The grand prix of skydiving disciplines, Canopy Piloting also known as swooping is the most spectacular event for any crowd.
Competitors exit the aircraft from 5,000 feet and open their parachute straight away. They navigate their high performance wing over a purpose built swoop pond where they execute a diving turn over 1,000 feet above the ground to generate maximum speed as they level out across the water and onto the landing zone. Top competitors can reach speeds in excess of 100 km/h across the ground.
In competition there are nine rounds - three in each event of Speed, Distance and Zone Accuracy. There is a winner for each event - whoever scores the highest cumulative score over the three rounds of each event, and an overall winner who scores the highest cumulative score over all nine rounds. In Australian competition there are two categories - Intermediate and Open.
🎥 Watch footage from the 2019 Australian National Canopy Piloting Championships HERE
The newest event of Freestyle is usually run as a separate event in a competition.
🎥 Watch footage from the 2018 Swoop Freestyle World Championships HERE
The aim is to go as fast as possible through a carved course. Competitors fly through an electronic beam on entry and exit gates which measures the speed of their flight.
Intermediate - Competitors navigate through a 56 metre long carving lane that is 10m wide and 1.5m high.
Open - Competitors navigate through a 70 metre long carving lane that is 10m wide and 1.5m high.
The aim is to go as far as possible through a 10 metre wide course. The distance is measured from the entry gate to the first point of contact on the ground within the course. Flying or landing outside the course will incur penalties.
Intermediate - the course entry gates are 1.5m high and start 54m before the end of the pond.
Open - the course entry gates are 1.5m high and start 78m before the end of the pond. Competitors must touch the water before entering the course.
Points are scored on both water and land. Competitors aim to drag their feet through an imaginary line between all water gates to score water points and aim for a stand up landing in the centre of the landing zone for maximum points. Missing water gates, landing in other zones or not standing up will incur penalties.
Intermediate - the water course has two water gates.
Open - the water course has four water gates.
Competitors perform pre-declared tricks with their body and parachute whilst dragging the water. Judges consider the difficulty and execution of the trick as well as a stand up landing for scoring.