‘Fantastic Mondial’ sees five new Parachuting world records

mondial2016 2The 2016 FAI World Parachuting Championships – Mondial is drawing to a close, two days earlier than expected due to the good weather over the week. The final rounds of Accuracy was performed yesterday and, all being well, the closing ceremony was held last night, Sunday 18 September 2016.

The highlight of this fantastic Mondial, where 627 athletes from 37 different countries competed against each other, must be the number of records that have been set.

At the last count, 16 national records, two continental records and five world records have, subject to ratification been achieved in several disciplines: Formation Skydiving, Canopy Formation Skydiving, Freefall Style and Speed.

Henrik Raimer’s incredible speed record where he broke through the 600km/h mark led him to win the event and to obtain the first ever gold medal in Skydiving won by a Swede.

After his win Raimer said: “I’m super-stoked about my results, the new world record and that I'm the World Champion. That means a lot to me and to Sweden. It’s Sweden’s first FAI World Championship Skydiving Gold medal ever.”

He added: “Skydive Chicago was a great host for the Mondial, a really good dropzone, good facilities and airplanes. It´s been a blast to be here.”

The Qatari Canopy Formation 4-way Sequential team not only beat the world record once with 15 points but went on, in the next round, to beat their own record with 16 points. This gave them the gold medal which was the first ever gold medal for Qatar in any Air Sport. They also made the podium with a third place in Canopy Formation 4-way Rotation.

'Absolutely exceptional' – Artistic Events at the Mondial 2016. Photo: Team France / Solaris

Another highlight was the performance of Qatar. Qatar has invested heavily in airsports (parachuting and paragliding) in recent years with an average budget of $12m a year.

For Parachuting they have teams in six events: Canopy Formation 2-way and 4-way Sequential and 4-way Rotation, Formation Skydiving in 4-way Open and 8-way and Accuracy Landing.

Parachuting started in Qatar in 2009 with Accuracy Landing. The Canopy Formation team was formed and only began jumping in January 2013, all of them doing an Accellarated Free Fall beginners course. They now each have over 2,000 jumps already to their credit.

The team trains approximately six months a year outside of Qatar. Team Manager Captain Abdullah Hamad indicated his satisfaction with the results and pride to see the team on the top step of the podium.

The events that have had the most hits on Skydive TV are the artistic events, described by all as “absolutely exceptional”. The evolution of this discipline is largely thanks to training in wind tunnels. The sport is evolving fast due to this new training tool, which has also become a recognised venue for the World Championships in its own right.

Other highlights of the event include an inflight incident when a French woman dislocated her shoulder 24-seconds into 4-way female formation skydiving jump – the team still managed to achieve a silver medal.

- Report by Gillian Rayner, FAI Executive Director

Main photo: French team members stay focused at the Mondial in Chicago. Credit: Team France / Solaris