IPC Bureau: (L-R) Richard "Buzz" Bennett, Financial Secretary: Liam McNulty, Technical Secretary: Gillian Raynor, 1st Vice-President: Graeme Windsor, President:: John Smyth, Vice-President: Neils-Christian Leven Hansen, Vice-President.
Sunday 27th January 2013
Another 9.00 am start for the plenary, having enjoyed a very pleasant farewell banquet last night. Our hosts had made us very welcome and a huge thank you goes to the NAC of Bosnia & Herzegovina and the parachute club of Banja Luka.
A roll call was called at the start of the meeting by Jean-Marc Badan to establish the number of delegates present and therefore the simple majority number requred in voting situations. 34 Nations (including proxy votes) therefore 18 for a simple majority.
We then moved to finalising the work of the Rules and Regulations Committee and the final rule changes of the various IPC documents were gone through and agreed unanimously.
Dr. Rainer 'Exi' Hoenle (Germany) raised a question about the wording of the Organisers' Agreement that commits the signatory to accept future changes that may affect his bid, Exi felt this was immoral and probably illegal. Buzz Bennett explained in response that this was an FAI document and as Jean-Marc Badan explained in his opening address this document was under revision. Graeme Windsor confirmed that the Bureau would ensure that Exi's concerns would be followed up with the FAI office on this aspect of the document.
The Plenary then considered the proposal from the Hungarian delegate, Dr. István Siphos, that future bids from NAC's to host Plenary meetings give a scale of entry fees to allow delegates and observers to attend the whole event, the open sessions or simply the two days of the Plenary. There was some discussion that this should be implemented from next year and not affect the bids that will be considered later today. It was agreed unanimously.
Buzz then presented the new proposal to create a Safety Panel of 3 for each FCE who would decide on all safety issues, and use a three level system of penalty - with the possibility to go to any level on a first safety violation as agreed by a majority decision. This had been discussed at depth in the open meeting and after clarification on a couple of points, a vote was taken. The result was unanimous support.
Gillian Rayner (France), 1st Vice-President then presented the current Jury List on which there were three new members and one retired. The list had been displayed during the meeting and was approved unanimously. She then proceeded to announce the FAI Controllers and Juries (follow the link) that were proposed for the forthcoming FCE's and these also received unanimous approval.
We then moved on to the presentations from ASIANIA from Faye Cox (Australia) in the absence from the meeting of the President of ASIANIA, Dr. Mubarak Al Swilim due to visa problems. Faye reported on the healthy condition of ASIANIA which will be celebrating 20 years of incorporation next year. Having started with 6 members there were 30 today. Their activities have increased the number of FAI members, many of whom participated for the first time in a FCE at the Mondial in Dubai.
Graeme Windsor thanked her for the report and all the work she was doing to encourage greater participation in this continental region and helping to expand the IPC community.
We then received a presentation from COLPAR, Gustavo Eduardo Reyes (Argentina) making an excellent Power Point presentation on the formation of this new association and their plans for the future to encourage and harmonise the parachuting community and activity in South America.
He was warmly applauded by the plenary and thanked by Graeme Windsor for working so hard to increase parachuting activity in his region.
Budgets. We then moved to the second part of the Treasurer's Report and Buzz Bennett presented the budgets for the next two years (2013 and 2014) as required by the new FAI accounting policy. A question was asked by the Chair of the Judges Committee, that an exception may be made for the Judges and Jury attending the Freefall Style and Accuracy Landings competition in Russia this year. Although it is considered within Europe under our policy, the costs for travel are high and she requested that judges 'out of pocket' expenses could be met if they exceed the allowance amount. This was agreed and accepted by Buzz and the delegates. The Budget was then voted on and agreed.
The next Agenda Item was the Awards and there were two bids on the table for the FAI Gold Parachuting Medal; one from Sweden which was deferred from last year for Dr. Anton Westman and one from Austria for Felix Baumgartner. Graeme explained to the plenary that the Austrian bid did not meet the Bye Laws of the FAI and therefore could not be accepted this year, but would be on the agenda for the 2014 Plenary. There was a lot of discussion from the floor asking if it would be possible to find a way around the problem as we really needed to be able to capitalise on this exceptional record/performance and it seemed a pity not to find a solution. However a consideration has to be paid to the fact that Sweden already had a nomination on the table which had been deferred once.
As the discussion continued, Graeme suggested that this item be reconsidered after the coffee break to see if a solution could be found. Jean-Marc Badan did suggest that the IPC consider supporting Austria's nominating Felix for the FAI Gold Medal which would be awarded this year at the General Conference and was the highest of the FAI awards. After coffee this suggestion was expanded to include the two new awards which the FAI were working on with Brietling for this year. Graeme put it to the plenary that the IPC authorised Austria to make whichever application they felt was the best. This was given unanimously.
The plenary then voted on the Swedish application and it was approved unanimously.
Graeme Windsor then welcomed B.J. Worth, President of Honour, to the podium. B.J. then gave his Farewell Speech to the delegates and announced his retirement next year from all his parachuting activities and involvement after 43 years passion. His speech is attached to this report. He was given a standing ovation at the end and thanked by Graeme for his legacy which will remain in parachuting history - a legend in our time.
After coffee we then moved to the Elections of the various Liaison officer posts, committees and working groups. The incumbent liaison officers agreed to continue in post and the committee proposals were accepted.
The final item on the agenda is the Future IPC Plenary Meeting and there are two bids to be considered. Austria and Israel. Austria's bid was on the web site and Israel made a interesting and amusing presentation in support of their bid. These bids were then voted on by a secret ballot.
Graeme then anounced that the Bureau had received two letters of intent from Bulgaria and Croatia for the 2015 IPC Plenary.
The result of the vote was 27 in favour of Austria; 7 in favour of Israel. Austria then presented how they will prepare for the meeting/information flow, they are currently preparing a web site which will be launched shortly.
Graeme thanked everyone for the work carried out this week and the future looks good and exciting for Parachuting. He closed the meeting with a big thank you to our hosts.
The Delegate for Bosnia & Herzogovina then said how much he had enjoyed the week, learnt so much and looked forward to welcoming everyone back for the European Championships in the summer.
Susan Dixon, Sunday 27th January 2013.
Saturday, 26th January 2013
Graeme Windsor, President IPC opening the 64th Plenary Meeting with the ususal call for us to hold a minute's silence in memory of those members who had lost their lives during the previous year. Particular reference was made to the tragic death at the local drop zone earlier in the year when the pilot and 4 parachutists were killed. He thanked our hosts the NAC of Bosnia & Herzegovina and introduced guests who wished to welcome us to the Country.
The first speaker was Mrs. Nada Tešanovic, Ministry of Sports and Family. She welcomed everyone warmly to Bosnia & Herzegovina. Graeme thanked her for her welcome and presented a gift in memory of this occasion.
She was followed by Head of the Department of Sports for Banja Luka who not only welcomed the delegates who represented 33 nations from all continents for this meeting, but also spoke with enthusiasm about the forthcoming World Cup to be held in Banja Luka this summer.
Graeme welcomed our President of Honour, BJ Worth, and the member of the FAI, Jean-Marc Badan and FAI Vice-President of the Executive Board Alvaro de Orleans Borbon who then spoke briefly to the meeting, saying that he was pleased to report that discussion and meetings held over the previous few days had helped solve some of the problems and clear the air, remarking that IPC was one of the largest of the Air Sports Commissions in the FAI.
We then moved on to the roll call and verification of those present.
Graeme then proceeded onto the business of the meeting starting with the Minutes of the Previous Meeting, and asked for their approval. 'Exi' Rainer Hoenle (Germany) raised the questions regarding the items referring to IPETA and the changes made to those items in later decisions made by the Bureau. He also referred to a statement about the delegations for Dubai relating to the number of medical persons. Both questions were answered and the vote was taken with unanimous acceptance.
Jean-Marc Badan then spoke about the FAI over the past year and proposals for the future. He commenced by congratulating everyone for the success of Dubai and confirmed this was the largest ever competition for any air sport. The fall out in terms of interest in Parachuting and also nations wishing to become FAI members or upgrade their membership had been very positive. He then spoke about the FAI General Meeting and the elected Executive Board of the FAI. During the conference new members were approved, including COLPAR. The status of all members is updated daily on the FAI Web Site and it is worth checking this at the start of competition to ensure all competitors NAC's are current FAI Members.
The finances of FAI suffered from the loss of sponsors and for 2011 they showed a deficit of 21,000 Swiss Francs, but due to the agreement entered into with Breitling the budget for 2012 indicates a profit of 15,000 Swiss Francs. Jean-Marc then spoke about the formation of FAME, which is a company formed to aid air sports and the FAI to promote and add professional assistance and has focused its efforts for the end of the year to strengthening the links with Breitling. Breitling is looking to link their brand with air sporting achievement. Jean-Marc's presentation was wide-ranging and covered the future of FAME, the work with Breitling and also the Anti-Doping programme. He then moved to the staffing of the FAI offices. Today there is a full team working at Lausanne and he then outlined the various personnel involved and their positions. The plans for 2013 will start with the design of a new database system to combine all the databases used in the offices and then to develop the on-line tools for immediate and direct entry.
The Organisers Agreement is currently under revision as the current one needs to be updated. This is being developed by Rob Hughes in conjunction with air sports commissions. He moved on to talk about the involvement of FAI in multi-sport organisations like World Air Games, World Games and Asiatic Beach Games.
Graeme then thanked Jean-Marc for his report, asking a couple of questions including the awareness that WAG are considered a FCE for parachuting and as 2015 is a World Cup and Continental Championships year, maybe this needs to be taken into account with the development of the WAG. He also commented on the Breitling sponsorship.
We then moved on to the next agenda item, which was Graeme's Report as IPC President. This report had been circulated with the Agenda and Annexes.
He then proceeded onto the decisions made by the Bureau during the year, and this was put to the Plenary for questions and validation. After a question from the floor one item was recorded as a retrospectively minuted decision. The report was unanimously accepted except from one abstention (Germany).
The next agenda item was the Report on the World Games, by the World Games Liaison Officer, Ronald Overdijk (Netherlands). He reported first on the Test event held in Cali, Colombia. This was quite successful organisational-wise, 27 competitors in our sport whereas paragliding had one competitor. There was a local TV company and a 1.5 hour TV programme resulted. The Selection criteria for 2013 will be based on the results from the Mondial. The 2 wild cards will be offered to two competitors who could not compete in Dubai, one American and one from Israel. The competition will be geared to showcase the sport, not for the individual competitors. There will be good media coverage.
There were no questions from the floor and Ronald had agreement to compile the competition rules within the next few weeks for this non FCE.
Neils-Christian Leven Hansen (Denmark) then spoke about the Strategic Plan of IPC, Graeme has already covered the 4 pillars of the plan and we have now added the 5th. The Bureau proposes to change the pillars to Competition Format Presentation: Selection Process for Internatlonal Events : Promotion of Safety : Financing : Greater Autonomy. Neils-Christian expanded on each pillar and explained what the thinking was for the future. The changes to the plan were adopted unanimously.
IPETA was then the next agenda item. Graeme introduced the idea behind IPETA to propose the most spectacular and media attractive discipline; Canopy Piloting. Graeme then outlined the CP Tour Model. Graeme then made an excellent Power Point presentation to the Plenary where he expanded on the slide presentation. This pointed out all the positive possibilities this tour would have for our sport in general.
He then went through the presentation previously made on Wednesday evening covering the history of the results of the decision made last year to form IPETA and this has already been covered in an earlier report.
During the week meetings had been held between the FAI and IPC Bureau and Graeme outlined the agreements that had been reached to move this forward. Exi commented that he would have appreciated this information earlier, and found it difficult to understand exactly what he was being asked to give approval of.
Buzz then answered Exi's questions regarding the ownership and financing of IPETA, by outlining the history of the establishment of the company and its ownership and shareholding breakdown between the FAI and FAME (for Tax purposes), and the IPC control safeguard.
James Hayhurst (USA) then gave a very interesting and relevant story of his work in the USA with the plans to promote and commercially promote the entire USA Team. It was very encouraging and gave support by example to what FAI, IPC and IPETA were trying to achieve.
Following the two proposals by Dr. Rainer "Exi" Hoenle, (Germany) he was asked if he required these proposals to be put to the vote, and this then generated even more discussion and suggestions as to actual constitution of the new company.
The plenary session then broke for a lunch break and on return, Graeme spoke about the time spent during the lunch to reach agreement with Exi and now he explained that the Plenary will appoint the directors of IPETA. The number of directors will be two from the Bureau (currently the President and the Financial Secretary) and three elected from the IPC Plenary. This was then put the vote. Unanimous agreement from a vote.
Susan Dixon spoke on her Web Site report, apologising for any implied criticism of the FAI staff which was unintended. She also reminded delegates of the need for them to supply the information she needed to create the IPC Who's Who pages. She spoke of her plan to attend all FCE's in 2013 and encouraged organisers to use her skills as the Media Liaison Officer. Finally she thanked Ron Miasnikov (Israel), Manuel Almeida (Portugal) and Elisabet Mikelsson (Sweden) for their response in offering to assist in the creation of an IPC own web-site.
Graeme then welcomed Gernot Rittenschober, President CISM Parachuting Committee to IPC and his report is Annex 10 of the Agenda.
We then moved on to the Technical and Safety Committee report presented by Neils-Christian Leven Hansen. This report was distributed on CD to all delegates and this included all the data and the Power Point presentation. The Medical Emergency Cover at FCE's received very good input from the open meeting, and this will go into the Bid Doucment and the Bulletin for each FCE. In addition there will be additional wording put into the FAI Controller's handbook.
The future work of the committee: Improve response to Safety Survey; Promote FAI/IPC Certificate of Proficiency; Input to FAI Safety Expert Group.
Finance Working Group presented by Richard "Buzz" Bennett, he said he would expand on it with a couple of points ; he was very happy to note that FAI now uses a system of Accrual Accounting and Consoldidate Reporting; however he was not convinced that the new air sports budgeting proposals were suitable for air sport commission. Buzz publically thanked the FAI and the office for processing the claims from Dubai so speedily, given the Christmas holiday and the accident suffered by Ms Mass leading to her absence from the office.
Because of the absence from the office of Ms Mass it was not possible to finalise the accounts and so Buzz asked to defer the approval of the "finalised accounts" and these would be sent to all delegates and ask that the delegates give the Bureau approval to agree these accounts when they are ready. Would like to defer the budget towards the end of the agenda. All were agreed unanimously by the meeting.
Ronald Overdijk then introduced the Windsuit Working Group. He then put proposals to the plenary that the committee goes forward with a designated system of judgement based on a grid system. He proposed that the committee works on a judge training course, by March 1st 2013. They would run test competitions during 2013 and put the results and any proposed changes to the Plenary in 2014 with a Neilsview to including Windsuit records into the Sporting Code for 2015. These proposals were accepted unanimously by the meeting.
Neils-Christian Leven Hansen presented the result of the Ranking System Working Group. Neils-Christian paid thanks to Susan Dixon and Fay Kimble for the work they had done in collating the information from FCE's and producing the results in spread-sheet form that are easy to understand. These will be circulated to all delegates and on the IPC web-site. He also outlined the plans for the future and asked delegates to consider the expansion into Continental ranking lists as well.
Gillian Rayner then presented her report on Indoor Skydiving Working Group. She picked up on things that had been said during the morning both by Jean-Marc Badan and James Hayhurst when they had both referred to the interest in "indoor" activities and how media friendly it is. She then put a proposal to include this activity into the Rules and Regulations to include Indooor Competitons and Indoor Records into the IPC activities with immediate effect. A question from the floor asked her about the survey conducted in Dubai and the amount of the response and also would the IPC sanction fees still apply. The response was yes if they bid for a FCE in a Wind Tunnel. Again there was general discussion from the floor on this proposal, from wind tunnel owners who were also delegates.
This was accepted by a simple majority of 20.
Graeme Windsor introduced the review of the Mondial in Dubai 2012. This has been covered in most of the committee meetings and Graeme reiterated the decision of the Bureau to limit the regularity of a Mondial to once every 4 years - maybe even 6 years. Ronald Overdijk then asked if the video shown at the closing ceremony was available to FAI. Graeme asked Susan Dixon to respond, and she explained that so far she had not yet achieved a copy despite great efforts made to achieve this.
Freefall Style and Accuracy Landing Committee report was introduced by Günter Berendt(Germany) who commenced with thanks to the retiring Chair of the committee John Hitchen (UK) for all his years of work.
He then introduced the rule changes proposed by the committee and explained why these were proposed. He continued by presenting a new accuracy recording system which was produced by the Austrian NAC (who had invested in development of the software).
He then proposed the move from Grosny to Chebovsky for the 2013 World Cup and European Championships. This was accepted unanimously.
The Bid for 2014 from Banja Luka was accepted unanimously.
All the rule changes were also accepted unanimously.
Trude Sviggum, Chair of the Formation Skydiving Committee then made their presentation. She then presented the proposed rule changes, the committee now propose 3 new blocks and one random as changes to the 8-Way dive pool. Propose a change to the rule regarding training jumps, to do away with an "official" sequence for the training jump, and allow teams to have a sequence of their own choice and receive a score from judges. She continued with a modification to the rules on reduced speed, to allow the possibility of viewing the jump in reduced speed after the first viewing. The final rule change applies to all three committees, FS, AE and CF.and relates to the freefall video equipment specification.
All rule changes were accepted unanimously.
Two bids for competition in 2014 which had been presented at the open meeting.
Both are put forward with recommendation by both the Formation Skydiving and the Artistics Events Committees. There was then a secret vote between the two bids.
The vote resulted in 24 for the Prostejov, Czech Republic and 10, Saarlouis, Germany. The 2014 World Championships will be held in Prostejov, Czech Republic.
Lindy Rochow-Williams the Chair for Canopy Formations presented her report. She then presented the proposed rule changes. There was discussion from the floor relating to the tie-break rule, which was resolved with explanation. After a coffee break we returned to the meeting room and the final rule changes for CF. The proposed changes were approved unanimously.
Future competitions: Currently there is a bid from Bosnia & Herzegovina for 2014 which was approved unanimously. Lindy was pleased to welcome a bid which she had received from Bulgaria to host a competition during 2015. She welcomed the increase in interest in CF and asked that CF be an annual FCE and the Rules & Regulations committee to alter the regulations accordingly.
Ronald Overdijk, Chair of the Artistics Events Committee introduced a new member to the committee, Tamara Koyn. He then presented a list of the rule changes they proposed to make and they were many. He presented the proposal rule changes in a headline format. All the proposed changes were supported unanimously.
Next Michael Egger presented the amended report for Para Ski. Michael then commented again about the competition in Dubai and said this showed the way perhaps for other countries to utilise an indoor Ski slope for future competitions. He spoke of the last European Cup in Austria and Felix Baumgartner had promised to be the pilot for the competition and he was.
The rule changes were adopted unanimously. Michael said there were two bids on the table to host the 2014 World Championships and the committee did not favour one over the other and so the decision was put to a secret vote.
The 2014 competition will be held in : Siberia, Russia - 18 votes in favour : Germany 15 and one abstention.
Jacqui Brewer then presented her committee's report, Canopy Piloting. She covered the fact the competition would move from Cheboksary to Kolona but this has altered the bid in that the entry fee has been increased by 45 Euros. The Russian delegate was then asked to explain the change to the bid - obviously in part caused by the IPC/FAI insisting on the move from Grosny. There were contributions from the French & UK delegate supporting and thanking Russian delegate for accommodating this change, however there was opposition from the German delegate on the basis that once a bid has been approved it cannot be altered. There was a secret ballot for either - in favour or not - of accepting the revised bid. 20 yes 1 spoiled and 13 against. So the increased bid stands.
The Germany delegate then proposed that the increase be taken out of the sanction fee and we therefore have to call for a 2/3rds majority to allow this item to be voted on. A secret ballot was called for. 20 Yes - 14 No so the motion was defeated.
The various rule changes of the committee were proposed to the planary. There is no proposed rule change to the speed course, it will stay as a carved course.
There were no questions, and all the amendments were agreed unanimously. Jacqui Brewer then announced her retirement as Chair of the committee. She wished to remain on the committee but felt freer to express her opinion and represent her competitors without the responsability of the Chair.
Pia Berggren then presented the Judges Committe report. The chief judges and chief judges of training were presented to the meeting and they were accepted unanimously by the plenary. All the rule changes were accepted unanimously, and included a response to the 'fast track' request. It is the responsibility of the NAC to set their parameters for sending a Judge on an FAI course - if they were not experienced enough they would probably fail, however, if they were very experienced competitors may well be able to pass the course. Pia announced the appointment of Tamara Koyn as the Video Librarian.
The final section for the evening is the Rules and Regulations Working Group and the proposed changes were worked through for clarification. Votes would be required on three items following proposals put to the plenary and these would be covered at the end. There was some discussion on some points and the wording was agreed by the plenary.
The committee proposed to change the name from FAI Controller to IPC Controller or FAI/IPC Controller. The first vote will be whether or not the plenary wants to make the change, and if that vote is yes, then we can move to voting on which name. The vote was Yes 9, No 24 and 1 Invalid. It stays as FAI Controller.
The committee had unanimous support for inclusion of the words Head Up to a VFS record formation.
There was then a vote taken on the wording for the Large Formation Sequential Record. This was supported, 1 against, 2 abstentions the balance of 31 in favrou.
The chair then asked for approval of the proposed changes. Unanimous approval.
That concluded the business for today.
Friday, 25th January 2013
Reports from, Wednesday and Thursday 23rd and 24th January 2013:
Wednesday, 23rd January 2013
The 64th IPC Plenary Meeting in Banja Luka, Bosnia and Herzegovina started at 9.00 a.m this morning with a welcome speech from Graeme Windsor, IPC President
For the next five days the numerous Delegates, Alternate Delegates and Observers will be working hard discussing proposed changes, bids and all the other items that make up the Agenda and Annexes for the meeting.
Today and tomorrow will be made up of Open meetings; during which the various committees and working groups present their agendas and proposals to all for discussion and ideas. The last day consists of the final closed committee meetings where decisions are quantified and proposals agreed for presentation on the last two days at the Formal Plenary when votes will be taken.
Yesterday opened with the presentation by Graeme Windsor, President IPC of the main points of his report where he covered the results of decisions made at the Plenary Meeting in Argentina 2012. IPC Medal policy was finally accepted by the FAI Executive Board in July; Russia had agreed to move the World Cup and European Championships 2013 from Grozny in the Chechen Republic to Cheboksary where the Canopy Piloting World Cup and European Championships was due to take place and these will move to Kolumna, Russia.
Graeme stated that this was a very satisfactory solution to the problem of the serious concern of the FAI and the bureau to hosting a competition in an area that the majority of delegations would not be able to attend, due to the high-risk security concerns.
The final major point of Graeme’s report concerned the agreement of the Plenary 2012 allowing the bureau to establish IPETA. This events organisation to promote and run a professional CP tour caused opposition and problems with FAI which had delayed the opportunity to capitalise on this mandate from the meeting in Argentina. Graeme explained that a full presentation would be made at a scheduled meeting at 1800 hrs that evening. Although there were a few questions from the floor, Graeme asked that the discussion be left until the evening presentation, when representatives from FAI would be present; Jean-Marc Badan, Secretary General and Alvaro de Orleans Borbon, the Deputy President of the Executive Board.
Graeme then moved on to talk about the competitions during 2012, thanking Prostejov for their hosting what had inevitably been a small competition, overshadowed by the awesome event in Dubai. This had raised the bar for all future organisers, a unique event which is fully reported on this web site and in Graeme’s report.
Graeme then covered his attendance at the FAI General Conference, which is covered in his report (Annex 3). As a result of this meeting the IPC Strategic Plan has been expanded to include a 5th pillar of Autonomy and Freedom for IPC as an Airsport Commission as granted within the FAI Statutes.
The development of the anti-doping programme of the FAI was then covered, and the impact (minimal to start) this would have on our competitors. He reminded all NAC’s of the need to ensure that their competitors are aware, should they be on prescription drugs that contained substances covered by the Anti-Doping regulations, that they have the required TUE (Therapeutic Use Exemption) registered with the FAI.
Graeme wound up his presentation by reporting that he had been re-elected as chair CASI enabling him to work at keeping the SP General Section current along with Richard (Buzz) Bennett CASI 1st Vice President and Gillian Rayner CASI General Secretary. He also welcoming the CISM representative, Gernot Rittenshober to the IPC Plenary meeting, and thanked both the FAI Secretariat and the Bureau members for all their work in what has been a difficult year.
Graeme then explained the big difference in the way the Agenda and meeting have been changed for this year. The rolling meeting, without organised time slots, in an effort not to waste time of the attendees. There was some discussion from the floor, but it was agreed and accepted that this proposed structure would be given a try.
The Para-Ski Committee presentation was postponed to the following day, due to the problems Russia had with the late arrival of their interpreter, and their need to make a presentation for hosting a Para-Ski World Championships in 2014.
Niels-Christian Levin Hansen then presented the work of the Technical & Safety Committee during 2012. He asked the meeting if they could suggest how the committee could encourage more NAC’s to complete the annual Safety Survey and Report. For 2011 there had only been 36 responses yet 58 NAC’s had competed in Dubai, indicating an established and active parachuting presence in that country. This led to contributions and discussion from the floor, suggesting that it could be due to the different national reporting systems. It was proposed that the committee look at ways to help and mentor a recording system with those NAC’s not currently doing so.
The committee presented a paper they had prepared of guidelines for Medical/Emergency Cover at FCE’s. This led to a lot of discussion from the floor with John Hitchin (UK) suggesting that the advice of medically qualified members be sought on a minimum standard requirement. Rainer (Exi) Hoenle (Germany) suggested that what would be provided is included in the Bid Document. Liam McNulty (IPC Recording Secretary) then spoke about the Health and Safety regulations being imposed on all organisers of ‘events’ throughout Europe and felt that this whole matter could be ‘out of our hands’ within the next few years.
Niels-Christian then asked Elisabet Mikaelsson (Sweden) to explain the latest position with regard to the Data Collecting Tool. Elisabet explained that the tool had begun to work well, and was being utilised, but the catastrophic crash of the FAI server had lost everything. She had been working with the new IT Manager of the FAI in an attempt to reinstate the tool. To date, although it was now available to her, it is still not functioning completely – failing to save any information input into it. This is an ongoing project that will, hopefully, soon be back on track for use again.
The next item, International Certificates of Proficiency also generated a lot of discussion from the floor particularly in relation to the confusion, in some people’s minds, between a Certificate and a Licence. Following a question from the Hungarian delegate, István Sipos, it was confirmed that International Certificates of Proficiency could only be issued to members of a NAC. In addition it was only one of the documents that needs to be considered by the Drop Zone being visited, which should include a log book to determine currency.
We then moved on to the presentation from the Artistic Events Committee and their chair Roland Overdijk (Netherlands). He started his report with the comment that participation at the Prostejov World Cup and European Championships suffered due to the Dubai Mondial and that it was a mistake to hold two FCE’s in one year. He was looking forward to the World Cup and European Championships in Banja Luka 2013 and added that there were two bids on the table to host the 2014 World Championships from Prostejov, Czech Repubnlic and Saarlouis, Germany.
He then moved on to the proposal tabled by Kirk Verner (USA) that an artistics videocamera flyer be allowed to use two cameras. The committee did not support this proposal, and stated that the decision had been made in previous years that they would only allow one camera. There was a lot of comment from the floor, and it became obvious that there had been a misunderstanding of what Kirk’s proposal actually meant and once this was cleared up, i.e. that the cameraflyer would be allowed to carry two cameras, but only present one for judgement as he chose. The committee agreed to reconsider their response and would represent at the Plenary.
He confirmed that his committee was working with Formation Skydiving committee and Canopy Formations committee to agree a common wording regarding video format etc.
Following the open competitors meeting at the end of the Mondial, the committee was working on guidelines for judges and this would be presented to the Plenary. With regard to the scoring it was not necessary to delete the high and low score due to the system of using judges for the technical score and others for the artistic scoring. This had proved to be a successful solution, which would improve even further with the guidelines.
There was then general discussion on the number of viewings and to allow judges to view all of the round one jumpes, before commencing to score the teams. It was also suggested
Roland then presented the committee’s ideas to shorten the time of the competition, but allow two training jumps before the commencement. They also proposed to change the compulsory rounds so that the moves to be performed took the same time to be completed.
There was a suggestion from the USA to add to the Sporting Code the wording for World Records in addition to Head Down to add Head Up records, and this was supported by the committee.
Ronald then asked the Judges Committee to consider a way to speed up the ability of competitors to become Judges and quality at FAI level. The Judges committee agreed to look at this.
We moved on to the Finance Secretary Report presented by Richard (Buzz) Bennett (Canada). This, as always, is a dry subject but of absolute importance to the ability of IPC to manage its own affairs and plan for the future. Buzz explained that the financial statements contained within the agenda are not a final version, as they were prepared before Dubai. He did present to the meeting an updated report based on the known participation in Dubai, but due to the ill health problems suffered by the secretariat of FAI, it may not be possible to provide a definitive account by the Plenary or even in the Minutes. However the figures he would present would be a very close guide to the final account. The IPC is in a very healthy financial position due to the success of the Mondial. Questions raised about IPETA would be answered at the evening presentation.
After a much needed coffee break, we moved to a presentation by Ronald Overdijk as Chair of the Wingsuit Working Group. Ronald’s report is Annex 15 of the Agenda papers and covers the work and proposals of the working group for 2013. There have been some good ideas coming out of the wingsuit community and a Guinness record of a Wingsuit formation of 100 was built in the USA – however a criteria for establishing a World Record has yet to be agreed between the world wide community. During 2013 it is proposed to try for some Continental Records and use these to test the event and the judging. It will depend on the progress this year as to whether the Working Group formally proposes Wingsuit Formations as a Test Event for next year
Ronald was followed by Gillian Rayner (France) and her report on the Windtunnel Working Group. She said that this had not really worked as a group during the year with few exchanges of opinion and not a lot of responses. Whilst in Dubai however she initiated a survey of the NAC members there to see how many were in favour of incorporating Windtunnel flying into the IPC. Of the 58 Nations represented there 12 had responded but of those the majority were in favour. Gill then expanded on the subject by explaining the history of her (and France’s) involvement in putting this forward at IPC. The first year she presented it at the open meeting she took the reaction from the floor and withdraw the French proposal, last year she made a much more complicated and in depth proposal which included changes to the definition of parachuting and again after the reaction of the attendees at the open meeting, withdrew the proposal and agreeing to the setting up of the Windtunnel Working Group to investigate further the possibilities of support at all levels, including that of the wind Tunnel Owners. However, she felt part of the problem was the complexity of her proposal and that in fact the general feeling was more positively in favour.
She listed first what she perceived to be the negative reasons for not taking it further which had been expressed to her:
1. It is not parachuting.
2. At the moment competitions do take place, by accepting inclusion into IPC this would put up the costs to the competitors.
3. Many tunnel owners are opposed to this inclusion.
However she felt the positive elements were that currently, competitions conducted in wind tunnels were done using IPC rules and IPC judges, and a high proportion of the competitors were IPC competitors. She had been approached by some wind tunnel operators who had a real interest in being incorporated into IPC so that their competitions could become recognised World Championships.
Our competitive activities form two distinct elements, those which are conducted under an open parachute and those that are conducted on a column of air and judged on the activity taking place in that element. This can be done either on a column of air formed by gravity, or a column of air created artificially giving a cushion of air to work on.
An interesting point was made from the floor: we already recognise the windtunnel as the same working environment as freefall by including in our rules that a team may not use a windtunnel during the competition, whereas there is no restriction placed on “creeping”.
There was discussion from the floor as to whether or not Windtunnel flying should become a new Airsport within the FAI or whether it should be incorporated into IPC, but the general tone of the meeting was against a move to FAI individual status for a large number of reasons. There was further discussion on the semantics of the name “indoor skydiving” “bodyflying”, no decision was reached. It was also pointed out from the floor that it opened up the opportunity for younger junior categories of competition to encourage youth participation and hopefully future moves into mainstream skydiving.
It was commented that it would fit well into the IPETA concept, it is an excellent media medium and therefore easier to attract sponsors etc. Although some of the Windtunnel operators were opposed to the inclusion in IPC, they did not have to bid for competitions, there were enough operators in the world today who would bid. jiri Blasak (Czech Republic) said that the sport moves on, new disciplines develop and we as an organisation must be prepared to change with the times before someone else takes up the challenge and we lose out.
The alternate delegate from Norway who runs the recently opened Norwegian tunnel stated that he felt they were different activities, but he was convinced that for competitions it was the way to go. It was good for spectators and would probably be our most likely candidate to be considered as an Olympic Event.
Gillian Rayner then closed her report by thanking the open meeting for their positive input and felt confident that when put to the vote for inclusion (Yes/No) at the Plenary it would be accepted in the IPC fold.
The Meeting then broke up for Lunch with the afternoon open to the rest of the competition discipline committees.
Trude Sviggum (Norway), Formation Skydiving Committee Chair then presented her report , proposals for changes and the various bids for future competitions.
She too commented on the low attendance in Prostejov and the exceptional attendance at Dubai. She thanked both organisers. As a result of the competitors meeting held after the Mondial there are a few proposed rule changes. Two new 8-way blocks will be created, however there were no proposals from the committee to change the 4-way dive pool. VFS wished to increase their competition to 10 rounds, and therefore needed to increase their dive pool. The committee rejected this increase in round number and dive pool, as they felt the discipline was already too hard for a large number of competitors resulting in small attendances at competition – there was no need to make it even more difficult. However they welcomed the idea of testing these blocks/randoms in the wind tunnel.
Trude was very happy to announce that they had received two bids to host World Championships in 2014, one from Prostejov, Czech Republic and one from Sarlouis, Germany.
Reduced Speed judging had been used at both competitions during 2012, and was well received both by the judges and competitors. There was a suggestion from the USA regarding the way reduced speed be utilised, allowing judges to view once at normal speed and the second viewing always at reduced speed. The judges agreed to look at this. There was also a proposal to return to the two point penalty. The committee proposed to look at this during the year and would come back to the Plenary next year with their findings and proposals.
They then handed the floor to BJ Worth, (USA), President of Honour, to present his proposals for creating a new record category of Big Way Sequential records, both World Records and Continental Records. This seemed to be a complicated proposal and there was a large amount of discussion as the attendees attempted to get their “heads round” this proposal. In summary, whatever the current record for the largest formation is, a figure, 25% of that would be used as the base large formation figure from which a sequential sequence would be made, and the record would be set at the largest number of formations made from that large formation. The full specification of requirement to meet this record would be set out clearly. The open meeting discussion was involved and eventually the committee agreed that they would ask for a modification in the wording of the bid, and that it be presented again before the end of the open session.
We then had a presentation from Prostejov to support their bid, and they answered questions from the floor.
Lindy Rochow-Williams (Australia), then presented the work of the Canopy Formations committee during 2012.
2-way sequential has certainly re kindled interest in this discipline with 22 teams entered in Dubai. There were no rule changes proposed this year, and the committee had rejected a proposal from USA to introduce reduced speed to judging.
Lindy asked for bids from delegations to host future competitions, and suggest we look at going back to having World Cups/Continental Championships again.
It was then the turn of the Freefall Style and Accuracy Landings committee presented by their chairman Günter Berendt. He too commented on the success of the Mondial, the high number of entrants and the success of the completion of the competition including all the tie-breaking jump offs.
There were a few rule changes that were proposed to the meeting, more house-keeping than major changes and did not create discussion from the floor.
With regard to approved electronic systems for style and accuracy, the Weckbecker system was approved but the Russians are suggesting their own system be used for the competition this year and as yet it has not received approval from the committee.
The competition that was to be held in Grozny 2013 is to be moved to Cheboksany. There was a bid from Bosnia & Herzegovina to host the World Championships in 2014 and they would make a presentation to the open meeting.
The last discipline to present to the open meeting was Canopy Piloting. Jacqui Bruwer (South Africa) introduced her committee and her report to the meeting. She spoke about the two competitions during 2012, the Test event of the World Games, Cali Columbia and the Mondial in Dubai.
There were a few house-keeping type of rule changes proposed, including the use of cameras on all the dragging gates – but this was a suggestion at this time. The one that caused the greatest interest from the floor, and subsequent discussion was the resolution of the controversy over the idea of changing the speed course to a straight course. The solution was to leave it up to an organiser to include in their bid the style of speed course, either straight or carving. This would open up the possibility of smaller venues bidding to host a championships. This will be put to the plenary for approval by the committee.
The committee also proposed a revised minimum standard for the depth of the pond. After some questions from the floor the committee confirmed that this would not alter ponds already in existence, but would become a minimum standard required for the future.
Freestyle was to remain a test event.
The committee will work on their proposals and suggestions and these will be represented at the plenary meeting on Saturday.
The final presentation of the day was Niels-Christian Levin Hansen to update the meeting on the latest with regard to the Ranking system first introduced last year, and having been published under the formula decided on at the time. Those first Ranking Lists based on the previous 4 years of competition had been updated after Prostejov and Dubai
and would be published on the web site after the Plenary. The first lists had been published and sent to each committee chairs for their comments. There had been comments about the fact that a competition with minimum attendance had been included, but as this was accepted as an IPC FCE then it should be included, and if this affected the ranking positions of NACs then maybe it was achieveing its objective of enouraging greater participation.
There was then discussion from the floor regarding the inclusion of regional championships (i.e. European) within the lists. There was however no reason why other Continental/Regional championships could not be organised in Asiania or the Americas and Neils-Christian expressed the hope that this would happen. A further suggestion was made that second category events were included, but this would mean defining what is meant by 2nd category events and what would qualify for inclusion.
This was an ongoing project and hpefully in the future it will be posisble to produce World Category Ranking Listings and Continental Category Ranking Lists.
The day then ended with the AGM and presentation of the IPETA International Parachuting Events & Tour Association. This was an association formed after the Bureau was given the mandat to form a professional organisation to conduct a world tour of competitions featuring the best of the Canopy Piloting competitors. This had stumbled during its formation due to opposition from the FAI and representatives of the FAi were present at the meeting to give their reasons and suggest a way forward to achieving the aims which were in the interest of both FAI and IPC. We received an impassioned speech from the FAI's Vice President of the Executive Board, Alvaro de Orleans Borbon. There was a heated response to his speech from John Smyth (UK) and Vice-President of IPC and serious questions posed by Exi Rainer Hoenle (Germany) and a serious discussion started between Richard 'Buzz' Bennett, John Smyth and Alvaro de Orleans Borbon. The future of the company is still under discussion and no decisions were made that evening, other than to review where this is going.
And so a very long 1st day ended.
Thursday, 24th January 2013
The day started with Michael Egger, Chair of the Para-Ski Committee. His presentation had been postponed from the previous day to allow the Russian delegation to make their presentation of their bid to host the 2014 Para Ski World Parachuting Championships in Tanai, Serbia, Russia.
Michael commenced his presentation by adding his thanks to Dubai for including Para-Ski in the Mondial and making it the most successful ever with 72 competitors from 22 nations. The ski races had worked well in the Indoor Arena, and having their accuracy competition scores count towards para-ski as well encouraged participation.
The European Cup was underway for 2013 with the first round having been completed, the second unfortunately had to be cancelled, and two more rounds yet to be completed. There were no proposed rule changes this year, and no questions from the floor, so Michael moved aside to allow the bid to be presented by Russia.
A well presented bid was made by the Russian delegation and included a video. The delegation then answered questions from the floor with regard to the statement that the flight tickets from Moscow to Novosibirsk would be availfable at a 30% discount, as this had been mentioned during the presentation, but was not included in the bid doucments. The delegation explained that if teams registered early and let the organisers know the details of their travel, it would be possible to arrange a group discunt of 30% for this internal flight. It was up to the delegations to get their registrations in early. When asked what the price would be the reply was approximately 250 - 270 Euros. A question from the floor as to whether this was a single or return fare, drew a response from an attendee that there was only one way tickets to Siberia - which caused a laugh. Countered well by the Russian delegation who suggested, "many people who visit Siberia are so impressed with its beauty, they do not want to leave."
The bid from Germany was then presented to host the Para Ski World Championships 2014 in Unterammergan, Bavaria, Germany. Again we were given a very professional and well constructed bid.
A decision will be made by ballot at the Plenary as to which National will host the 2014 World Para Ski Championships.
The next committee to present their report following their activities during 2012 and their proposals for changes and activities during 2013 was the Judges Committee chaired by Pia Berggren. Pia spoke about what a good year it had been for judges with the opportunity to judge at such good competitions and in Dubai for so many to be together at such a venue. She was pleased to report that the IPC On Line Judging Course was now back on the web site and available for judges to look at, study and undertake the re-evaluation test. She would be asking for funding to upgrade the software used for this to make it available, whether or not people had Flash Player installed on their computers, and also so it would be compatible with tablets.
During the year the judges had had two competitions in which to try the use of Reduced Speed judging for FS and were very happy to continue with it for the future.
The committees had asked the judges to look at a variety of different things and these would be discussed by the committee and any recommendations made to the Plenary for approval. One of these was a "fast track" system of obtaining a judges rating for experience competitors. We had also been asked to look at utilising reduced speed for all second viewings, and also to give a fuller explanation on the score sheets for "busts".
The committee also expressed their pleasure at the variety of accredited scoring systems that are now available to organisers of competitions. Reminding those organisers that only approved systems could be used at FCE's and that approval of the committee must be sought for new systems in advance.
The committee would work over the coming hours to finalise any rule changes they proposed.
The final presentation of these open session was the Rules and Regulations Committee. Set up at the beginning of the year to take over from the Sporting Code Working Group, the committee set itslef the task of going through all the documents (except competition rules) that govern our sport. This was a huge task and Buzz thanked his committee members for their willingness to take on this task, as well as the hard work and co-operation shown by them during the year.
After going through some housekeeping tidying up of the rules, Buzz then invited Exi to present his propsal to the floor for discussion and consideration. This related to Exi's proposal to return to a Representative Jury as opposed to a Selected Jury (as allowed under the General Section of the Sporting Code) and to limit the number of representative jury members by only allowing those from Nations which have organised FCE's. The wording of his proposal was not clear and he was invited to re-word it for presentation for a vote at the Plenary.
The committee then expanded on their proposal to introduce a Safety Panel to decide on safety matters at a FCE and also to formalise a three point safety penalty system. The Panel would consist of the FAI Controller, Meet Director and Chief Judge of the discipline in question. There was a lot of discussion from the floor and quite an impassioned and heated debate as towhether this was a necessary move, or if it undermined the position of the FAI Controller, who is responsible for Safety during the competition. After many opinions had been expressed the committee would formulate their proposal and present it to the Plenary for a vote on it.
The rolling Open meeting completed at 15.00 hrs today (Friday 25 January 2013), and now each committee starts on the work of finalising everything prior to their presentation to the Plenary on Saturday and Sunday.
My next reports will be from the Plenary.