Tuesday, 08 December 2015 19:23
Sunday, 06 December 2015 19:24
"The Star-spangled Banner" played five times at the FAI World Air Games medal ceremony earlier tonight (December 6), as Team USA pilots Curtis Bartholomew and Nick Batsch dominated the event.
Bartholomew was the victor in the accuracy and combined titles, and also collected the gold team medal for the USA. Batsch won the speed and freestyle events.
Saturday, 05 December 2015 09:33
One of the most spectacular events in the FAI World Air Games finished on Friday December 4. Classical canopy Piloting, or Swooping, is a fast-paced, beautiful discipline that combines nerves of steel with the finesse and grace of a gymnast.
The day saw a 1,2 win for the USA when Curt Bartholemew battled it out with teammate Nick Batsch for the lead. Bartholomew seized the day and seized the win, while Nick Batsch took silver and the UAE’s Cornelia Mihai took bronze.
Saturday, 05 December 2015 08:28
Saturday, 5th December 2015
Good morning, and welcome to another day at The Pond, on the Palm DZ, in the sunshine! It was almost a lie-in for most competitors and officials this morning, as wheels off was at 9.00 a.m.
We started with the first round of the Canopy Piloting Freestyle - the fun event, for both competitors and spectators - at least the water is warm! In the first round each competitor performed a move from the list of named and known moves with interesting names like "Lazy Boy" and "Boomerang" and these moves require both physical body control and canopy control with marks awarded for both technical execution and performance style. We completed the first round at the end of the allotted 45 minutes. This afternoon our slot has been changed slightly to 14.30 (from 15.00) and finishing earlier to make way for the Air Show this afternoon from the UAE air force demonstration team.
The judges for all the other disciplines had their first meeting this morning before leaving to visit either The Racecourse DZ or the Beach DZ to view where they are going to be working from tomorrow onwards.
At the end of Round 1 Freestyle we have Nick Batsch, USA in 1st place with his team-mate Gage Galle in 2nd and one of our Norwegian competitors, Barton Hardie in 3rd. For the next round they can mix moves, do their own invention and are not restricted to the designated moves given in the Rules for the discipline. Should be exciting.
The Overall Canopy Piloting competition which completed yesterday had a new dimension, introduced for the World Air Games, there is now a team event for countries with 3 competitiors. This was also decided at the end of the competition yesterday so in the Team Event USA are the Gold Medal winners, France Silver and the UAE Bronze. Congratulations to all the medal winners.
In the afternoon we managed the second round of Canopy Piloting Freestyle which was enjoyed by a large enthusiastic audience, as the crowd was able to come onto the grass area behind the pond side to support the athletes. The competitors gave a great show - to combine two moves is much more challenging. Nick Batsch maintained his lead closely by Gage Galle with Abdulbani Qubaisi in 3rd place.
At 15.15 there was the Technical Meeting for Team Leaders for the other parachuting disciplines which was a very complex meeting due to the use of the different Drop Zones being utilised this year and the complex schedule. So tomorrow morning we have, in the early morning the last round of Freestyle Canopy Piloting, a little later the WIDi load will take off for the start of the Accuracy Landing competition with the practice jump whilst at the same time the training jumps will commence for the Formation Skydiving, Canopy Formations, Artistic Events and Speed Skydiving.
Once the training jumps are done, each Formation Skydiving discipline will receive the Dive Sheets for the competition, these will be drawn and handed out immediately the training jumps for that event have completed, so by the time 4-Way Open and 4-Way Female come to jump their first competition jumps the two hours will have elapsed with the combined time of the other disciplines (VFS and 8-Way practice and the bus ride from the Horse DZ to the Farm Airstrip (it will take about 30-40 minutes from the Horse DZ).
Because we have 4-Way team competitors who are also competing in VFS or 8-Way as well, it is intended to run a half day programme for each event i.e. 4-Way Open and 4-Way Female in the morning - VFS and 8-Way in the afternoon, so at least teams will not spend all day out at the Horse Race DZ (unless they are one of the teams in both events of course). The same is happening in the Artistic Events with team members in both Freestyle and Freefly and so they will be split in the same way as well. Again it is happening in Canopy Formations between 2-Way Sequential and 4-Way Rotation. Canopy Formation will be run out of the helicopters, and so they will enplane at the Palm DZ and jump at the Horse DZ (as they have at DIPC's in previous years).
So the programme tomorrow is 7.30 wheels off for the final round of Freestyle Canopy Piloting, shortly after the accuracy competitors will go (by boat) to the Beach DZ to watch the first Widi load using helicopters and enplaning from the Palm DZ. Meanwhile buses will take competitors and officials out to the Horse DZ for the start of their training jumps, and the use of the new Farm strip, with the logistics that involves.
Tonight was the opening banquet for the World Air Games, held in the grounds of the hotel next door to the Hotel Burj Al Arab - a fantastic setting, where we were served with more amazing food, and two medal ceremonies took place for the Glider Aerobatics and Powered Aerobatics.