22 Februar 2009

New sprog measurement rules for Laragne

At the CIVL meeting in Hall, this was decided in the plenary meeting today, thanks to Dieter Münchmeyer for informing us so we can be ready:
Motion to add the following to the local regulation for HG worlds at Laragne 2009

All competing pilots’ gliders sprogs should be measured at registration, using the procedures established by the sprog settings working group, manufacturer and certification bodies that have certified the glider being measured.
If it is not possible or practical to measure a glider during registration the glider must be measured before the first flight in the comp. If sprogs settings are found to be too low during the measurement, pilots are allowed to adjust the sprogs, and new measures are taken. The pilot is not allowed to fly in the competition until the sprogs on the pilots glider are found to be within a measuring tolerance defined by the CIVL working group below the certified or manufacturers setting.
Pilots that are found to intentionally have adjusted and flown with too low sprogs after measurement, without notifying the meet director or safety director, are subject to the following points;

1. The pilot is not allowed to fly in the competition until the pilot have adjusted the sprogs back within the tolerances set by the working group to the manufacturer or certification setting, and this is verified by the official measurement procedures in the competition.

2. The pilot will be penalized if the sprogs on the pilots glider are below the penalty tolerance defined by the CIVL working group. The penalty system shall be worked out in the CIVL working group.

3. The incident must be reported to the pilots.
Mandate for the working group; - Deadline 8 weeks
Continue work with the manufacturers and certification bodies to establish the tolerances and procedures for measurement of sprog angles, including all needed technical details.
Work out a solution and procedures on how the sprogs could be sealed to make life easier for the pilots and organization.
Set the penalties to be applied.
Mandate for the organizer; - Deadline 8 weeks
In cooperation with the working group establish the practical procedures and local regulations to handle the sprog measurement.
Inform the pilots about the procedures, rules, and penalties at least 1 month before the opening of the championship.

Monte Cucco 2011!

The bid for the next worlds in 2011 was won by Flavio Tebaldi and Monte Cucco (Italy) by 16 over 13 votes for Forbes. Berlin and Turkey did not get many votes. Im looking forward to another worlds organized by Flavio - he did a great job for the last Women´s and Rigid wing Worlds, we all enjoyed the flying and the comp very much, we did not have a single accident, but we flew many tasks and they had found great sponsors too.
Well done, Flavio, and thanks to the delegates for their great decision!

And yes, Davis is right about his comment of another hangglider designer to join the sprog working group - it was mentioned in the meeting to invite other designers too. Davis and Juaki have mentioned that they tried for a long time to get Steve Pearson (Wills Wing) into a working group and were not too successful yet, good idea to ask Scott Barrett as he is not involved with a hangglider manufacturer anymore, but used help designing the Airborne gliders. Of course, everybody is free to make suggestions of people or ask to be in that working group. At the meeting, I suggested to get Davis into the working group, but that was rejected by the US delegate. The German delegate didn´t suggest me, so I wont be in that working group either.

20 Februar 2009

CIVL-Meeting day 2

Today the second half of the long list of topics was discussed, with one hanggliding and one paragliding group. Specially interesting the long topic in the end: sprog measurements. Dennis Pagen mentioned two major problems experienced so far by the CIVL:
1. How to find standards for the measurements
2. How to find enough people to do the measurements with all the gliders
Christof Kratzner from DHV explained the two types of measurements, the "old" method of using a string to measure the height of a batten above the keel. The dihedral of the glider can cause a problem. Secondly, you can measure angles with an electronic angle gauge. But not all the glider models flown in comps have manufacturers data for this kind of measurement.
A working group was formed with Koos (NL), Klaus Tänzler (DHV), Raymond Caux (F), Dennis Pagen (US) and probably Gerolf Heinrichs (AUT, to be asked) to discuss:
- the next step to assuring that sprog settings are at a level of being safe
- the method of measurements, how will they take place, on which comps and how can it be implemented
- who will do the measuring and how will these people receive a training to do it?
- how can liability (CIVL, manufacturers, comp organizers) be limited?
- how should a rule look like to increase safety?
- how could a penalty look like?
- what can be done with prototypes?
A lot to do before the start of the next worlds in Laragne!
Tomorrow the Plenary meetings start, and only delegates are allowed to speak in those. Also the bids for the next worlds will be made. It looks like a close race between Forbes (Australia) and Monte Cucco (Italy).
It was snowing the whole day today and hasnt stopped yet. Here at Reginas place it is a meter high (at least it feels like that), and I dont know if I can make it back to Hall/Austria tomorrow, even though I would love to be there for the bids.

19 Februar 2009

CIVL meeting in Hall, Austria

After a real quick trip to Orlando (work) and meeting Jamie for a cuppa in the afternoon, I flew back to Frankfurt and Munich - and was shocked how much snow and ice there had been in only a couple of days that I was gone. Complete winter again!
Last night I got back, early this morning I left and drove to the CIVL meeting in Hall (Austria), where important decisions about hanggliding and paragliding are being made. Main topics are safety and the bids for future competitions. The bids will be made saturday at midday, and the decision first thing on sunday morning.
The bids for the next hanggliding worlds are Monte Cucco (Flavio will present it), Forbes (Vicki Cain and Jonny Durand are here), Turkey and Berlin (Markus Hanisch will come and present it).
Lots of people are here whom I met last week in Valle de Bravo (Mexico) at the paragliding worlds, like Didier Mathurint, Martin Scheel, Harry Buntz (as German alternate delegate). German main delegate is Klaus Tänzler.

16 Februar 2009

Red Bulletin Clip

A few weeks ago, we shot some scenes for a cool clip about the new hip magazin called Red Bulletin - quite a lot of Germany´s top athletes in it:

Tomorrow I will be off to Orlando where I will meet my team mate Jamie Shelden. She is preparing a big new comp in Florida, the Flytec Rallye, taking place in May. I wish it wouldnt collide with comp dates in Europe! Sounds like a great concept, trying to cover 1000 miles in a week by hanggliders. No worries, I guess they will start north of the Everglades...

15 Februar 2009

Valle de Bravo PG Worlds Movie

Video from the Worlds Paragliding Valle de Bravo in German
Here you will find our little movies about the paragliding worlds. Sorry it is only in German, but the Worlds finished quite recently and it was a lot of work. We are thinking about a version in English and Spanisch ;)

11 Februar 2009


So finally I get back to my blog... as you see in all those 3-letter-codes, I whirled around the world quite a bit lately. Two days after I was back from Aus, I had to go on a work trip to Mexico - on purpose, so I could go to Valle de Bravo and cheer for my friends at the paragliding world championships.
What a perfectly organized comp! Miguel Gutierrez and Oscar Sanchez from "Alas del Hombre" and 60 other people set up an incredible event for the 150 competitors from 44 countries. On the photos, you see Pepe and Ulli from team Germany, also my friend Ewa. I also met my friend Kari Castle over there (photo below). She´s not only one of the best hangglider pilots, but also ranks very high in paragliding- for most of the comp she placed 3rd, trying to pull a Judy Leden (our idol who won both hanggliding and paragliding worlds).
I was very impressed with an Austrian pilot, Heli Eichholzer. I met him on La Torre take off where he helped my friend to get off the mountain safely- just like that, even though they never met before. Two days later, he decided to land at El Penon where Stefan from the Swiss team had crashed into the rocks. Heli is in the mountain rescue squad in Austria, so he quickly knew how to climb down and try to help. Sadly, it was too late. Heli got the sportsmanship trophy, and Im honoured to have met a real hero (who is very quiet and modest too) - I still have no idea how you can possibly land at that place without getting hurt, but he did.
At take off and goal, my heart raced imagining I was in the air in my hangglider, trying to fly with those incredible gaggles full of colourful jellyfish ;) Incredible, a competition with 10 valid tasks, 11 days flown, unnoumerous kilometres, a record World Championships!
We also filmed quite a bit, and the film will be online soon! Special gratulations to Torsten Siegel on 7th and Ulrich Prinz on 9th (his first worlds!) from the German team. They use a different scoring for their teams, they have to pre-nominate 3 pilots who always score, the 4th pilot only flies individually. That way, the Swiss didn´t win the team score, even though their pilots were in 1st and 2nd place! The Germans would have placed 2nd or 3rd with our "normal" hanggliding rule. It seems to be a question of coincidence rather than performance which team wins. The Czech and Slovenians of course have strong teams and deserve to be up there.
Still I think this rule puts a lot of pressure on the pilots and doesn´t make a comp safer, doesn´t make a team work better if one pilot is "excluded" and the other team pilots need to prove the team leaders choice right. This might have played part in the tragic accident of Swiss pilot Stefan Schmoker - my hearfelt condolences to his family and friends. A topic that will hopefully be discussed on the CIVL meeting next week in Hall/Austria.
Before that, I will see Ewas movie "Die Reise zum Horizont" tonight with my friends Regina and Rebi - Ewa and Doerthe, the cast, will also be at the cinema in Munich just around the corner from my place.
And then I caught a quick trip to Orlando to visit my team mate Jamie for a few hours, and to escape winter. It is snowing right now, the wind is still howling... but tonight we will have a hot meal with the goodies that I brought from La Merced market in Mexico - tamales with Nopales, salsa and fresh veggies!