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World Class: Recent Great News

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Old March 7th 04, 06:51 PM
Charles Yeates
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Default World Class: Recent Great News

With Spring and a new season arriving, here are some absolutely GREAT news
for the World Class:

- Our Breakfast event at the Convention was the best attended ever. A full
room, with 36 attending, made this the largest breakfast event for the
Class, and one of the largest breakfast events at the Convention. We are
definitely growing...
Our friend Miroslav Rodzewicz from Warsaw University of Technology gave a
beautiful presentation about the history of gliding in Poland and about
the long
series of Polish glider designs, including of course the Orlik, Foka,
Jantars, SZDs, and PW-5 and 6, among many others. I gave a brief
overview of
the WCSA status and plans for 2004. With the National in Hobbs and an
Regional at Bermuda High Soaring, it looks like a great year in the making.

Now to the several VERY GREAT NEWS: The IGC (International Gliding
Commission, the international body of the Federation Aeronautique
Internationalle - FAI,
that deals with all matters of Soaring internationally) has a World Class
Subcommittee, which is responsible for following-up and reporting to IGC
developments related to the World Class. I am on that Subcommittee,
together with
6 other people. The 2004 plenary meeting of the IGC, where all important
matters and proposals related to international Soaring are presented and
voted on,
took place Feb 27-28 in Lausanne, Switzerland. The World Class Subcommittee
decided to hold a meeting the day before the IGC plenary meeting to address
important issues. Of concern was a proposal by the German delegation to
discontinue having World Championships of the World Class after 2009
(the World Class
was guaranteed to have World Championships until 2009 in previous
meetings) and
replace that event with a new 20-meter two-seater class World Championship.
Similar proposals were also submitted by the French (replace with a 13m
and the Italians (replace with a 13m motorglider class).
- After discussing the matter, the Subcommittee decided that the proposals
were likely the result of a lack of information about the progress of
the World
Class, and decided to prepare a presentation, which I delivered during the
plenary session the next day, outlining the successes of the World Class
in many
countries. As a result of the presentation, the Italians and French
their proposals. The German proposal was voted upon and overwhelmingly
(with only the German voting for their proposal). So the IGC overwhelmingly
reiterated their support of the World Class, in particular as a class in
World Championship. First very great news.
- The IGC Subcommittee on World Championships Structure had a proposal
regarding the organization of the post-2006 World Championship events.
This proposal
was voted on and passed. So, it is now official: Starting with the 2008
events, the World Soaring Championships will be held in two major
venues, one
regrouping the Open, 18m, and 15m classes, and the second regrouping the
World, and Club classes. Each country will be allowed up to two pilots per
class. This essentially puts all 6 FAI classes on the same level for these
events, and it is another great news for the World Class.
- For the 2006 World Championships, the Lithuanians and the French
their proposals to hold events combining the World and Club classes. The
French won, and the 2006 World Championships of the World and Club
classes will be
held June 30-July 15, 2006 in Vinon, France (about 30 Km south of St.
where the 1997 WGC took place). This is a great place to fly, about 50
from the foothills of the Alps, with beautiful scenery (it is in the
heart of
Provence) and with great weather, which practically guarantees a lot of
flying and a superb contest. I talked with the French delegation and
they are
very aware of the need to, and very willing to work on, finding local
gliders for overseas teams. So, things look very good for 2006.
- By the way, the bid for the 2008 WGC regrouping the Standard, World, and
Club classes will be due in March 2005. Is hosting this 2008 WGC in the USA
something we should start thinking about...?
- An additional great news was announced at the IGC meeting by the PW-5
designers regarding the previous altitude limitation on the PW-5. The
long process
of tests and formalities has been completed and the altitude limit for all
PW-5, including all previously manufactured, is now 11,000 meters
(36,500 ft..
Brrr, must be cold up there). The official papers should be dispatched soon.

So, I thought you'd like to hear all these great news as a good start to
Soaring season. By the way, the Regional at Bermuda High, SC is but 60 days
away, and the National is only 4 months away... Make your plans, and if
you are
halfway sure that you will come, PLEASE register on line on the SSA
Website as
soon as you can. It definitely helps the organizers to have an early
count so
that they can plan on tow planes, etc...

Spring is here. Happy flights to all.


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