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Sixteen teams in the 2way dynamic is a great turnout, only equalled by the 4-way FS, surely the first time ever there have been the same number of freefly teams as belly in a major international competition? It was an exciting competition all the way, with more than a few surprises in the final results…
Crowned World Champions were Swiss 1 featuring the grandaddies of freefly (Filip Crnjakovic & Fabian Ramseyer) who started as one of the favourites. They flew an impressive routine; very intricate lines with changes of direction and of leader, split second timing and trust of your partner essential. You can be sure when they pass each other, they feel each other’s wind. They were one of the few teams that started their routine inside the tunnel, they were standing on the net and exploded into the routine with a hand move. Swiss 1 flew fast and hard in the speed rounds 1 making some of the fastest, times. They played a tactical game, adding a couple of new tricks to their free routine on the Saturday when the competition started, that they did not use in the qualifying day.
In silver medal position were Flohwell UK, Ben Broad and Luke Warren, the surprise of the competition. The team has only been together for 9 months. No-one including themselves expected them to get on the podium but they kept their heads and beat some much more experienced teams who blew it in the pressure of competition, often by trying very ambitious tricks but not pulling it off. Flohwell had a good solid routine with a nice head-to-head somersault move, mostly very synchronous but showed a few wobbles now and then due to their relative inexperience. They showed a range of performance with a total meltdown on round 3, losing their flow, and starting again but not at the same point, and leaving the tunnel early without completing the round. But mostly, Flohwell kept it together, their confidence increased round by round, congratulations guys!
In bronze position were Antigravity XP, for the USA, one of the strongest teams in the competition. They have always had a mix of clean dynamic flying linked with imaginative tricks in the free rounds. They are guaranteed to bring something new to the party. they have a fabulous leg-lock spinning move in multiple orientations followed with a head-to-head but didn’t manage to pull it off every time.“The ballistic Antigravity” (Domi Kiger) work hard at cutting the lines in the speed routines to make the shortest possible move and hence be super fast and put up incredible times. They are both very young flyers. Josh D'Annunzio has thousands of jumps. Amazingly the incredible flyer Zach Mullins doesn’t really skydive but recently has his pilot’s licence and is flying the plane at Skydive Paraclete.
Antigravity's routine is nothing short of amazing
Fourth were the biggest crowdpleasers Hurricane Factory Ginger and Fred from Czech Republic. Fred and Ginger had a creative and highly entertaining free round with dance inspired moves including ‘dancing’ together, with jive, waltz and rock ’n’ roll moves and an innovative exit, with Ginger into Fred’s arms. It was the most different style of all the teams, if not highly technically difficult it was big on originality and so much fun to watch. Fair play to 'Ginger' (Jitka), who was also competing in freestyle and 4-way female FS! This team undoubtedly did so well against more trained competitors because they weren’t taking the competition too seriously. They were so relaxed with the format that they took up the commentators’ suggestion from Regan Tetlow and Domi Kiger to reverse the exit and have Fred land in Ginger’s arms - successfully!
This team followed this with something even better the next round when Ginger wore high heels!! They had a disastrous speed round 2 when they missed out a full page, only flying 3 pages instead of 4 - it looked as though they had a really fast round at less than a minute - but went up to 2:05 minutes by the time the 3 skip penalties were added on, an extra minute. They were the drama team for sure as in the final round, when ’Fred’ exited he landed straight on an over-enthusiastic camera guy!
In 5th were Hurricane Factory Yan and Chen for the Czech Republic. They are a good-looking team that showed strong smooth clean flying, very simultaneous, hard to achieve with the very high speed flying they were demonstrating and an exciting finish. Their body shapes and flying styles add to the beauty of their flying, they are so together they can look like each other’s shadows. The fastest team all day on Friday, they nevertheless blew a speed round on Saturday due to getting lost and blowing it when the pressure was on. Their round 3 was incredible – one minute 2 seconds, possibly the fastest time ever [no team has ever been under a minute].
6th were Aerokart Paris for France, who have trained a lot on their own away from other influences and therefore have developed their own style, with acrobatic explosive manoevres, some funky moves, lots of crossing each other through legs, ending with a wowser spinny-outfacing joint exit, scary if you get it wrong. They have really cleaned up their act since the competition in Russia, June, still with super-cool tricks but taking cleaner lines and smoothing out their flying positions and style. They are fast aggressive flyers who scored highly in speed too.
7th position went toWindoor Empuriabrava from France, who had a very varied and polished routine, interesting synchronised foot placement in head-up so they looked as though they were walking together, using every inch of the tunnel and showcasing many different flying orientations. Some of their high speed passes took your breath away.
8th were the Russian LED station, with unusual choreography, as we often see from the Russians, playing together in ways not seen on other teams, very different and super nice to watch. Their style is very elegant, almost out of this world. Leonid Volkov and Diana Parmanina have been teammates since 2013. Diana has never made a skydive.
In 9th were Swiss2 , Realfly. This Swiss team showed the timing their nation is famed for by leaving the tunnel so bang on time it looked as though they triggered the ‘time’s up’ light. They showed a nice well executed, really interesting and technical routine with a lot of variety, and some wow moves as well as those that made you flinch! Andri Steinmann and Tobias Oertle used to compete in the Swiss VFS team and were looking for a new challenge.
In 10th, FlyBeat Poland 1 had a clean routine with interesting lines; no showy tricks but generally well-executed. Sebastian Raczyński and Grzegorz Leonow are professional flyers working in tunnel flying and skydiving.
11th went to ISR Freefly from the Rosendaal tunnel in Netherlands had a very nice exit trick and lots of passes and over-under flying.. the other teams flying with their calves out, their suits ending at the knees. They had good timing for their routine and a fun exit through each other. They suffered savage busts in some speed rounds. For their first dynamic competition they did really well and showed creativity and excellent skills.
12th were Aaladyn, from Hungary, the new kids on the block, a popular and enthusiastic addition to the dynamic scene, ones to watch for in future. Sporting cute white shortie suits above their considerably gorgeous calves, had a very synchronised free routine, they did a really fine job of creating a good-looking routine with relatively simple moves. They flew it very consistently. Sadly they were not so good on the speed rounds, with seven busts in the first round, eight in another and their best round of the first day being ‘only’ four penalties!
In 13th, VossVind from Norway had a strong routine, with excellent timing, always being in synchronisation, especially through multiple gymnastic tricks. They showed form in the speed rounds, and were the fastest team in the final speed round.
14th were Fly Spot No Pressure from Australia, a relatively new team of flyers, full time Flyspot instructors Jared Harris and Dane Baird, Ty Baird’s little brother. Their routine always looked good, these guys are ones to watch out for in future. What makes this team different? “Our funny looks, extremely tight gay suits and our accents.”
In equal 15th place with a tie were Finland and Poland, as in the final Airbenders (Poland) won the free round and H and M (Poland) the speed. H and M, the Finnish team, had a clean routine, some groovy changes in direction almost bouncing off each other.. holding hands for their last two moves and out the door. They showed how calm they were by a quick team shoulder massage just before a speed round… but of course it’s easy to be calm if you know the team before you has picked up seven busts, then you know you just have to fly clean to win!
Airbenders from Poland, were the junior flyer Maya, who has been killing it in the freestyle all day and a fellow freestyle competitor Mateo. Being freestylists and having uncluttered minds they came up with 2 new tricks we’ve never seen before – one a double-t with a 360°, Maya standing on Mateo's back, the other started with a belly sidebody, then Maya did a full layout with the sidebody piece!
In the speed round Airbenders showed that they have the capacity to fly fast, their raw time being in the top five in the first round, but losing time busts. They really struggled to remember routines and got lost or flew in the wrong direction. There were two rounds when Maya left the tunnel as she had lost the flow. You have to feel for these young people. The freestyle started at 9 am and the D2W was still flying at 10pm, this is hard core, even for an adult competitor. Most of all we have to admire the super flying skills, originality and freshness they bring to the competition; for sure these guys will help shape our future.
Scores are on the D4W website
You can watch the Live Stream again on the WISC website