02 May 2020

2020 Pan-American Hang Gliding Class 1 Championship Postponed

The 1st FAI Pan-American Hang Gliding Class 1 Championships scheduled to start on August 3, 2020 has been postponed to 2022, in the agreement between CIVL and the organiser.

The organiser, Davis Straub, wrote:
Currently, the FAI/CIVL would not allow us to run the Pan-American Championships in 2021 as it would conflict with the 2021 World Championships, whose organisers refuse to move their competition to 2022. How this will be resolved finally is uncertain, just like everything else. So we currently are required to postpone to 2022. 

Why have we made this decision? 
First, the situation in Texas:
1) We are aware of the fact that at the moment Howard County has only four confirmed cases of COVID-19 with one death (the first confirmed case), but Texas has 28,087 with 782 deaths (Thursday evening). 
2) The number of new cases in Texas each day is not decreasing (which is a requirement to ‘open up’ the state).

3) Texas recorded a record number of deaths for one day - 50 on Thursday, as it prepares to reopen on Friday.

4) We do not know if Texas will meet its benchmarks to allow the state to ‘re-open.’

5) They are not meeting the US Guidelines.

So the situation in Texas is uncertain, although the pandemic is not affecting Howard County greatly. It is unclear what the state government will do regarding restrictions by August.

It is difficult to travel to Midland-Odessa, to Texas, to the US from overseas. 

1) Quarantines:
‘Governor Abbott mandates a 14-day self-quarantine for air travellers from NY, NJ, CT and New Orleans. That Executive Order is expanded to air travellers from additional hotspot locations, California, Louisiana, Washington, Atlanta, Chicago, Detroit and Miami, and to travel by car from Louisiana.’

2) Regarding airline travel, the CDC states:
‘Travel Recommendations
Cases of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) have been reported in all states, and some areas are experiencing community spread of the disease. Travel increases your chances of getting and spreading COVID-19.
CDC recommends you stay home as much as possible, especially if your trip is not essential, and practise social distancing especially if you are at higher risk of severe illness. Don’t travel if you are sick or travel with someone who is sick.’

3) Both international and domestic airline travel has been severely impacted and we are uncertain about whether pilots would be able to travel to Midland-Odessa, especially from Latin America.

4) CDC recommendation for international travel:
Stay home for 14 days from the time you returned home from international travel. 
This would seem to be applicable to international travellers coming to the US also.

5) Travellers coming from Brazil, Ecuador and other Latin American countries may be coming from COVID-19 ‘hot spots.’ Therefore they could be bringing the virus to Big Spring.

Again we do not know what restrictions will be in place the first week of August, but this level of uncertainty makes planning difficult.

As a member of the USA Cycling, we have watched what that organisation has done with its national competitions. All the National Championships (they have 14) through August are likely to be postponed, have been postponed or cancelled.

We are open to suggestions about what to do about competition in Big Spring in 2021. We are willing to provide substantial assistance to anyone choosing to organise a 2021 Big Spring Nationals (apply to the USHPA early October 2020). 
Someone may be willing to organise a competition in Big Spring this year. We are willing to assist them.
Thanks for your support for the Pan-Americans and the competitions in Big Spring. We had hoped for better news, but we’ll just have to wait and see what becomes feasible in the future.

Davis Straub