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8th FAI European Canopy Formation Championships
and
10th FAI World Cup of Canopy Formation

Strejnic, Romania - 17-20 August, 2019

Bulletin 1 -- Bulletin 2 -- Delegations

In the early 1980’s, some skydivers began flying their new generation airfoil designed parachutes in formation with each other, often with one skydiver sitting on top of another’s canopy, using the legs or hands to stay attached. This practice quickly became popular with a number of adventurous skydivers, who worked to develop these skills into a recognised competition discipline.

The term Canopy Relative Work was used to describe this activity in its beginning and this was shortened to CRW (often pronounced Crew) which is still used by many today, although Canopy Formation is the official term.

Day 0 - August 16th / Official Practice day

Unfortunately, the competition drop zone in Strejnic, just outside the town of Ploiesti, was covered in low cloud for a lot of the day. The teams only just managed to do their training jumps dodging the clouds thanks to the careful organization of the Meet Director and the manifest.

               

Life on the DZ has got into a routine and whereas we can see the work of the manifest and the pilots, etc., a lot of what the organisers do is invisible but is very important to ensure the smooth running of the event.

Team leaders meeting finished the day in the traditional official way including the draw for the 2-way Sequential event.

Patrice Girardin, meet director of the competition gave information about participation at both the World Cup and the European Championships. In total there are 86 sportsmen and 12 countries present with 19 2-way Sequential teams and 4 4-way Rotation teams. With two non-European teams this means that there will not be a European Championship for the 4-way event.

Then Patrice reminded everyone of the safety regulations both for landing and in the aircraft showing the drop zone map to highlight all the important areas.

Everybody laughed a little about that international word – okay!))) 

He explained that as an FAI First Category Event, an anti-doping control could be carried out and asked for everyone’s’ cooperation if that should happen. He concluded by reminding everyone of the FAI rules and added his favorite words about how to be kind and polite and respect of each other at all times.

Gillian Rayner, president of the IPC and the Chief Judge at this competition presented the Judges and the Jury.

“Patrice said that you should know the rules (everyone was waiting for a joke “and you don’t have to!”)”, - but it didn’t come and she highlighted the rules changes that have occurred this year and that impact the work of videographers. She also highlighted a slight reformulation of a rule that had been proposed by the Judges and approved by the Jury to ensure a correct interpretation of the intent of the rule which is to allow the teams to build the first point safely, the change is as follows:

2.11 The working time begins at the moment of the first separation of a grip from the first correct scoring formation, correct or not.

At the end of the meeting, as usual, the draw was done for the Sequential event. No fast draw came out so the chances of a world record are slight.

Finally, she wished everyone a great and safe competition!

The Jury indicated that the Meet Director and the Chief Judge had confirmed that the competition was ready to start and although the opening ceremony will only take place on Saturday evening, the competition was declared open. So, welcome to the 8th FAI Canopy Formation European Championship & 10th FAI Canopy Formation World Cup in Romania 2019!

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Day 1 - August 17th / The first competition day and the Opening Ceremony

For the first competition day the weather was almost perfect. The teams finished 3 rounds of 2-way Sequential and then jumping had to stop, as planned, at 16h30 for an airshow and the official Opening Ceremony.

OPENING CEREMONY

The Airshow, that had been publicized throughout Ploiesti, drew a large crowd of spectators and it was fun to see families with young children enjoying the performance of the aircraft doing Aerobatics, both motored aircraft and gliders. A demonstration of parachutists ended with the unfurling of an enormous flag that was carried to the ground under canopy, to the immense pleasure of all the spectators. A number of small kites were handed out to the children and they looked like birds flying in the slight wind.

            

The Airshow was followed by the official opening ceremony.

            

The Opening Ceremony of the 8th FAI Canopy Formation European Championships & the 10th FAI Canopy Formation World Cup in Romania 2019 was held on the drop zone in front of the public who had come to see the Airshow. Sometimes organizers host the opening ceremony in the center of the city but this one brought the city to the drop zone. It was a happy friendly affair. All the participants marched into the airfield behind their country flag and lined up facing the podium. The biggest delegations are Qatar and Russia, and the delegation that got the most applause was, of course, Romania.

            

            

The event was attended by the Secretary of State for the Ministry of Transport, Mr. Dragos Titea and the President of the Romanian Aeroclub, Mr. George Rotaru, who, it should be noted, also gave an aerobatics demonstration during the Airshow. The Romanian and the European Union Flag were hoisted while the Romanian national anthem was played, following which they both made short speeches welcoming everyone and wishing them a great competition.

            

These were followed by a speech from IPC President, Gillian Rayner. She thanked the both the Ministry of Transport and the Romanian Aeroclub for their hard work in organizing this competition. She also thanked the Meet Director, Patrice Girardin, and the other officials, judges and jury. She thanked all the volunteers including a young volunteer who, following a small incident, had driven Gillian to the local hospital in her father’s hearse, luckily not in the back!

 

The competition could not be declared open as that had been done at the competitors meeting the day before but everyone was silent for the FAI anthem and the raising of the FAI flag. 

A celebration hangar party finished the day during which some folk dancers dressed in national costume gave a wonderful show of some of the classical Romanian folk dances.

Pictures from the Opening Ceremony you can find here - https://yadi.sk/d/5X82LAOpzZJSVw 

                   

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Day 2 and 3 - August 18th and 19th / Competition continues

Day 2 and day 3 of the 8th FAI Canopy Formation European Championships and the 10th FAI Canopy Formation World Cup were conducted successfully and smoothly. The weather was excellent but turbulence in the afternoon meant that we had a standby for a couple of hours each day. The good point of this was that everyone had the opportunity to enjoy a siesta and recuperate during the heat of the day. The organizer had kindly put recliners under the trees so there was plenty of places to lie in the shade and relax.

No incidents were deplored and all the people without whom the competition could not be run: Meet Director, Manifest, Pilots, Judges, Caterers, volunteers, are to be thanked for their incredible work. 

We’ve asked a selection of these people, what is their impression of the competition and how they feel about their job. Watch the video below this text ;)

Gillian Rayner, President of the IPC and the Chief Judge of this competition:

This is not the first parachuting competition in Romania, there was a Style & Accuracy competition in 1995. The Romanian National Aeroclub also hosted other FAI events namely Aerobatics. The President of the NAC is an aerobatic pilot himself. They do both gliding and powered aerobatics. However, this is the first Canopy Formation competition in Romania.

Everything is going very well, the location is perfect, the infrastructure is comfortable for us, all the rooms have the air conditioning and the environment is very pleasant. All jumpers are looking happy and the aircrafts are interesting to fly! We usually fly on faster aircrafts and “Antonov” is a bit slow, but its working fine. And yes, I’m very pleased that everything is going well.

Patrice Girardin, meet-director of this competition: 

I’m working for the Romanians here as I had offered to help them when they put their bid at the IPC meeting. They really wanted to do something for the Canopy Formation community. And even if I have a French accent, I work for the Romania here…

The Romanians are doing their job very well. At the beginning they just needed to adapt their rules to the rules we have in international parachuting, especially to Section 5 of the FAI Sporting Code and then manage the competition. We fixed all the problems and misunderstandings. People here are really kind and very hard working!

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Day 4 – August 20, 2019 / Closing ceremony

Already the last day of the competition, time has flown by… but there were still surprises in store to keep the excitement alive. 

The day started with the 8th round of the 2-way Sequential event. The weather was good but it was important to finish before the usual afternoon turbulences started. Whereas the team in the first place did not really risk losing the gold medal, it was not the case for the 2nd and 3rd places held by France B and Qatar respectively. Qatar had a good jump and scored 24 points. France B however had a few problems and it was breathtaking watching the count of points. In the end France B scored 22 points and kept their place with only a 1-point lead.

     

The next 2 loads were called by manifest for the 4-way teams Romania, USA, Belarus and Russia. At the end of the 7th round, Romania and USA were tied with 28 points each so the atmosphere was tense as the judges scored the jumps. Romania and USA, 4 points each! So now a jump-off was necessary and the teams hurried to get ready.

Both teams jumped and the stress seemed to get to the Romanians who did not have a very good jump. However, the USA team, a replacement team who came to the competition with no expectations other than to have fun, had their best jump of the whole competition. 5 very clean points against only 3 for Romania! So the USA New England Wrapture Team walked away with an unexpected bronze medal.

CLOSING CEREMONY

          

The Closing Ceremony of the 8th FAI Canopy Formation European Championships and the 10th FAI Canopy Formation World Cup were organized at the DZ. The President of the Romanian National Aeroclub flew himself in from Bucharest to host the event and hand out some medals.

4 sets of medals: 2 for the World Cup and 2 for the European Championship. We are happy to present you with the winners!

WORLD CUP

2-way sequential

1 place – FRANCE A (Dubois Guillaume, Petitjean Alexandra, Hemmon Renaud, Pourcelot Rodolphe)

2 place – FRANCE B (Belgodere Magali, Merlen Adrien, Huet David, Baeckeroot Benoit)

3 place – QATAR (Ali Hamad Al-Marri, Mohammed Abdulkarem Ali, Rashed Saad Al-Naemi, Mansoor Omer Al-Karbi)

4-way rotation

1 place – RUSSIA 4W (Luka Victor, Kalinin Andrei, Myznikov Vladislav, Mylchenko Ivan, Osenchuk Nikolay, Oleinikov Oleg)

2 place – BELARUS (Henadzi Klisheuski, Piotr Hryharovich, Ivan Hadavanik, Viktar Zabela, Aliaksandr Maroz, Aliaksandr Hryshukevich)

3 place – USA NEW ENGLAND WRAPTURE 4W (Neidigh Chad, Bourgun Adam, Jetmar Justin, Stempin Brian)

EUROPEAN CHAMPIONSHIP

2-way sequential 

1 place – FRANCE A (Dubois Guillaume, Petitjean Alexandra, Hemmon Renaud, Pourcelot Rodolphe)

2 place – FRANCE B (Belgodere Magali, Merlen Adrien, Huet David, Baeckeroot Benoit)

3 place – RUSSIA 1 (Andriychuk Aleksandr, Karpukhin Ivan, Kostin Denis, Kulakov Sergey)

 

4-way rotation 

1 place – RUSSIA 4W (Luka Victor, Kalinin Andrei, Myznikov Vladislav, Mylchenko Ivan, Osenchuk Nikolay, Oleinikov Oleg)

2 place – BELARUS (Henadzi Klisheuski, Piotr Hryharovich, Ivan Hadavanik, Viktar Zabela, Aliaksandr Maroz, Aliaksandr Hryshukevich)

3 place – ROMANIA 4W (Andrei Gabriel, Drobotă Ciprian, Popescu Cristinel, Albu Andrei, Florian Andrei, Săcară Munteanu Ioan)

 

Congratulations to all the winners and, of course, to all the other competitors too! It was a great competition extremely well organized by our Romanian hosts and managed by the Meet Director maestro, Patrice Girardin.

See you next year in Russia at the MONDIAL 2020!

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