FAI Hang Gliding and Paragliding Commission
HISTORY AND GENERAL INFORMATION
Since the first FAI World Paragliding Accuracy Championships held in the UK in 2000, this CIVL discipline has been steadily increasing in popularity. Today, some 1000 pilots from more than 50 countries are listed in the CIVL Paragliding Accuracy database and WPRS.
European countries have previously dominated Paragliding Accuracy. However, Asia has caught up, with pilots from China, Indonesia, Thailand and Korea high up in the rankings in World competitions. The number of competitions worldwide is increasing steadily and many new countries are showing interest and are starting to organize their own category 2 events. In 2017, more than 60 category 2 competitions were sanctioned by the FAI and many countries run additional non-sanctioned national and regional events.
Although its roots are in parachuting and parascending, today’s Paragliding Accuracy competitions are flown on certified paragliders. The FAI rules are set out in Section 7C of the Sporting Code. Additional documents on organizing Paragliding Accuracy competitions and judging training are available on the CIVL website.
Competitions can have both hill launch and tow launch (winch) as the take-off method. The competition generally includes both individual, women and team events. Often several ‘rounds’ can be flown in a day, in which case, a weekend event can comprise up to 6 scores or more, depending on the number of competitors, giving a highly satisfying competition. Although weather conditions play a critical role, a Paragliding Accuracy competition is usually less weather dependent than cross-country events. Providing the wind is not too strong and the appropriate site is selected, a competition can start early in the morning and continue until near sunset. Overcast or “no-thermals” days are no barrier. Indeed, the 2007 World Championships took place in February, with pilots tow launched over a frozen lake!
Standard equipment for a Paragliding Accuracy competition is an electronic target pad: a pressure-sensitive device measuring 16 cm in diameter. (Similar equipment is used in Parachuting Accuracy.) The point of first pressure is measured and displayed, from 0 to 15cm. The “dead center” is 2 cm in diameter, giving the perfect score - a ‘0’ (zero). In Cat 1 competitions, circles are marked out at 0.5 m, 2.5 m and 5 m around the pad and the maximum result is 5 m. Where a competitor does not land on the electronic pad their landing is marked by the target judges and measured manually.
In a Category 1 competition, the Judging team comprises a Chief Judge, an Event Judge, 4 target judges and 3 Reserve judges. There is also a scorer, a recorder and a person responsible for monitoring the wind speed. In a Category 2 event, some of these roles can be combined and there may be fewer judges. Judges have gone through a training system created and maintained by the CIVL PGA committee.
SAFETY FIRST – NO FALL RULE
Unlike parachuting and parascending, Paragliding Accuracy pilots must land on their feet and stay on their feet. If the pilot falls over before the wing is on the ground, the pilot will receive the maximum score. (Remember, the winner has the lowest score in Accuracy). If a pilot approaches the target dangerously, for example stalling the wing or performing any aerobatic manoeuvres close to the ground, a penalty system is implemented (warning, maximum score, disqualification).
Pilots who want to try Paragliding Accuracy should look on the CIVL Paragliding calendar for Category 2 events. You will need an FAI Sporting Licence to compete.
If you would like to know more about running a Paragliding Accuracy competition, contact the CIVL Paragliding Accuracy Committee Chairman, for a Cat 2 PG Accuracy Organiser Guidelines document.
For more information on the Judging Code, see Section 7C of the Sporting Code. For more details on Judging training, and documents explaining the various roles, contact the CIVL Paragliding Accuracy Committee Chairman.
Link: Competition calendar