The X-Lakes challenge is run by the participants for the participants and a Task Committee will be brought together by the organisers in the days prior to the event. Richard Bungay, of UK Airsports, supporter of Steve Nash in the 2015 X-Alps, has kindly agreed to oversee support logistics and scoring.
A 1-day challenge runs in parallel to a main 2-day challenge event. The 1-day challenge is aimed to engage newcomers and those that may not be in the ‘super fit’ category, to participate, enjoy the Lakes and to have some fun.
Participants should self-certify that they hold the BHPA ‘Pilot rating’ (or the International Pilot Proficiency Information (IPPI) level 4) in order to enter the two-day ‘Hardcore’ event. Decision making can be very challenging when fatigue kicks in!
The one-day, ‘Day-Tripper’ event is open to ‘Club Pilots’ with little or no cross-country experience. Site briefings and route guidance is available for the one-day event.
All X-Lakes participants are provided with waypoints for the Wainwright Peaks in advance and competitors/teams are tracked, and then scored, using GPS tracking devices. Local mountain rescue services are made aware that the event is underway. Despite these measures, decision to participate, run, walk or fly remains the sole responsibility of those who choose to enter the event.
At the discretion of the Task Committee, rules published in these pages may be adjusted/changed and will be notified as early as possible to all registered participants. On each day of the challenge the option exists for participants to leave their flying equipment behind if flying appears unlikely. A ‘penalty factor’ will then be applied to all points collected on that day reducing the value of the Peaks that have been ‘bagged’. The factor applied and reducing the value of peaks will be agreed by the Task committee on the eve of the race and shared with participants at the obligatory task briefing.
Although Saturday is favoured to help facilitate scoring, the single day event may take place on the Sunday if the weather looks more favourable for flying on one or other day. The day of the race will be finalised around 48 hours prior to the planned date and all participants will be kept informed.
No vehicular transport is allowed during the race.
Briefings and start/finish times may have to be staggered to manage group sizes. Timings will be confirmed at the briefings.
- 2-day “Hardcore” Challenge: This is an approximately 22-hour race. Timings will be agreed by the Task Committee immediately prior to the race but competitors should plan to start from 7 am Saturday and race until 4pm on Sunday, resting between 9pm and 7am on Saturday night. The start and finish location will be defined but the route and flying choices are entirely the choice of the participant.
- 1-day “Day-tripper” Challenge: This is an approximately 6-hour race. Starting from around 10:00 am until 4pm on the same day. Participants should plan to be ready from 8am. A route will be suggested, taking in a few key Wainwright peaks. Other peaks can be bagged to enhance the overall score.
All competitors will be welcomed to registration from 5pm, followed by an event briefing at around 7pm on the evening immediately prior to the event. During the briefing the Task Committee and organisers will discuss local weather and possible route options. The technical support team will demonstrate the tracking systems and the safety support systems will be discussed. Pilots must share this information with their supporter.
Safety :There is a compulsory safety briefing between 6am and 8am on Saturday morning. The final time for the safety briefing will be agreed by the Task Committee at the pre-race briefing. Equipment may be spot-checked at this time. It is helpful if race supporters can also attend this briefing.
Social and Prize-giving: We aim to conclude the scoring of the two-day race by 6pm on the Sunday. Prize-giving will follow and race supporters are invited to join the pilots for a meal/BBQ which is included. Trophies are awarded for first place in each race and there will be a small selection of prizes for competitors in each race. A ‘Jo-median’ prize will also be provided for the person coming in the mid-field position in the two-day event to recognise the value of simply taking part in the X-Lakes challenge!
After the event a prize will also be awarded for the best event photograph shared with the organisers, which pilots/supporters/fans agree can be used to help promote the event in future years.
- Points for Peaks : ‘Wainwrights’ are Lake District peaks which stand at over 1,000 feet in height. They are subdivided into seven geographical regions. Each are described in different Wainwright guide books.
- Please refer to the Info map for a complete list of scores for the Fells.
- 10 points will be awarded for every peak in the North Western fells.
- 15 points will be awarded for the peaks in the Southern or Central fells.
- 20 points will be awarded for every peak in the Northern or Eastern fells.
- 25 points will be awarded for every peak in the Far Eastern Fells.
- All turn-points have a standard radius of 400 meters whether taken in the air or taken on foot.
- Distant peaks option : The organisers can choose whether to employ this bonus or not. If they do chose to do so, then the longest straight-line distance, in kilometres, between the two Wainwrights bagged that are furthest from each other will be measured. The resultant distance will also earn additional points at the rate of five points for every full kilometre of straight-line distance. Those additional points will be added to the competitor’s score. This option is not available for the 2021 Challenge.
- Tracklogs / Satellite tracking will be used to verify routes, flight and then for scoring. It is recommended that participants make back-up GPS tracklogs using their own instruments so that they can be submitted to supplement live tracking data acquired during the race if technical problems occur and to help verify any disputes.
- Penalties for travelling light : On each competition day, competitors can elect to leave their flying kit behind for the whole day. By doing so, all points scored on that day will have a factorial value applied that reduces the value of the peaks bagged during that day (For instance: if the Task Committee deem that the factorial should be 0.8 for the day in question then a score of 100 points bagged in the day would be reduced to 80 points – a 20% penalty) Note, the event organisers reserve the right to remove this penalty if the Task Committee agree that no competitor should fly and that ALL participants should leave their flying kit and carry only the equipment needed for a safe day in the mountains.
2-Day Race Schedule :
- Competitors are required to report for the compulsory race safety briefing at the event venue, at 7.00am on the Saturday of the event. The Task Committee may elect to start the briefing at 6am in which case all participants will be informed by SMS/group chat facility.
- The race will begin between 7 and 7.30am. Any change to this plan will be shared by SMS/group chat facility.
- A compulsory over-night rest period begins at 9.00pm on Saturday. All competitors need to stop flying by 8pm (obligatory land-by time) and report in their last position to the event organisers by 9pm. Competitors can start racing again at 7am on the next morning. They must start from within a 400m radius of the race ending location registered at 9pm the previous evening.
- Pilots should attempt to send a text message “OK” after their 9pm end-of-day, to help assure the race organisers and their supporter of their safety.
- During the night, the pilot can choose to either camp out, vol-biv style, or to spend the night in a hotel, house, van etc.
- At 7am on the following day, the pilot must then report back to within 400 meters of the place they left on the previous day, where they can continue the race. While they must start from within 400m of the spot they were at the previous evening, they must not start until 7am, but can choose to leave later.
- During race hours, the pilot can only elect to walk or fly. No other form of transport is allowed.
- During the obligatory rest period, from 9pm Saturday until 7am Sunday, the pilot can move using any form of transport.
- The 2-day event finishes at 4.00pm on Sunday. Late finishers will be treated as follows:
- – 10 points will be deducted from the pilot score for each ten minutes of lateness. The 1st second past 4pm results in 10 points being deducted, 20 at 10 minutes and 1 second, up to 60 points at 4:50 and 1 second.
- – Over an hour late scores zero.
- For the remaining points to be valid for scoring, all competitors must report back to the event HQ before 5pm on the Sunday at the latest.
- In any case where a competitor cannot make it back by 5pm on Sunday they must call in and report back by this time. However, all their race points will be forfeited.
- Any competitor may quit the race any time. However, they must inform the event organisers of it and must return their race tracker to the event HQ. Failure to report quitting or return their tracker could disbar the participant from future events!!
1-Day event race schedule :
- There will be a compulsory safety briefing at 9am and race will begin at 10am on the Saturday or Sunday, and finish at 4pm.
- Depending on wind conditions, pilots will be given a number of Wainwright turn-points to collect, either:-
- A circular route, starting and finishing at event HQ.
- A route starting at one location and finishing at another after bagging the nominated Wainwright peaks and possibly some others!
Race Equipment :
- All entrants must be qualified to fly paragliders in the UK, with a recognised licence.
- The X-Lakes Challenge is intended to be a cross-country flying race, therefore the use of paragliders with 16m2 or less (speed-gliding) is prohibited. It is also prohibited to fly with paragliders which have a wing loading greater than 6Kg/m2.
- All flying equipment must be homologated and must comply with the latest edition of the following EN certification standards :
- Paraglider: EN 926-2 and 926-1 or LTF 91/09 (including CCC FAI class), having aspect ratio under 7,2.
- Harness: EN 1651 with certified protection, or LTF 91/09
- Emergency parachute: EN 12491 or LTF 91/09
- Helmet: EN 966 or snowboarding EN 1077 class is accepted.
- All competitors are required to carry the below minimum equipment to fly:
- Harness including certified back protection
- Emergency parachute
- Mobile telephone (and backup charging facilities)
- 2m band Radio (1-day race obligatory; 2-day race optional) Race channel will be decided during briefing
- Backup GPS tracker device (in addition to the live tracker supplied by the event organisers)
- Once the race starts, a pilot cannot change their selected equipment.
- Competitors must be appropriately kitted out for fell running/walking during the race at all times. Special attention must be given to mapping or battery back-up for electronic navigation aids. A waterproof layer is strongly advised.
- In case of bad weather/rain or poor flying conditions, the races will still take place. Competitors may elect to get into fell-running or walking mode for the day. They may opt to leave behind their flying kit and inform the event organisers about it at the start of each day. However, the competitor cannot then collect their wing during that day. A competitor can also choose to walk/run with their full flying kit but they must not fly in rain/marginal conditions. Note that competitors who choose to leave their flying gear behind may have a factorial penalty applied to their points collected during that day. The event organisers will notify competitors of what penalties are being applied when the competitor notifies them of their intentions. (Certain conditions will allow this penalty system to be lifted)
- Competitors are very strongly encouraged to use supporters during the race. Even if it is a person nominated to follow the participant’s progress and be available to liaise with the organisers. They should be roughly aware of the pilot’s likely route choice.
Pilots must inform the event organisers of the names and contact details of their supporter(s) before the compulsory safety briefing on the day of the race. Supporter(s) must try to remain accessible via mobile phone or satellite systems throughout the duration of the race.
- Competitors need to be in charge of the tracking device(s) provided by event organisers but they will not be required to recharge their trackers or to turn them off or on.
- As well as the live-tracking GPS device supplied by the event organisers, every competitor should carry their own GPS device to make a back-up recording of their track.
- Mobile coverage on the Lakeland Fells is limited. A satellite beacon, such as an InReach or SPOT, is strongly recommended as a personal emergency SOS device.
Flying Rules :
- All entrants hold final responsibility for their own safety, both flying and on the ground.
- No scoring movements are allowed in the hours between 9pm and 7am
- Cloud flying is not allowed and will be penalised. The type of penalty applied will be agreed by the Task Committee but might include disqualification.
- All pilots need to follow Airlaw, UK flying code and rules of the Cumbria Soaring Club.
Entry to either race format takes the form of a charitable donation to Lake District Mountain Rescue and has a cost of £75 per competitor for the 2-day event and £35 for the 1-day event. Donations are also accepted to add a name to the waiting list when each event has been filled.
The entry fee allows the organisers to arrange for each team’s safety to be protected through tracking technologies, to lay on food for pilots and supporters at the end of event festivities and to support the cost of the prizes and awards. Some funds may be carried forward for future events and any additional funds generated will be donated to the Lake District Mountain Rescue teams.
The number of participants is limited for both events. Provided spaces remain available, persons can enter via the X-Lakes website at any time up until the evening prior to the event taking place.
If entrants wish to cancel their entry, then a full refund of a donation will be available (less the paypal booking fees) if the organisers are notified more than four calendar weeks prior to the event.
Similarly, if the organisers cancel more than four weeks prior to the event, then all payments (less the paypal booking fees) will be offered for refund to entrants.
In both instances, entrants may opt to allow their unused entry fee to go forward for donation to Lake District Mountain Rescue teams.
The ‘day-tripper’ event may be cancelled for weather reasons.
A decision is made at least three calendar days in advance of the event and all entrants are notified if a decision to cancel the one-day event has been taken. In such circumstances entrants will be asked if they wish to have their entry fee (less paypal booking fee) refunded to them.
‘No shows’ for any event will not be eligible for refund and no entry fee will be carried forward for future events. All monies available after the event will go towards support of Mountain Rescue.
Further Notes :
A useful map of the Wainwrights is available via this link
The famous British weather!
There is possibility to choose to move the single day event by one day should the entrants agree. All options in this regard will be discussed with the main race Task Committee and agreed during the briefing on Friday evening. It is also likely that competitors will receive some communications in this respect in the days leading up to the event.
Any latecomers should get in touch by telephone if they wish to lodge an opinion. This is intended to be a friendly and flexible event and competitors must respect the fluidity of the organisation and weather.
No backup weekend (for reasons of weather) is planned for this event and participants for the ‘Hardcore’ event are invited to complete their challenge in the Lake District fells whatever the weather!