The competition scene has been spiraling down into the mire for nearly 2 years. Two tragedies at the 2011 World championships and a badly thought-out knee jerk reaction led to a cascade of events. All attempts to find a compromise have been thwarted and eventually something had to give. The latest blows came when the European Hang Gliding and Paragliding Union (EHPA), refused to recognise the proposed new Competition Class and one of the major EN testing organisations Air Turquoise, refused to continue to test competition orientated EN D gliders. I have a lot of sympathy with the Air Turquiose test pilots: the EN test procedure of doing nothing for 4 seconds after each maneouvre is not a nice prospect on a race glider. The problem is not the gliders or the test pilots, it is that the tests are unsuitable for this type of glider.
Step up the hugely respected Mads Synderguard (Author of Flying Rags for Glory - click here) with the World Paragliding Series (website here). Free of the bureaucrats, free of the FAI, free of the EHPU; you know what? - it just might work!
|Happy times at the Colombian Open|