PD Factory Team: 15 Years
The PD Factory Team are celebrating 15 years in canopy piloting...
This was an historic event, the first time Dynamic flying has been sanctioned at an IPC competition. This discipline has been developed and polished by freeflying competitors, wanting to create their own format of competition. Their aims were to make it flying that they enjoyed doing, where they could go to the max, that was accessible to the public, judged by fellow competitors, without controversy of the results, with an exciting finish and suspense all the way. They absolutely succeeded.
It was brilliant to watch the dynamic, edge of your seat stuff! Even though my passion is 4 and 8-way FS, then the dynamic was my favourite part of this excellent competition. Kudos to the development team of D4W – and also to IPC for accepting the D4W recommendations of how to run the competition, including amending their usual process to certificate FAI judges for the dynamic area.
The two day competition was very professionally commentated on throughout by a marathon session from Regan Tetlow and Domi Kiger, who made a great team. Domi has been a major part of shaping the development of dynamic flying, and of this IPC competition in particular. She communicated her knowledge, passion and competition experience really well, so it was easy to understand the competition and get drawn into the drama.
The rounds are head-to-head battles with the loser being knocked out, like in football or tennis. The field is divided into groups, and within these every team battles everyone else, the ones with the most wins going forward. The scores from the first day do not affect the final placings but they determine the order of flying on the second day, to seed the battles, the aim being for the best teams to meet in the finals. Despite the rankings from the first day, the knife edge speed of dynamic combined with the stress of the world watching the competition meant for many a shake-up in anticipated results with some surprises on the podium…
In the free round sthe judges decide which is the better of the two artistic creations, which can be anything of the flyers’ choosing. In the speed rounds the clock starts when the light goes to white from purple - then the first flyer’s reaction is important as he/she needs to be fast off the blocks for a good round - but not too quick as there is a penalty for entering the tunnel too soon. The teams fly 4 pages of a sequence of three moves and the time stops when the last one exits the tunnel. They must fly cleanly around laser beams and points to demonstrate the move, otherwise they receive a 5-second penalty. If a team omits a formation there is a 20 second penalty (to avoid teams doing this intentionally to cheat). You need to enter and leave in the same order of flyers, 1, 2, 3, 4 and will be penalised for getting out of order. The fastest team wins.
For the first time the dynamic judges did not have to view through a hole/line in reality, they used a camera view, which is accurate, gives the audience the same viewpoint as the judges, and relieves strain on the judges by avoiding them closing one eye and squatting to judge line infringements. The judges are all FAI rated Dynamic judges and all current or recent competitors, to enable them to rate the difficulty of moves in the free rounds.
The final was gripping with a tie-breaker round. The final – which is a speed and a free round – was between Windoor Warriors (France) and The Mad Ravens from the Czech Republic. They both have superb routines but this went by a whisker to the Ravens. The speed round was incredibly close with both teams flying hard lines without busting, first the Ravens made a blistering time of 1 minute 17.816 seconds. They were followed by the Warriors, it was a tense time with everyone on a knife-edge in fear of a bust…. they leave clean, we’re counting the seconds.. 1:17.755 – the French take the free round by 0.06 of a second!
One round to each team means a tie-breaker. A secret draw, with a speed round, is in an envelope and is shown to one team just one minute before they have to fly (the other team is taken out of sight). Bizarrely the draw was exactly the same speed round as the teams had just flown (by pure coincidence), but mirrored so they fly in the opposite direction. Again the Czech team went first putting everything into it and ending in 1:19.364… (slower than previously as the mirror is a little harder to fly) in went Windoor Warriors for the French .. wow! They blazed a trail all the way to the finish, everyone counting down on the clock again, 1:19.289 seconds - only 0.075 of a second separating the time for four people to fly four page of three moves - incredible and what a thrilling way to end the competition.
The final was gripping with a tie-breaker round. The final – which is a speed and a free round – was between Windoor Warriors (France) and The Mad Ravens from the Czech Republic. They both have superb routines but this went by a whisker to the Ravens. The speed round was incredibly close with both teams flying hard lines without busting, first the Ravens made a blistering time of 1 minute 17.816 seconds. They were followed by the Warriors, it was a tense time with everyone on a knife-edge in fear of a bust…. they left clean, we were counting down the seconds.. 1:17.755 – the French took the free round by 0.06 of a second!
Scores are on the D4W website
You can watch the Live Stream again on the WISC website
The winners Windoor Warriors from France had a very creative free routine with interesting lines, gymnastic style tricks and adding a wave effect to their flying, playing a lot with efferent levels, so much that the live stream cameraman couldn’t get it all in view. They had a great entrance and coordinated exit with everyone flying backwards out the door – the opposite way they entered, showing their class. The French had an explosive start to the speed round, you could see them flying very close to the line, absolutely minimising their movement but without busting, it was clean and super fast flying.
The French people, they are taking winning pretty seriously
Silver medallists The Mad Ravens from the Czech Republic had an innovative free routine with a few tricks, using every inch of the tunnel in a creative beautifully watchable display, moving as a tight line, plus their signature move, the washing machine-69. To me they flew the tightest as a team, all four beautifully synchronised through all the varied choreography, looking like dancers straight out of Thriller. They were impressively quick, the fastest team in many of the speed rounds.
Inflight Dubai’s Skynamic, representing the UAE, took the bronze medal. They flew some interesting lines with some linked tricks like synchronised rodeo somersaults, they pulled them off nicely, lots of changes in direction, adding to the difficulty. Mixing it up well, with pairs flying as well as four-way, it was an incredible routine with lots of no-sight flying. Compared to many routines they added very different flying tricks to the free round, compared with the speed rounds. In the speed rounds they were frequently the fastest team to finish but were not always clean. Bring on the Clash of Champions!
Hurricane Factory, were fourth, the home team from the Czech Republic, all staff at the tunnel, working while competing, quite the challenge! Their free round was very synchronised, very smooth elegant flying with lots of cross-over moves, the flyers weaving in and out of each other.. very dynamic, excellent exit synchronised flip-twists; a very flowing but technical routine with some explosive moves. These guys are part of the first generation of flyers, some of the longest running in the competition.
Dynamic station, the Russian team, were 5th. They produced some really interesting manoeuvres that you don’t see from other teams - it was a lovely routine with lots of interlacing and crossovers, spoiled only by an imperfect exit on a couple of rounds. They are a testament to the ISR’s wind tunnel management of encouraging their instructors to fly a lot, thus providing inspiration and pushing the limits of flight by creating new moves and techniques. Dynamic station Russia bust some free rounds but were fast when clean.
Zion VossVind, the Norwegian team, ended in 6th place. VossVind had a marvellous flowing style, nice lines, and well executed elegant routine, showing excellent control. In the speed rounds Anna Moxnes, the only female in the 4WD, was said to be “leading the charge of the Norwegian army” by Domi Kiger. This team will compete in Clash of Champions, replacing Håvard Flaat with Dave Reader (who placed second here in the freestyle). No-one can replace Håvard though for working the crowd, he is a showman who added a lot to the vibe.
In seventh were Sirius Fly, looking like aliens in their shiny orange helmets, kneepads and elbows – almost American football style. They had lots of stalling moves in their amazingly crafted free routine. Really intricate lines between each other and lots of different orientations, opposite directions, complete entertainment and a terrifically varied routine, ending up in a line and melting out the door like a zipper.
The atmosphere between teams was terrific, with great sportsmanship, friendliness and hugs between competitors. Congratulations to all teams, to the Hurricane Factory for hosting a fabulous competition, to Regan and Domi for the endurance presenting, to the developers of this nail-biting discipline and most especially to Windoor Warriors, the first ever FAI Indoor World Champions in D4W.
Scores are on the D4W website
You can watch the Live Stream again on the WISC website