Plenary 2013 – Crucial decisions made, more to come


Shaping the direction of the hang gliding and paragliding competition scene, delegates and representatives from 34 FAI member nations, took part in the 2013 CIVL Plenary.  Although held in Lausanne, Switzerland, participants came from five continents, and the impact of the decisions made will be felt worldwide.

In his opening address, President, Agust Gudmundsson commented: “We have some significant topics to discuss.  Our votes today will set the direction of our sport.  Some votes may be trivial but some will be crucial.

Three Category 1 championships were awarded by the Plenary: the 2015 FAI World Paragliding Championships to Colombia, 10th to 25th January in Roldanillo, the site of the recent PWCA Superfinal; the 2015 FAI World Hang Gliding Championships to Mexico, 28th February to 13th March in Valle de Bravo; and the 2015 World Paragliding Accuracy Championships to Indonesia, 9th to 17th August in Puncak, West Java.

A pre-bid for a 2015 World Aerobatics Championship in Annecy, France, was also presented.  This would be the first since 2006 and could be the only Category 1 championship in Europe in 2015! A pre-bid for a 2014 European Championship in  Arangoiti-Lumbier, Spain, was also received.

Rules changed and changing

A proposal from the Paragliding Committee of a new scoring bonus/penalty feature for the FS scoring program has been agreed.  Designed to complement the already announced creation of a new paragliding CIVL-EN Competition Class, an altitude time bonus awarded at the end of speed section (ESS), will effectively, discourage pilots racing at full speed on final glide to the end of ESS.

The two mandatory reserves rule affecting Cat 1 paragliding cross country, was modified to provide the option of a single reserve easily deployable by either hand.  The rule becomes mandatory from 1st May 2014, and includes a strong recommendation to pilots to comply as soon as possible. 

Rule changes impacting paraglider pilots preparing for this year’s World Championships in Sopot, Bulgaria include the removal of the requirement to provide a photograph of the glider serial number and signature one month prior.  In addition, as voted last year, new gliders to be flown in a Category 1 championship must now be certified 90 days prior (15th April).

In hang gliding there are few changes, but the Committee is working on a number of initiatives: collecting glider data and specifying checking procedures to detect prototypes in Cat 1 championships; and investigate whether other sports’ helmet standards can be proven equivalent to, or better than EN966.

In Paragliding Accuracy, the first two Accuracy records have been introduced: consecutive dead centres and consecutive sub-5cm scores. Meanwhile, the Aerobatics Committee met with FAI’s FAME company to discuss the development of event formats to maximise media/spectator interest. 

The earth moves!

There was some interesting debate when it was realised that the WGS84 earth model has replaced the FAI sphere in the 2013 General Section.  It will take some time for FS to be updated, and the implications on instruments has yet to be fully assessed.  The Software WG will be busy!

Finally, the CIVL Internal Regulations have been significantly overhauled and will be published imminently.  A key change is that the President and Bureau are now elected for 2 years.  This year’s elections resulted in the re-election of Agust Gudmundsson as President.  Stéphane Malbos, Igor Erzen, Goran Dimiskovski and Zeljko Ovuka as Vice Presidents, plus Hamish Barker and Jamie Shelden as secretaries.

Chairing the PG Committee is Stéphane Malbos.  Oyvind Ellefsen remains chair of the HG Committee. Violeta Masteikeine takes over as chair of the PG Accuracy Committee.  Claudio Cattaneo and Dennis Pagen continue to co-chair the Aerobatics Committee.  Previous subcommittees: Safety, Records & Badges and Section 7 are replaced by Officers, to be appointed by the Bureau.

The next Plenary meeting, in February 2014, will be held in Bali, hosted by Indonesia.