Plenary 2013 - A New Competition Class Is Born!


The 2012 CIVL Plenary in JiaoXi, Chinese Taipei, had decided that a new Competition Class should be created, implemented in 2014 and included in a “light” EN certification as soon as possible.

The 2013 CIVL Plenary in Lausanne, Switzerland, discussed at length the Paragliding Subcommittee proposals, amended it, and voted almost unanimously (minus 1 voice) for the implementation of a new CIVL-EN Competition Class (CECC).

For the first time, all parties involved in the decision making process agreed in a long term solution that comes as a conclusion to 14 years of debate about Serial vs. Open in Category 1 competitions (see our historical analysis here).

CIVL, EHPU, PWCA, test pilots and PMA worked on a compromise that they agreed is the best long-term solution available.

  • The competition gliders will have a limitation on aspect ratio,
  • This limitation might encourage more manufacturers to produce competition gliders.
  • Using optimum speed, in conjunction with the new End of Speed Section rule, will give more importance in wing design and pilot strategy to best glide performance (instead of maximum speed).
  • The in-flight test will be done in the same configuration as for of competition flying (current harness, pilot reacting).
  • The certification tests are simplified, hence faster and cheaper, opening the way to certification of gliders of all size.
  • The characteristics and procedures can be revised every two years, allowing both stability and development.
  • The reference to EN test (lines, load, in-flight test) will speed up the implementation of a new EN standard that CIVL is ready to be part of.

The implementation date of the new CECC has been pushed back to 2015 so that:

  • Pilots and manufacturers have more time to adapt to the new regulation.
  • The 2013 and 2014 seasons are run with the same gliders: EN certified without additional limitations.

This new regulation concerns only Category 1 competitions. Regarding category 2 events, NACs are responsible for managing the sport in their own territories and are best placed to make judgements on which rules are appropriate for their events.