Wingsuit Progression Series
A series covering WS skydiving, from your FFC through Exits, Skydiving with Others & Safety, by Matt Gerdes & Taya Weiss...
The finals in the FS events are complete with everyone happy. The Canopy Piloting had an amazing Thursday, doing 6 competition jumps and virtually finishing in the dark…
Round 9 was a bad one for UAE; the bottom of block 9 (Taj Mahal) closed the star leaving one pair outside, it was keyed in a moment of over enthusiasm, leading to a 2-point bust and a difficult reset. This is a consequence of the injection of speed in this 8-way. Flying at a 10 average at the World Championships, Prostejov in August, they are now moving at a 17 pace, and it’s hard for the brain to make that adjustment. They scored a 12 to 17s for France and Russia, slipping UAE back into third place at the finish line. The local team should still be proud of this result, only 2 points behind Russia (168 to 170) and adding a full 2 points to last year’s average. France romped home to gold medal with a 17.9 average, improving on their 17 at the World Meet by almost a point a round. Monaco were fourth with a 15 average, then Qatar with 12.4 and Germany with 9.7.
It was a happy result for all the top teams. Evolution won with a 25.2 average for Canada, their skydives look incredible, it’s brilliant to see them flying full-on fast. Hayabusa (BEL) were second, 11 points behind the Canadians but very happy with their average (24.1) , as their previous best in competition with Jeroen Nollett was 21.3. You also have to hand it to the guys for clawing back into second place after losing 8 points. This is a very exciting position to begin next year’s training and promises well for the future. SDC Rhythm (USA) came a well-deserved third with 238 points, equalling their highest average. They also won a round, a testament to the high level of this team, and showing the potential. Behind them were Russia, Qatar and UAE respectively.
The French team are in a class of their own, winning in style with 193 points. USA came a well-deserved second with 143 points, these girls had never jumped together, come only meeting each other 10 days before the competition! They did 2 training jumps and less than 2 hours tunnel time, so must be commended on an outstanding performance, along the lines of a trained team.
The real battle in female 4-way was for the bronze medal, which was a tight race all the way between UK, Germany, Canada. Eventually Great Britain’s Team XX took the hardware with 137 points to 136 and 134 respectively. They never imagined that they would do so well, hats off to all the team. Team XX have only been together for 2 years. “We still can’t believe it” said Ros Ayling, the team’s Tail.
Canada’s Evolution scored a monumental 19.1 average, with a high score of 28, winning $15,000. The Lemay brothers and Jean Christophe Ouimet take home a large pot of gold, since they won two events. I don’t have any words for my admiration of the standard these guys achieved in two completely different events. No team has doubled up these particular two disciplines before Evolution. We hope the family will invest their prize money into training for an even better standard, to push the frontiers of skydiving forward again and to continue the Lemay legacy.
We commend Poland’s ‘Team Almost’ for doubling their average after 3 rounds, finishing with 12 points and a 1.5 average, a silver medal and $10,000. Thank you so much for coming, it would have been really sad to see only one VFS team. Keep training guys, I think you’ll have the Canadians worried next year ;-)
There are a lot of ways to score a zero but only a few ways to score points
The new Max Speed event set the cat among the pigeons, with very consistent skydivers blowing their chances. Three times World Champion Curt Bartholomew zapped two rounds, which gave him four zero scores, effectively blowing his chances of an overall medal, though he still won the speed event in style, even after a malfunction.
Over and above this there were many of the really top level competitors (Ju-ju, Patrick Kaye, Cornelia) scored some zeroes. Why was this? We can only speculate. Normally the Zone Accuracy is the last event and mixes up the established ranking from the Speed and Distance. Because of the wind conditions then this time it was the first event and had pretty good conditions.. so as a result the competitors pushed the limits in the other events, which can easily end up in zeroes. There are many ways to zap: in Speed you have to make the entry and the exit gate; in Distance you have to make the gates and drag water before or through them, and keep your height to below the gate; Zone accuracy you have to drag water through all four gates.
Another reason for the many zeroes could have been the shorter time frame for the meet. In response to feedback from the competitors the CP meet was shorter, but this resulted in less time to recover from the jet lag, perhaps affecting scores in this challenging event requiring split-second reflexes and timing.
Curt Bartholomew (USA) was again on the podium, winning Zone Accuracy even after the drama of a cutaway, second place went to Eric Philippe (FRA), with bronze for Marat ‘Maha’ Leiras of UAE.
In third was Pablo Hernandez of the PD Factory Team, Greg Windmiller was second for USA and winning was Nick Batsch, also for USA.
Third place, Thomas Dellibac (USA), then Pablo Hernandez in second, both of the PD Factory Team. Nick Batsch won this event too, leaving no doubt of the overall champion…
Eric Philippe (Fra) was third in the overall CP, an aggregate of the scores in the 3 disciplines. Pablo Hernandez (UAE) of the PD Factory Team was second and the winner was Nick Batsch, who pushed the limits perfectly at this event.
US team Alter Ego seem to work well in keeping one of their members on the podium. Nick Batsch was 2014 King of Swoop but didn’t have the best World Championships, which was won by teammate Curt Bartholomew. In turn, it wasn’t Curt’s meet here at DIPC; though he still shone in Zone Accuracy, he blew the Speed and Distance. Curt took it all in his stride though, saying he made a basic error of not noticing that the headwind had changed between take-off and canopy flight until it was too late to salvage without a potentially dangerous manuver.
Freestyle is not a normal part of a World Championships or World Cup but was thrilling to watch, a real crowdpleaser, with lots of variety, tricks, and spillages. It also demonstrates the incredible control of high end CP, in a showier event than classic CP. Curt Bartholomew took the freestyle bronze, then ‘Maha’ in silver for UAE, a very popular win with the spectators. Nick Batsch won the event in style, finishing his year in the money.
For the canopy piloting team event each nation nominates who they consider their 3 best athletes for their scores to count towards the team total. Looking at the individual podia you would have expected USA to place in the team event but they put their money on the wrong horses (no offence). UAE were third in the team event, second were Russia (who didn’t win any individual medals) and first were France (Julien Guiho, Guillaume Bernier and Eric Philippe). CP is an irreplaceable addition to skydiving disciplines; it has the most spectator appeal, and the chances of even the very best making a zap keeps it exciting till the very end.
Once a champion, always a champion; Guillaume is a (multiple) World champion in 4-way FS, and Ju-ju is a multiple world champion in VFS. It just shows it is mental strength and dedication that win medals, in a way the event is almost irrelevant. It’s exciting to see France shine in canopy piloting, their individual and team performance this year has been a huge step up from previously.
The 'best nation' of DIPC had to be France, who bagged medals in every discipline they entered, and won at least 7 events, it’s good they have a catchy National Anthem!
There were only 2 teams in the 4-way sequential; France were the winners, with Russia in second place. The 4-way Rotations was won by Russia, with Belarus second and Kazakhstan third.
In 2-way CF sequential, the diminutive Cindy Collot and Charline Delay of France set the standard with superb scores, averaging 27 and with a top score of 32, to win the prize money and the gold. It’s really cool to see these talented young ladies break the mould of the classic Crew Dog, long may they continue. Chris and Yulia Gay followed in silver for USA.
A sad incident slightly marred an otherwise marvellous competition, when the Russian ‘bronze medallists’ in 2-way CF were caught cheating. After completing one round and separating, they began to practise the next round. This is forbidden in the FAI rules, which state that an offending team would score a zero. The team were videoed practising by another team and it was noticed by the ground controller. Despite a protest signed by the other CF teams, then (in the absence of a jury) the Russians still collected a medal and $4,500 that rightly belonged to France 2.
Skydive Dubai never cease to come up with thrilling additions to add to the atmosphere and make the event extra special. This year saw the World Cup in FlyBoard, a very fun event to watch, adding kicking tunes, fit young dudes and athletic surf chicks to the mix. A 3D simulation of Fred and Vince’s base jump off the Burj Khalifa gave everyone the chance to experience first hand what this incredible jump was like. A barrage of entertainers and constant surprises kept the atmosphere like a carnival. The opening ceremony this year was incredible … even better than a Cirque du Soliel show. I can’t wait to see what this country comes up with next. Bring on the World Air Games, Skydive Dubai (1-12 December 2015)… see you next year!
Thanks as always to the Crown Prince of Dubai, His Highness Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum for making this all possible and adding so much to the skydiving community.
Day 7 Video is shown below, plus links to other videos here
Day 7 begins with exciting canopy piloting action over the Skydive Dubai Palm DZ pond. We also hear from Hall of Fame skydiver and Asaar Dubai Craig Girard about the 8–Way finals and watch one full round of the winning French freestyle team. Exciting Parabatix Sky Racers, flyboarding and a heart stopping air show from the United Arab Emirates aerobatics demonstration team…Al Fursan …are all part of the 5th Dubai International Parachuting Championship! #DIPC5