16 Sep 2018

Spain's Pablo Hernandez claims the 2018 FAI Swoop Freestyle World Championships title

Spanish skydiver Pablo Hernandez put in a brilliant performance to win the second leg of the 2018 FAI Swoop Freestyle World Championships in San Diego - a result that, together with his second place in Copenhagen last month, allowed him to claim the overall title of World Champion 2018.

America's Travis Mills ended the competition in second place after winning in Copenhagen but only managing 14th place in San Diego. And Franco Darman of Argentina completed the podium line up in third place having come fourth in the San Diego event.

The top performers in San Diego were Hernandez, American Curt Bartholomew, and female skydiver Cornelia Mihai of the United Arab Emirates.

Congratulations to the winners and well done to all the competitors!

Championships results - the top six

  1. Pablo Hernandez - Spain
  2. Travis Mills - US
  3. Franco Darman - Argentina 
  4. Curt Bartholomew - US
  5. Christian Webber - Denmark
  6. Cornelia Mihai - UAE


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 credits: Swoop Freestyle FAI World Championships