Tasks should be designed to fit the course and to accommodate weather
conditions on contest day. For example, a calm sunny day will allow
tasks different from those which can be flown on a cloudy and windy
Traditional cross-country soaring task have been distance (farther
is better) and speed (faster is better).
Whoever goes the farthest wins.
Keep in mind that this task may take many hours to complete. While
battery capacity is available to complete long flights, team fatique
is a real concern. Consider shortening the distance task by mandating
that every plane have landed by a certain time.
Whoever goes the fastest wins.
Full-size glider competion is scored on speed, and this works well
for models also.
We typically prescribe a minimum flying time to complete the speed
task. The maximum flying time can be left open with the same consideration
regarding team fatigue as in distance.
For example, a minimum of two hours must be flown, but pilots may fly
longer if they think they can improve their 2-hour average. Also, pilots
competing for distance pins may fly longer.
For a quicker task, you may prescribe a fixed route to be flown, and
whoever does it the fastest wins. Be creative and design tasks which
are challenging and fun and which fit the particular course.
Landings, while still mandatory, are not scored in cross-country soaring.
Instead, competitors focus on good efficient flying and on a safe landing
without any pressure as to exactly when and where the plane lands.
To safely land out, do as the full-size glider pilots do: pick a landing
zone (LZ) while the plane still has sufficient altitude to get there
and while you still have enough time to set up a proper landing pattern.
It's better to get over the LZ a little high and have the luxury circling
nearby than to get there low, slow, and out of options.