1st FAI European Wingsuit Flying Championships
3rd FAI World Cup of Wingsuit Flying
Ravenna, Italy - 23-30 August, 2019
Human flight is truly made possible by means of a wingsuit. In recent years, interest and popularity of wingsuiting has grown exponentially. Improvements in wingsuit design have kept pace allowing feats of flying that were thought impossible only a few years ago.
FAI recognition in 2015 of the already mature competition formats for Wingsuit Performance Flying and Wingsuit Acrobatics allow competitors to demonstrate their abilities on the world stage.
WINGSUIT PERFORMANCE FLYING
This format measures the three different performance parameters of a wingsuit pilot (best lift, least drag and best glide ratio) and combines them into a single result. All measurements are carried out using a GPS logging device whilst within the competition window (3000m to 2000m AGL). Practically this is done over a minimum of three separate skydives using identical equipment, with each skydive dedicated to an individual task:
For the time task, the time spent in the evaluation window counts; the longer you stay in the competition window, the better.
For the distance task, the horizontal distance covered over ground while in the evaluation window counts; the further you fly while in the competition window, the better.
For the speed task, the highest average horizontal speed over ground achieved while in the evaluation window counts; the further you fly in the shortest time while in the competition window, the better.
This is a Competition that pitches teams against each other in an aerial display of flying skills, showcasing their best to impress the judges. The competition is centred around 2 way teams with a camera flyer and includes both compulsory moves and free rounds.
The compulsory figures are randomly drawn from a dive-pool with a series of loops, rolls, transitions and docks. The free rounds are where teams are invited to go impress the judges and fellow wingsuit pilots with creativity and flying skills.
Teams not only score points for the number of figures shown, but also get a score for the camera work and flying style. The flying style is a crucial element in these type of wingsuit competitions, as it's what forces teams to fly their best. Style points are given for body position, smoothness of flying, controlled docks and forward flying speed.
Friday 23 August - Opening Ceremony
The 3rd World Cup of Wingsuit Flying, also the 1st European Cup of Wingsuit flying, opened with conviviality, laughter and music in a beautiful beachside location on 23 August 2019, in Ravenna, Italy.
Athletes, officials and staff were bussed from the drop zone to the beach at Punta Marina where the owner of “BBK”, a restaurant on the sand, provided a welcoming and beautiful location.
Led by the officials, the athletes paraded in country order onto the beach where they created one side of a large landing area. Around 200 spectators and accompanying persons formed on the opposite side with a target in between. The sea and trees completed this square.
At the appointed hour, with orange smoke as a guide, four flag-jumpers accurately landed on the target carrying the flags of Italy, Ravenna, the FAI and the Italian Aeroclub (the NAC).
The four swoopers who followed them seemed not to heed the orange smoke and chose down-wind landings in very light winds. It was a huge source of merriment when three of the four spectacularly swooped across the sand and landed in the sea, dunking their equipment and canopies as they struggled,but failed, to not run into the water. This was a huge crowd-pleaser.
Finally, two CF parachutists flew mini flags onto the beach, and five others flew or dropped streamers with great landings applauded by the spectators. It was a safe and happy celebration of skydiving, concluded by a flyover from the pilot of the Super Caravan.
Everyone returned to the restaurant to be welcomed by the Mayor of Ravenna, Roberto Fagnani, wearing his green, white and red official sash, and the IPC Delegate for Italy, Sandro Gargini who both made short speeches of welcome and appreciation. The competition was officially opened by Gail Bradley of the IPC Bureau, while the FAI anthem and flag raising concluded proceedings.
Italian food provided by the Organiser was served in a fabulous buffet with plenty of pizza, rice dishes, finger food, tarts, vegetables and paella for everyone.
Congratulations to FAI Controller Marylou Laughlin for an extremely well-organised event, Meet Director Marco Pistolesi for MCing, and Organisers/Owners Emanuele Piniand Gosia Bodziona of Skydive Pull Out Ravenna, for a genial, generous and gorgeous ceremony. Everyone was truly appreciative of the great time, followed by music and dancing. Official training jumps start tomorrow with a great vibe already happening.
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