Day 2 - IPC Plenary 2018 - Open Meeting continued (4/2/18)
Thursday, 26th January 2018
First up with their presentation today was Rina Gallo (CAN), chair of the Canopy Formation committee. Again, she thanked her committee for their work and hoped delegates had read her report contained in the Agenda papers. Unfortunately the registration for the World Cup at Saarlouis had been too small for either of the CF 4-Way events and the committee would have to take a serious look at whether or not to continue with these events.
The World Championships in Australia this year would give an indication of the interest for the future. At the Plenary 2017 the committee had re-introduced the WebChallenge and were pleased to say that for those who took part it had been a success, including two 8-way teams. However the general level of interest was too low and the committee had decided not to continue with it. The huge discussion that there had been last year in the interpretation of the 'hook grip' and the suggestion that teams could use an alternative during the web challenge to see how effective it was, was not taken up by teams, even those who had proposed it. It seems that this is no longer an issue. She said the committee had come up with the idea of introducing a 'new look' competition - to develop a 6-way event that could be watched and judged from the ground. At the competitors' meeting in Saarlouis this had been well received by the competitors, providing the 30 second start rule was used, otherwise it could be unsafe. Rina continued to the proposed rule changes which were mainly housekeeping and would be presented at the Plenary for approval.
Mark Szulmayer (AUS) was up next, with Formation Skydiving. He first presented his committee and thanked them for their work during the year. His report contained details of the competitions during 2017, Saarlouis World Cup in Germany and the Indoor World Championships in Laval, Canada. There were no questions from the floor relating to his reports. He continued to explain the proposed rule changes - to redefine the tie-break resolution by returning to the previous definition and clarifying the timing to the last scoring point in the sequence. Mark showed the two new 4-Way random formations proposed for implimentation in 2019. He also introduced the new VFS Diagrams which are much clearer and thanked the Bodyflight Association for their agreement for IPC to utilise these in our rules. There was a request from the floor asking the committee to look at the possibility of introducing a 3-way competition particularly for Indoor and also from the French delegation with regard to an 8-way competition. They would like to offer this possibility to competitors for their 2019 Indoor Competition should they win the Bid. The committee had looked at this in the past and felt that to introduce 8-Way in indoor would greatly restrict the number of Tunnels who could bid for FCEs and so they did not support it at this time. There was then some discussion from the floor on how the actual working time in relation to a tie-break was calculated, with some very technical suggestions.
He then handed the microphone to Gail Bradley (AUS) to present the latest information about the forthcoming World Championships on the Gold Coast, Australia, (FS, CF, AE and Speed). Gail explained that all was on track for a very successful competition, but she asked that NACs completed their final registration early as the Australian Federation was heavily committed to confirm the provisional hotel bookings they have made and hotels work on a different time scheduling, i.e. 90, 60 and 30 days with penalties applied if the rooms are not confirmed. Gail appealed to all NACs to commit to their entries early, on the basis that this would aid them in making travel arrangements as well. She also covered the entry fee changes which were as a result of the rule changes introduced after their Bid had been accepted, and had been approved by the Bureau during the year. These are detailed in the Registration document. Gail ended her presentation with an amusing breakdown of the 'dangers' wildlife presented to visitors and how to deal with them, including a 'new' species of "Drop Bears" which was very convincing until she confirmed it was a spoof.
Speed Skydiving and Elisabet Mikaelsson (SWE) - and as is her habit, she announced her intention to keep her presentation true to the discipline - FAST. There were a few rule changes the committee intended to introduce, primarily concerned with the inspection of the competitors' equipment and the siting of the SMDs, using diagrams to indicate its position; also housekeeping to the exit altitude and diagrammatical clarification of the exit procedure. They also asked for the formal addition of the new SMDs (Pro-Track 1) to the Preferred Judging and Scoring Listing. As promised it was a fast presentation and with no questions from the floor, we moved swiftly on.
Following a question from the floor, Dr. Rainer 'Exi' Hoenle announced that the presentation from Russia for their Bid to host a Mondial in 2020 covering all disciplines (except Para-Ski) would be heard at the end of the committee presentations. In addition USA clarified the late bid they had presented to host the 22nd FAI World Cup in Formation Skydiving and 12th World Cup in Artistic Events in Eloy, Arizona 5-13 October 2019. The Bid document had been distributed to all Delegates for consideration. The price of entry did not include food or lodging. When asked from the floor if there would also be a Speed Skydiving World Cup they said no. During the Plenary USA would ask for a 2/3 majority to add their Bid to the Agenda.
Mohammed Al Dalayel (QAT), Chair of the Indoor Skydiving committee announced that the committee was considering supporting the formation of a new Working Group for Dynamic Flying and Domitille Kiger would work on this for presentation to the Plenary. The committee felt that this discipline was now established within the IPC competition structure but was very different from both Formation Skydiving and Artistic Events and needed to develop their own Rules, Regulations and Judging criteria. He pointed out the need to rethink how Indoor Skydiving moves forward as the community feels that there is a need to develop a stronger presence - like a World Series, and to work on judging methods, training, differences within disciplines. The formation of the Dynamic Flying Working Group was a move in the right direction.
The committee needed to discuss the World Championships in Canada, a successful event but there had been problems within the Artistic Event judging and competitive behaviour. He reported he was pleased to see the number of bids for both 2019 and 2020 and proposed to hand over to the first presentation. A draw had been made prior to the meeting to determine the order of pesentations with Germany going first, followed by France and then Belgium, and then for 2020 Poland and Japan.
He asked the Plenary to consider changing the due date for the submission of bids for the Agenda. Last year it had gone from July to 1st December, but this date made it impossible for the committees to review bids and if necessary to go back to those bidding for clarification, suggested modifications etc. For this reason some of the bidders here today wished to make adjustments to clarify their bids before the Plenary.
Thomas Spielvogel, Director of the Tunnel and Activities and his colleague Jan Denecken, CEO presented their bid to host the 2019 World Championships in Indoor Skydiving in their Munich tunnel. The film they showed presented the tunnel well in terms of location and its extensive facilities. They also explained that the technology that drives the tunnel is their own. They offer the choice between an all-inclusive (accommodation) package or one without accommodation. The proposed dates were 23-27 October 2019. The point was raised from the floor that last year it was decided that for competitors the preference was for a spring competition, at the end of the Indoor season, rather than autumn and the end of the outdoor season. Would Germany be prepared to consider changing the date on their bid? They answered they would consider it and let the Plenary know the proposed change prior to voting.
It was then the turn of France, with the presentation being made by Gillian Rayner (FRA) (could she be called the 'mother' of Indoor Skydiving as she had worked so long and hard to have it accepted into IPC as part of our sport?), and Patrice Girardin. Gillian explained that the bid was part of France's Olympic Project with the Paris Olympics of 2024 and the work of the French Parachute Federation to have Skydiving as one of the allowed 'new' sports. It was important to IPC that France could present to the French Olympic committee and those decision-makers involved with Paris 2024 their ability to host an International Competition in Indoor Skydiving. The proposal in their bid was to host the competition in Lille at the WEEMBI tunnel, which is well positioned close to the airport, with easy access by road or train as well. Their bid video showed the facilities available at the tunnel and its location with the hotel close by. Patrice again mentioned the desire of France to include an 8-way competition and this would be discussed by the FS committee.
Asked by a Delegate if they would consider changing the date, Patrice responded at first that they could not as it fitted in with what was known about the meetings of the committees involved in selection of Olympic sports. He did later say he would investigate the possibility and come back to the Plenary when it was time to vote. He also asked, if they retained the date, if the USA would consider altering the date of their bid for the WC in Eloy.
Belgium then took their turn at the Podium to present their bids (identical) apart from a minor date difference, for both 2019 and 2020. They already proposed a spring event and showed their video promoting their tunnel, its facilities, location and general presentation and layout. When questioned about whether or not they had arranged preferential rates with local hotels Havard Flaat explained that this was something they had in hand to do once they had confirmation of the success of their bid.
There were no further questions and so Poland then presented their bid for the 2020 IS World Cup. They presented a video about Flyspot and their experience of hosting the 2016 World Cup in Indoor Skydiving. They will have the advantage of building on the knowledge they gained then. They emphasised the importance of the young fliers and how they were working to bring them on; also that Flyspot has experience with hosting the League of Champions, they had proposed alternative dates of either March or September.
Before the final IS bid was heard, (whilst the presentation was prepared) Liam McNulty (IRL) asked to make a statement from the floor. He referred to the presentation made the previous day by George Blythe of the FAI Swoop Freestyle World Championships and wished to make it very clear that his criticisms and objections had not been directed to the event or the amazing initiative and efforts made by George Blythe and his partner, but how it had been handled by the FAI.
Finally, it was the turn of Japan to make their bid. Before they commenced Dr. Rainer 'Exi' Hoenle explained the difficult situation the Plenary and Bureau had been placed in. When the bid had been received for inclusion on the Agenda, although it was not supported by the NAC, the Bureau had interpreted the General Section and reference to 4.8.1. to allow it. However the FAI had subsequently clarified the position, that the Bid was opposed by the NAC and therefore it was not possible to vote on the bid during the actual Plenary meeting. Both the organiser and the FAI were continuing to work with the NAC in the hope of obtaining their support for Parachuting and this bid.
Again we were treated to a video showing the tunnel, its location and facilities and a little bit about Japan and how the bid is tied into the fact that the 2020 Olympic Games will be in Tokyo. The presenters were keen to ensure that delegates were aware of the warm welcome that would be extended to all competitors and that there would be no language problems. They emphasised the hospitality that would be on offer to make the whole experience something to remember.
There was support from the floor, and the hope that the organisers would be able to obtain the support of their NAC. Chang il Choi (David) (Korea and ASIANIA) did say that the problem was one of an Asian culture and this was a difficult situation. Istvan Sipos (HUN) asked that the FAI Executive Board makes a declaration of support for IPC and this bid, particularly in light of the French Olympic Project, having a huge IS competition in Japan at the time of their Olympic games can only help the project. Ron Miasnikov (ISR) emphasised that this will be a prestigious event. Dr. Rainer 'Exi' Hoenle supported the suggestion from Istvan. There was a lot of encouragement from the delegates generally and asked the FAI to assist the Japanese organiser to convince their NAC to support this important bid. Patrice reminded delegates that we would be watched by the Olympic Committee and should do nothing that is outside of the rules. If there no support from the NAC, the bid should not be voted on.
The two presenters were warmly thanked for their efforts in attending the Plenary with universal wishes of success with their NAC.
The meeting then paused for lunch before the start of the afternoon session.
Following lunch Peter Pfalzgraf, Finance Secretary continued his report to the Plenaary Open Meeting having circulated the various Account Papers to all Delegates. He said that the new claim procedure had made reimbursement of FCE expenses simpler and faster. There were no questions from the floor on his presentation.
He then invited Richard 'Buzz' Bennett, a former treasurer of IPC, to present his analysis of the current cash flow situation within FAI. Buzz explained that he continued to take an interest in the finances of FAI and in consequence IPC and his understanding of the figures presented by FAI to the General Conference 2017 was that the FAI would be totally out of cash by 2020. His presentation paper illustrated how the FAI overheads of the office exceeded the cash income causing the FAI to dip into the ASC's (Air Sports Commissions i.e. IPC and the other sports) reserves. Gill Rayner (FRA) confirmed that this was approved by the FAI General Conference. Markus Haggeney (FAI Sports & Marketing Director) spoke on behalf of the FAI and explained that this was a very simplistic approach and did not reflect the various assets owned by FAI which made the scenario proposed by Buzz unrealistic. The FAI was using the cash reserves to invest for the future of all Air Sports and this course of action was supported by the Executive Board.
Dr. Rainer 'Exi' Hoenle reported that IPC should be aware of this situation, as he had been for some time and urged committee chairs to think of projects to develop the sport for the future and use the money before we lost it. Liam McNulty (IRL) asked Markus Haggeney if the assurances that had been given to IPC in the past that FAI had 'ring fenced' IPC reserves if this was still the case. He was assured it was.
The remainder of the afternoon was taken up with Rules and Regulations, first the various propositions from the Judges Committee, led by Bernard Nicolas (FRA), and then the various Documents, Sporting Code Section 5; Internal Regulations; First Category Event Bid Document; Jury Handbook; FAI Controllers Handbook; by the chair of the Rules and Regulations Committee, Ronald Overdijk (NED). There was general discussion during both sessions and Bernard and Ronald undertook to incorporate suggestions, finalise wording and present the changes to the Plenary for final approval
Tomorrow, Friday, is the day of Closed Committee Meetings when committees decide the final wording of documents to be presented to the formal Plenary on Saturday 27th and Sunday 28th January 2018 for ratification and approval. However, before the Delegates made their way to the bars and restaurant a presentation had been arranged with the International Skydiving Museum & Hall of Fame, delivered by Jim McCormick and Dana Engelstad. Their presentation certainly captured the attention and imagination of those present with its powerful message and explanation of the Vision of its founders:
"The Museum & Hall of Fame will engage visitors by presenting the extraordinary global history of skydiving and showcasing the ongoing advances of our ever-changing sport. It will also feature those who have made extraordinary contributions to skydiving as recognised by their being selected to join the International Skydiving Hall of Fame."
The following video, which opened the presentation, captured the emotions of all who watched it and ensured many delegates will spend time over the next three days seeking out Jim and Dana.
Susan Dixon 04/02/2018 - again my apologies for the lateness of the publication of this report