All competition pilots, the coaches and their cross country students meet each morning in the briefing room at around 9.30am, depending on the weather. The organisers will then discuss all the necessary information for the competition day; things such as weather, safety, and general business are discussed. This is a great learning experience for those in the program as most of them will go on to compete in competitions such as this. After the competition briefing, the coaches and XC students have their own briefing to discuss their plans for the day. This briefing usually entails goal setting, task setting with the coaches, weather (a more detailed, simplified explanation of what was shown in the competition briefing), and safety.
The XC students are expected to help prepare the two seat aircraft with the coaches. This may be before or after the competition briefing depending on the time arrangements for that day.
After the briefings there is usually a little time for students to prepare their essentials for the day. This might include lunch, water, maps, and sunscreen. They then help their coach tow out and secure a spot on the competition grid. Normally there will be two pupils to each glider and both will have a turn at flying each day. One will fly in the morning and one in the afternoon. When it isn’t the student’s turn to fly they will be expected to be on the grid helping out the organising team with odd jobs. This might include things like helping to launch the fleet, running wings/ropes, or helping out pilots. All good competition experience.
After flying, XC students help their coaches clean the glider and tie it down. Usually before dinner there is also a coaching debriefing to discuss and evaluate the day. This is the time for the students to get the answers for all those questions that have been eating away at them all day and for them to compare their experience with the other pupils and coaches. This is also the time when students and coaches evaluate their goals and set plans for the days to come.
Finally, students have a chance to relax and dine with their fellow pilots. Over dinner the banter is both informative and comedic. Pupils have a chance to develop their gliding world contacts and pick the brains of the more experienced pilots and crew. On certain nights after dinner there is usually group activities such as Quiz Nights, the AJGC’s AGM, Competition Debriefs (Maggot Races), Guest Speakers or Informative Lectures.
Example of timetable:
- 7:30am Wake Up
- 8:30am Glider Preparation
- 9:30am Competition Briefing
- 10am Coaching Briefing
- 10:30am Student Preparation
- 11:30am Grid
- 12:00pm Launch the Fleet – First students Launch
- 2:30pm Swap Students – Second students Launch
- 5:00pm Landings – Clean and Pack up Gliders
- 6:00pm Coaching Debriefing
- 7:00pm Dinner
- 8:00pm Group Activity
- 9:30pm Bed Time