Will Gadd and a majority of the HPAC competition committee - Feburary 19, 2008
To our HPAC Board;
RE: Chelan Pre-PWC/Canadian PG Nationals for 2008 (can also be considered a "bid")
As you probably already know, we ran into a scheduling conflict with the Chelan Open/Pre-PWC with the Canadian PG Nationals. This posed some serious problems. We rely heavily on US competitors to attend our meets; last year over half the pilots were US competitors at our PG Nationals. Chelan is also a very well-known site and now a Pre-PWC, which would further reduce the field as non-North American competitors will tend to do Chelan and not do our Nationals. Unfortunately, with the schedule already set in the US, there were few other dates with historically good conditions available in North America, and none that worked well for Golden. I contacted Randy Rauck in Lumby about doing our PG Nationals there, he brought it up at a Lumby Air Force meeting but they felt they had too little organizational ability to pull it off this year (they also saw the dates issue with the US schedule). I also spoke with Mark Dowsett in Ontario and anyone else I could think of who had the skills and venue to run a good PG Nationals, there simply wasn't a a good option for a strong meet on good dates. I also talked with John and Cathy Anne of GEAR in Golden, they didn't want to see a weak PG Nationals. Finally, I received several emails from Canadian pilots suggesting that they would prefer to fly in a meet with a strong field in Chelan rather than compete in a weak meet in Canada. Even our own pilots were heading south!
In short, things looked dismal for having a Canadian PG Nationals for 2008...
The idea then came up to hold the Canadian PG Nationals in conjunction with the Chelan Open/Pre-PWC meet. There is a lot of historical precedence for doing "out of country" Nationals. Sweden, England, Norway and Finland have all done this, as well as New Zealand. I contacted Doug Stroop and Denise Reed, the Chelan organizers, to see if they would be interested in running a combined meet. They were very enthusiastic, and have committed their resources to the idea pending HPAC's approval. Below is a list of concerns that I had, and Doug's commitments. Doug and Denise have an excellent record of running safe and professional meets, this isn't just talk:
This was my biggest concern to have a fair meet for Canadians--if there aren't sufficient Canadian guaranteed Canadian registration spots then it isn't fair to Canadians. Doug has agreed to hold 25 spots for the first 30 days of registration for Canadians. We had less than 25 Canadians at the 2007 Nationals in Golden, so 25 should be more than adequate. The meet will likely sell out as it is also a pre-PWC, so having guaranteed Canadian spots is important. After 30 days from registration opening any Canadian pilot has the same rights as any other pilot.
Doug has agreed to score Chelan both as an overall meet, and to put Canadian-specific scores up on a daily basis so we can track Canadian rankings.
Canadians will be recognized with full equivalent prizes to the Open category (Ipods etc.) for the first three male and top female Canadians. Canadians are also of course entered in the "Open" prize categories, as well as the Serial glider class. Chelan isn't the US nationals.
Recognition of the meet as Canadian Nationals.
Doug will put "Canadian Nationals" on all the T-Shirts, web site, and any other promotional material. He will have to update his web site, but is up for that. He will also pay the $5 team fee for all Canadian pilots as per the rulebook. If HPAC wants their logo on public materials that's also OK.
Doug and Denise are also motivated to do whatever it takes to make this meet "Canadian," there's just a good strong international feeling with this meet that I like. With Doug and Denise's support confirmed, I put the idea to the HPAC competition committee to get their input. After discussion a clear majority support the idea, as does every active competition PG pilot I've spoken with in Canada. This includes the top five ranked pilots as well as others. I don't think it's an ideal solution, but it's the best one I can see for 2008. The main objection to this (that it isn't a meet in Canada) seems reasonable to me, so I hope we have better comp bids in 2009 in Canada!
So, with the support of the HPAC competition committee and the active pilots, I hope I can tell Doug and Denise that Chelan will be the Canadian Nationals for 2008. Without a Canadian meet the NTSS rankings will be based solely off of any two foreign meets, and there won't be a meet where the top Canadian pilots are encouraged to fly both against each other and with each other. This is important for a fair team selection process. If HPAC endorses the Chelan meet as the Canadian Nationals, then it would be designated as a Canadian competition for NTSS points. The HPAC competition committee has already put their support behind this idea, but I think this is a big enough issue that we should have a strong consensus among all of HPAC in support of this--or not do it.
I do not support regularly running our PG Nationals out of country, but the choice for 2008 has really come down to having a well-run, well-attended Nationals in Chelan--or not having a Canadian PG Nationals. I feel we are somewhat lucky that Chelan is strongly in favor of the combined meet and willing to support us, it does give us decent option for this year. Golden in 2009 (or another good venue/meet in Canada)! I also checked with several American competitors, all were conflicted over the dates and hoped we could combine forces with Chelan. It is unfortunate that we don't have a good PG Nationals organized for Canada this year, but it's very fortunate that we have Chelan and a strong feeling of, "Yes, this is a good idea!" from pilots on both sides of the border.
It's important for Canadians traveling to compete that HPAC makes this decision as soon as possible so we can formally notify all PG pilots, and also important for Doug and Denise so they can organize registration and promotional materials to reflect that Chelan is the Canadian Nationals for 2008. I have no financial interest in this idea at all and am not getting paid anything, I just want a good 2008 Canadian PG Nationals, as does every active Canadian PG pilot I've spoken with. I do hope the HPAC board can make a decision as soon as reasonably possible. If the decision is "Yes" then great, if "No" then that's fair, we just need to let people know. Registration opens in 30 days...
Will Gadd and a majority of the HPAC competition committee.
Additional "Bid" info:
Dates: The event is 6 days, starting Monday July 28th and ending Saturday August 2nd, with Sunday as an extra day should we need it.
Location: Chelan Butte, Chelan, Washington USA
Registration Dates: Early Registration March 15th through June 15th, $285. Late Registration After June 17th, $325. 25 Reserved Canadian spots until April 14th.
Pilot Requirements: USHPA issued P4, or a P3 with Turbulence and Cross Country special skills endorsements, or foreign equivalent. Pilots must present their current USHPA membership card at Registration. Foreign pilots will be able to obtain an USHPA 30 day temporary membership at registration.
Entry Fee: Registration opens March 15th and the entry fee is $285 until June 15th, and $325 after.
Type of tasks: Race to Goal via turnpoints.
Prize Classes: Open, Canadian, Serial, Womens.
Prizes: Cash, Trophies, and Schwag
Method of Payment: Check or Money order to Aerial Paragliding. Foreign pilots contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Pilot Meeting and Registration: Mandatory meeting and registration Sunday, July 27th in the Stehekin Room at Campbells Resort. Registration from 3:00 to 7:00 PM, pilot meeting at 7:00 PM.
Meet Organizers: Doug Stroop/Denise Reed
Meet Director: Doug Stroop
Score Keeper: Dave Wheeler
Safety Director: Safety Committee