IPC Plenary Meeting, Frankfurt 2016 Day 1

Plenary2016 Arriving 

Today is the start of the open meetings, this is the opportunity the delegates and committees have to work together on decisions that have been under question or discussion during the year to finalise their presentations to the Plenary itself on Saturday and Sunday.

Helmut Bastuk, our host, from the German Parachute Association  – welcomed the delegates to the 2016 IPC Meeting and our special guests from the  FAI, namely Ms Gillian Rayner, Executive Board Member, Mr. Alvaro de Orleans Borbon (Deputy to President) and Markus Haggeney - Sports & Marketing Director. The idea for the location was to have a venue close to the International Airport, sport orientated and with a good hotel. Unfortunately nothing ever runs as smoothly as planned and he apologised for the inconvenience of an overnight change of hotel, due to unforseen problems posed at the last minute by the Hotel.  He hoped that the rest of the meeting would proceed smoothly, but reminded delegates of the importance of letting the secretariat know departure details as soon as possible.  He also warned that on Sunday there would be an important  Football match in the Stadium and the whole place would be very busy.  The Gala Dinner will be on Saturday evening at 8.00 in the Lidner Hotel, dress code was smart casual as is usual for a parachuting event..

Liam McNulty, Recording Secretary, then explained some changes to the schedule over the next two days with switching between Speed and Wingsuit presentations, and Canopy Formation and Freefall Style and Accuracy Landings..

Graeme Windsor, IPC President then welcomed everyone and asked the new Delegates to make themselves known. He spoke about the fact that there is not a very good connection to the internet at the moment, the organiser has promised it will be improved by Thursday.

The number of annexes (74) indicates how exciting and fast-growing skydiving is becoming with new disciplines and notably indoor skydiving, which is growing at an amazing pace, bringing youngsters into the sport; although he does appreciate there is some concern this may be at the detriment of skydiving.

Graham then spoke about IPETA and the fact that, with the FAI,  was working with a potential sponsor and  there is a very good chance that there will be a World series, including Canopy Piloting.

He enthusiasically spoke of the success of the World Air Games – airsports were well represented and gave great exposure to a large number of airsports – there is going to be a review at the start of April to analyse and work for the future. We had a lot of competitors but that was to be expected as it took place at Skydive Dubai – all chairs have been asked to provide feedback so that for the next time we can improve the presentation of our sport.  This moved Graeme on to the Strategic Plan - we had a coffee break whilst the overhead projection system was sorted.

At the plenary last year it ended in a hurry – one of the issues was that the Canopy Piloting rules were left to the Bureau to approve and finalise.  They have now been finalised and Graeme thanked Alberto and his committee for their work and asked all delegates to review them as they were included in the Agenda.

After a short coffee break Graeme then talked about the Strategic Plan which was agreed in 2013 and has only been slightly modified since then.  I will publish the revised Strategic Plan on this website.  Graeme went through the changes and the reasons why.

10.15 a.m.  We moved on to the Safety and Training Committee2016 Safety Training Committee

Liam took the microphone from the Committee Chair, Gustavo Eduardo Reyes after he introduced his panel of members.  Liam spoke about the small number of returns and the fact that the difficulty is that he does not receive year on year reports from the same countries, so there is no way to see a pattern developing.  He also then spoke about the lack of use of the Safety Database which had been created for countries to use, under a password, so that any incident is reported immediately but this is not being utilised. 

Patrice Girardin, France Delegate spoke very strongly about using the information highway - social media - whatever to make immediate enquiries about any accident, as it happens, to build information. 

 Alberto Martin Paracuellos spoke against this as he believes that the right information is what is important and he encouraged all delegates to ensure they use the database and complete the information requried by the reports. 

Gillian Winter followed up with a short video presentation initiatiated by the French Parachute Federation, to host a European competition that allows physically disabled people to skydive and compete against others, as a tandem passenger.


Ronald Overdijk explained the problems  Albertos's request puts on those who are involved with an investigation - but there was discussion and although people understood the difficulty it is important that information comes to the committee.

Gustavo said it is important to share information on all incidents as well as fatalities.  He then thanked delegates for their contributions.

11.45  Finance Working Group  2016 Finance Committee

Doris Merz-Hunziker explained to the delegates the way she has to work within the FAI's finance structure.  She has to wait for the September statement to know exactly what has been paid out by the FAI.   She can authorise payments but if these are in Euros she can set up the payment, although it still has to be authorised also by FAI personnel - any other currency has to go through Western Union and this can only be authorised by two FAI personnel.  So it is difficult for Doris to keep proper records of what is being paid out and when it is and also to know when the payments are actually made.

Doris then went through the Profit and Loss Account which she was able to prepare from the September statement, giving explanations along the way.  She then asked for questions and there were a couple which she was able to answer. 

Doris also thanked the FAI Head Office staff and particularly Cosette Mast for their help and work with the IPC.

11.45  Speed2016 Speed Committee

Elisabet Mikaelsson presented those members of her committee that were present, due to the changes in the schedule unfortunately several of her team had yet to arrive.  She promised that her presentation would match the discipline name and be fast!  She confirmed that they had been successful competitions during 2015 and was looking forward to being at the Mondial in Chicago.  She also spoke about the development of other recording devices, but these will be tested fully to ensure they calibrate to the same standard as those currently used.  They have also improved the Analysis software.  Providing there is a good internet connection on the competition site they can publish instant results, which are appreciated by competitors.

There were no questions other than the confirmation that any devices approved would have exactly the same criteria/calibration - so we then moved on to the next item.

11.50 IPETA

2016 IPETA Committee
Graeme introduced the current board of directors of this company, which although owned by the FAI is run by IPC.  The board has 7 Directors with Graeme acting as the Managing Director, two Directors from the FAI : Markus Haggeney  and  Mr. Alvaro de ORLEANS BORBÓN, and 5 members from IPC.  Graeme spoke about the exciting future he sees, as IPETA and the FAI are working together with a sponsor who is very interested in incorporating Canopy Piloting into an established World Series.  Markus then confirmed that he has a meeting on the 2nd February and should be able to report after that.  Marylou spoke with great enthusiasm about the work she is doing to promote IPETA and parachuting - that her aim is to get competitors the recognition they deserve as given to athletes in other sports.  She was encouraged with the interest she had received in several instances that were still being persued.

Alvero then spoke passionately about the prospects for IPETA and the potential this presents for parachuting.  He used the example of the International Automobile Association and Bernie Eccleston who had taken over F1 Motor racing and who now tells the IAA what rules to make as they had lost control of their sport.  IPETA would allow IPC to benefit from their own events.    He suggested that the delegates embraced what IPETA is doing.  There was a question from the floor of the FAI as to whether they were creating a similar marketing organisation that would be in conflict with IPETA.  Alvero answered that the FAI was in the very early stages of thinking about the creation of a multi-event series, which would not be in conflict with the aims of IPETA. 

12.10  Para-Ski2016 Para-Ski Committee

Michael Egger then presented his report and committee.  There were few changes other than the wish of the committee to return to the 2-way Female Team.  He asked for bids for the future, as there was nothing on the agenda for 2018 or 2019 and he appealed to delegates to consider this discipline. He hoped to be able to announce the possibility of new bids.

12.30 Canopy Formation

2016 CF CommitteeRina Gallo started by asking Lindy Roche-Wiliams to present her report for the previous year's activity.  Rina Gallo then presented the rule changes that the committee had been discussing and put the proposals up, there were no questions from the floor.  She did say that the committee were discussing the French Proposal to remove the "throw-away round" and this discussion was still ongoing.   She would have a  final proposal to put to the Plenary and this would be included in the papers circulated before that meeting.

She then handed the floor to Rook Nelson, the owner/operator of Skydive Chicago  as he had proposed changes to the Modial 2016.  The landing area they had intended to use for Canopy Formations and Style was no longer available - it is now a cornfield.  He has the opportunity to use an alternate airfield which is 12 miles away.  He then showed the changes he proposed as a result of this alternate field and which he believed, as an ex-competitor would give a better World competition.  The overall schedule had been shortened by one day, but all events would take place over the whole period.  This represented a major change to the bid presented last year and caused considerable discussion from the floor.  Graeme asked that the whole decision was looked at again and a full discussion take place over the days between now and the Plenary and asked Rook to come back with a finalised presentation.

 It was then time to break for Lunch.

12.30 Canopy Piloting

2016 CP Committee2
Alberto introduced his committee and spoke about the loss of several members for different reason, and he said he will add new members at the end of the Plenary.  He then spoke about the problems of the competition rules at the end of last year's plenary.  He briefly explained the history of re-writing of the rules.  There are two rules that are really under discussion and the committee still is not happy with the rules - 1 is the drag distance in the distance rules so a 50 m gate, to make it safer and to reduce the distance so the committee wanted to change it to 70 m.  The complaint was that the event would be killed - Alberto explained that the committee did not want to kill the event, but did not want to kill the competitors either.  The committee have decided to leave it to the Plenary to decide whether to stay with the 50 m or to go to the 70 m proposed by the committee.  He explained this well.  

The other rule under contention was a new weight chart - the existing chart was too complicated to understand and therefore resulted in few weight checks being made and this lead to competitors using extra weight.  The new chart is designed to stop the abuse of the intenetion of the rule.   Rules have also been incorporated as a result of competitors meeting which Alberto explained why he is not in favour of this method of introducing rules.  One rule related to the return of the marker strike penalty and this has been reintroduced and Alberto explained again why he is against this rule.  He feels that procedurally it is wrong to allow rule changes to be made simply as a result of a competitors meeting, and gave examples of why this makes no sense.  He has introduced the rules now as an annex and everyone present has an opportunity to read them.

He then covered the two Chief Judges report from the two FCE's during 2015.  Marylou spoke about 2016 Farnham bid as she has been appointed FAI Controller.  There would appear to be some changes and these will be clarified and if it is a date change this will need to approved by the Plenary.  The Canadian delegate said she would check with the organiser and come back at the Plenary.

The new rules were then presented.  These are the rules that will be voted on at the Plenary.

Alberto then spoke about future bids, there is one from UEA for 2016 and will be voted on at this Plenary.   

Alberto asked Elisabet to speak about the World Games, but she said that the presentation was planned for the Plenary.  She said that they would decide on the selection process and would present that at the Plenary. 

Graeme thanked Alberto for his presentation and for the fact that he had a set of rules in the Agenda.

15.20  Artistic Events

Ron commenced her presentation by introducing her committee stating that it represented a good mix of judges and competitors and was 2016 AE Committeeproud of the committee's communication with the competitors.  She proposed a skydiving Freestyle Award to honour Raija Kosonen who died in 2015.  

Ron stated that indoor and outdoor artistic events  are totally different and for this reason she asks for a new judge rating for Indoor only which will be Freestyle and Dynamic.

She then covered the competitions during 2015.  She discussed the problems that had occurred and proposed solutions and these would certainly lead to questions to be put to the bidders for future competitions. 

She then explained the rules changes that they were proposing. 

Graeme then proposed to bring forward the IPETA AGM from the 18.00 time currently set.  Meanwhile there was a break.

Now the work starts, with committees meeting and delegate lobbying and networking.