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Setting a task every day gives you something to focus on and a goal to obtain. If you can get others to fly the same task, you have a race. When you race, you can compare and contrast your decisions and evaluate which were good and which were bad.


Turnpoint practice

Let’s say you checked SkySight. The weather forecast turns out to be weak. On task you want to get in and out of the turn as quickly as possible. When do you actually start turning? There is an art to minimizing fixes within the turnpoint, but that takes practice. We have all mastered the art of getting no fixes. That is something to practice at home and not at a contest. Do not be like me and miss a turnpoint by a few meters at a WGC because you didn’t quite get the turn right.

Short day

What if you are short on time and have commitments later in the day? When I was taking night classes, I would fly during the day but would spend the entire flight worried that I would land out. Consequently, my decisions were too conservative, resulting in an inefficient flight. Instead, consider this a good day to practice with a short, timed task.

For example, you set a two hour task with a finish time at 2:15. You are able to launch at 11:45. This gives you time to get positioned and start at 12:15. Keep it simple. Your task could make a triangle around the airport or between 3 different airports (then a towplane can get you home if needed). A timed task is a good opportunity to practice using your flight computer to time your final glide and finish. It’s easier to finish early, but you lose potential points.

MAT (Modified Assigned Task)

You get no extra points for being creative on your turnpoints. Do not select a distant, isolated turnpoint. Give yourself options. If you head out to that one random turnpoint and the lift stops ten miles short, you are now doing a 20-mile glide in dead air. But, you committed to this decision and now it is too late to alter your plan. I like having options so I run the separate flight computers towards different turnpoints. Then I maximize my time to make a final decision.

CD’s are known for making odd stipulations on turnpoints. It is a good idea to set yourself these stipulations when you practice. For example no repeat turns, excluding certain turns, reducing the number of turns,  or making the first few mandatory.


You can use this to maximize the day. There are 6 legs to get as much distance in as possible. You want to be in the strongest weather all day. Ideally, the last thermal of the day is as far away from the airport as possible, yet you still make a final glide home. This tasking practice helps to focus on an entire day, launching early and landing last. You only have 5 turnpoints to use, so you have to use them wisely (similar to a MAT task in the US). You also need to be flexible during your task to maximize your ability to stay in the good air and keep moving (similar strategy to TAT and MAT tasks).

While you would focus more on keeping a fast speed between turnpoints in an MAT, your focus would be different in an OLC. You are limited to a smaller amount of turnpoints and want long legs. During these flights, you make your turnpoint while still in lift if possible and do not have to worry about getting to a predesignated point.


Banner Photo by Sophie Mahieu



Sky Full of Heat

Sky Full of Heat

Sebastian Kawa a Nine-time World Champion and his secrets of success: passion, knowledge, and experience. The most extreme side of extreme sports.

Sebastian talks about sailing and flying, his first flights and first competitions, wins and loses, gliders and avionics, safety and taking necessary risk.

How to plan cross country flights, how to use thermals, where to look for them, how to win competitions and other tips from the world’s best.

“MUST–HAVE book for every pilot.” – John Roake –Gliding International

“Generations of future World Champions will be brought up on this book”


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garret willat  Garret Willat holds a flight instructor rating with over 8000 hours in sailplanes. His parents have owned Sky Sailing Inc. since 1979. He started instructing the day after his 18th birthday. Since then, Garret has represented the US Junior team in 2003 and 2005. He graduated from Embry-Riddle with a bachelor’s degree in Professional Aeronautics. Garret represented the US Open Class team in 2008 and 2010 and the Club Class team in 2014. Garret has won 3 US National Championships.