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Korea dominates 2nd FAI Asian PG Championships

The first FAI Category 1 event this year in the HG/PG arena was the 2nd Asian PG Championships, held in April at Nishiawa, Japan. Three tasks were validated, while another two tasks were stopped and cancelled. Strong winds and rain prevented tasks being set on another two days. Korea dominated the medal awards.

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Headline news from the CIVL Plenary in Lausanne

The CIVL Plenary meeting took place last weekend following two days of subcommittee meetings. • John Aldridge takes over as CIVL President as Flip Koetsier steps downThe Cross Country magazine view of the CIVL PlenaryPrototype hang gliders will be banned from Cat 1 competitions from 1 September 2010 • The definitions of a prototype hang glider and uncertified hang glider have been clarified • A paraglider Open Class Technical Working Group has been set up to establish manufacturers’ self-certification procedures for open class paragliders to enter Cat 1 competitions from 2011 • The proposal on qualifying the definition of a paraglider to exclude less flexible components was withdrawn • Instead, the Working Group will consider design limitations for paragliders in Cat 1 competitions from 2012. • The decision to mandate EN966 certified helmets in Cat 1 competitions from 1 January 2010 has been ratified. • From 1 May 2011, PG harnesses and back protectors used in Cat 1 competitions must be certified to EN1651 and LTF09 or equivalent. • The Safety & Training Subcommittee will be completely restructured. More responsibility for safety in the separate discipline subcommittees. • The way is clear for organisers to provide tracking devices with no data delay in Cat 1 competitions, starting with the upcoming European PG Championships, Abtenau in May

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David Barish 1921-2009: The forgotten father of paragliding

The death of David Barish on 15 December 2009, so soon after that of Francis Rogallo, marks the loss of another of the visionaries which led to paragliding becoming the most popular world-wide aviation sport.

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New FAI Secretary General Appointed

Stéphane Desprez, former Competition Director of the 2008 Rugby World Cup in France, has been appointed as the new Secretary General of the FAI – the World Air Sports Federation. He will formally take up his appointment in Lausanne, Switzerland, on 1st February 2010.

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2010 Plenary Planning – Proposal deadline approaching

Planning is underway for the CIVL Plenary, 18th to 21st February 2010, in Lausanne, Switzerland. The deadline for proposals on the Agenda and for bids for 2012 Category 1 competitions is approaching: 18 December, 2009. Further information about the CIVL Plenary Meeting can be found here.

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Global economic crisis hits aerobatics championships

The 2nd FAI World HG/PG Aerobatics Championships, scheduled for August 2010 in Omegna, Italy, have been cancelled due to financial difficulties. The organisers informed the CIVL Bureau of its decision earlier this month. The Italian National Aero Club has confirmed the decision. The cancellation deals a heavy blow to the future of FAI hang gliding and paragliding aerobatics competitions, one of the most media and spectator-friendly disciplines within the free flying world. Discussions are already underway within the CIVL Aerobatics Subcommittee and the CIVL Bureau to try to determine a way forward.

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Decisions in Amsterdam

The October 2009 CIVL Bureau Meeting took place last week in Amsterdam. Decisions made in the four day meeting include: selection of Jury and Stewards for next year’s Category 1 championships and test events; mandating that pilots in FAI Category 1 events and test events wear helmets complying with EN966; modifying the approval process for Local Regulations to ensure entry information is published as early as possible; and incorporating the Altitude Verification procedures used in the HG Worlds in Laragne, in the LRs of 2010 Cat 1 events. In welcoming us to his home town, Flip Koetsier, CIVL President since 2005, informed us that for personal reasons, he will not accept nomination next year as president for a 6th term. To see the minutes: http://www.fai.org/hang_gliding/meetings/bureau

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Scoring PG XC competitions with dropped tasks

The PWC organisation has introduced this year a new scoring system of discarding tasks and dropping scores. The PWC has asked the Software Working Group and the CIVL Bureau for clarification on how the overall results of such PWC competitions will be input in the WPRS. The CIVL Bureau has agreed an interim solution, pending PG Subcommittee recommendations to be discussed prior to the next CIVL Plenary.

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2nd FAI Asian PG Championship changes

The organisers of the 2nd FAI Asian PG Championship, 2010, Japan asked for a number of changes to the original bid document to be accepted, including a slight date change and the currency for entry fees. The following changes were accepted by the CIVL Bureau, subject to ratification by the Plenary in 2010.

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CIVL Plenary focus on competition safety

The dominant theme of the 2009 CIVL Plenary meeting was how to improve competition safety. With an increasing number of accidents and incidents at recent international competitions, both the FAI board and CIVL delegates are strongly motivated to address safety issues swiftly and effectively. FAI Secretary General, Max Bishop addressed the Plenary with an unequivocal message. “Safety is the most important topic on FAI and CIVL agenda. The level of accidents in recent competitions is totally unacceptable."

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2011 World Championships awarded

The 2009 CIVL Plenary held in Hall in Tirol, Austria had the difficult task of assessing and voting on no fewer than 9 bids for three World Championships. The vote for the 2011 World HG Championship ran to three rounds among the four contenders, and was finally awarded to Italy. The bid for the 2011 World PG Championships was conclusively won by Spain in the first round of voting with three nations bidding. The 2011 Paragliding Accuracy Championships were awarded to Czech Republic.

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