Paragliding Accuracy Flying and Competition
HPAC/ACVL Competition Committee, Accuracy
Member # 5380
“I learned paragliding in the Philippines from a 150m ridge with a 4 sq. km landing area. At the end of the course, I was asked to join the Paragliding Accuracy World Cup competition the following month to boost the number of countries participating! I said, why not!”
Obviously, I finished last but I had a blast! Back in Canada, I participated in all the paragliding festivals in Quebec and the last one of the year is usually the Festi-ciel of Saint Fulgence. That weekend, I landed 3 times in the trees, once on take-off from contemplating the sunset and twice from misjudging my height of approach on the emergency landing area of 100 square meters on the side of the lake in the Provincial Park. I then decided I was going to really get good at that accuracy landing thing as we really need it in Canada and specially if we do cross-country and need to land in a tight spot.
Since that time, I became part of the FAI working group, which manages Accuracy competition rules and regulations and I helped to develop the sport in a few other countries like Korea, India, Nepal, USA and Canada.
A High Accuracy landing skill is necessary, since we all have to finish our flight at some stage. Even if you don’t do competition, you should always identify a 5-meter target and land on it. Many if not all our paragliding school landing zones have plenty of space to land but as you advance in our sport, you will leave the nest for some exploration. You may have to land in a very restricted landing area and that is where your paragliding accuracy skill will shine and you will finish a great flight with a safe landing and it will make for a good story instead of a scary one!
As for competition, I find that it refined my landing skills but the best is the flying community. It has become a family and one is invited to go everywhere there is good flying across this planet, with a friend to welcome you.
For the competition itself, it consists of taking off and flying down to the target where 5 judges will mark your first point of contact with the ground and measure it from the center of the target, so that you get your results. Your result is calculated by 1 point for each centimeter away from the center of the target. So if your first point of contact was at 47cm, then your score is 47 points.
The normal competition is usually over 2 days, with registration the night before with a competition briefing. The competition normally contains 6 rounds and you can drop your worst score after the 5th round completed, if weather permits. World championships are usually over 10 days with 12 rounds and every 2 years and consist of the highest competition in the paragliding world for each discipline.
In Canada we have already organized 2 Canadian National Accuracy Paragliding Championships, one in Quebec in 2018, which was also a World Cup event, and one in 2019 in Lumby, BC. For 2020, we have made application to the HPAC/ACVL Competition Committee to hold the 2020 Accuracy Nationals in Drayton Valley, Alberta at the Air Adventure Flight School on the 3rd or 4th weekend of September, depending on whether the Pan American Accuracy league will take place at the Freedom Flight Park in Lumby BC (application also pending) with the USA National and the super final of the Pan American League to follow, at Horse Shore Bend, Idaho.
This would make 3 weekends of accuracy competition in the western border area of Canada and USA, that will be open to all Canadian pilots. A sporting license from the Aero Club of Canada is required and will give you a World level ranking, which includes over 1800 pilots in over 39 countries.
For any question or information about accuracy you can contact me at jimgiroux@Hotmail.com.