The British Paramotor Competitions Panel
This site is operated and maintained by the British Paramotor Competitions Panel, who operate as a subcommittee of the British Hang Gliding and Paragliding Association (BHPA) Exec. We are an entirely volunteer organisation made up of a committee of 5 voting members, supported by a wider network of contributors who help with our activities. We are supported financially by BHPA grants, in addition to pilot entry fees to championships, and the generous contributions of sponsors.
Our primary objectives are:
- To organise and run the annual British Open Paramotor Championships.
- To coordinate the annual British National Paramotor League and National Championship competitions to find an official British champion.
- To facilitate the entry to local, national and international paramotor competitions for all members of society. To generate an inclusive ethos in paramotoring for all, regardless of gender, ethnicity or disability. To remove “physical disability” barriers in competition, where they exist, in local, national and international competition rules and in the development of suitable equipment to enable participation.
- To represent pilots’ wishes and preferences in shaping Paramotor Competitions of the future.
- To make competitions safe, fair, fun and challenging, and to encourage the participation of and experienced pilots.
- To encourage and oversee pilot coaching and to facilitate the provision of data from competitions with a view to select the strongest possible British Team for participation in FAI events.
- To ensure the competition environment is both safe and appealing to the spectating public and competitors.
- To recommend to the BMAA the preferred candidate for the role of Alternate Delegate to the CIMA, the paramotor commission of the Federation Aeronautique Internationale (FAI). The Alternate Delegate represents the interests of British paramotor competition pilots at CIMA, in particular at the annual CIMA conference.
The current committee is formed of the following members:
Committee Chair, Competition Director, CIMA Alternate Delegate.
Barney started flying paramotors in 2007, and first competed in a national championship in 2008, before going on to become British National Paramotor Champion in 2011 and 2015. He competed internationally for the British Paramotor Team in the FAI World Paramotor Championships 2012 (Spain), 2014 (Hungary), and 2016 (UK), where he placed 10th overall. Since 2017, he stepped down from competing to take over as Director of the British Paramotor Competitions, revising the format significantly to what they are today. He also serves as both Secretary, and UK Alternate Delegate to CIMA (the microlight and paramotor commission of the FAI).
A first-time competition pilot in 2020, entering as a BHPA Club Pilot, Daniel made rapid progress and in 2022 he be came British National Paramotor Champion, and competed for the British Paramotor Team at the FAI World Paramotor Championships in Brazil the same year. A videographer by profession, he has documented his learning journey through an excellent series of instructional videos, in the hope of inspiring more pilots to follow in his footsteps. In 2021, he flew from John O’Groats to Land’s End on a paramotor, raising over £13,000 for Alzheimer’s Research.
Secretary, Deputy Competition Director.
Andy started flying paragliders in 1993 and moved to paramotors in 2000, flying Land’s End to John O’Groats that same year after just 6 paramotor flights. He first competed in national paramotor competitions in 2003, and competed internationally for the British Paramotor Team at the FAI European Paramotor Championships in France in 2006. He directed the British National Paramotor Championships and League events from 2008 to 2012, chairing this committee throughout that period as well., and since 2016 has returned in various roles from Chief Marshal to Deputy Director. He was director of the FAI World Paramotor Championships 2014 in Hungary, and has previously served as UK Alternate Delegate to CIMA.
Andy has been involved in airbourne activities from the age of 2, and won his first competition in 1979 at just 13, at the British Parascending Championship. In 1988 he became the youngest Chief Flying Instructor in the UK. He has over 40 years of experience training students a wide variety of airborne activities including, paragliding, hang gliding, paramotoring, microlights and parascending, through his school Green Dragons Airsports. He has steered the GD team to multiple podium positions in a wide range of airborne disciplines and continues to contribute to many national established procedures used across the world of Free Flight.
Ric started flying paramotors at the age of 14 and was frustrated to be told that he was too young to enter the National Championships! He first competed in 2009, and followed an increasingly successful trajectory at both national and international level that led to placing 9th in the FAI World Paramotor Championships 2016, and becoming British National Paramotor Champion in 2021. He is now a full time paramotor instructor through his school, Northern Skies Paramotoring.
Committee Meetings, AGM, and elections
The committee meet regularly online throughout the year to plan, organise, and oversee the execution of our objectives as outlined above. An open Annual General Meeting is normally held on the final day of the British National Championships each year. An annual report of the work done by or under the auspices of the Panel will be presented to members by the Chair, and the Treasurer will present the accounts. At this time, committee officers are elected or re-elected for the following year.
Committee officers typically serve a two year tenure, after which they can stand for re-election. The number of vacant places for each year will be published in advance. Any BHPA member is welcome to put themselves forward for a position on the committee; those wishing to do so should notify the committee by one week in advance of the AGM, and be seconded by at least two BHPA members. If there is the same number of candidates as vacant places no vote is necessary. In the event that there are more candidates than places available, a private vote will be conducted at the AGM.
BHPA members may submit proposals for amendments to competition rules or the panel constitution under ‘Any Other Business’, such that they may be voted on for approval; these should be submitted in writing through the contact form on this website, no later than 30 days prior to the AGM, or 15 days after the announcement, whichever is the later.
The 2023 AGM of the committee will take place at 20:30 on Wednesday 20th September. Register through this link to attend.
International activity and the FAI
International paramotor competitions and records are governed by the Fédération Aéronautique Internationale (FAI), through their structure of technical commissions – CIMA for Microlights and Paramotors. Delegates convene at the annual plenary meetings to discuss and approve bids for international championships, safety issues, and updates to international sporting code rules. Each member country nominates two delegates to the commission; in the UK, the RAeC have conferred authority to nominate the delegate to the BMAA. Our chair Barney Townsend currently serves as the Alternate Delegate to this commisssion, and as such collates, edits, and advocates for changes to the international competition rules on behalf of British Paramotor Team pilots, and votes on their behalf to approve or not, such bids and proposals from other nations. He also serves as secretary to that commission.