Sonchaux, Switzerland, 27 August 2018 – Despite fierce competition from his fellow paragliding aerobatics competitors, Spain’s Horacio Llorens, 35, impressed the judges with spectacular stunts this weekend and gained the top spot on the podium of the Acro World Tour Finals. The event took place on the shores of Lake Geneva, Switzerland, as part of the Sonchaux Acroshow. Adding this result to the others throughout the series Llorens also tops the overall rankings of the Acro World Tour 2018. The audience of the Finals, numbering 29,000, went wild as the elite pilots spun, stalled, and swung in their harnesses to perform the incredible feats such as deep spirals, infinity tumbling, helicopters, slides, flips and wingovers during the finals of this year’s competition. The final battle between Horacio Llorens and Rafael Goberna proved to be extremely tight. Despite a less precise landing, Llorens’ better technique and flight choreography allowed him to get the better of Goberna and win the competition. Thanks to his previous results throughout the series Llorens managed to top the overall rankings of the Acro World Tour 2018, ahead of Théo De Blic from France and Rafael Goberna from Brazil.
It is the sixth time that Llorens leads the world’s rankings in paragliding aerobatics. He said after his victorious final flight: “I am incredibly happy with the result of the competition. The level is incredibly high but I have been training super hard. I didn’t expect to be the winner, to be honest, but I have been building each victory slowly and I have been lucky as well, probably. At the end I am the winner of this competition and the winner of the 2018 world rankings. I would like to say thanks to my friends and my family for supporting me so well and to my sponsor Red Bull that helped me to be here. Thank you so much!” Nine nations from Europe and South America were represented by the fourteen pilots who qualified for the finals, with two ‘wild cards’ bringing the total to sixteen. The qualifying rounds took place in Norway: Vertigo Voss, and Italy: King of Brenta and AcroMax. Each competition was tough, with pilots attempting challenging tricks to win.
Final Ranking Sonchaux Acro Show 2018:
1. Horacio Llorens (ESP)
2. Rafael Goberna (BRA)
3. Victor Carrera (CHI)
Final Overall Ranking Acro World Tour 2018:
1. Horacio Llorens (ESP)
2. Théo De Blic (FRA)
3. Rafael Goberna (BRA)
Around 150 paragliders entered the air and finally crowned their new European Champions after about two weeks of paragliding action: Theo Warden from Great Britain is the winner of the European Paragliding Championship (EPC) in the overall category (=men & women). He is followed by the German Torsten Siegel on rank 2 and Biagio Alberto Vitale from Italy who came in third.France dominated the women category with the new European Champion Seiko Fukuoka Naville (FRA) and her countrywomen Meryl Delferriere (FRA) on rank 2. Yael Margelisch (SUI) came in third. The new European Champion in the team competition is Spain followed by Italy on rank 2 and France on rank 3.The European Paragliding Championship gathered around 150 pilots from all over Europe and invited countries. At this cross country flying competition, the pilots have to complete several tasks to establish the overall classification at the end of the two weeks. The goal of each competition task is to fly round a predetermined course with a start, some turn points (usually 4-6) and a finish line. The winner is the fastest pilot round the course, or the pilot who flew furthest if no one completes the course. Montalegre and its surrounding region have a long tradition of holding top-level international competitions, namely the FAI World Paragliding Championship in 2003 and several World Cup competitions. Montalegre in the north of Portugal offers excellent flight sites, with take-offs in almost all directions. It has been the stage of several international competitions like Paragliding World Cups in 2000, 2012 and 2015. The flying site offers a wonderful landscape with high mountains and open valleys. The Serra do Larouco is located in the region of Trás-os-Montes, in the famous Terras do Barroso, on the border between Galicia and Portugal. It’s part of the mountain range of Peneda-Gerês, which includes the third highest point of Continental Portugal, with 1,545 meters altitude. The place is perfect and secure for cross-country flights. It’s especially good for local triangle flights of up to 100km as demonstrated in the last World Cup events.
Top 3 EPC Overall (=Men + Women)
1 Theo Warden (GBR)
2 Torsten Siegel (GER)
3 Biagio Alberto Vitale (ITA)
Top 3 EPC Women
1 Seiko Fukuoka Naville (FRA)
2 Meryl Delferriere (FRA)
3 Yael Margelisch (SUI)
It was a week full of airsports with breathtaking and spectacular parachuting action at the airfield in Szymanów which is situated near Wroclaw, Poland. Over 5000 spectators witnessed daily 66 of the world`s best canopy piloting athletes who competed from 2nd until 8th for the 7th FAI World Canopy Piloting Championships and the premiere of the FAI World Canopy Piloting Championships in Freesyle.
Canopy Piloting – also known as Swooping – is a fairly new sport, but often assessed the most spectacular discipline. Fast and low flights as well as aerobatics action with top speeds around 150 km/h above the swoop pond can make the fans literally feel the gust of wind caused by flying athletes. The Championships involves a series of tasks designed to demonstrate the parachutist’s ability to control his canopy and his flight accuracy. At the World Canopy Piloting Championships the athletes compete in three disciplines - speed, accuracy and distance.
The new World Champion is the 36 year old Nicolas Batsch (USA) from Denver/Colorado. He achieved a total score of 833.262 Points. In the accuracy category he came in 4th, took the 3rd place in distance and the 2nd place in speed. Moreover, the airfield in Szymanów was the stage for the 1st FAI World Canopy Piloting Freestyle Championships. It was the 29 year old Abdulbari Qubaisi (UAE) from the United Arab Emirates who claims the title with 266.942 Points.
Launching herself off at 5500m with her wingsuit illuminated, more than 1200m above the summit of Grand Combin in the Swiss Alps, Geraldine Fasnacht defines once again the extreme of free falling.
At this altitude, the air is thin and therefore it is hard to breath, but also hard to fly due to the reduced density. To add some complexity to the project, Géraldine decided to do this very technical jump at dawn, before the first beams of the sun hit the top of the 4000m peaks. The temperature is -20°C. and down in the valleys it is still damn dark.
When she launches from the helicopter, with the wingsuit illuminated, she flies like a little butterfly among the giant glaciers of the Alps below. Just a small white dot is visible, cruising at full speed through the night.
Amazing performance and beautiful images.
More than 200 competitors from 23 countries converged on the SkyVenture wind tunnel near Montreal to compete in eight different classes of Indoor Skydiving. France took gold in four of those disciplines, including: Women’s 4-Way Formation Skydiving (FS); Juniors 4-Way Formation Skydiving; Vertical Formation Skydiving; and the Dynamic 4-Way. They were beaten into silver medal position however, in the hotly contested Open category of 4-Way Formation Skydiving, as rivals Belgium took gold. In Freestyle, Singapore’s Kyrah Poh won gold in the Juniors, while Russia’s Leonid Volkov cruised to victory in the Open category.The eighth gold medal of the competition went to Poland in the Dynamic 2-Way.
The day started with the Open category of the 4-Way Formation Skydiving. Belgium simply had to hang on to their lead built up over the past two days, and they did so solidly. “The team worked very hard. We are really satisfied with the outcome,” team member Andy Grauwels said afterwards. “We are really good friends, and that showed in the tunnel, so we are really, really happy.” The Women were up next, and here a win was almost a certainty for France because they were so far ahead in the points. In the end, they executed a serious, clean and professional round and pulled even further ahead, scoring five more points than the United Kingdom in second. Czech Republic was third.
The next competition saw France take gold in the Vertical Formation Skydiving. Here, teams of four compete against each other, and France’s precision and speed paid off. With the Freestyle and Formation Skydiving competitions concluded, attention moved to the finals of the Dynamic flying. In these contests, athletes in pairs and fours ‘battle’ an opposite pair or four. Whichever team wins, progresses to the next round. They fly a Freestyle round to music, and a Speed round with penalties. Both competitions supplied surprises. In the Dynamic 2-Way the pair from Singapore had been leading the competition and were favourite to win. However, matched against Poland in the final, a time penalty in Singapore’s last round, and a powerful Freestyle round from Poland saw Singapore drop into silver medal position. “We trained really hard the whole year,” team member Joshua Ruiz-Velasco said. “We won the World Cup last year, and we promised we would come here with harder, faster and better routines. And we did it. We’re very happy!”
France’s final medal of the day came in the Dynamic 4-Way. Again, this came down to the wire. France and Czech Republic were judged evenly matched, and so a sudden-death Speed round was called. That provided high tension, with judges discussing a possible time penalty for several minutes as the athletes and crowd waited to hear the outcome. When it came down in France’s favour – they were 0.75 seconds faster than the Czech Republic – the crowd erupted.
After three packed days of competition at the 2nd World Indoor Skydiving Championships, the final results table for the 2nd FAI World Indoor Skydiving Championships looks like this: