist suggestions made.

Subsequent briefings may take place in an alternative venue or on a hill.  Where this is the case, the decision may be notified on BOS Official Telegram the evening before.

  • At the end of briefing, everybody will then disappear quite quickly into their transport and drive to the hill - so it is helpful to know where this is and where you are going from somebody in advance.
  • The first day is usually more shambolic than described, you will fall into routine quite easily after that.
  • As the Meet Director may provide additional information or decisions using the BOS Official Telegram, it is important to check this regularly during the competition.

On the hill

You will probably find pilots already there ahead of you who will be assessing conditions.  Rig once other people start rigging.

Once everybody is rigged there will then be a site and task briefing, followed by another brief lull while the clock ticks down until launch opens - normally indicated by a blast of the Meet Director’s horn.  

If using Tracker

Press START in advance (with activation distance of say 200m) and then stow it in your harness and forget it until you land. 

If using auto-stop,  remember to restart after top-land, or if you move more than the set [200m] distance away from where you started Tracker.

You can, and should, then launch to get established early in the air.  

On Task

The gliders will stay above the hill until the time of the "start gate", only then are you permitted to fly away from the hill.  Leave early and you will get zero points. 

Gliders will try to form into gaggles before then, somewhat ironically competitions are much more about cooperation and collaboration.  The task itself is kept straightforward for the Club Class and you will have been briefed separately on the hill if flying in Club Class.

On landing

Stop Tracker: If you are using Tracker, remember to press STOP. This will automatically send your location to your named contact(s) in Tracker.

Send Landed Safe Message: Text the Land Safe number

Send your landing location:  To BOS Scurrilous Telegram

  • Send your location by “dropped pin” in Android or Apple maps.  If you don’t know how to do this, ask someone before you fly.  Make sure your retrieve knows how to get directions to a dropped pin.
  • Update it if you subsequently move, for example if you carry your glider to the roadside. 
  • When your glider is safe to leave, if you are in sight of a gateway near the road, it can be useful to place your harness at the roadside so that anyone driving past can see that there is a pilot in the field.  This is particularly helpful on remote country roads.
  • Send your location by “dropped pin” in Android or Apple maps.  If you don’t know how to do this, ask someone before you fly.  Make sure your retrieve knows how to get directions to a dropped pin.

Pyramid Retrieve: If you have opted in to the Pyramid Retrieve system, follow agreed instructions for this.  There will be additional Telegram group for tthe Pyramid Retrieve.

After being picked up

Ideally, you should email your igc file to the scorer as soon as possible.  You must also check that the scorer receives this.

Unless you have confirmation that the scorer has received your file and that it looks ok, you must go directly back to the Base and find the scorer.  Check BOS Official Telegram for scorer location.

You must ensure that your igc file is in before going for food or drink.  The reason for this is that your flight will affect all scores and not just your own. 

If you are unsure about how to download your igc file, take your GPS to the scorer who will help you download and check your track.

Go for beer, chat, chill out, charge instruments, and get ready to do it all again tomorrow.

Useful links for sharing locations

Here I Am 2 - https://play.google.com/store/apps/detailsid=com.codesector.hereiam&hl=en