2nd FAI World Indoor Skydiving Championships

Laval, Quebec,

19 Oct
22 Oct 2017
21 Oct 2017

Day 4: Keeping the Momentum Going!

We concluded yesterday with the Dynamic 2 and 4-Way qualifying rounds, but the complexity of the scoring would make most people glaze over, so we are anticipating receipt of the 'tree' diagram which should make things clearer.

The Junior competitors have immense support and when they are scheduled to fly, the audience noticeably swells in number and it's easy to see why - many have a fluidity of movement as well as an inbuilt sense of artistry that defies their youth. Surprisingly adept in an adult domain and in turn, mutual respect. Quite a few of these young flyers became athletes by accident, not design.

I overheard a conversation between a regular tunnel flyer and a competitor in the Junior Freestyle, where the older flyer wanted to know how to achieve a certain manoeuvre. “How do you make that transition from one side of the tunnel to the other when you are upside down?”  The younger competitive flyer looked truly puzzled by the question, answering simply, “I just do it.”  No long-winded explanations, just a young mind uncluttered by technicalities.

With the semi-final and final rounds still to complete, the top 3 positions in Junior Freestyle are being hotly contested. At the end of Round 5 Kyra Poh of Singapore was holding off USA’s Kaleigh Wittenburg (see interview with her below) by a fraction of a point, 0.6 to be precise. Poland’s Andrjez Soltyk was behind the USA with an even smaller fraction, 0.3 point.

Freestyle Junior at Rd 5
1. Singapore    45.4
2. USA             44.8
3. Poland         44.5

Throughout the day the audience has been entertained by some great skydiving. As one visitor was overheard to say, "Now I can see what makes them World Champions!", being a reference to seeing Belgium’s 4-Way Open team perform up close and personal.  I could have made the same comment myself, as watching their slick performance continues to impress, even after all this time. Hot on their heels is the French team who must feel very frustrated in not being able to topple their opponents after several years of trying.

The 4-Way Open teams have completed and been judged up to and including Round 9 (semi-final) with Belgium continuing to hold off France with a lead of 7 points. Russia has similarly held its 3rd place position, but that could all change as they go into the final round with the USA just 1 point behind them.

4-Way Open at Rd 9
1. Belgium    299
2. France      292
3. Russia      277
4. USA          276

Once again the French girls dominate the 4-Way Female event, at the end of Round 9 with a commanding lead of 45 points over the Great Britain team. They’ve kept their nerve and have been able to extend their lead over Sweden to a comfortable 22 points. Like the Russian 4-Way Open team, Sweden’s position is far from safe, as they too are only ahead of 4th placed Czech Republic by 1 point.

4-Way Female at Rd 9
1.  France            270
2.  Great Britain   225
3.  Sweden          203
4.  Czech Rep     202

The Junior 4-Way teams haven’t reached their semi-final round yet, but at Round 6 (of 8) France is continuing to hold off Canada with a healthy 14 point lead. Trailing Canada by 29 points is the Czech Republic, with Singapore 11 points behind them.

4-Way Junior at Rd 6
1.  France         174
2.  Canada        160
3.  Czech Rep   131
4.  Singapore    120

The final event in Formation Skydiving is the 4-Way VFS who, like the Juniors, haven’t reached their semi-final round yet. With two rounds to go, France’s current position at the top isn’t guaranteed despite being ahead of the USA by 6 points. In 3rd position is Poland trailing the USA by 53 points.

4-Way VFS at Round 8
1.  France    268
2.  USA        262
3.  Poland   209

In the Freestyle Open, Russia’s flamboyant and contemporary flyer, Leonid Volkov, (see interview with him below) has lead the field up to the end of Round 5, with two rounds to go. Currently Poland’s Maja Kuczynska is trailing Russia by 2.1 points with Jakub Harrer of the Czech Republic a mere 0.4 behind her.

Most of the Freestylers now perform to music and many people have asked how on earth they can hear their music being played above the noise of the tunnel. Simple. They each wear an FM transmitter – set to 88.1MHz – into which their own ear buds are fitted, enabling them to hear the music whilst they perform their routine, remaining unaffected by the wind noise all around them.

Freestyle Open at Rd 5
1.  Russia            46.6
2.  Poland            44.5
3.  Czech Rep     44.1

The Dynamic flyers, both 2-Way and 4-Way, drew big crowds this afternoon at they entered their tournament battles.

A few photos: