A disaster is happening in Espirito Santo state, Brazil. Due to repeated strong showers, half of the houses in the state are flooded. Tens of thousands inhabitants are homeless and displaced. Many have died. Lots of roads, on rivers beds, are blocked or cut. The paragliding community follows the critical situation with horror and sadness. Sports issues are secondary in such a context, the Super Final becomes accessory.
Nevertheless a decision has to be taken about that upcoming competition, scheduled in two weeks from now. I received feedback from the PWCA Committee and from local organizers as well. Be aware they are addressing the situation. Taking the right decision is about gathering as much correct information as possible, weighting options and making a decision. All those steps are difficult to take.
What are the possible options then?
If local feedback is positive, we pilots could go there, just as we did after L’Aquila or Val Louron. In both cases paragliding has been perceived as a sign of international friendship to the populations. That would be a challenge, so soon after such dramatic events. The simple dayly life might a challenge for all, locals and pilots. Getting there, transportation to take off, retrieve roads, accomodation, food…
If local feedback is negative or not convincing enough, then it will be about moving, postponing or canceling. Moving the competition to a different place, close-by, same dates or so, avoiding cancellation of plane tickets, is quite a challenge at such short notice, but shall not be disregarded. In my opinion, postponing is not the way to go. That leaves one option, canceling the event and take the appropriate amount of time to set up a new competition, conveniently placed later in the season, possibly in another place.
Again, be ensured the PWCA Committee and the local organizers do their best under stressfull conditions to both respect the local population facing devastation and address the free flying community. In a matter of days a decision will be taken and made public. Be patient meanwhile, release the pressure, provide usable information when you hold some to the PWCA Committee and the local organizers.