Richard Meredith-Hardy, CIMA President
Specifications and rules for inflatable pylons
Inflatable pylons have now become an established fact at competitions.
There is some evidence to suggest pylons less than 8m can be dangerous in slalom tasks because there is an enhanced possibility the canopy lines can be hooked over the top in a steep turn, hence 8m is defined as the minimum height for this type of task. It is also worth pointing out simple safety aspects about supporting lines and other obstacles associated with a pylon.
5.7.6 is not designed to supersede anything that might be said in a task description, for example the Clover leaf and other slaloms specifically define which direction a pylon is to be turned. Rather, this provision becomes a default solution for use in those cases when a task description does not adequately specify what constitutes the rounding of a pylon (notably the Chinese Slalom).
Since 5.7.6 defines a way of constructing a specific line which defines when a pylon is rounded, this can also be implemented in any slalom task when split times are being used as something to make a slalom task more interesting and exciting for an audience.
So long as suitable analysis software was available, it may in a future provision be interesting to apply this same technique of defining a line (or gate) at a single point to standard nav task turnpoints. This would then provide a standard means of obtaining a precise time of passing one, which currently does not exist...