Our pilots Ramon Morillas and Mathieu Rouanet will not go to the Czech Republic for other reasons to its will. Ramon is immersed in the adventure of the X-Alps and he is not going to be able to return in time.
Mathieu will not be present either due to the decision the French team took to do not travel to the Czech Republic for several reasons we detailed to you in the following official notice writing by Alain Barthere.
For many years, France has been investing in the microlighting competitions scene, and contributing to its development, thanks to its people and resources.
Our endeavour has always been to let the competition evolve in a direction that fits a modern vision of our sport, endorsed by the feedback we receive from pilots, both French and foreign guests, who take part in our Nationals. This effort has been rewarded by a consistent influx of young pilots, male and female. Despite many attempts to share our views with CIMA, we have been confronted with a system stuck in the past, riddled with self interest and which has lost track of what pilots actually want: to enjoy flying and to see their training rewarded in competition!
We have warned CIMA several times of the increasing drift of its current competition format, through its politics and its administration, which often results in a lack of harmony between the teams and the pilots, or even worse, a meaningless competition.
During the 2006 European Championships of Chozas and Nordinghen, it looked like we were entering a new era with exemplary organisation, competent Meet Directors, new ideas, total respect of local regulations, comprehensive briefings, fast results etc. Priority was given to the pilots, skills and
success was unanimous.
Alas at subsequent events in 2007 and 2008, we were soon to suffer from the hopelessness that is deep rooted within CIMA. Of course there were some positive aspects and some great effort from the organising countries but it is the sporting side that had been utterly neglected.
We have now arrived at a situation where turning up at an international event with the best pilots gives no guarantee of a medal without a good “lawyer”. This lack of respect towards the participating pilots and nations has become intolerable and the time has come for everyone to react.
It is in this context that we can make the following worrying observations:
– In Classic classes, the competition is akin to an annual reunion of “retired” pilots. Over the years, we have had the same pilots, machines, regulations and judges. At the last 2 events, airtime was under 5 hours per pilot, but still, with 5 precision landings with engine on. No comment!
– In paramotoring, we are suffering from a wait-and-see attitude that forces us to comply with obsolete regulations that have become utterly unsuited.
The very same questions keep been asked:
– Is it acceptable to have to wait hours, or sometimes days, to validate the result of a task?
– Is it acceptable to have a task cancelled 3 days after it has been flown?
– Is it acceptable to have a jury who is happy to accept “ghost” entries with a view to validate a class?
– Is it acceptable to have unknown or unproven meet directors in such competitions?
Over the years, the list of unanswered questions has been getting longer, in complete indifference from the CIMA institution. This is why we have decided to say “enough is enough”, as we feel the situation displays a total lack of respect towards the participating pilots and nations.
It is not our intention to criticise systematically without proposing some concrete solutions. This is why we have, for the last 2 years, been experimenting with another format of competition that was unanimously well received by the pilots at the 2009 French Nationals
The principle is simple, quick, fun and easy to understand by all. Here are the key points:
– A list of tasks that are simplified but clearly described.
– One single briefing to present all the tasks at the start of the event (allowing for a quick start in small weather windows).
– A simplified scoring system, without never-ending complex calculations.
– Results published within 2 hours of the end of a task.
– A protest time limited to one hour from the publication of the results with instant dealing of eventual protests.
– A system of “cut” that allows to end the competition with “pools” of reduced numbers of similar ability, giving more flexibility and more sporting quality.
This new formula appears to seduce other nations for their National events, and will be presented at the next CIMA meeting.
We will also propose to CIMA that voting rights from each nation, be from two distinct delegates, respectively voting on Classic and Paramotor issues, thus ensuring the competence of such delegates.
We are also planning to request, for the third time, that in line with most other sports, we have representatives in both the Classic and the Paramotor classes, who would get elected by the competing pilots, and who would have the same voting rights as other delegates.
You must understand that we are campaigning to steer the competition in the direction of the sport, out of the political stalemate we have today. It is not a French revolution, more of a “wake up call” for our evolving sport.
We are the first to regret not to be competing with you this season, but we must think about the long term future of our passion. The average age of French competitors is very young, and we hope that our new initiatives are partly responsible. It is for them and the future of our sport that we are campaigning.
We hope that you will understand our position and the reasons behind our actions, and we are eager to meet you again very soon within the confines of this new competition philosophy.