19 Sep 2018

San Diego - World Champion Swoop Freestyle 2018 - Pablo Hernandez of Spain

18th September 2018

The weekend of the 15/16 September saw the successful conclusion to the 2nd FAI World Swoop Freestyle Championships with the completion of the second leg in San Diago, USA.  The first having taken place in August in Copenhagen.  The new World Champion was declared and medals awarded :  Pablo Hernandez of Spain is the new World Champion of Swoop Freestyle, with Trevor Mills, United States of America in second place and receiving the Silver Medal and Franko Darman, Argentina in third, Bronze Medal posiiton.  CONGRATULATIONS to all the competitors who took part in both events, with the podium emhasising the international nature of this sport and discipline.  Medal winners from three different countries and three different continents.

Podium Swoop Freestyle WC 2018

Parachuting World Championships taking over the skies of San Diego!

Saturday evening in the Port of San Diego, swooping athlete Pablo Hernandez from Spain (33) took the stage as the winner of the 2018 Swoop Freestyle FAI World Championships. He was joined on the podium by American Travis Mills (36) second place, and Argentinian Franco Darman (26) who finished third. The event was the last stop of the 2018 season.

San Diegans witnessed the World Championships for the first time ever, as 17 of the world ́s elite in the discipline gathered here from 12 countries worldwide; Today was the culmination of months of training and high expectations all across the board, but it was Pablo Hernandez who took the spotlight by delivering the most power-fuelled and consistent performance of the season.

The spectators were entertained by live music, as well as additional bold aerial sports, such as Wingsuiting, Acro Paragliding, all culminating with a demonstration by the US Navy Parachute Team, the Leap Frogs, who closed the show. This season, history was written once again, as the Championships took the first step on international waters here in San Diego; another season wrapped up, but we are already looking forward to the next one starting.

(Press release issued by the ASport Media)

San Diago - Everyone celebrates

Dr. Rainer 'Exi' Hoenle, previous IPC President and responsible for the agreement made between ASport and the FAI to create this new form of World Championship and bringing it into the IPC Events Calender attended both legs of the Championships sent the following report:

Swoop Freestyle FAI  World Championships 2018

Copenhagen – San Diego

In the first year following the signature of the  Memorandum of Understanding to present the „Swoop Freestyle FAI World Championships“  George Stribling  Blythe succeeded in bringing 2 top organised Swoop-Freestlye competitions, one in Copenhagen, Denmark the second one in  San Diego, USA, to an excited public.

These 2 events were not only billiantly orchestrated  with a massive exposure to the public on site, but also led to a live streamed promotion to the world via www.swoopfreestyle.com  and finally also on www.fai.org.  Morevover, with these events the 'formula-1' concept  of awarding the Championship title for 2018 was inaugurated and proved to meet expectations. The format is unique in the presentation of Parachuting and differentiates clearly from the standard way of determining World Champions in Parachuting.

Pablo Hernandez, Spain is  the first Swoop Freestyle World Champion 2018, accumulating the highest number of Championship-points (32 points) : out of the Copenhagen  Championship leg 2018, where he placed 2nd (with 14 Championship points) and the San Diego Championships leg, where he came in first ( with 18 points). In second place Travis Mills, USA (logging 18 CPH points, when winning the first leg of the Championships, but Zero-ed  in San Diego), In 3rd place Franco Darman, ARG (accumulating a total of 16 points,  11 CPH points + 5 SAN points

 All results: https://www.instagram.com/swoopfreestyle/see .

The event was not only run to a clockwork-like precision schedule, but was embedded in various other airsport presentations and activities, accompanied by continuous information through an expert commentator on site, so that the audience was entertained both live and also via 2 LDE screens mounted on site via the live streaming and  a second commentator.

How efficiently the 5 Swoop Freestyle judges, led by Nina Engel, GER's work was done, can be shown, with the results ready to be announced when the athlete was picked up from the ponton by boat and presented to the crowd alongside the shore-line, and the actual standing could be seen on the big screen.  Very professional and exemplary from A to Z/ from start to finish,  for other event presentations.

An explanation with regard to the competition-format:

Day 1 starts with  2 practice rounds for all athletes, serving as a run-up for testing the set-up of the event and for safety reasons.  The practice rounds are all judged and the results published

Day 2 has 2 qualifying rounds, the results of which determine the exit order for the Semi-final and Final rounds.   Only the results of the Semifnal and Final determine the winner.

The Swoop Freestyle FAI World Championship events were a huge sucess, both in Copenhagen and in San Diego in 2018. thus building the base for awarding the Swoop Freestyle FAI World Championships title. We are looking froward to 2019, where the title will rest on the results out of 3 or even  4 legs of the Championships.

Swoop Freestyle Championships Ranking Point system:

Rank 1 - 9: 18 / 14 / 11 / 9 / 7 / 5 / 4 / 2 / 1 Championship-points.

Rank 9 – 18:  0 Championship-points per leg.

Add up Championships points from each leg. Highest number of points wins.

Dr. Rainer EXI Hoenle (acting FAI-Controller/Jury-President onsite)

Position Name Nationality Points
1 Pablo Hernandez ESP 32
2 Travis Mills USA 18
3 Franco Darman ARG 16
4 Curt Bartholomew USA 15
5 Christian Webber DEN 11
5 Cornelia Mihai UAE 11
7 Claudi Cagnasso VEN 10
8 Mario Fattoruso ITA 7
9 Aurel Marquet FRA 5
9 Nick Batsch USA 5
11 Chris Teague RSA 4
11 Ian Bobo USA 4
11 Miles Cottmann AUS 4
14 Chris Stewart NZE 0
15 Timmi Thomsen DEN 0
16 Armando Fatturoso ITA 0
17 Jeannie Bartholomew USA 0
18 Roberto Hernandez CHI 0


Celebration - World Champion