2017 FAI Swoop Freestyle World Championships – Final Day

The first ever Swoop Freestyle World Champion  -  David Ludvik, Jnr (USA)
Silver Medal Winner
Nick Batsch (USA)
Bronze Medal Winner
Curt Bartholomew (USA)

Saturday 26 August 2017

The culmination of a spectacular weekend in Copenhagen where the newly crowned World Swoop Freestyle Champion - David Ludvik, Jnr (USA) took the podium, alongside his fellow medalists, Nick Batsch (USA)  2nd place and Curt Bartholomew (USA) in 3rd place. Congratulations to all the medal winners!

The entire weekend had the air of a full-blown festival with live music as well as an array of spectacular performances to please the mesmerized crowds, not least the illuminated night flying over a major city centre conjuring up thoughts of ‘is it a bird? Or Is it a plane?’

With most of the invited swoopers being competitive CP flyers, the extension into freestyle is evidently not a step for the faint hearted. The freestyle aspect puts a whole new slant on the techniques needed to perform such tricks as ‘Miracleman’ which is currently classed at the most difficult manoeuvre. It is described as requiring a forward facing position where the swooper has to drag both feet in the water, twisting the body through 360 degrees to face forwards again! Oh – and then they have to land on the floating pontoon!  Not far behind in the difficulty level is the ‘Ghostrider’ trick, a simple case of facing forward whilst dragging through the water, physically remaining upright - but with both hands off the toggles!!!

There was a lot crammed into the two days and the weather was kind to everyone, except maybe some of the Judges in the boats who had to endure the sensations of sea sickness.

As with all major competitions of this ilk, thanks must be extended to all the behind the scenes people whose expertise is second to none in producing such a well organised event.

A selection of photos from Alberto Matin Paracuellos capturing the thrills of the weekend.

swoop panoramic
Panoramic view of some of yesterday's action!
swoop-1 swoop-2
More watery entertainment! The Judges - in isolation
swoop-3 swoop-4
Being shadowed by a drone! The landing pontoon
The Judges hard at work  
Fast and furious!