Monday, 03 September 2012 16:01
The FAI Paragliding Cross-Country European Championship started on September 2nd in St-André-les-Alpes, France. Dennis Pagen, President of the Jury, wrote to us...
We arrived in St. Andre with perfect timing. There has been a serious drought in southeast Europe, so we scheduled a competition and brought much-needed rain. Yesterday was registration and the opening ceremony. It actually cleared a bit in the afternoon, and most competitors took the opportunity to catch an hour or two of flying, so there is no weather stress as yet. Since then it has rained chats and chiens and today, the first scheduled day of competition has been cancelled.
Last evening we had a parade with pilots in their sassy native dress, followed by obligatory speeches by the local politicians. Then we had a party in the town centre which got us mingling with the locals and enjoying the French culture. That's why we come to these events, isn't it? Oh, of course there's the flying, and if all is right with the universe it will clear and the race will be on. While we enjoy the village and the local color, we are waiting for a chance to show our colors.
Wednesday, 22 August 2012 18:23
FS the Official CIVL XC Competition Scoring Software for Hang and Paragliding has been updated with version 1.3.1 and is available on FS homepage. Please look at the Documentation and Forum sections for information on how to use the software and last changes made.
Wednesday, 22 August 2012 09:23
Summer is a busy time for leisure or competition pilots. CIVL Bureau though it was a good time for holidays, but, hey, no way!
John Dickenson, inventor of the modern hang glider, has been honoured with the highest FAI award: the Air Gold Medal. The glider that John Dickenson built in September 1963 proved to be unprecedently simple, unprecedently user friendly, unprecedently easily copied. It became the template for almost all hang-gliders, giving access to the sky to thousands of people, opening the doors to a new sport.
Paragliding aerobatics is a relatively young discipline, recognised by CIVL from 2005. One of the difficulties that potential organisers encounter, is the lack of qualified PG Aerobatics Judges available to work at competitions. CIVL is asking the Federations and NACs who have PG Aerobatics Judges in training, or who have candidates they would like trained, or indeed, those who have aerobatics pilots they wish to encourage, to help provide some financial support for these trainees and pilots.
The 3rd FAI European Paragliding Accuracy Championship was run in Orhid (FYR Macedonia) last July. Report and links are published on our website.
The Paragliding pre-World was run in Sopot (Bulgaria) last July. The Steward report was carefully read and the Bureau will make sure that all recommendations made will be implemented.
Paragliding Accuracy is one of the discipline of the 2014 World Games in Cali (Colombia). The pre-World was run earlier this month. Reports are published on our website.
The letter we sent to EHPU and PMA to re-state CIVL position on the evolution of competition gliders and the answers we got show that we are still far from a consensus on what these gliders should be. So CIVL has invited EHPU and PMA to a top level meeting in St-André-les-Alpes (France) on September 15th, closing day of the European Paragliding championship.
The Competition Structure Working Group will also hold a meeting in St-André-les-Alpes, on September 16th. It’s intermediary report published on our website did not get many comments. It’s still time people! The way CIVL chooses between bids for Category 1 events has been added to the Working Group agenda.
Finally, we published our analysis on selection criteria and nation size for the next FAI European Paragliding Championship.
Wednesday, 15 August 2012 08:27
After a nail-biting 6th and final round, top Colombian pilot, Ricardo Gomez gained first place in the Paragliding Accuracy World Games Test Event, which concluded successfully on Saturday in Cali, Colombia. Andy Shaw (GBR) took silver, and Miguel Martinez (COL) was in third place.
Saturday, 11 August 2012 09:58
The Paragliding Accuracy Test Event of the World Games in Cali, Colombia is underway. The competition, being held at the Marco Fidel Suarez Air Force base, provides a venue convenient for winch-launching and for spectators, close to Colombia’s ‘Salsa City’. It is being run in parallel with Parachuting Canopy Piloting.
The venue has been months in preparation, with the construction of a swoop pond for the parachutists, measuring 25m x 65m. The Paragliding Accuracy target is located close by, so that the landing areas of both disciplines are immediately in front of spectator stands. Although this year’s Test Events are low key affairs, next year, these airsports events are expected to attract huge crowds from the local population as well as internationally.
Two rounds each of paragliding accuracy and parachuting canopy piloting have been completed on the first full day of the competition.
The inclusion of Paragliding Accuracy in the Cali World Games has given a tremendous boost to the discipline in Colombia. Recent local FAI Cat 2 competitions have produced a field of 20 Colombian pilots competing this week. There is international representation, with pilots from Czech Republic and United Kingdom. Next year, 36 of the world’s top paragliding accuracy pilots will be selected and invited to participate.
The World Games
Paragliding Accuracy and Parachuting Canopy Piloting represent the only two airsports taking part in the 2013 edition of The World Games. A diverse range of some 30 non-Olympic sports are featured, including rugby, orienteering, fistball and Squash, acrobatic gymnastics, sumo wrestling and fin swimming. Some 4000 athletes from 120 countries are expected to compete. See: http://www.theworldgames.org/the-sports/sports
Test events for this multi-sport extravaganza are taking place throughout this year, and will all be played out at the same time next year from 25 July to 4 August.
Pic caption: Andy Shaw (GBR) scores in the first round of the Paragliding Accuracy World Games Test Event. Note the parachuting ‘swoop pond’ just behind.
Thursday, 09 August 2012 10:28
A number of team leaders have voiced concern about the lack of clear publication and/or advertisement of the 10 pilots per nation rule as no other Europeans had been run like this.
The main concern is that the team choice was based on the expectation of a team size of 5 + 1 and this is how they based their selection/funding for the season. Some nations did not expect to have to try and find this many more pilots at short notice.
Questions were also raised about team scoring and CIVL had to point out that these extra pilots will form no part of the team scoring and will not receive a medal if their nation is on the Podium. Some pilots might feel frustrated that they don't contribute. One team leader expressed the view that these extra pilots were only being included to make up the numbers (financially ).
Finally, with more than 30 non team pilots flying ( the extra ones are all from the strong Nations France, Swiss, etc.), this could have the potential to skew the team scores a lot, making in what some people already find is an unfair team competition even more unfair.
CIVL would like to underline that…
- We know it's important for the organizers to get 150 pilots so they can balance their budget. It is probably the main reason why St-André opened the door to 10 pilots per country.
- Today, tendency is to make the selection criteria harder, not easier. If organizers want 150 pilots, the number of pilots per country has to be more than 5 + 1. St-André had a choice: stay at 5 + 1 and open to non-European pilots; go 9 + 1 and open only to European. They chose to have more European pilots flying and will not allow any non-European pilots.
The Morzine, France, 2005 Euro was based on 8 pilots team, not far from St-André 10, for the same financial and political reasons. At the time, the selection level was top 1000 of the WPRS, not top 400 like St-André, a big difference.
- During the last February CIVL Plenary, we talked at length about making the selection criteria harder and what the consequences would be. What's happening in St-André should not be a surprise to anyone.
- Rules are supposed to be know by all. Local regulations were published on time in March. It's a European championship. Travel expenses are not that high. Nations had ample time to get prepared for 10 pilots team if they wanted.
- Team leaders are smart. Yes, having extra pilots not scoring for the team is a problem for pilots and team leaders. It is also a big opportunity to have more pilots in a top level competition and nations should be happy with it.
- Every country can send 10 pilots (if they are good enough). Every country will have the same number of pilots scoring. The team results will show strictly the strength of nations.
Tuesday, 24 July 2012 11:15
The 3rd FAI European Paragliding Accuracy Championship came to an end last July the 8th. Were crowned...
Overall: 1- Dimitar Ralev, Bulgaria; 2- Goran Gjurkovic, Serbia; 3- Matjaz Sluga, Slovenia.
Women: Milica Marinkovic, Serbia; 2- Jolanta Romanenko, Lithuania; Barbora Smutna, Czech Republic.
Nations: 1- Slovenia; 2- Czech Republic; 3- Serbia.
See here all the pictures of the competition, including the prize-giving ceremony !
Thursday, 19 July 2012 09:45
John Dickenson, inventor of the modern hang glider, has been honored with the highest FAI award: the Air Gold Medal. The glider that John Dickenson built in september 1963 proved to be unprecedently simple, unprecedently user friendly, unprecedently easily copied. It became the template for almost all hang-gliders, giving access to the sky to thousands of people, opening the doors to a new sport.
A (very) short story of hang gliding
Hang gliding began with Otto Lilienthal in 1891. The German engineer completed over 2000 flights. His gliders were very complex and difficult to build or repair, with a control system that proved inadequate to deal with turbulence. Lilienthal died following a crash; still he proved that flying was possible.
American railway engineer Octave Chanute designed, built and flew his Bi-plane hang glider that same year. Plans for the Chanute glider sold well and many were built and flown in the early 20th century. The gliders were relatively simple to build, but they lacked adequate control for turbulent conditions and they were fragile if crashed.
Tuesday, 17 July 2012 08:12
CIVL regrets to announce the tragic death of Dilip Kotecha of India, following his crash on a mountainside shortly after the start of the first task of the paragliding pre-Worlds at Sopot, Bulgaria, on July the 15th 2012. Our thoughts are with Dilip's family, friends and colleagues at this difficult time. Investigations are going on.
Monday, 16 July 2012 18:01
Paragliding aerobatics is a relatively young discipline, recognised by CIVL from 2005. CIVL and the FAI are keen to help this sport develop further as it is particularly media and spectator-friendly. There is a growing number of paragliding aerobatic pilots (more than 180 from 26 nations in the CIVL World Pilot Ranking Scheme), but unfortunately, only a handful of FAI Cat 2 sanctioned competitions for them to attend each year.
One of the difficulties that potential organisers encounter, is the lack of qualified PG Aerobatics Judges available to work at competitions. A quick look at the PG Aerobatics Annex to Section 7B of the Sporting Code will show you just how complex a task is involved!
For the last three years, CIVL in conjunction with ARISF (Association of Recognised IOC Sports Federations), has been supporting the CIVL PG Aerobatics Subcommittee with funding to help train new Judges. But it is a long process, and Trainee Judges need to attend 4 or 5 competitions before they can be declared fully qualified.
The 2012 CIVL Plenary agreed to a further request for funding by the CIVL PG Aerobatics Subcommittee of €5000, to be split 50/50 between CIVL and ARISF. The Subcommittee, chaired this year by Claudio Cattaneo (SUI), is currently developing its 2012 Judging Training programme.
To date, FAI-sanctioned paragliding aerobatics competitions take place predominantly in Europe, and we are keen to see them expand to other continents. As a start, this means training Judges from other continents – and the allocated budget is simply not going to stretch far enough!
CIVL is asking the Federations and NACs who have PG Aerobatics Judges in training, or who have candidates they would like trained, or indeed, those who have aerobatics pilots they wish to encourage, to help provide some financial support for these trainees and pilots. Covering their travel costs, or accommodation and food while attending a competition, for example, will help our limited funds stretch much further and expand the discipline. Please contact Claudio Cattaneo the CIVL Aerobatic Chairman directly for further information.