Paragliding at Loma Bola, Argentina during the PWC in 2019
CIVL have announced that May’s postponed FAI Paragliding World Championships 2021 will now take place in Argentina in November.
The competition was meant to have taken place in France over two weeks in May and June, but it was cancelled on 12 March because of the pandemic. At the time it was expected they would be postponed completely for two years, when they would automatically take place in France as planned.
However, in a surprise move just one week after the Worlds had been cancelled, CIVL revealed they were looking to hold the competition in South America later in the year.
Competition organisers in Loma Bola, Argentina, had put together a bid to organise the World Championships in November.
Other proposals also came in from competition organisers in Colombia and Brazil.
CIVL said they rejected the Brazilian bid because of the “overall pandemic situation” in the country, which is currently bad. They also rejected the Colombian bid because it was “missing too many key elements”.
The bid from Argentina “turned into a proper bid that was discussed by delegates”.
And although the “light flying conditions” were called into question, the CIVL Bureau decided that “a world championship in light flying conditions is better than no championship.”
Swiss Team Leader Martin Scheel was one of those who suggested Loma Bola was “often very stable” and “not a flying area for a high-level competition.” He said the results of the two Paragliding World Cups held there in 2007 and 2019 confirmed his opinion.
Writing to CIVL delegates he said: “During the two weeks 10 task were flown, only at four tasks (50, 82, 66 and 54 km) pilots reached goal. Tasks without pilots in the goal often give random results. And the tasks on which pilots reached the goal were relatively short. In our opinion, it is not possible to hold a fair World Championship in Tucuman, Loma Bola.”
However, the chance to rescue and run a world championships in 2021 in spite of all the pandemic-related cancellations won the day.
CIVL said: “[We] trust that in the end, as always, the best pilots will prevail. The venue and the organising team are well known, have already organised a Cat 1, can be trusted.
“Hence, the CIVL Bureau has taken the decision to award the 17th FAI World Paragliding XC Championships to Loma Bola, Argentina. It will take part from 31 October to 13 November 2021.”
Supervised training days will be organised on 28-30 October and covid-secure measures will be in place.