Paragliding World Cup Spain, Yelmo, 2024 : important update

  • Jun 27 2024

Hello pilots,

In light of the recent events in the Yelmo Paragliding World Cup, we are facing a very delicate situation in which many aspects of our activity are colliding, making proper decision-making challenging. The numbers are overwhelming. As of Thursday morning, 30% of the field has been knocked down and unfit to fly. Even worse, hospital admissions are not slowing down; even the healthiest and strongest among us have been heavily affected in the last 24/48 hours.

This situation raises several concerns, including the overall health-related safety of the pilots and staff, flying safety for the pilots, the fairness of such an event, and, ultimately, the responsibility issues. The Task Committee, including the Local Organizer and me as an Event Manager, met this morning and discussed the issues.

The conclusions, although the topics are overwhelmingly complicated, are straightforward.

The overall safety of the event is heavily compromised. No signs exist that this contagion is slowing down, regardless of its origin or nature. Pilots are still developing the symptoms and ending up in the hospital. Fairness is entirely broken and unrepairable, mainly in the domain of each pilot’s tactics and strategy planning. Although we can play the system by devaluing the forthcoming tasks if many pilots do not show up, it is still an artificial measure, and the quality of the overall results will be negatively affected. As this contagion has a blitzkrieg course of action, it is impossible to predict when and how badly a pilot could be affected while flying a comp task. This raises the question of the responsibility of the people who set the tasks, approve them, and finally let people go into the air. It is a difficult moral and human task to bear for anyone.

Therefore, we decided to carefully monitor the situation today, especially the trend of the illness. In that regard, the Organizers have been proactive and provided samples of food and water to the authorities. Unfortunately, we do not have a clear timeline for that investigation.

If we have no further admissions to the hospital, or if that number is sporadic, we may consider flying the next two days, as we have a chance to organize two more tasks.

This approach is based on the enormous respect of the PWCA management and the Local Organizers towards the people who traveled from the other end of the World, who are committed sportsmen, and who invested heavily, in any sense of the word, to be part of this event.

However, I strongly underline that every single one of you must make the decision to join the future tasks, if any, on a personal basis. At this moment, awareness of the issue is as high as it gets, information sharing is transparent, and everyone knows the proportion of risks.

If the criteria defined above are not met, the event will be stopped, and the results will be frozen at their current form. It will be considered a fully valid event as validation criteria have been met.

The final decision on whether to continue or stop the event at its current stage will be made tomorrow, Friday, the 28th, at 08:30.

Please pay attention to the facts presented here and act responsibly.

Goran Dimiskovski

President, Event Manager

Paragliding World Cup Association