This pylon race was cancelled to a serious accident and the risk to pilots, spectators, and the Beach Blast Event.

This year’s competition was to be on the beach using pylons where one pilot at a time flies the course while being timed. John Black has gotten the requisite permissions and the folks in city government have been very supportive. We are thankful to Panama City Beach. There are specific times for the course to be setup and taken down but, during those times, he has permission to close that part of the beach.

Site with registration, competitor meeting and course.

See the animation below for the primary course but note that it may be changed to just two pylons in case there’s a problem with putting one in the water.

The rules as presented on are what matters. These have yet to be incorporated but have been confirmed. Pay attention to the briefing since changes sometimes have to be made.


0800 Wed May 9 Briefing qualifying Wed 8am at Grand Panama parking lot Briefing (red #2 in diagram). I recommend checking in at the registration area before then to make sure there are no changes.

0830 Wed Qualifier Starts. 
Pilot order will be chosen via random method. 
Mandatory debrief after flying on Wed. It should take approximately 1.5 hours to complete. Two runs are planned and they will be averaged. If unable to complete one run due to mechanical failure, one run will be counted.

Top 50% of the qualifiers compete in the “Pro” division, remainders compete in the “Sport” division. If there’s a pilot exactly in the middle, he goes into “Pro”.

0800 Thur Sport class finals. Two runs. Points averaged. Maybe used as qualifying if unable to complete wed. 

1000 Sat Pro division finals. Two runs all competitors.

Rule Clarifications and/or Changes


1. No alcohol to be consumed with 12 hours of any competition task (was 24).

2. No touching any pylon with any part of your body or gear. Each touch carries a 10 second penalty (was 2 seconds then DQ).

3. Initial launch order is random. After that, the slower qualifiers go first.

4. Pilot must be present for qualifier unless s/he has placed in national or world level competition.

5. Crashing incurs a DQ on that run and incurs a 30 second penalty on second run. Crashing (if it’s not obvious) is any occurrence that allows the wing to touch the ground/water within 5 seconds of the occurrence.  So if you wind up having to run in the sand without bringing the wing down, that is OK.

6. Failure to launch within 30 seconds of designated time incurs a 5 second penalty. He may be moved to the rear depending on when he can be ready.

7. After completing run pilot must land within 30 seconds and put gear in specified location. Failure to do so is 10 second penalty.

8. Pilot and all equipment must go around pylon low enough so that some part of his body or equipment can be seen behind the pylon as viewed from the judging station.

9. There will be a “no transgression” line to protect spectators and launching pilots. No part of the pilot or his gear may go beyond this line. Doing so results in a DQ as does any violation of FAR 103.

9. Judges determination on pylon circling, height, touch and others is final.

10. There is an electronic start gate on the ground and a nearby pole to show height. Pilots must fly below the level of the pole (approx 15 feet) with their body and over the starting line. This registers their start time electronically.

Final Comments

There will likely be an announcer reporting on the action. Pilots are asked to send a Bio to Alex Donaghy. Thanks! Hoping to get announcer Mark Lemmer, (a NASCAR announcer).

Please check for the final say in the rules, setup and schedule.