27 Aug 2018

American skydiver Travis Mills wins first leg of the 2018 FAI Swoop Freestyle World Championships

Congratulations to American swooping athlete Travis Mills on conquering the skies above Copenhagen to claim victory in this first leg of this year’s FAI Swoop Freestyle World Championships.

The competition attracted 18 of the best skydivers in the world, battling it out to impress the judges with their daring moves above and across the iconic Peblinge Lake in Copenhagen.

But it was Mills who finally clinched the top spot by wowing the crowd with one of the most technical and difficult combinations possible: the Boomerang Wingover.

Kicking off on Friday August 24, the two-day event marked the second time the championships have been held in the Danish capital, which also hosted the first-ever FAI Swoop Freestyle World Championships last year.

It began with a Training day that culminated with a jaw-dropping nighttime display of Swooping, Wingsuiting and Freeflying that left traces of fire and flares across the city skyline. The competition itself then took place on Saturday 25, with Qualifying and Final rounds.

The second leg of the Championships – which will involve the same 18 elite athletes – will take place in San Diego, California, on September 14 and 15. Best of luck to all those taking part!

Swoop Freestyle Explained

Swoop Freestyle is a young, exhilarating air sport that involves competitors flying – or swooping – at high speeds across a body of water at the end of a jump. Also known as canopy piloting, participants are judged on both style and execution.

For these championships, the athletes will jump out of a helicopter at an altitude of 1500m before performing a series of turns designed to build up speed at 600m above the landing area.

It is this speed, which can be up to 150km per hour, which allows them to propel themselves across the surface of the water while executing highly technical freestyle moves.

Photo credit: FAI Swoop Freestyle World Championships