The origins of parachuting go back a long way. The first well-documented parachute jump is considered to have been performed by Frenchman Jacques Garnerin, who jumped from his balloon on October 22 1797 in Paris, from an altitude of some 600 m.
Throughout the 19th century, these jumps remained spectacles that fitted perfectly into the programmes of the frequent aerial festivals, at which dare-devil balloonists tried to outdo one another’s stunts, to the great delight of the onlookers. Some time later, very soon after the advent of the aeroplane, experimental parachute jumps were executed from heavier-than-air machines.
Then, after the First World War, the invention of the manual ripcord enabled American Leslie Irvin to make the first freefall jump, on April 28 1919 at McCook Field in Ohio.
The IPC Competition Committees report directly to the Bureau and the Plenary of the IPC and are responsible to the Plenary Meeting.
Except for the publication of press releases and statistical information, all findings, reports, recommendations and proposals of the IPC Competition Committees shall be presented to the Plenary Meeting, which shall decide on their use, distribution or publication. Each IPC Competition Committee shall engage in and be responsible for:
- Competition Rules for its event
- Advising Organisers and potential Organisers of World Championships and World Cups in its event
- Advising the Bureau on the selection of the FAI Controller for a World Championship and World Cups in its event
- Soliciting bids for future World Championships and World Cups in its event
- Analysing results and experiences from the above competitions so as to recommend changes where necessary
Accuracy Landing &
Accuracy Landing and Freefall Style are the two oldest competitive disciplines in the IPC calendar; and are known colloquially as «the Classics».
The first World Championships in Accuracy Landings (then simply called Accuracy), were held in Bled, Yugoslavia in 1951. This was a competition to see who could land closest to the target over a number of competitive rounds. The competitor who scored the lowest number of points/measurement was the winner.
Competitors jump in teams of 5, exiting the aircraft at 1000 meters and opening their parachutes sequentially to allow each competitor a clear approach to the target. Their individual scores count for both the individual competition and for the team competition, the best of 4 is used. For the team event the maximum number of rounds is 8, with a minimum number of 5 required to qualify for an event.
In the individual competition, after 8 rounds the top 25% jump a semi-final round, and the top 50% the final round.
Freefall Style was introduced into the competition calendar in 1962, at the World Championships in Orange, USA. Style jumper
Style demonstrates freefall control on the part of the competitor and the ability to perform a gymnastic pre-determined series of back-loops and turns as fast and cleanly as possible. This is judged today, from a video recording, using a ground based camera with an exceptional lens to record the performance.
The competitor exits the aircraft at 2200 m and gathers speed in their fall position before starting the pre-designated series of manoeuvres. They are timed from the start of the manoeuvre until its completion. The maximum time scored is 16 seconds. The score is the time in seconds and hundredths of a second to complete the series plus penalty times awarded for incorrect performance of the manoeuvres.
Formation Skydiving is the art of building formations or patterns in freefall. The discipline is executed either in the prone position (with belly to earth) or vertically (with either feet or head towards earth).
A competition team consists of 4 or 8 performers, and one videographer. A competition consists of up to 10 rounds, and each round consists of up to 6 formations. The teams have a certain number of seconds to continually and correctly repeat the sequence of formations in freefall. Each correctly completed formation scores one point.
The formations are drawn from an international pool of random and block formations. The random formations are singular formations with full separation of all grips between the performers both before and after building the formation. The blocks are double formations with a designated movement in between.
The judging is based on the videographer's material, and is done objectively. Only the technical performance counts.
The winning team will be the team that has collected the most points, by completing the most correct formations within time after the final round is complete. In case of weather or technical problems, or other causes, a competition will be valid as long as all participating teams have completed at least one round.
Artistic Events consist of a series of compulsory and free routines performed during 7 skydives. Teams consist of 1 or 2 performers and a cameraflyer. The freefall images of the cameraflyer are used for judging the performances. All two events show a wide variety of skills, using axes in all three dimensions. Judging criteria are separated in technical and presentation items.
Solo Freestyle (Indoor)
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. Today there are 3 events in the Canopy Formation Discipline:-
Teams of 4 skydivers, supported by a skydiving videographer, have 2 minutes from the time of exit to score points. A point is scored for each formation correctly completed in accordance with a draw made at the start of the event. The pool for the draw contains 14 separate sequences of two points and random formations worth 1 point each. For each competition jump there are either 4 or 5 different formations in the jump sequence, which is repeated during the jump to score as many points as possible.
Teams of 4 skydivers, supported by a skydiving videographer, are allowed up to 30 seconds to build a 4 stack formation. Once the initial formation (worth 1 point) is built, the top jumper rotates to the bottom of the stack to score another point. As soon as the rotating jumper is linked onto the bottom of the stack, the next skydiver on top may commence a rotation to the bottom, thus scoring an additional point. The team has 1½ minutes to score points. The team with the most points wins.
Teams of 2 skydivers, supported by a team videographer, have 1 minute of working time to complete a pre-determined series of formations. A point is scored for each formation correctly completed in accordance with a draw made at the start of the event. The pool for the draw contains 12 separate formations. For each competition jump there are 5 different formations and the team have to complete the series as many times as possible during the working time.
Canopy Piloting is a high speed discipline involving small and very agile parachutes and highly trained pilots to fly them. The competitions are held over a stretch of water for safety reasons and can be watched from just a few meters away from the ground. The athletes accelerate their parachutes by flying one or more steep turns and then plain out over the surface of the water to enter the course. Three classic disciplines define the champion of canopy piloting, that is Accuracy, Speed and Distance. In the last years, Freestyle, another discipline that shows artistic elements has become popular.
In Accuracy, the competitor must successfully navigate the water section before landing as close to the centre of the target as possible. Water points are earned when a competitor drags his foot through an imaginary line in the water between markers. All land points are collected if the athlete lands standing up in the central zone which is one metre wide and two metres long. For landing in other zones or not standing the landing penalties are awarded.
The Speed course describes a carve of 75° and is 70 metres long. The time is started by breaking an electronic beam across the entry gate of the course. The competitor's time is stopped as they break a second beam across the exit gate and their time is measured to thousandth of a second. The world record for this course has an average speed of 124 km per hour.
The maximum score for Speed goes to the athlete flying the course in the shortest time.
For Distance the athlete starts at the entry gate and keeps his canopy flying as far as possible. The distance is measured from the entry gate to the first point of contact with the ground. The world's best athletes have shown flights up to 222 metres.
The best score for Distance will go to the parachutist controlling the canopy to fly the maximum distance.
In Freestyle the athletes perform pre declared tricks with their body and parachute while flying at high speed in contact with the water and landing in a stand up on the shore.
This is scored by a panel of judges considering the difficulty of the trick in combination with the execution and the artistic style.
The most difficult tricks done in perfect body position followed by a stand up landing will prove the best athlete in Freestyle.
Speed Skydiving is a new skydiving discipline with as simple a definition as it gets. Achieve the fastest speed possible over a given distance.
It has developed over the last few years and represents the fastest non-motorized sport on Earth. In essence, speed skydiving is the discipline where only one aspect of skydiving counts – freefall speed.
The speed achieved by a human body in free fall is conditioned of two factors, body weight and body orientation. In a stable, belly to earth position, terminal velocity of the human body is about 200 km/h (about 120 mph). A stable, freefly, head down position has a terminal speed of around 240-290 km/h (around 150-180 mph). Further minimizing body drag and streamlining the body position allows the skydiver to reach higher speeds in the vicinity of 480 km/h (300 mph).
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.
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.
This unique discipline of the Parachuting competition events combines two sports - Giant Slalom and Accuracy Landings.
Each competitor makes two runs of a Giant Slalom course, designed an controlled by FIS under International Ski Regulations, and then six parachute jumps from a helicopter, exiting at 1000 mts intending to land onto an electronic recording landing pad with a 2 cm disc in the centre.
The electronics radiate outwards in rings of 1 cm incriments to a maximum of 16 cm; being measured beyond by tape-measure to a default of 50 cm. If the disc is the first point of contact with the ground by the jumper the score is 0.00: 0.01 is added for each centimetre from the centre. At the end of the 6 rounds there is a cut-off for the semi-final and final rounds which only count for the individual event.
The individual accuracy winner is the person with the lowest cumulative score over 7 (6 +1 final) rounds, and the team with the lowest cumulative score over 6 rounds. However this is only one element to determine the overall winner.
To reflect the origins of this discipline, the landing pad must be located on a slope of between 25 and 35 degrees.
For the skiing part, the fastest time on the course is awarded 0 points - each competitor's time is then converted to points; a point is scored for each 0.32 seconds slower than the fastest time. After the two runs the competitor with the lowest number of points is the winner of that element.
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