The transBalkan hike & fly paragliding competition goals are:
- to challenge participants to complete a route by series of paragliding flights and hikes during certain period of time;
- to select a winner and rank the pilots;
- to expand the meteorological knowledge of Balkan mountains;
- to melt borders and help friendship between pilots from different nations;
Mountain flying, top landings and improvised take offs have higher risks and therefore:
- participants must have attended at least 3 cross-country competitions in mountain terrain;
- pilots must fly safe for their level of experience EN certified wings;
- pilots must have rescue parachute, helmet and at least one GPS recorder with sufficient track log memory (i.e. Garmin 60 CSX);
- tandems are welcomed;
- all participants start as "competitors", but if they find it difficult throughout the event, then they can call the organizers and continue as "tourist". The "tourist" participation means skipping a turnpoint or part of the route, bust still aiming for the goal. No goal prizes, but still nice to be with others and have the same organization support.
Every participant have to pay 50 euro entry fee, which goes for:
- live tracker and online support;
- one delivery of goods prepared or paid by the pilot in advance (batteries, memory cards, food, etc.);
- transport to/from start/end position;
The competition is held between 13th-19th of August.
The registration is between 16:00-21:00 on 13th of August (Sunday) in SkyNomad Club in Sopot.
The Safety Briefing and Turnpoints announcement at 21:00 on 13th of August (Sunday).
The race starts at 11:00 on 14th of August. In case of different turnpoint area, than Stara Planina mountains, the race will start 30 min after the transportation of all pilots and their equipment to the new start position.
The race ends at 18:00 on 19th of August (Saturday).
During the race, the pilots must fly or hike carrying his equipment. Any other transportation including aid from any third parties is prohibited.
The pilots can be in 3 modes, which is recorded by their live tracker and GPS:
- fly. Allowed between 6:00-20:00. GPS track log record time is max 30 sec.
- hike. Allowed between 6:00-20:00. GPS track log record time is max 10 min and speed must be less than 5 m/s.
- rest. Allowed any time. Live tracker and GPS can be switched off.
GPS track logs are the official prove of pilot's achievement and organizers will check them before ranking the pilots.
Each time the track log is started anew, the pilot must be within 300m of his last recorded position.
All track log backups must be stored in IGC file format on MAP DATUM: WGS 84.
The pilots are responsible for recharging their live tracker and GPS and provide enough memory for track logs.
The pilots are encouraged to have their own ground support assistances, who follow them with a vehicle and provide them with weather information, food and drinks, spare batteries.
The organizers can suggest locals for this role but are not responsible for their performance.
Throughout the race, the organizers will provide one free delivery of goods (batteries, memory card, food) paid by the pilot but is not responsible about its promptness and this will be done only on asphalt roads (i.e. mountain passes).
Every pilot can choose his own route, but must pass through the official turnpoints which include start point and goal.
In order to maximize the weather independency, the organizers will choose between two possible competition areas:
- Stara Planina mountain. Classic flying along a mountain range with plenty of grassy tops. Possible route - Start and end in Sopot with two turn points which can be taken in any order - Zlatitsa and Sliven (300 km total distance):
- Rhodope, Rila and Pirin mountains. Mixure of different terrains. Foothils, forested and Alpine type mountains. Possible route - start from Dobrostan and end in Melnik with 7 lakes in Rila as a turnpoint (230 km total distance):
The pilots are ranked by the time it takes them to reach goal. Those who don't manage to reach the goal until the end of the race (18:00 23rd august) will be ranked according to their distance along the course line.
The competition is a non profit project and except organizational expenses, the rest of the money will be shared between top 3 pilots.
The long term idea is to extend the competition toward other Balkan countries.