IPC Plenary Meeting 2018

Sofia, Bulgaria,

27 Jan
28 Jan 2018
08 Feb 2018

IPC Plenary 2018 - Sofia - Day 5 - January 28 2018

08/02/2018  -  I will continue with the report from the last day of the Plenary and apologise for the delay in posting it - partly caused by problems, yet again, with this website!


Sunday 28th January 2018, Sofia, Bulgaria

Following the Gala dinner the night before, the hall was abuzz with conversations despite the early start, and all were ready for the Roll Call carried out by Markus Haggeney , FAI.  Total number of Delegates present 33 with 13 Registered Proxies a total of 46.  This gives 24 for a simple majority and 31 for a 2/3rds majority.

The morning then started with the presentation from Mohammed Al Delayel (QAT), chair of the Indoor Skydiving Committee.  He commenced by thanking his committee and how pleased he was that Artistic Events and Dynamic Flying would now form two separate Committees/Working Groups leaving his committee free to develop and progress the project of creating some form of World Cup Series.  This was the objective for 2018 and they would present their proposals to the Plenary 2019.

He also thanked the Plenary for their agreement, which would be formalised in the Rules & Regulations committee's presentation, to alter the submission date for bid applications for inclusion in the Plenary Agenda from 1st December to 1st October, thus giving the committee time to work with prospective organisers on any questions relating to their Bids. 

He put up onto the overhead projector a table he had created showing the various bids received for the 3rd FAI WISC 2019 and 3rd FAI WCIS 2020.  Patrice Girardin (Honorary President) said that the table was misleading as it was not possible to compare 'like with like' in terms of the participation fee per competitor - for example the French Bid did not include accommodation.  Belgium also pointed out that their participation fee did not include the sanction fees.  Mohammed was pleased to announce that France was prepared to change the date of their competition to 16-20 April 2019 if this was the wish of the Plenary, and Germany had altered their date to 24-29 April 2019.

With regard to the 2020 bids, Japan could not be voted on as their NAC not only refused to support them but also was actively opposed to the bid (having no Parachuting representation within their structure).  The delegation from Japan was thanked by all present for putting forward their bid and visiting Sofia to present it.  They were wished success with their competition, which would make such a strong contribution to the Olympic Dream. 

Markus Haggeney, FAI then proceeded to hand out the first voting slips for the vote on the 2019 bids - each bid would be voted on in turn and the Country receiving the highest majority vote would be granted the competition.  He was helped in this by Arnold Hohenegger and Ray Williams acting as scrutineers. 



























Patrice Girardin (Honorary President) recorded the whole process and sent it live to his Facebook page and those in France who were working so hard on the Olympic Dream.

Congratulations to France.

We then went through the whole procedure again for 2020




















So Congratulations are in order for Belgium - see you in Charleroi in 2020.

We then moved to the Technical aspect of our sport,  with the first presentation by Gustavo Eduardo Reyes (ARG) and the Technical and Safety Committee.  He too thanked his committee for their work during the year and stated that the Annual Safety Survey and Report was on the USB key that had been circulated to all Delegates.  Also included was the questionnaire and survey for the next year and he encouraged all Delegates to ensure that whoever was responsible within their NAC took on its completion.  The greater the participation by all countries the more relevant the findings.    He was glad to report that there had only been one Notification issued during 2017.

The committee had looked at including Indoor Skydiving into the annual survey, but had come to the conclusion that it could be a difficult path to follow and as there were, thank goodness, no serious incidents occurring, it did not seem relevant at this time.  He urged all Delegations to follow the example of the USA, Australia and UK who were planning a Safety Day. He had to report that the Electronic Reporting System that the committee had been working on for a few years now, did not work and so they had decided not to continue in that direction.

He ended again by encouraging all delegates to work within their home nations to complete the survey.

Next it was Ronald Overdijk (NED) chair of the Rules and Regulations Committee.  He started by thanking his committee for their work this year, and explaining that they had received, just before the Plenary, a complete re-writing of the section in SC S5 dealing with Records.  It had not been possible to check through this and the committee would work on this during 2018 for presentation at the Plenary 2019

The proposed changes to SC Section 5 contained in the documents circulated prior to the Plenary were put to the vote and accepted unanimously.    There were no changes proposed to the Internal Regulations and those in the FCEAD reflected the agreed change to the Bid Application Submission Date for inclusion in the Plenary Agenda from 1st December to 1st October.  The committee would work on amending the wording as a result of this decision in all relevant documents.   Plus the proposed changes reflecting the clarification and specification of the Organisers Website and the competition Results.  Susan Dixon (Webmaster) commented that the agreement of the Plenary to the creation of a bespoke results site should end many of the perceived problems.  All of the proposed changes were accepted unanimously by the Plenary. 

Liam McNulty (IRL) asked a question regarding the legality of the Organisers Agreement.  Whilst during Jury duty at the Montenegro FCE 2017 he was surprised to discover that the OA had not been signed by both parties, and had been unable to obtain a satisfactory reason from the FAI at the time.  His concern was echoed by Randy Connell (USA) who had found the same problem in Nevada at the Wingsuit Flying FCE over the failure of the FAI to answer the organiser's questions on several of the clauses he was being asked to agree to.  It had almost brought about the cancellation of the competition.  Agnieszka Sobczynska (POL) had experienced a similar problem for the FCE in Poland this year and Dr. Rainer 'Exi' Hoenle confirmed that Bahrain, although their Bid had been accepted a year ago in Faro, had yet to receive their Organiser Agreement.  This was a serious failure on the part of the FAI and was unfair on Organisers and brought the whole legality of the situation into question.

In the past the OA had been signed at the Plenary, immediately a Bid had been accepted, why could that not happen today.  Markus Haggeney, FAI apologised on behalf of the FAI, explaining that the new Organisers Agreement had had a difficult development path, when each time it seemed ready for publication more changes had been suggested.  It was an important document and it was necessary to clearly establish Rights under it. There seemed to be no immediate or satisfactory answer to the question.   In fact, the suggestion from the floor was "Was it necessary"?  If one was not signed, was the Competition Valid? with the consensus being, if it had been conducted according to the Competition Rules, it was.

Ronald continued to have the committee proposed changes to the Sporting Code, SCS5, the Organisers Agreement and the FAI Controllers Handbook detailed in the documents circulated prior to the Plenary accepted in full, unanimously.

We then moved to the various proposals raised by delegates in the Annexes 53, 54, 55 and 56.  Gernot Rittenschober (AUT) said he would not call for a vote on his proposal, as he was satisfied the committee had incorporated it into their proposed changes.  Gillian Rayner (FRA) stated that France's proposal to have Indoor Skydiving reflected in the Commission name needed reflection as it affected so many different regulations including the FAI Statutes the General Section and Section 5.  She suggested there did seem general agreement to move in that direction and asked that the R & R Committee worked closely with the Bureau on a definitive proposal for presentation to the Plenary next year.  Annex 54 had been incorporated into the changes proposed and accepted for SC S5.

After discussion from the floor Poland agreed to withdraw their proposal on the understanding that should an organiser seek help from the Bureau with the selection of a Meet Director this would be forthcoming.  The general feeling from the delegates that this is very much a local selection and could not really be actioned from outside.

In drawing his presentation to a close, Ronald confirmed that there were no proposed changes to the R & R Committee, which worked well together.

Now it was the turn of Bernard Nicolas, Chair of the Judges Committee.  His proposed changes to the rules were mainly housekeeping and clarification of rules and had been discussed at the Open Meeting. 

Following the resignation of one of the selected Chief Judges in 2017 a clause has been added to Section 5 Chapter 6 to give a clear procedure to be followed should this occur again.  He also drew the attention of the Delegates to the clarification of SC S5 4.1.4 which had been agreed last year, but unfortunately the addition of the EJ arriving one day before the judging panel had been misplaced in the paragraph under 4.1.4 (1) which was not as intended.  In that position it also made the organiser of the FCE liable for the travel, food and living expenses of the EJ during the competion, which was not intended.  The proposal was to correct this error for 2018 Edition and place the EJ's early arrival under 4.1.4(2).  He further spoke about the problems experienced with the maintenance and updating of the On Line Training Course which meant a decision had to be taken to close down this facility.    Obviously the committee is aware of the need to offer facilities and the ability for a structured re-qualification programme for all FAI Judges and this is being worked on constantly by the committee and the Judge Training Course Co-ordinator, Karla Cole

Karla Cole: Judge Training Course Co-ordinator

He also thanked Karla, for organising and the Plenary for supporting, the Training Judges Workshop which had preceded the Plenary, 18 Training Judges had attended and all believed they had benefited from an excellent Workshop.

He asked for approval of the proposed Rule changes and received unanimous support.

Next he gave the names of the proposed Chief Judges for the FCEs 2018:




CJ Name

1st FAI European Indoor Skydiving Championships (NOR)

Formation Skydiving

Artistic Events

Pekka Salmela

Thi Bich Van Ha

1st FAI World Freestyle Canopy Piloting Championships (POL) and  7th FAI World Canopy Piloting Championships (POL)

Canopy Piloting

Marylou Loughlin

35th FAI Accuracy Landing & Freefall Style Championships/ 9th FAI World Junior AL & ST Championships (BUL)

Accuracy Landing & Freefall Style

Zeljko ‘’ Zippe’’ Prajz

2nd FAI World Wingsuit Flying Championships (CZE)

Wingsuit Flying

Richard 'Buzz' Bennett

23rd FAI World Formation Skydiving Championships (AUS)

Formation Skydiving

Zeljko Tanaskovic               

12th FAI World Artistic Events Championships (AUS)

Artistic Events

Sylvia Wagner                  

18th FAI World Canopy Formation Championships (AUS)

Canopy Formation

Julia Sotnikova                      

2nd FAI World Speed Skydiving Championships (AUS)

Speed Skydiving

Angelika Mittasch              

3rd FAI World Indoor Skydiving Championships (BRN)

Formation Skydiving

Artistic Events


Thierry Courtin  

Jami Pillasch                                           

Bernard further confirmed the proposed change to the number of Judges per discipline as outlined in his Report with regard to Indoor Skydiving:  Formation Skydiving 12 - Artistic Events  12.

Following a few questions for clarification from the floor, Bernard called for a vote and the Chief Judges and number of Judges proposed were approved unanimously.

Bernard now spoke about the impact of the introduction of Dynamic Flying and the discipline judges had on the FAI judging community.  The Dynamic flyers insisted that they could only be judged by fliers and this had introduced a totally different group into our community.   Following a lot of discussion which had taken place in Canada during the WISC he had initiated a survey amongst the 113 FAI Judges nominated for selection to judge during 2017.  This survey was about the age old problem of shared rooms, which could be problematic not only for the usual reasons of adapting to sharing space with a stranger (sometimes) but also a different work schedule if you were judging different disciplines.  In total he had received 56 answers - 36 from men 20 female.  Of the males 55% preferred not to share and of the females 51%.  It was not a scientific survey but gave a good indication of the feeling amongst judges.  One of the solutions proposed was for organisers to arrange single rooms, but in a lower quality hotel thus mitigating the cost.  Dr. Rainer 'Exi' Hoenle suggested that in future organisers gave the judge the option of asking for a single room with the addition cost being at their own expense.    This was a subject for the future.

Bernard then drew delegates attention to the FAI Judges List which had been on display at the back of the Meeting Room and he asked delegates to ensure they had checked them for correct information including contact details for their judges.   Denmark appealed from the floor for an exception to the rule regarding late submission.  Their list had not been submitted on time due to staffing problems within their NAC and this put pressure on the Wingsuit competition in a reduction of the number of available Judges.  Bernard asked for Rina Gallo (CAN), who is responsible for the maintenance of the listing, to give the number of judges available for selection for the Wingsuit FCE and was told 9, which exceeded the number required to run the competition.  It was also pointed out to the Wingsuit Committee that the rules did allow, if there was a vacancy on a panel, for the Chief Judge to appoint a Judge on the FAI Nominated Judges Listing and this may offer the solution.

He ended his presentation by thanking his Judges committee and also by paying respect and extending thanks to Lindy Rochow-Williams for her work on the committee over the years; how much he had valued her as a colleague and wished her every success in the future.  He had welcomed Zeljko Tanaskovic (SWE) onto his committee.

Next Patrice Girardin (Honorary President) undertook his last outstanding task as the 1st Vice President and presented the 2018 Jury list for acceptance by the Plenary. Gustavo Eduardo Reyes (ARG) had been added to the list in 2017, but was missing from this one - Patrice corrected his error.  Also Sarka Blaskova (CZE) pointed out that she had served on a Jury in 2016 and this was wrongly credited to her father.  Again this was corrected.  The list as presented after correction was accepted unanimously by the Plenary.   (Comment:  Susan Dixon - the 2018 Jury List is now available on this web site under the menu heading 'Documents' - 'IPC' - 'Officials, Judges and Delegates' -' 2018 Jury List' 08/2/2018)

Patrice then presented the Juries for each FCE 2018 and the FAI Controllers for 2019.  (Comment Susan, these are also available on this website).   A decision had not yet been reached on the FAI Controller for the Mondial 2020 in Tanay.   This would be the largest Parachuting Event ever and it was an important appointment.  There was discussion from the floor and several suggestions, but it was left  to the incoming Bureau to decide, Patrice Girardin turned down the suggestion that he fill the role as he may well be seriously involved with the WAG 2020 if it went ahead.

The list as presented without a name for the Mondial was accepted unanimously by the Plenary.

One final item before we move to the Elections - Awards.  These was only one nomination for one of the three potential IPC Awards and this was for the Leonardo de Vinci Diploma and John Smyth (GBR) on behalf of the British Parachute Association wished to nominate John Hitchen for this award.

His long history of work for both Parachuting and IPC is contained in the nomination paper in the Agenda (Annex 64).  His work had been outstanding over many years, and numerous delegates had known John and had occasion to work with him.  There was no doubt in the room about his suitability for the award and he received a standing ovation of acceptance, no objections, no abstentions.


Under Any Other Business Aliya Ananina (RUS) drew the attention of all Delegates to the flyer that had been circulated by the Russian delegation inviting participation in their "Handifly Euro Challenge" to be held in Moscow 25-29 July 2018.   All the information is available on their web site: www.sky-open.numbex.en and they asked delegations to indicate their intention to participate in this event by the 15th February 2018.

The new Committee and Working Group composition was displayed for all the delegates and they were asked to vote of approval.  At the moment the position of Chair of the Artistic Committee remains vacant following the unexpected resignation of Ron Miasnikov (ISR).  The new Bureau would take this on as an urgent project.  The listing was accepted unanimously and will be published on the Web Site as soon as possible after the close of the Plenary.

Next was the appointment of the World Games Liaison Office, Elisabet Mikaelsson had stood down from this position and for the moment it remains to be decided, again a project for the incoming Bureau. Accepted by the plenary.

Patrice Girardin (Honorary President) would continue as the World Games Liaison Officer, unanimously approved.

Susan Dixon would also continue in her roles as Webmaster and Media Liaison Officer following the unanimous approval of the Plenary.

As would Randy Connell (USA) as the IPC Records Officer with no opposition or objections from the floor.

We then moved to the moment many had waited for, the Election of the IPC President

Dr. Rainer 'Exi' Hoenle was asked if he wished to restand for office, and he confirmed he did.  When the question was put to the floor if there were any other candidates, Gillian Rayner confirmed her candidature.

Both Candidates then made a short presentation of what they believed they could bring to IPC and their vision for the future of our sport.  Gillian went first and spoke of her history of commitment to IPC  and the sport, her work for many years as a Delegate for France, as the IPC Recording Secretary,  and her time on the Executive Board of the FAI.   Her belief in Indoor Skydiving for the future and obviously through France her work on the Olympic Dream.  She believed she had the skills and belief to move IPC into a promising future. 

It was then the turn of  'Exi' , he too spoke of his years of work and commitment to IPC and the sport and his achievements since taking office as President, although he had served as a member of the Bureau over many years.  He was proud of the work achieved in making the Competition Record system fairer to athletes and at no cost to them or their NAC with a faster recognition of the record achieved.  His work to encourage the Continental Regions to develop the sport within their areas of the work and the bridges he has helped build.  After both candidates received applause it was time to vote.

Again Markus Haggeney, assisted by his scrutineers, handed out the voting slips with a clear instruction to all Delegates to put one name only on their slip, either Rayner or Hoenle (Gill or Exi) and hand them back.

In total the votes cast had been 46 of which:

Dr. Rainer 'Exi' Hoenle


Gillian Rayner


with 1 abstention.

Gillian Rayner was duly elected IPC President.  She was welcomed into the role by the President of FAI Mr. Frits Brink.  

Dr. Rainer 'Exi' Hoenle then stood down from the President's seat and handed the microphone to Gillian.   Her first action after thanking the Plenary for her appointment was to call for Dr. Rainer 'Exi' Hoenle to be made a President of Honour and this was accepted unanimously.

At this point it was noted that Russia had left (with their Proxy) so that gave a vote count of 44 (32 delegates and 12 proxies), and a simple majority of 23.

It was then time to accept nominations for the post of 1st Vice President.

The following persons were nominated for the position:

Dr. Rainer 'Exi' Hoenle (declined as not a delegate) : Elisabet Mikaelsson (SWE) : Doris Merz (SUI) : Alberto Martin Paracuellos (ESP) : Liam McNulty (IRL) : Sarka Blaskova (CZE) : Ronald Overdijk (NED): Patrice Girardin (but he had to decline as he is not a delegate) and John Smyth (GBR).

Each was asked in turn by Markus if they accepted the nomination and all but Elisabet Mikaelsson refused - she was therefore elected by acclamation.

We then moved to the two Vice Presidents positions.  Again nomination slips were handed out to all delegates for their nominations to these positions.  Two names could be put onto the slips.  There were 12 nominations in all, including Patrice Girardin who was unable to stand.

Mohammed Al-Delayel (QAT): (David) Chang Il Choi (KOR): Ronald Overdijk (NED): Alberto Martin Paraceullos (ESP): John Smyth (GBR): Jiri Blaska (CZE): Liam McNulty (IRL): Doris Merz (SUI): Agnieszka Sobczynska (POL): Rina Gallo (CAN).

Again, each nominee was asked in turn if they wished to accept the nomination and again all but two refused the nomination - Doris Merz (SUI) and Agnieszka Sobczynska (POL) accepted and again were voted by the Plenary by acclamation there being no objections nor abstentions.

Markus then called for any candidate who wished to stand as the Financial SecretaryGail Bradley (AUS) was the only person to put herself forward for the position, and again she was accepted by acclamation from the Plenary. 

Finally the position of Recording Secretary came up for nomination and election.  There being no other candidate wishing to stand against her, Susan Dixon was re-appointed to the position.  This final vote created a moment in history for the IPC and the FAI.  The first female President of an ASC and the first all female Bureau of an ASC in the FAI.

Before we moved to the last item of business it was necessary to ask Peter Pfalzgraf (GER), the outgoing Finance Secretary to represent his budgets for 2018 and 2019 to be voted on.  This he did showing the calculations on the overhead projector.  Susan Dixon asked a question concerning the amount shown for 2018 for the Media Budget of 26,000 Euros.  By her calculation there was the amount agreed for Skydive-TV (5,000$ (4,000€) + 5,000 €) giving a total of 9,000 € plus her request for 6,000€ for the new Results Website and 8,000€ for her expenses to cover the FCEs in 2018 giving a total budget for Media of 23,000€, where had the other 3,000€ come from?  Peter explained that in order to create a budget he had taken a nominal spend of 3,000€s per committee, officer etc. and this same method had been used to calculate the budget for 2019.   Susan said she accepted that as a normal business practice, but felt her request for 14,000 € replaced that amount, and was not in addition to it.  Peter agreed to adjust the budget to reflect that.

When voted on by the plenary it was accepted unanimously.

Gillian Rayner then announced that the new Bureau had made their first decision, and would like to appoint Dr. Rainer 'Exi' Hoenle to the position of FAI Controller for the Mondial 2020 in Tanay, they would also like him to accept the position of World Games Liaison Officer to continue the good work he had started working with the World Games Organising committee whilst President.  These announcements were greeted with applause from all present.

Now it was time to decide where the Plenary 2019 would be held.  There was a bid in the Agenda to meet in France, Lille, however before it could be put to the vote a vote had to be taken, which required a 2/3rds majority, not to go to Lausanne.  Again there were no votes against, nor were there any abstentions.  So the decision was made not to go to Lausanne 2019.

France then presented their Bid to host the 2019 Plenary in Lille at the same hotel that will be used for the 3rd FAI WISC 2019, showing a good video of the hotel and tunnel.  When asked if it would be possible to arrange some Tunnel Time for delegates, he answered in the affirmative saying the Hotel and the Tunnel would extend a very warm welcome to all delegates in January 2019.

It just remained for Gillian Rayner, on behalf of all the Delegates, to thank the Bulgarian NAC for their amazing attention to detail and hospitality extended to everyone over the last week.  No request had been too much.  There was standing applause from everyone present.