Nick Batsch wins Gold in Canopy Piloting

medal-winner-parachute-fbNick Batsch (USA) has won the Canopy Piloting competition at The World Games in Wroclaw, Poland.

After three days of competition and 12 runs, he finished 17 points ahead of second-placed Curtis Bartholomew (USA).

Batsch led the competition from early on, performing well in all the disciplines: Distance, Accuracy and Freestyle. He only dropped points in the fifth round, Accuracy, when he was ninth.

Finishing his final Distance round this afternoon he played it conservatively, going for a safe performance that kept his competition lead secure. “I wasn’t risking it on that one,” he said after landing.

His team mate Curtis however had gone for it, but ended his run nursing a sore shoulder after squeezing every last metre out of his flight.

The final rounds of the three-day Canopy Piloting competition were cut short on Sunday by the weather, when rain on the airfield stopped progress at noon. However, a weather window in the afternoon allowed the final jumps to be executed, and by 6pm Batsch’s victory was confirmed.

“I just won the World Games 2017!” he said after the competition finished. “I am super excited about this … It has been my longterm goal to win The World Games. This is our Olympics.”

He added, “This is the biggest competition I have competed in and won.”

Batsch, 35, has been a professional skydiver for more than a decade. He has two World titles in different disciplines and has been the Distance world record holder 10 years in a row.

Fifteen months ago he stepped back from competition, and announced his retirement. However, a wildcard entry to The World Games lured him back.

“This competition is the one we work for and train so hard for, for me this is the world.”


Photo: Nick Batsch © FAI / Marcus King