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Plenary Planning

Planning is underway for the CIVL Plenary, 24 to 27 February 2011, in Lausanne, Switzerland. This year, the meeting will be held in the Olympic Museum. The Subcommitee and Working Group meetings will take place on 24th and 25th February, and the Plenary itself will be held on 26th and 27th February. The deadline for Plenary Proposals is 29th December. The deadline for bids for 2013 Category 1 Championship events is 15th December. Further information can be found here

Certified helmet listing

There have been five Category 1 championships since the Plenary voted in February to ratify the Bureau decision to mandate the wearing of EN966-certified helmets. FAI officials have reported that a listing of such certified helmets is essential to the checking process. A list has been compiled and published here, and the CIVL Bureau is asking that helmet manufacturers help us to keep it up to date.

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Full house for interim Bureau Meeting

The interim meeting of the CIVL Bureau took place in October, hosted by CIVL President, John Aldridge, at his home in Maidenhead, UK. Minutes of the meeting can be found here. All Bureau members attended and took the opportunity to catch up on CIVL activities since the last Plenary, including a review of the five Category 1 Championships. Looking ahead to next year’s events, FAI officials were appointed and screening committees for entry qualifications were put in place.

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Consistency and precision at PG Accuracy Euros in Turkey

The 2nd FAI European Paragliding Accuracy Championships were successfully completed in August in Eskishehir, Turkey. A maximum 12 rounds were flown during the week, ensuring the eventual champions had to demonstrate consistency as well as precision. Jaka Gorenc of Slovenia added European Champion to his past title of World Champion. Marketa Tomaskova of Czech Republic is the new women’s European Champion. Czech Republic took team gold. Pictured is Zoran Petrovic (Serbia) who took the bronze medal. Tomas Lednik, Czech Republic was awarded the silver. In the women's championship, Serbian team mates, Milica Bicanin and Milica Marinkovic took silver and bronze. Team wise, Slovenia was 2nd and Bulgaria in 3rd place. (Photo: Andy Webster)

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Hang gliding Europeans heats up in Spain

The weather in Ager, Spain, in July for the European Class 1 HG Championships could not have contrasted more with Tegelberg, the venue for the Women’s Worlds and Class 2 and 5 Championships: temperatures around 38C and sunshine every day. Although Gerolf Heinrichs from Austria is the new European HG Champion and team mate Tom Weissenberger (right) was awarded silver, Italy took team gold, followed by Austria, with Switzerland in third place. Attila Bertok (Hungary) won the bronze medal overall.

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Windy weather affects PG Europeans in Austria

A few days after the late snow in Tegelberg, the weather in nearby Abtenau, Austria, hosting the European PG Championships, had improved, but only marginally. Three tasks were validated over the 12 day event. 144 pilots competed, including 15 women. Overall winner was Luca Donini from Italy. Top female pilot was Petra Slivova from Czech Republic, and Italy took team gold. According to Jury President, Vitor Pinto, most days had to be cancelled due to persistent rain, strong winds, low cloud base and thunderstorms. In addition to the three tasks flown (52, 62, 134km), two further tasks were set but cancelled before the launch opened, and one task was stopped due to storms developing on the route. (Photos: Martin Scheel, See gallery)

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Snow thwarts Women’s Worlds hang gliding championships

The second Category 1 event in the 2010 season was the combined hang gliding Women’s Worlds, Class 2 and Class 5 Championships held at Tegelberg, Germany in May this year. The weather conditions were very disappointing, to say the least, and no tasks could be run for either the Women’s Worlds nor the Class 5 Championships. Low cloud, rain and even snow on the mountain launch made it impossible to fly. In the valley, where the class 2 gliders were towed up, the weather was just flyable and 3 tasks were run for the 9 competitors.

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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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