05 Feb 2018

IPC Plenary 2018 - Sofia - Day 4 - January 27th 2018

9.00 a.m.  Saturday, 27th January 2018

Before the Plenary meeting commenced the President of the Bulgarian NAC, Angel Staminov welcomed all the delegates to the 68th 2018 FAI/IPC Plenary Meeting, there were over 120 attendees.  He then introduced the various dignatories from Bulgaria, including Mrs. Vania Koleva – Vice Minister of Sport who had attended this morning to officially open the meeting.  Each made a short speech welcoming the fact that the Bulgarian NAC had been honoured, yet again, in hosting such a prestigious event and hoped the Delegates would have time to visit and enjoy some of Sofia's history and culture.  Each also referred to the forthcoming FAI/IPC World Championships which would take place in August in Montana and they wished all the athletes a successful competition.

IPC President, Dr. Rainer 'Exi' Hoenle then commenced the work of the 68th FAI IPC Plenary Meeting, by announcing the change in status for Patrice Girardin who was no longer the Delegate for France.  This change had been for personal reasons and in his role as Honorary President he will complete the work he started in his role with the current Bureau.  Gillian Rayner is the new Delegate for France.  'Exi' extended his personal thanks to Patrice for his support during his Presidence and continued work on behalf of the sport.  Patrice was insistent that this resignation did not mean he was leaving IPC.  He received a standing ovation.

We then proceeded with the formal start to the meeting, with Delegates asked to observe a minute's silence in honour of those from our community who had passed away.

Markus Haggeney, FAI Sports & Marketing Director, conducted the Roll Call.  The results were: 34 Delegates present; 12 Proxies giving a total of 46 possible votes.  Of those, 24 represented a Simple Majority and 31 a two/thirds majority

There had been no formal apologies for absence other than Susanne Schodel, FAI Secretary General.

Markus confirmed the verification of the Delegates' authority and approval of the Proxies.  He started the circulation of the Delegates address list for updating and asked Delegates to provide all relevent contact information.

Exi reminded Delegates of the need, if appropriate, to declare any Conflicts of Interest - there were none.

He then moved to the Confirmation of the Minutes from the Plenary meeting in Faro 2017.  There were two items already mentioned in the Agenda and these changes were voted on and accepted.  Gail Bradley (AUS) drew attention to the loose wording of the minutes with regard to IPETA.  To conform with English law she proposed to change the wording and refer to the original 'investment' a 'return of the Seed Capital' (twice) and 'requesting the return of the investment'.  This was unanimously accepted by the Plenary.

Markus Haggeney, FAI then presented the Annual report on behalf of the FAI.    He spoke of the huge increase in the number of 1st Category events within FAI and the strain this puts onto the Head Office.  There had been an increase from 40 - 60 per year over the past 10 years.  The principle air sports involved were CIVL (Hang Gliding and Paragliding), IPC and the Aeromodeling Commission.  He also spoke of the greater use of 2nd Category Events to increase sanction fee income.  He also spoke of the increase in the number of Records being broken and Parachuting was one of the most active commissions with regard to this.   He further spoke of the FAI's involvement with their media partner Quattro Media GmbH and how they had worked together to cover selected events.  For IPC they had chosen the 1st FAI Swoop Freestyle World Championships in Copenhagen 2017 and World Indoor Skydiving Championships, Canada, 2017.  Both events had been 'live streamed' as well as creating 'articles' for use by the media and the record of 'his' overall had been excellent.

He moved on to the efforts being made to 'bridge the gap' between the NAC's and FAI's traditional power base and the Air Sports Commission in terms of Sports Marketing and bringing the two sides together within the parent structure with the help of the various Global Partnership Agreements.  He then moved to Finance and referred to the presentation made on Thursday afternoon by Richard 'Buzz' Bennett stating that his presentation does not represent the reality with regard to ASCs whose funds are clearly seperate, but that there is a need for all to invest for the future for all.  He does agree that the FAI needs to look at its reporting procedures and make adjustments.

Liam McNulty (IRL) requested clarification with regard to the Swoop Freestyle WC:  he wished to know why IPETA (the company set up by IPC for Events), was not involved. 

He had written to both Presidents (IPC and FAI) and had received an answer from Exi, but despite sending reminders, had not receiv a response from Mr. Frits Brink.  Exi stated that the Swoop organiser had expressed to both the FAI and IPC that they did not wish to be involved with IPETA but wanted to deal directly with FAI.    Mr. Frits Brink, FAI President, answered Liam, firstly by apologising for not having done so before.   He explained the time pressure that had been placed on FAI, IPC (Alberto Martin Paracuellos and Dr. Rainer 'Exi' Hoenle) to give quick answers;  the Danish NAC supported the idea and to ensure an event during 2017 decisions had to be made.  There was no money in it for FAI or IPC at this stage and it was a 2nd Category Event.  This year, 2018,  the organisers hope to secure two more venues.  He, Frits Brink, felt FAI/IPC had to take the chance whilst it was there, or lose it, and they had made the right decision.  There were several comments from the floor about rules and following them, some feeling we must (including the FAI) follow our own rules, others that we must develop flexibility when opportunities present themselves - Liam repeated his point that the rules had been broken and the 2016 Plenary should have been informed.  Frits stated this had not been possible and he believed in changing rules if it was in our best interest.  Kirk Verner (USA) disagreed, stating that for the future if we did not follow our own rules, "who would?" - this opinion was supported by Doris Merz (SUI) and Patrice Girardin (Honary President).  We then moved on to the President's Report.

As there were no questions on his Report contained in the Agenda documents he moved to show Annex 2 - 2017 FCE Final Jury Reports.  These reports were all finally positive, thus authorising the Bureau to refund the Deposits paid by the organisers after the event.  In all cases this had been done promptly and with thanks to all our 2017 FCE Organisers.   He also spoke about the Interim Bureau Decisions detailed in Annex 3.  These were all accepted without question by the Plenary.

At the Open Meeting on Wednesday, 23rd January 2018 Exi had spoken about his belief in the need to change our Commission's name to include Indoor Skydiving.  This now formed a very vital and dynamic part of our sport and reference should be included in our name.   This had also been discussed at the Extended Bureau Meeting prior to the Plenary and received support although the actual name had not been decided on and like the discussion that followed, there were those who did not see the need to change.   There was a reluctance to lose Parachuting from the title and so International Parachuting & Skydiving Commission seemed to be the most acceptable format although it was not voted on later in the Plenary, so no decision was taken.

We then moved to one of the most exciting presentations of the whole week relating to the IPC Strategic Plan and the Olympic Project of the French Parachute FederationDavid Roth, the President of FFP was introduced by Gillian Winter (FRA) along with her co-presenter Patrice Girardin (Honary President).  David Roth had been the driving force in working hard with the French Olympic Committee to have Parachuting accepted as one of the 'Five New Sports' a host city is allowed to propose for introduction to their Olympic Games.  Paris had won the bid to host the Olympic Games in 2024 and the FFP was maximising on its effort to have skydiving included.  They felt the most likely to be accepted is Indoor Skydiving, but were leaving the options open for other disciplines.  They presented to the Plenary the video they had prepared for the Olympic Committee Selection Committee, and would have the first opportunity to present it in May/June this year.  It is a video about our sport for those outside it and it received huge applause;  as did the whole presentation.  Patrice Girardin's passionate plea that we all DREAM TOGETHER for this project was shared by all.

John Smyth (GBR) thanked the FFP from the BPA for their efforts and work on behalf of our sport and a long held dream.  He also told delegates that the IPC meeting was over the same weekend as the BPA AGM, and he expected the BPA to change their name to British Skydiving.   Kirk Verner (USA) congratulated the French Federation on a very exciting project.

Susan Dixon (FRA) presented the Media Liaison and Webmaster report contained within the Agenda documents.  She simply expanded on the explanation of "how to" find your way around the new FAI Website.  In her report she also mentioned the need to establish a new IPC Results Website for the reasons explained and had circulated the proposal and quotation she had received from Dirk Venter & Claire King of InTime Scoring and asked for this to be included in the IPC Budget 2018 (6,000 Euros).  In addition she asked that Fay Kimble be allowed to accompany her to report during the FCEs in Australia - 4 events at the same time was too much to cover alone, this would increase her annual Media Liaison budget to 8,000 Euros and she asked for the Plenary to signify their approval of both expenditures for 2018, total 14,000 €.  'Exi' supported this request saying how much he appreciated the amount of work done by both Susan and Fay and called for any Objections or Abstentions.  There was none so the Media Budget for 2018 was approved.

Dr  Rainer 'Exi' Hoenle then introduced Iva Vassilev of Skydive-TV, IPC's Media Partner to report on their activities.  Iva showed a very impressive 10 minute video which covered all their work for IPC and Skydiving over the past couple of years, with a small dip into their history. 

She then explained the problem they had been placed in by the failure of the Bureau during the 2016 Plenary to vote on the payment to them of $5000 if there was a shortfall in their budget at the end of the year.  There had been a shortfall, but when the new Bureau had been approached for the payment it had been refused due to their feeling unable to make it as it had not been added to the IPC 2016 Budget and voted on.  Exi explained that it was a situation regretted by the Bureau, that they were in total support of Skydive-TV and the work they did for IPC and the sport.  He had intended to follow the Skydive-TV presentation with a short clip Quattro Media GmbH had given of their coverage of WISC Laval, but having seen the one from Skydive-TV decided it was not worth doing.  He and the bureau certainly support creating a budget amount of up to 5,000€ to cover any shortfall Skydive-TV make during 2018 to be agreed annually, if they were willing to continue as our Media Partners.  John Smyth called for an immediate vote to agree the retrospective payment of the $5000 unpaid from 2016.  There was some discussion from the floor on the exact amounts and if it also covered 2017 - in the end the vote was taken on $5,000 for to 2016 and up to 5000 € at the end of 2018,  There were no objections or abstentions to acceptance of the payment for 2016, and no objections with one abstention to the budget amount for 2018.

Iva thanked everyone for their support, and asked that IPC put pressure on the FAI to agree the Media Rights for an FCE early in the process, which allows them to obtain the maximum sponsorship they can.  At the moment it is left to the last minute, if no other company wants to take them, and it is too late for sponsors. She received a standing ovation from the floor.



The next Agenda Item was IPETA and Gail Bradley (AUS) the IPETA Secretary spoke about the way to terminate the company.  There was an Memorandum of Understanding in place between the FAI and IPC which states that the FAI will not willfully liquidate the company.  The Plenary would be asked for their consent under the MoU to terminate the company, and ask the company to return to IPC/FAI the balance remaining of the Initial Seed Capital used for the Start Up of IPETA.  Gail also asked the Plenary to support the existing Directors (IPC - 2 from the Bureau and 3 voted for by the Plenary 2017 + 2 from FAI) to remain in place whilst the winding up process was completed.  There were a few questions of clarification, but no objections from the floor and so the go-ahead was given to the IPETA board to do what was necessary to close the company as soon as possible.

Now it was the turn of Col. Gernot Rittenschober (AUT) President, CISM Parachuting Committee to present his report from 2017.   As one has come to expect, he gave an excellent presentation of a very successful year for CISM.   Gernot reported on CISM activities in 2017, including the first indoor/outdoor FS Tournament in Sion/ Switzerland, mentioned the CISM judges’ seminar which was held in Pisa/ Italy and thanked the instructors Günter Berendt (Style) and Jurate Janusauskiene (FS).   

He also spoke about the successfully conducted 41st World Military Parachuting Championship (WMPC), Warendorf/Soest in Germany. The opening ceremony on 11th July 2017 was attended by FAI President Frits Brink, FAI Secretary General Susanne Schödel together with IPC President Dr. Exi Hoenle.

The 1st CISM Military Para-Ski World Championships 3rd-8th  April in Hochfilzen/AUT and42nd WMPC which will take place in Szolnok/ HUN  10th -21st July 2018 were introduced, the invitation files are at http://www.milsport.one/sports/parachuting.  Gernot also expressed his and CISM’s sincere thanks to Ani Stamenova and IPC bureau for changing the date of 35th FAI World Freefall Style and Accuracy Landing Championships in Erden, Montana by one week with the decision of IBD 3/17.    Gernot invited nations with a military parachuting team to participate in 2018 WMPCs as observer or if they are one of the 136 CISM member nations as full participant with a team or individual competitors. For 2019 the 7th Military World Games in Wuhan/China were introduced, the present indoor bidders were made aware of the date 17-28 Oct which may have an impact on some FS 4way teams.  His thanks was echoed by Istvan Sipos (HUN) and applause from the floor.  He spoke of the continued programme within CISM of Judge Training, and also the decision to host a CISM Para-Skl competition.

At the end Gernot thanked the FAI President, FAI Sports Director, IPC President and all present IPC officials for the good co-operation

Dr. Rainer 'Exi' Hoenle, along with Susan Dixon, then presented the 'new look' ranking listing with an example of Individual Ranking List for Canopy Piloting.  This represented a major change to the system introduced by Niels-Christian Levin Hansen at the Plenary in Vienna 2014

Continental Championships were drawn from both an actual event and derived from the World Events, then shown as separate lists.  The image above depicts the CP ranking for the Asian continent - circled in red - but the World and other continental results would also be available - as shown in Blue.  The rankings continue to be based over a 4-year period, with points awarded for the current year at 100%, dropping down 25% each year over the 4 year period.  All World FCEs would count whether World Cups or World Championships.  For individual disciplines Accuracy Landing (Male and Female), Freefall Style (Male and Female), Canopy Piloting, Solo Freestyle, Para-Ski Individual Overall (Male and Female) the new tables would be established.  With the new system of calculation we would retain the Team events as a NAC listing - and in the case of a World Cup where more than one team could enter, only the best team of the two would count.

As the delegates came to terms with the new look there were several questions from the floor of clarification, including the inclusion of 2nd Category Events.  Both Para-Ski and Indoor Skydiving had developed their own ranking systems to include such events, and Para-Ski would present their own suggestions later.  Indoor Skydiving would work on their system over the coming year.

Susan Dixon and Fay Kimble undertook to continue their work on finalising all the Ranking Lists and these would be published on the FAI/IPC Website before the start of the competitive year.

Randy Connell (USA), the IPC Records Officer then took the floor.  He reported on a very successful year in terms of the number of Class G (competiton) records claimed during 2017 - a total of 120 which was an increase of 66% over those of 2016.   These records represented 49.9% of all Air Sports claims.  He again thanked the Bureau for their IBD issued at the end of 2016 which had allowed the recognition of Competition Records directly from the FCE where they were set, and for removing the requirement for the individual/team athlete to pay for their record registation - it is paid for you IPC from the sanction fees.  On replying to a question from the floor Randy explained that the NAC was now only required to refuse the record, otherwise it stood for their athlete. 

He explained that despite visiting the FAI office 3 times to help with the backlog workload, refining the system of application and the form and the simplification clarified in the IBD he was still experiencing problems within the FAI Office with one member of staff who refused to follow what was actually written in the SC.  The result of this was that of the 120 records submitted, 48 had been ratified, 3 cancelled and 69 were still awaiting ratification.  With 95% of overall IPC record claims being Competition records there were still problems with Performance records which is an area he intends to address during the coming year.  

He also referred to the Records Database on the new FAI/IPC Website and this is evolving thanks to the work of Visa-Matti, the FAI's IT person.  Randy has been amazed and grateful for the speed which some suggestions are implemented, although there was still a lot of work to be done particularly in clarifying word use, i.e. Performance and performance, when and where applied.  Randy asked for Plenary approval to his budget request that he would put to the Financial Secretary for inclusion in the 2018 the submission for 2,500 Euros so that he could once more spend time in the FAI Offices in Lausanne to aid with the clearance of the backlog of claims.  This would cover his travel and subsistance whilst there.   There were no objections from the floor of the Plenary.

Before the next Agenda item (5.7) the FAI President, Mr. Fritz Brink re-entered the meeting, having been involved with the Belgium NAC and its national representatives.  He apologised and took the floor to make his presentation to the Plenary.

He explained that a lot of changes were underway within FAI.  At the General Conference in Rotterdam the Executive Board had decided to adopt the new Strategic Plan (IPC's idea first) with a 3 year programme.  Emphasis would be paid to the continued work and development of the World Games and the World Air Games and moving to closer ties with the Olympic Movement.  Asia had shown the way with the development of the Asian Games which at the moment did not include Air Sports.  The FAI had appointed the first of the Regional Vice Presidents in Asia based in Hong Kong.  He also spoke of the success and popularity of new developments within CIVL and IPC disciplines and the need to capitalise on these.  He further said that the two pillars of the governence structure of the FAI was both the NAC's and Air Sports and the need to make fast decisions on new developments.  Within the next few days there was an Executive Board meeting when these issues would be discussed.  It was intended to appoint Regional Vice Presidents for both the Middle East and North Africa soon.  

Next came an example of his continued committment to IPC from Patrice Girardin (FRA) when he presented the work during 2017 of his new Working Group on Parachuting for the Disabled.  He drew the delegates attention to his report which had been circulated (all be it late) prior to this Plenary.  He thanked the support of his WG members and particularly Russia and Belarus who had both hosted/will be hosting competitions.  Although there was a long way to go in establishing the competition format, classification of participation and the competition rules, they had moved from a 'Challenge' to a 'Competition' although it could not be considered a 1st or 2nd Category Event yet.      He congratulated Russia on their successful competition in 2017.  There was more work to be done, but a start had been made.  They were also working on developing competition Indoor.

This was the last presentation under the "General Issues" (or odds and ends) of the Agenda and we moved on to more clearly defined items and the day to day work of IPC and its committees.

Peter Pfalzgraf, Finance Secretary introduced his working group members.  He apologised for airing his differences of understanding with a member of his working group within his report, this had been a serious error of judgement on his part.  He then moved on to explaining how he had clarified and speeded up the expenses claim procedure with the introduction of a new claim form which had proved a success.  He had also arranged with FAI a change in the processing of Western Union (outside the IBAN banking area) claims payment to avoid a double exchange rate calculation.

Peter had withdrawn his proposal contained in Annex 10 following discussion during the open meeting, but called for a vote on the proposal Annex 11 from the Swiss Delegate.  Ronald Overdijk (NED) raised a question about the requirement to have a 'non stop' flight in this proposal, as that often proved to be a more expensive ticket.  There was discussion from the floor on a 'common sense' approach from claimants and when it was put to the vote there were 3 against and 1 abstention and so the Proposal was accepted.

Peter thanked the Plenary for their support during his term of office, but stated that he would not be restanding for election when the position of Finance Secretary was voted on Sunday.

Now it was the turn of ASIANIA and Faye Cox (AUS) Secretary General, and (David) Chang Il Choi (KOR) the future Secretary General, to tell the delegates of all the exciting progress this association of NACs is making in their part of the world. 

Faye Cox: Secretary General ASIANIAChang Il Choi (David): ASIANIA

Her report is contained in Annex 7, but she wished to highlight the general reduction in numbers which seems to be a global problem, but despite that, the future for Asiania looks good.  Asiania continues to work hard at training Judges within their community and bringing them up to FAI standard and she thanked FAI/IPC for their support.  She made particular mention of the successful course held in China 2017.  She was very happy to announce that China intends to hold an International Invitation Indoor Skydiving competition in November 2018 with the intention to cover travel, food and accommodation costs in the hope that participants will stay on afterwards as tourists.  Any questions, please contact Faye Cox through the Asiania Website (http://www.asiania.org/) or Facebook page.

As she returned to her seat Dr. Rainer 'Exi' Hoenle led the applause and thanked Faye for her many years of dedicated work on behalf of ASIANIA despite the terrible problems she had experienced over these latter years with family trauma and illness. 

Gustavo Eduardo Reyes (ARG) presented the report from COLPAR on behalf of Meylin Sanchez Phang Chiong, Secretary General.  He emphasised that COLPAR had the same goals as ASIANIA and were working to increase their membership from all the Latin American Countries from Mexico to Hondurus.  They welcomed their latest member, Ecuador.  COLPAR was proud of the progress that had been made by their Judges and the success attending FAI courses.  They thanked ASIANIA for the welcome given when joining their FAI Judge Training Course.  They would coninue their work to increase the number of members from the current 13 amongst the Spanish speaking skydiving community.  Gustavo ended his report in Spanish, to laughter and applause.

Our World Games Liaison Officer, Elisabet Mikaelsson (SWE) stated she would give a short summary highlighting what had been a two year long very bumpy road that ended in a very successful competition.  On the first day they had a 90% take up of tickets and were subsequently sold our for the next two days.  The weather had been perfect throughout and they completed three rounds in all 4 events.  The media coverage and video presentation of the event had also been very good.  She wished personally to thank the airfield owner and his work to make this event a success, which bodes well for the upcoming FCE this August.  The selection process had been based on the individual ranking list for CP taking into account a good international representation as well.  Unfortunately as the year progressed due to injury and various factors 7 - 8 selected athletes had to be replaced with 2 within 2 days of the start.  She was very happy to report that they had managed to use all the slots available to IPC.  Elisabet confirmed that she would not be restanding as the World Games Liaison Officer for the future games.

Markus Haggeney, FAI, reported on the next World Games 2021 in Birmingham Alabama, USA.  On the Friday before the start of this Plenary meeting Canopy Piloting had been selected as one of the Air Sports events but there was a long way to go with final selection expected within the next 4 weeks.  The competition will be in July 2021.  There were questions from the floor, particularly from Randy Connell (USA) asking if everyone was aware of the intense heat Birmingham suffered from in July and the adverse effect this may have on the athletes in this discipline.   Dr. Rainer 'Exi' Hoenle said he has been informed that Alabama was planning to build a Wind Tunnel and so there was a possibility of IS being considered.  Markus said the next meeting was 4 weeks away and the first manager's meeting was planned for 4-5 October ; there was a long way to go.

He then moved to the World Air Games.  Late in 2017 Turkey had emerged as the only serious bidder to host the next WAG in 2022.  The FAI had made its first visit to Ankara on 1st October and then the beginning and end of December.  It was 20 years since the first WAG was organised in Turkey by THK.  The objective of THK was to have a large competition with the maximum number of entrants, thus fulfilling their objective of a large increase in international tourism.  FAI were keen to move away from the idea of a copy/paste of the past but to be creative with disciplines that promoted and presented the sport in a dynamic way.  Both Dr. Rainer 'Exi' Hoenle and Patrice Girardin had attended the meetings in December.  'Exi' reported on his visit to a site which was proposed for a CP Freestyle competition, and the proposal to build a pond at Ephesus on the existing airfield, which is large enough.  He had also been told that there were plans to build a Wind Tunnel in Ankara.  Markus said there was a lot to consider and a long way to go, including the concerns on the current political situation in that part of the world.

Now we arrived at the first of the discipline committees and Gunter Berendt, Chair of the Freefall Style and Accuracy Landing Committee commenced his presentation.  His reports were contained in the Agenda papers and he had taken note of the response to his presentation at the open meeting.  He started by talking about the problems encountered at the European Championships 2017 in Montenegro.  Despite the problems they had a valid competition and were able to award the medals to the deserved winners.  However due to the smoke from the surrounding forest fires during the competition, it had not been possible to jump style, except for one day when the morning was clear following overnight rain.  They managed to complete 2 rounds and have a result.  The other major problem had been the malfunction of the Weckbecker Eectronics scoring system i.e. pad failure to record.  It had been exceptionally hot during the day with the temperature reaching 40°C but the system would be re-evaluated for future acceptance to the Judges list of Approved Scoring Systems.

Gunter then proposed two rule changes which he would ask the Plenary to vote on.  The first concerned a wording clarification in the case of a pad failure and this was more of a housekeeping nature as it did not alter the rule in any way, and so was neither questioned nor opposed by the Plenary.  However, the second rule change, although only a word change, did alter the intent of the rule:

" Three judges positioned at or near the target will independently asses the landing and indicate by visible signal (hand/arm, predetermined by the Chief Judge) if the displayed score is valid/invalid. The decision of the judges will be made by simple majority."

Jiri Blaska (CZE) immediately asked for a secret vote on this point.

The FAI had agreed with the IPC Bureau that the electronic voting system owned by the FAI would be usilised at this Plenary and so there was a short break whilst Markus Hagenney, assisted by Vesela Stamenova-Dzhorova and Susan Dixon distrubted the electronic voting devices.  Each device was numbered and Markus recorded the number against the name of the delegate who had voting rights.  This was questioned from the floor as it could not be a secret balot if there was tracability.  Markus suggested that the devices were exchanged between delegates to mask the numbers once he was content that the 34 delegates had each been handed a device.  He asked that each delegate retained control of a device.  He then distributed the 12 proxy devices and went through the same procedure.  The proxy devices had a number keypad, the use of which would record their vote on the computer held by Markus.  He asked for a test run and explained that he would ask them to vote utilising '1' in favour '2' against.  After several attempts there appeared to be a bug in the computer software and the system failed to work, recording only 45 of the 46 votes cast.  At this point, with time already short for the completion of the meeting Dr. Rainer 'Exi; Hoenle announced we would revert to the use of paper voting slips. 

The Delegates broke for a 30 minute coffee break whilst the voting devices were collected and preparation was made for a paper voting procedure.  Arnold Hohenegger (AUT) and Ray Williams (AUS) agreed to ack as scruitineers.  On the instruction to vote YES to accept the change proposed by the committee and NO for the rule to remain as is the votes were cast:

Spoilt Papers2

Gunter thanked Bulgaria for agreeing to alter the dates of their competition to 24th - 31st August 2018, and looked forward to being there.  He also thanked them for agreeing to host a Judge Training Courses in both Accuracy Landings and Freefall Style.  This would cost 650 Euros per entrant and a minimum number of 5 candidates was required to run the course.  He urged Judges and NACs to put their names forward early.  He also commented and thanked the Bulgarian government for the support being shown for this competition and welcomed all to Montana in August.

As he moved to leave the podium to the next Presenter, Jiri Blaska (CZE) rose to ask why his proposal to amend the rules (Agenda item 11.4.1) was not being voted on.  Gunter replied that this had been discussed during the Open Meeting.  A decision had been taken in 2016 against the proposal to use cameras at the target area in accuracy, as the belief of the committee was that it created more problems than it solved.  This had been discussed in 2014, 2015 and 2016 and he asked Jiri to accept the decision of the delegates.  Liam McNulty (IRE) stated that he thought Jiri had the right to have the issue discussed and put to the vote.  John Smyth (GBR) stated that this would, in itself, if approved, be a major rule change and the IPC policy was not to introduce major rule changes in a WC year.  On a request from 'Exi' to Jiri to withdraw his request for a vote this year, Jiri stated that he wished to make it clear that his proposal was not intended nor should be interpreted as a criticism of judges, but in fact as an aid.  However, he agreed to withdraw his proposal for this year on the understanding that he would present it with a view to it being voted on, next year.  'Exi' thanked Jiri and we moved to the next presentation.

Mark Szulmayer, Chair Formation Skydiving committe was next.    Mark said his presentation would be short as he had covered all his points during the open meeting.  The rule changes he proposed were clarification/housekeeping with regard to the definition of the tie-break resolution calculation.  Also, for Indoor the organiser will provide the team with a clear identity to ensure the correct video was judged per team.  Again a word order change to define 'reverse order of jumping'.  Following a question from the floor, he said that this was qualified by the words 'where pactical'.  There was futher housekeeping and renumbering.

The IPC President called for a vote on the proposed changes to the rules.  There were no votes against the proposals, no abstentions, so the rules changes were accepted unanimously.

Mark then moved to the proposed Pool changes with the introduction of two new 4-Way randoms.  It is proposed that these be introduced into the Pool next year, but competitors notified of it this year.  There was a question from the floor if the committee would consider including a second VFS Team (as with CF 2-way and AE events).  The decision was No from the committee.  Following a question regarding 8-way for Indoor Skydiving, this would remain a demo event, there was no plan to include it into IS FS competiton events.  He called for a vote on the proposed new blocks to be effective from 2019.  Again, no against, no abstentions, accepted unanimously.

He thanked his committee for their work during the year and wished to continue with the same members other than changing Laura Davis (USA) to Dave Grauwels (BEL).

The Plenary then broke for a much needed lunch break.

On returning at 14.30 to the Meeting Room, Dr. Rainer 'Exi' Hoenle proposed that the meeting continue that evening until 19.00 hrs and recommenced tomorrow morning at 8.00 hrs.  He was well aware that many delegates would have to leave after 12.00 on Sunday and there was a large programme of work to get through before then.

Canopy Formation was next, led by Rina Gallo (CAN).  Rina Gallo asked if there were any questions regarding the proposed rule changes (mainly housekeeping) which had been discussed during the open meeting and were presented in Annex 26.  There were no questions, no objections, no abstentions and so the proposed rule changes were accepted unanimously.

Rina said they were looking forward to the competition in Australia, and thanked Romania for their late bid to host a competition in 2019 and confirmed that they would be prepared to expand the entry to include 4-Way Sequential and Rotations.  Romania came to the prodium to make their presentation and answer questions, but as there were none from the floor, Rina continued by thanking Russia for their Mondial bid for 2020.  Under Any Other Business Romania would ask for a 2/3rds majority to add their bid to the agenda to be voted on.

And so we moved on to Artistic Events, presented by Ron Miasnikov (ISR).  Following discussions within the committee and at the Open Meeting the decision had been made to separate Dynamic Flying and Artistic Events with Dynamic Flying forming its own Working Group and Ron asked the Plenary to approve this move.  There being no-one against, and no abstentions it was accepted unanimously.  Ron talked about the decision made last year to alter the way Artistic Events were judged, by asking competitors to submit a video of their free routine 48 hours before the first round of the competition.  At first it had been thought that this would mean AE judges arriving a day in advance of the competition start, but they had decided that the actual start of the AE competition would be one day later so that the Judges had time to study the videos, ask questions if need be, and evaluate all the entrants before the first round was jumped.  This had worked well in Saarlouis and was appreciated by competitors.  They had decided to alter the points split between the performance aspects and award a seperate score for the camerawork.  The committee was also working on updating the Compulsory Definition Tables.  They would not include music in the competative jumps but it would be possible to play this for the public only who were just watching, not judging.    All the proposed rule changes presented in documents circulated to the Plenary were accepted without objection or abstention.

Ron welcomed Kristian Moxnes to the AE committee at the same time as announcing her resignation and wishing all success in the future.  Sharka Blaskova (CZE) said what a loss it was for both AE outdoor and Indoor with this resignation and thanked Ron warmly and sincerely for all her work.  Neither discipline would be as established and founded as they were had it not been for her work over the years.  Dr. Rainer 'Exi' Hoenle eccoed these sentiments and Ron received a resounding, standing ovation from all the Delegates present.  Alberto Martin Paracellous (ESP) asked for a vote to be taken on his propoal to the alteration of the rules in both Formation Skydiving and Artistic Events regarding rejumps and faulty video equipment.  This proposal was accepted unanimously by the Plenary.

He then moved to the podium as Canopy Piloting  came next.  Alberto thanked his committee for their work during the year and at the Plenary and was glad that all members would continue.  He also thanked the Organisers who had bid for future events, and looked forward to returning to Poland, this time for the World Championships in August 2018.  He also thanked Poland for adding Freestyle to their programme, thus creating the 1st World Canopy Piloting Freestyle Championships.  Entrants would have a choice of options;  enter and jump the 9 rounds of classic CP at a price;  include Freestyle and jump 12 rounds of competition or simply choose to enter Freestyle only for a specisal price per competitor.   Poland had submitted a revised Bid document to reflect these changes and this had been circulated to all Delegates prior to the start of the Plenary.  Alberto asked for a vote to accept this revised bid and it was accepted unanimously.

A bid had been received from South Africa to host the World Cup in Canopy Piloting in Pretoria 19-25 November 2019.  This would be seeking a 2/3rds majority to be included on the Agenda and voted for later in the programme.  Their bid had also been circulated to all Delegates prior to the start of the meeting.  There were no questions from the floor relating to the South African bid, however Liam McNulty asked if the pond in Poland was able to accommodate Freestyle, to which the answer was yes it was.  Were there plans to hold a Training Course at the World Championships.  At the moment there were no plans but Alberto did agree to contact Karla to see if there was a need.

At the moment there were two bids on the table for the World Championships in 2020, Russia as part of the Mondial bid and France.  Patrice Girardin (FRA) spoke about the French bid, saying that they had revised it to accommodate Freestyle with the same options - 12 rounds all 4 events, 9 rounds the classic events only, 3 rounds freestyle only.  He joked with Alberto about his bid response to the weather question - normally the weather was good in this part of France at this time of year.  The date was changed to 7-13 (not 8-13) September 2020.  There bid did not include accommodation.  The prices were per participant and included the sanction fee of 90€:

Including Freestyle,12 jumps600€ per participant
3 Classic Events9 jumps540€ per participant
Freestyle only3 jumps420€ per participant

A vote will be taken following the Mondial vote.

Alberto referred to the FAI World Freestyle Swoop Championships and thanked George Blythe for visiting this Plenary meeting to present his exciting new event.  He wished him success with the one planned for 24/25 August 2018 again in Copenhagen harbour and in finding more venues in his wish to develop a World Series.  Alberto then presented his rule changes, most of which were housekeeping except the committee proposed to allow Canopy Piloting competitors to make Indoor Skydiving flights if they wished during a competition.  These changes were accepted unanimously by the Plenary.  The proposed rule changes for Freestyle were also all housekeeping.  The committee over the coming year will look at how points are awarded between 'technical' and 'presentation', currently these have the same value and then averaged - need to look at how the point is presented.  Alberto asked for a budget allowance of 1080 Euros as there is a need to have drawings made to show the moves.  This was accepted by the Plenary and will be included in the Budget presented by the Financial Secretary at the end of the Plenary.

There had been considerable discussion within the committee regarding allowing Freestyle to move directly to a World Championship status without holding a World Cup 'trial' competition first, as was usual with 'new' disciplines.  Freestyle had been around for some time and had been included in International Competitions, for example, Dubai, over the years.  The majority of the committee wanted to move forward and not step back a couple of years.  There were questions from the floor regarding judging this new discipline and Alberto said there were judges out there who had been judging Freestyle for some time at competitions ouside the FAI calendar.  He asked that it be put to the vote and it was carried with 1 against and 1 abstention.

With all presenters aware of the time restraints our next presenter lived up to her promise to reflect her discipline and keep her time at the microphone fast.  Yes, Elisabet Mikaelsson (SWE) and Speed Skydiving.    There proposed rule changes related mainly to the inspection of the competitors equipment in relation to weight and the positioning of the SMDs.  The other changes were all housekeeping.  She referred the delegates to her pepers distributed before the start of the meeting.  All the proposals from the Speed Skydiving committee were accepted and passed unanimously.   Elisabeth thanked our Australian hosts for agreeing to a Speed Skydiving Judges course during the FCEs in October.  At the moment Speed only had 8 qualified FAI judges in the world and she hoped there would be a good take up of the course.  She thanked her committee and was pleased to say they had all agreed to continue for 2018.

Finally we came to the last but one discipline presentation of the day.  John Smyth (GBR) and his discipline of Wingsuit Flying.  John spoke about the Open Meeting and how his Annex 35 and its two main issued had been covered. He also introduced Denis Werenskiold (DEN), an active Performance competitor who was taking over the Chair of the Committee, leaving John free to concentrate on his favourite discipline Accuracy Landing and Freefall Style.  He had enjoyed and been excited about the future whilst working with the Wingsuit Flying community.  Before handing over to Denis John said he intended to make a Declaration of Intent from the committee that over the coming year they would finalise the rules covering Acrobatic Wingsuit Flying using an Altitude Window and these would be incorporated into the Wingsuit Flying Competition Rules for 2019.

Denis then took over the microphone and after introducing the new commitee, started to cover the 26 pages of rule changes - the majority of which was very small stuff 'housekeeping' word changes - stating with including a Table of Contents which had been missing before.  He also showed the new drawing they now have which clearly defines the flight lanes and the level of violation giving a 10/20 or 50 percent penalty.  There was a question from the floor on if this was of the raw score or the result.  He agreed the commitee would look at the wording with Ronald.  They believed this clarified the situation without compromising safety.  They clarified 'training jumps' in line with other disciplines and also rejumps for camera problems in line with FS and AE.  The Plenary voted unanimously to adopt all proposed changes.  Denis then thanked John Smyth, Jimmy Hayhurst and Henny Wiggers for all their work in establishing the discipline, with applause from the delegates.

Russia then had an opportunity to make a short presentation on their bid for the Mondial 2020 to include Formation Skydiving, Artistic Events, Canopy Formation, Winsuit Flying, Accuracy Landing & Freefall Style, (Senior and Junior), Canopy Piloting including Freestyle, and Speed Skydiving; and they had made adjustments to their bid to accommodate CP Freestyle and also a change to the proposed date, to avoid a direct clash with the possible WAG in Turkey.  They now proposed to welcome all skydivers to Tanay in the heart of Siberia from the 1st to 12th August 2020.  They took the opportunity to remind all the delegates of what was being offered in terms of facilities by reshowing their promotional video.   

Following the question from Gernot Rittenschober (AUT) regarding the fact that the competition was to run over 12 days how did the organiser plan to schedule it so that competitors did not either spend days not jumping or limited competative jumps over a long period.  The presenter answered that if they were awarded the bid they intended to work closely with the committee chairs and the FAI Controller to arrive at an overall schedule acceptable to all.  There being no furrther questions Dr. Rainer 'Exi' Hoenle called for a vote for the desire to have a Mondial 2020.  After a positive vote he then called for a vote in favour of the bid from Russia - again there were no objections, no abstentions - the Mondial 2020 in Tanay Russia was accepted.

At the end it all happened so suddenly some delegates were confused as to what had actually occurred, some believing they were still voting to consider a Mondial as opposed to individual World Championships - but the vote had been called for and accepted.  Even Russia was surprised and overjoyed at the result.  We then broke for a quick coffee break before the final presentations of the day.


The meeting then settled down to the final discipline presentation, Para-Ski and Micheal Egger (AUT), who rivals Elisabet with the speed of his presentation.  He started by thanking his committee and saying he was happy it would remain the same.  He explained the new Rankings he had produced which unlike the other disciplines would include Category 2 Events, the Para-Ski World Cup Series (three events a year) with a World Championships (FCE) alternate years.  The rule changes he proposed were simple clarifications and were unanimously accepted without question.

Now it was the turn of Gail Bradley (AUS) to speak on the IPETA Election of officers.  She confirmed the existing board consisted of 7 directors, 2 from the FAI and 5 from IPC, with was made up of 2 from the Bureau and 3 elected at the Plenary from the Delegates.  Due to the decision made earlier in the day, she asked that the existing directors been reconfirmed in place for the duration of the winding up of the company.  This was voted for unanimously and so the IPETA Board remains as is.

We then came to the acceptance of the two bids on the table for inclusion in this Agenda.  One from Eloy, Arizona, USA for Formation Skydiving and Artistic Events 2019 and one from Romania for Canopy Formation 2019.  A 2/3rds majority was required and achieved to accept the inclusion of each individual bid onto the Agenda.  The first under consideration was the USA bid.  The organiser was asked if they would consider hosting a Speed Skydiving World Cup at the same time, but this was refused.  The date was confirmed as 5 - 13 October 2019 and could not be changed.  The bid was accepted and Larry Hill the owner of Eloy was thanked by the Plenary for stepping forward to fill this opening.

Romania then made the presentation of their bid to host the Canopy Formaion World Cup in 2019 during the period 15th - 21st August.  The presentation was made by Cristina Stenczel, the Romanian Delegate.  She explained this was a new venture for them and they were looking for help from IPC in finding a suitable person to be Meet Director.  They would extend their bid to include both 4-Way Canopy Formation events and the revised bid to take account of this had been circulated on the 'cloud' facility available to delegates.  Gernot Rittenschober (AUT) suggested that the Plenary authorise the Bureau to make the decision regarding the Meet Director, as now was not the time to decide it.  This was accepted and approved unanimously by the Plenary as was the Bid.  Patrice Girardin (Honoray President) did volunteer to be the Meet Director should no other candidate be forthcoming.

And so ended a very packed day, with the Delegates having just about enough time to prepare for the Gala Dinner organised by our hosts, the Bulgarian NAC:  Angel Stamenov, President; Ani Stamenova, Delegate and Vesela Stamenova-Dzhorova, Alternate Delegate:  this is very much a family affair and all worked extremely hard to make this Plenary meeting the success it was proving to be.