Over the weekend, 23 nations met for the second annual FAI World Indoor Skydiving Championships. The competition, which took place October 20th-22nd, was held at the SkyVenture wind tunnel in Laval, Quebec, Canada. The event drew 200 competitors and was full of exciting action.
This event included Artistic and Formation Skydiving, with athletes competing in 4-way, 2-way, and individual. In the championship, there were eight gold medals up for grabs. The categories this year included Women’s 4-Way Formation Skydiving (FS), Juniors 4-Way Formation Skydiving, Vertical Formation Skydiving, Dynamic 4-Way, 4-Way Formation, Dynamic 2-Way, Open Freestyle and Juniors Freestyle.
The 4-Way Formation event was extremely close competition. After nine rounds of competition on the first and second day, Belgium was ahead with 299 points. At the end of day three, they took the gold with 327 points, France came in a close second with 320 points. USA and Russia both finished with 302 points.
In Women’s 4-Way Formation France maintained a clear lead throughout, taking gold with 298 points. The United Kingdom came in second with 248, and the Czech Republic took third with 225 points.
France also took gold in the Junior’s 4-Way Formation event, bringing in 230 points. The host nation Canada took second with 208 points, and the Czech Republic took third with 181 points.
The Dynamic flying competitions both brought surprises. In these events, athletes battle in pairs of four. The team that wins moves on to the next round. They fly both a Freestyle round set to music and a Speed round where penalties are incurred. In the Dynamic 2-Way, Singapore was holding the lead until the end when Poland put on a strong performance and Singapore incurred a time penalty. Poland took the gold with 5 points, Singapore came in second, and France took third. In the Dynamic 4-Way competition France and the Czech Republic were closely matched. A tie-breaking Speed round was called, which still led to long deliberations by the judges. France nudged out the Czech Republic by 0.75 seconds. Switzerland overtook the USA for third place.
The Vertical Formation event is always intense to watch, with the skydivers flying head-down. France took gold with 315 points. The USA came in second with 309 points, and Poland took home third with 245 points.
In the Open Freestyle event, Russia’s Leonid Volkov was favored to win and brought the crowd to its feet, earning 64.9 points. Poland came in second with 62.7, and the Czech Republic took third with 81.8 points.
Finally, in the Juniors Freestyle Kyrah Poh from Singapore was favored to win and took gold with 64.1 points. The USA earned silver with 63.2 points, and Poland came in third with 62.5.
The 2nd FAI World Indoor Skydiving Championships did not disappoint, bringing in top athletes from all over the world for exceptional competition. The 3rd annual event will be held at Gravity Indoor Skydiving in Bahrain. Events will take place October 26, 2018 to October 28, 2018.