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Barberton, close to Kruger National Park, South Africa
15 - 22 Jun 2019
Paraglider Paraglider
Cross Country


Event info

Barberton Paragliding Nationals will be held over seven days between 16 June 2019 and 22 June 2019 with no rest days.  The 15 June 2019 will be a practice day and normal fees and indemnities apply.  Barberton is South Africa's premier winter flying site, as Porterville in the Western Cape is to the free-flying community for summer flying.  Also, several South Africa paragliding Nationals have been held in Barberton.

Barberton the ideal place for beginners to travel on their first XC glides but also for hard racing and very technical decision making.

Registration closes on the 15 June 2019.  No late registrations will be accepted.

Local Rules

Barberton Paragliding Nationals 2019

Local Regulations

1.           ENTRY

1.1.        The Championships are open to all Member and Associated Member countries of the FAI who may enter any number of competitors not exceeding 120.


2.1.        REGISTRATION
On arrival, all pilots shall report to the Registration Office to have their documents checked and to receive supplementary regulations and information. The end of the official Registration period is considered to be the official start of the championship. The following are required:

2.1.1.    Pilot qualifications

2.1.2.    Evidence of competitor's nationality

2.1.3.    Pilot's valid FAI Sporting Licence

2.1.4.    Receipt for payment of entry fees by the closing date.

2.1.5.    Satisfactory evidence of glider airworthiness

2.1.6.    Certificate of Insurance as detailed on Entry Form

2.2.        The Registration office will be open from 16:00 to 20:00 on Saturday 15 June 2019 and again on the morning of 16 June 2019 between 07:00 and 08:00. The closure of Registration is considered as the official start of the competition.

2.3.        There will be a Pilot Briefing at the Meet Centre at 09:00 on Sunday 16 June 2019.

2.4.        ONLY official recovery vehicles and vehicles with SAPPI permits obtained from the organiser will be allowed through the access gate to Lone Tree Hill.

2.5.        ALL persons including pilots and spectators need to complete a SAPPI indemnity before permission to access Lone Tree Hill can be granted.

3.           REST DAYS
There will be no official rest days.

Pilots are invited to first settle any disputes with fellow pilots before lodging a complaint.
Should the dispute not be settled, a complaint may be made to the Meet Director or his deputy, by any pilot, in writing, to request a correction. It should be made with the minimum delay and it will be dealt with expeditiously.
If the complainant is not satisfied with the outcome the pilot may make a protest in writing to the Meet Director or his deputy.
The time limit for protests is 4 hours after the publication of the provisional task results or the results of the complaint, except that after the last contest task it is 1 hour.  The protest fee is R500.  It will be returned if the protest is upheld.

5.           TAKE-OFF METHODS

5.1.        Foot Launch from hill site.  Take-off site is Lone Tree Hill.  Details can be found on the Map.

There are only 2 frequencies that can be used during the competition.  The first is the Flying and Safety frequency of 141.600 MHz and the second will be the Retrieve and Coordinating frequency of 141.625 MHz.  There will be no “team frequencies” and pilots are not allowed to receive information or assistance via any communication.  Radio frequencies are meant to be kept open for communication.  Only frequencies allocated by the organisers may be used.

7.           RETAKE-OFF
A competitor will be allowed a second re-launch to attempt the task within the stated take-off period.  A failed take-off attempt or safety problem arising immediately after take-off which results in a landing will not count as one of the permitted number of take-off attempts.  However, the pilot's take-off time will be taken from the time of the first take-off attempt if a ground start is specified.  A re-launch pilot will not take priority over other pilots who have not yet launched at all.  All pilots wishing to use the retake-off must land in the official “Turkey patch”.  The official transport will leave “turkey” 45 minutes before the close of the window.

8.           TASK PERIOD.
Times of the window open for take-off and times for the closing of the window, turn points and last landing will be displayed on the Taskboard on take-off.  Any window extension policy will also be displayed on the Taskboard.  The minimum period of time that the launch window will remain open for the day to be considered valid is 1 minute per pilot.  Launch Window Extension Time will be announced at the task briefing and may only be used when the launch has been closed for safety reasons.

9.           WIND SPEED
The maximum wind speed in which a task shall be at the discretion of the Meet director and the advice of the Safety committee.

10.      SCORING

10.1.      FS Software by FAI will be used with GAP latest scoring formula.  Lead-out Points and Drop task will be used as well as Arrival Time points.

10.2.      It is the Pilot's responsibility to ensure that their tracklogs are submitted to  Instruments/Trackers/Smartphones should be configured to transmit to

10.3.      In the event that there was an error in the transmission of the tracklog, it is the Pilot’s responsibility to download his/her tracklog in IGC format (with a valid G-Record) from their own flight instrument and upload it to the relevant task on

10.4.      Pilots should ensure that they keep a copy of their tracklog in IGC format with a valid G-Record should the organisers request a copy for validation.  Preferably this should be kept on your flight instrument but a downloaded copy would be acceptable as long as it contains a valid G-Record.

10.5.      Team Scoring – Teams must be announced before the first task and consist of 4 pilots and all for pilots will score.

10.6.      For the scoring purpose, guest pilots are counted as competing pilots.

10.7.      Scoring a stopped task.  When a task is stopped, the pilot’s scores will be determined from their GPS track log position 5 minutes before the time that the task was stopped.  The Altitude of the pilot at this time will also be used in the calculations of the final points.

10.8.      The map datum used will be WGS84 and the format for coordinates will be 
ddd mm.mmm'

10.9.      Scoring will be done according to the FS Software scoring programme, the version  using the GAP latest scoring formula.  GAP parameters will be discussed and decided at the Pilot Briefing.  The following parameters are a guideline and must be voited in at the first briefing before task 1.

  • Nominal distance  =  35 kilometers
  • Nominal time = 1 hour
  • Number of pilots expected and goal = 20% of pilots that took off
  • Goal score is calculated by time difference

All pilots must read and understand Chapter 16, Thermalling Rules and Procedures of the FAI Sporting Code Section 7B


12.1.                Only certified gliders are allowed up to EN 926 or LTF 91/09. It is not permitted to modify the glider in any way, except for the length of the brake main-line.

12.2.                The pilot must fly in the homologated weight range.

12.3.                Uncertified sizes of a certified model that was available for sale earlier than 1st November 2011 will be permitted.

12.3.1.         Registration database:  On registration, pilots have to specify the model, size and the serial number of the glider to be flown during the competition.

12.4.                Gliders will be checked after a complaint. In addition, the MD or TD can request that any pilot is checked. Every pilot must give his glider to the organisation for checking or comparing immediately upon any such request.

12.5.                Checking methods:

12.5.1.          Comparison with other gliders of the same model and size.

12.5.2.         Verification from manufacturer in regards to line configuration

12.6.                The TD will nominate a skilled person to check.

12.7.                Two levels of Penalties may be applied:

12.7.1.         1st offence: Zero in the task.

12.7.2.         2nd offence: Disqualification from the competition.


13.1.         Pilots should specify their weight on the website as well as the glider weight range. This weight can be checked at the event registration by the staff and corrected in the database.

13.2.         Pilots may volunteer to check their weight (at registration or on take-off) and adjust their weight (before task briefing).

13.3.         The pilots may be checked before taking off or after landing. If there is any doubt, their nominal weight will be checked again immediately.

13.4.         If their all-up weight is out of their glider’s weight range, they will be penalised without tolerance on the measurement.

13.5.         If they are carrying over 33 kg of equipment, including ballast, they will be penalised without tolerance on the measurement.

13.6.         Penalties for weight infringement:  1st offence: Zero in the task, 2nd  offence: Disqualification from the event.

14.      PENALTIES

14.1.         Cloud flying:
1st offence - zero for the day;  2nd offence - expelled from the competition

14.2.         Wrong turn direction:
1st offence – warning;  2nd offence – 100 points then doubling for every offence after that.

14.3.         Dangerous and aggressive flying
1st offence – warning;  2nd offence – 100 points then doubling for every offence after that.

14.4.         Aerobatics after reaching the goal line:
1st offence – warning;  2nd offence – 100 points then doubling for every offence after that.

14.5.         Top Landing after the launch window is open
1st offence – 100 points then doubling for every offence after that.

14.6.         Failure to report back:  Responsible for the costs of search and rescue.

14.7.         Too much ballast:
1st offence – 100 points;  2nd offence – zero points for the task;  3rd offence – expulsion from the competition

14.8.         Glider modification
1st offence - zero in the task;  2nd offence - disqualification from the competition

14.9.         Weight infringement
1st offence - zero in the task;  2nd offence - disqualification from the competition.

14.10.    Unpermitted vehicle on the Lone Tree Hill access roads or take-off area.

1st offence – R500 fine of the vehicle owner and 0 score for the day for ALL pilots in the vehicle.

2nd offence – disqualification from the competition of ALL pilots in the vehicle including the vehicle owner.


Barberton is outside of controlled airspace.

Info about Flying here

Barberton is a town in the Mpumalanga province of South Africa, which has its origin in the 1880s gold rush in the region.  It is situated in the De Kaap Valley and is fringed by the Makhonjwa Mountains.  It is 43 km south of Nelspruit and 360 km to the east of Johannesburg.  The mountains around Barberton are amongst the oldest in the world dating back 3.5 Billion years, and these mountains include some of the oldest exposed rocks on the planet.  These volcanic rocks, which scientists call the Barberton Greenstone Belt, have given up direct evidence of conditions of life on the surface of the very early earth.
The site is used exclusively for winter flying, where thermal strengths can vary from less than 1m/s to approximate 5m/s, with an average around 2-3m/s.  The flying day usually starts around 12pm, although flying from 10am is not uncommon.  This is a summer rainfall region, so rain is not anticipated, with temperatures varying from around 10 degrees C in the mornings to 28 degrees C in early afternoon.
The site has been used for more than 30-years, initially by hanggliders, but since 1991, predominantly by the paragliding fraternity.  During the last couple of years, the site has delivered an average of 5 successful task per competition, with the other days often flyable, but not "taskable".  The best flying takes place between about 12:30 am and 3:30 pm, with tasks usually set to start at about  Task distances usually varying from 40 to 60km.  While the site does not hold any South African records, flights of more than 100km have taken place to the west.
The site takes a northerly and northeastly wind, with take-off a trigger on the mountain.  Cold fronts brings southerly wind and makes take-off impossible.
Berg winds from the west are usually our only concern, although these are forecast beforehand.
Post frontal days usually result in the base lifting to greater than 3000m ASL, i.e.,.more than 2000 m above the valley floor.

 Take off Lone Tree Hill - 1290 m ASL (-25.8016725, 31.0557441)

Winds NE and NW. Access to the site is via a gravel road, and transport to take-off will be provided by 10-seater busses.  Take-off comprises a grassy knoll, with the ability to layout up to eight gliders, depending on the wind direction.  Top landing is possible for experienced pilots but is not recommended for low air-time pilots.

Only a limited number of private vehicles will be given access to the mounting owing to constraints imposed on us by the land owner.

Landing Golf Club - 830 m ASL. (-25.7907903, 31.0401911)
A grassy field on the territory of the Golf club 



Printable Waypoints Map

How to get here

Barberton is located in Mpumalanga province of South Africa about 360 km to the East from Johannesburg. HQ office is located in Golf Course clubhouse in Barberton.

By Plane

The town of Nelspruit, some 50 km to the north of Barberton, has an international airport with car hire facilities. If you need a transfer please ask the organizers for a shuttle. 

It takes about 45 min to fly by local carrier to Nelspruit from Johannesburg (OR TamboInternational Airport) . There are 4-7 flights a day.


It takes about 4 hours to get to Barberton from Johannesburg via N12 and N4 highway.

You can also rent a car in the airport of Nelspruit. It takes 40 min (about 50 km) to get to Barberton from Nelspruit airport by car via R40 highway.


If you have any questions about the place or need a wider list of accommodations please visit the town’s website

Selection and entry fee

The Championships are open to all Members and Associated Member countries of the FAI who may enter any number of competitors not exceeding 120.

The following documents shall be presented during the registration:

  • Pilot qualifications
  • Evidence of competitor's nationality
  • Pilot's valid FAI Sporting Licence
  • Receipt for payment of entry fees by the closing date
  • Satisfactory evidence of glider airworthiness
  • Certificate of Insurance as detail on Entry form


Entry fee

The fee will be R3,500.00 (200 Euro).

Early bird discount before 31 May 2019 is R2,200.00 (150 Euro)

Competing per day : R550

Students and Free Flyers : R100 per day

Vehicle Permits : R1 000 (only 10 available)

Tandem passengers : Transport and Prize giving fee

Tandem Pilots : If helping to fly Barberton guests -- Will be compensated

 Registration closes 16 June 2019.  No Late entries will be accepted.


Payments can be made to:


Capitec Bank

Account no:   1634053409

Saving Account


The entry fee includes
  • T-shirt,
  • map with turn points,
  • regular transport up the mountain until 45 min before window closes,
  • recovery along roads,
  • medics on standby,
  • prize-giving meal.

Competition schedule

Saturday, 15 June 2019

09:00 - 17:00 Free flying, Own permit & own transport

16:00 - 19:00 Confirmation of online registration (Registration closes 16 June)

Sunday, 16 June 2019

07:00 - 09:00 Confirmation of online registration

09:00 - 09:30 Briefing and selection of task committee

09:30 Vehicles leave for take-off

11:30 Task briefing for Task 1

12:00 Window opens

15:00 Window closes

18:00   Deadline for upload (Time to run FAI scoring formula)

19:00  Publishing of Provisional results

21:00  Deadline for uploading of backup and fixing of problems (Organisers must be informed)

ASAP   Publishing of daily Final results


Monday, 17 June 2019 – Saturday 22 June 2019

09:00 Task committee set the task at the Clubhouse

09:30 Vehicles leave for take-off

11:30 Task briefing for task 2-7

12:00 Window opens

15:00 Window closes

18:00  Deadline for upload (Time to run FAI scoring formula)

19:00  Publishing of Provisional results

21:00  Deadline for uploading of backup and fixing of problems (Organisers must be informed)

ASAP   Publishing of daily Final results


Saturday, 22 June 2019

16:00 Deadline for upload (Time to run FAI scoring formula)

19:30 Prize giving and Closing ceremony


Window open and close times are subject to change at task briefing.

Prizes and competition categories

Prizes/trophies will be awarded for first, second and third places: overall, ladies, performance, sport, intermediate, novice, and tandem (if entered). The fund will include a trophy and sponsored paraphernalia.

Contact Info

 Willie de Klerk --
 Anton Naudé   --
Contact the organizer