Plenary 2013 - What’s up in Paragliding?


The Paragliding Committee came up at the 2013 Plenary with no less than 28 items on its agenda. 43 delegates, alternate delegates and observers took part in its Open Meeting.

The main subject of discussion was the implementation of a new Competition Class. This has been reported on in a previous News on this website. The minutes and annexes will detail the different steps that led to the Plenary decision.

Associated to this new Class, a new End of Speed Section with altitude bonus was adopted. The original proposal was amended to accommodate special conditions, altitude measurement issues, etc.

Last November, the CIVL Bureau made mandatory the use of a second rescue parachute. The Bureau decision was amended as follows: “As an alternative to two reserve parachutes, a single reserve parachute easily deployable by either hand may be used.” This means: deployable in all conditions, even degraded flying conditions (spin, etc.). The Plenary also allowed a 2,000€ budget for the development of an automatic deployment reserve system.

The Pilot Declaration Form implemented last year, which purpose is to make pilots aware of their skill levels (or lack thereof), was updated. The Paragliding Committee will now work on a new IPPI Competition level or Super Licence or their equivalent, to define skills and procedure that could be made mandatory for pilots to enter Category 1 events from 2015 on. Probably one of the most important issue the new PG Committee will have to work on.

Many proposals, done in conjunction with the Software working group, were studied and not many passed, needing more work on their formula or consequences. Still it was agreed that GAP will become GAP PG 201x or GAP HG 201x and that the parameters that can be modified by the competition organisers will be fewer and clearer. It was also agreed that there should be some formalisation of how new features and software releases are tested prior to voting; they should be scheduled for introduction in a Cat 1 championship the following calendar year and be thoroughly tested in Cat 2 competitions in the interim.

Procedures were revised to allow the Committee to be more proactive in the review of bids for World and Continental Championships.

Live tracking is now mandatory in all PG Cat 1 events.

Joint Asia-Oceania Championships should be allowed soon. The aim is to help the development of these regions. In parallel, the Committee will study how to make the WPRS less Eurocentric.

The 2015 World Championship will take place in Roldanillo, Colombia from 10th to 25th January.

Stéphane Malbos (France) was elected to Chair the PG Committee. Members were appointed later. They are: Luc Armant (France), Hamish Barker (Australia), Raymond Caux (France), Josh Cohn (USA), Goran Dimiskovski (Macedonia), Joerg Ewald (Switzerland), Brett Hazlett (Canada), Didier Mathurin (France), Martin Scheel (Switzerland).

Plenary 2013 - Follow-up: New Competition Class


In the “A New Competition Class Is Born” article on CIVL website, it is declared: “CIVL, EHPU, PWCA, test pilots and PMA worked on a compromise that they agreed is the best long-term solution available." In the exhilaration of what we thought was a crucial decision, we got carried away and our statement has to be corrected. Neither EHPU, PWCA, PMA nor a test-pilot organization were formally represented at the Plenary. If some CIVL delegates or observers that took part in the decision process were members of these bodies, they were there in their name, and none of the above bodies have yet taken an official stance on CIVL decision.

Plenary 2013 - Paragliders rescue parachutes: one or two?



The 2013 Plenary amended the November Bureau decision as follow: “From May 1st, 2014, all pilots must carry this reserve parachute plus one more. The latter must be deployable with the opposite hand compared to the main reserve or, even better, with either hand. As an alternative to two reserve parachutes, a single reserve parachute easily deployable by either hand may be used. Pilots are encouraged not to wait for this deadline to get equipped with a second reserve. Pilots should make sure that both reserve parachute, main and second, are within th maximum certified weight. Pilots should check and repack their reserves regularly and get used to throw them while in flight simulators.”

It is understood that – one or two – parachutes must be reachable and deployable in all conditions, even degraded (spin, etc.).

This decision concerns Category 1 events only. NACs, in their own competitions, are free to implement this rule following their own timeline or to not to implement it.

Another recommendation was adopted and a budget of 2,000€ adopted to test the Automatic Rescue and Alert System (ARAS).

(Photo from The Telegraph, UK, found on the www)

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.


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.

A Paraglider Competition Pilots Survey


For the 2013 CIVL Plenary, the Paraglider Manufacturers Association (PMA), at CIVL’s request, created a proposal for a future paragliding competition class for cross-country competitions. This proposal, as well as the topic of equipment for such competitions in general, has been heavily discussed over the last several months, amongst pilots, officials, country associations and many others. These discussions will continue at the Plenary, and will most likely lead to a vote there.

The views of many players on this complex topic are well known, but to this date, no clear information existed on the point of view of those mainly affected by CIVL’s decisions: The

competition pilots themselves. Following a blog post by André Rainsford, a group from within the PMA approached CIVL and proposed a survey amongst competition paraglider pilots, to learn about their opinion on PMA’s proposal, and on the equipment topic in general.

Between February 4th and 10th 2013, such a survey was conducted. This document contains its final outcome.

13th FAI Paragliding World Championships Local Regulations Published


THe Local Regulations for Sopot, Bulgaria, 19th FAI Paragliding World Championships are now published in the Document chapter of this website.

What’s up in January 2013?



Well, this IS a new year, so happy and merry to everyone! And specially to Molly and Bill Moyes, still going strong after more than 40 years of involvement in our sport!

January has been quiet on CIVL Bureau front. With the agenda published, we almost took a nap until the next Plenary. But…

The Plenary Agenda was adjusted twice, with a bid for a Hang Gliding World Championship in Mexico in 2015, and a bid to hold the Plenary in Bali, Indonesia in 2015. We refused to add awards nominations as they came too late.

There was a FAI Hang Gliding World Championship in Forbes, Australia, and a very successful one, with great Champions crowded. We had to adjust the Remote Jury, as one member was not available after all.

We worked on the next FAI Paragliding World Championship local regulations; on CIVL annual report for FAI annual report; on our financial situation, with difficulty as the FAI person in charge had a bad accident and was not available (get well fast, Cosette!).

We followed with attention on the CIVL Delegates mailing list the discussion on the new PG Competition Class glider proposals.

That's it, Folks! See you soon at the Plenary!

2013 Plenary Agenda Updated


The 2013 CIVL Plenary Agenda is modified as follow: a bid has been received in time from Indonesia to hold the 2014 Plenary in Bali (Annex 38). 

The local regulations from the PG World in Sopot, Bulgaria, will be added soon.

The President and Treasurer reports will be published before the end of the month. The Treasurer report will probably be provisionnal, due to standing problems and the accident of the person in charge of FAI finances, Cosette Mast (both arms broken).

Corinna 5th, Manfred 4th, Italy 3rd titles!


The 19th FAI Hang Gliding Class 1 World Championship came to an end on January 18th in Forbes, Australia. An exciting competition with many and long tasks, and in the end true Champions: Corinna Schwiebershausen for her 5th title, Manfred Ruhmer for his 4th, Italy for its 3rd! Congratulation!

All details, pictures, video are on the organizer website.

The podiums:


  • 1st : Manfred Ruhmer (AUT)
  • 2nd : Alessandro Ploner (ITA)
  • 3rd : Filippo Oppici (ITA)


  • 1st: Corinna Schwiegershausen (GER)
  • 2nd: Kathleen Rigg (GBR)
  • 3rd: Tove Heaney (AUS)


  • 1st : Italy
  • 2nd : USA
  • 3rd : United Kingdom

Plenary Agenda Modified


With apologies to the Mexican NAC, organizers and pilots, we are publishing the Valle de Bravo bid for the 20th FAI Hang Gliding World Championship. The bid was sent in time but somehow got lost between CIVL and the webdog. The agenda is modified accordingly and a V2 is published. Both modifications appear in the Document chapter of this website.