Category 1 vs. Category 2 hang gliding competitions
A few years ago Category 1 competitions were worth more than
Category 2 competitions when counted in available WPRS points. This is no longer
the case as a matter of preliminary valuation. All competitions are treated the
same and their value to pilots based on the WPRS points that they could receive
is determined by the ranking of the pilots attending the competition. Get a
bunch of top ranked pilots to come to your competition and it becomes more
So how do you get the top ranked competition pilots to come to your competition,
if you want to have a high valued competition?
FAI and CIVL control the names of all the competitions. You cannot name your
competition the World anything or the Pan-American anything and still get CIVL
sanctioning (and thereby WPRS points). Your national CIVL-recognized hang
gliding association will most likely not allow you to use these names in your
competition either, even without CIVL sanctioning.
But there is power in a name. For example, multiple time World Champion Alex
Ploner attended (and won) the 2018 European Championships (not for the first
time), but didn't attend the Friuli Venezia Giulia which served as the test
competition for the 2019 Class 1 Worlds. By controlling the names, CIVL
determines the perception that pilots have about the value of a specific
So we have a little trick played on us and we play it on ourselves. We want to
go to the competition with the best pilots so we go to the competitions with the
fanciest names. We are even willing to pay quite a premium to attend these
competitions. We expect them to attract pilots from far and wide.
That is not to say that, say the 2018 Big Spring Nationals, can't be just as
competitive. After all, former World Champion Attila Bertok attended this
competition, coming all the way from Australia. But then it may have been the
fact that he had won the competitions there the three previous times he competed
including the 2007 Worlds.
It is not only the pilots that perceive the value of these names. The town of
Big Spring is very excited about the possibility of a 2020 Pan-American
Championships. The mayor of Groveland would like some good news and is happy to
support our efforts to get the 2020 Worlds to Wilotree Park and Sheets airfield
just south of town.
Big Spring will bring $27,000 worth of services to support the 2020 Pan-American
Games. They normally supply a very significant amount of services for the Big
Spring Nationals, almost at this level. But we will be required to bring in CIVL
officials at a cost of $19,000. So the costs are significant.
We will vigorously go after a major sponsor for each competition to help offset
these costs. The names of the competitions should help us find sponsors.
We would love it to be the case that hang glider pilots could just agree to
attend major competitions without having to pay additional costs and without the
names to attract them.
The CIVL Bureau should be deciding on our bids between September 25th-29th.
You can find our bids here: