The RAVSTASS Ravens Take Gold At Nationals

Last updated 02 Apr 2024

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On the back of their silver success at the 2023 Virtual Blast Nationals, the RAVSTASS Ravens were going for gold at the 2024 Nationals.


RAVSTASS is an independent multi-sport association, supporting teams and individuals in a variety of sports across Australia, from snow sports to basketball, to motorcycling, skydiving, and beyond. The "RAVSTASS Ravens" skydiving team are a 4-Way FS team who actively compete in events across Australia.

The Ravens at National Champs FS-A Round 4 (Camera by Rod White)

In 2023, the Ravens competed in the Australian Virtual Blast Nationals in the 4-Way FS-Blast category, coming away with silver medals, smiles and a lot of enthusiasm for their continued training and next competition. This next competition being the 2024 Australian Nationals.

It was through this and other great events, such as Elderslie's long-running "Black Death" competition and Picton's "Wicked Wednesdays", that the 2024 RAVSTASS National Championship team was formed.

What Is FS?

FS stands for Formation Skydiving; a category in which teams of four or eight build a series of shapes or formations in freefall. Competitors link up by taking arm or leg grips, either in a belly-to-earth (FS) or vertical position (VFS).

In competition, teams must correctly complete a randomly drawn sequence of formations as many times as they can in the allocated time, with each correct formation scoring one point. These formations are captured on film by the team's videographer, who flies around the team and records their performance for the judges to review. There can be up to ten rounds in a competition, with each round being a different formation sequence. The winning team is the team who has the most points accrued over all completed rounds.

4 Way Dive Pool

In the Raven's case, 4-Way FS involves a team of four performers and one videographer. They have 35 seconds to make as many formations as they can in a belly-to-earth orientation.

There are five different FS competition categories in Australia, from beginner to advanced:

Blast: Teams have a sequence of 3 random formations per round

A: Teams have a sequence of 3 to 4 random and block formations per round.

AA: Teams have a sequence of 4 to 5 random and block formations per round.

AAA: Teams have a sequence of 5 to 6 random and block formations per round.

Female: Same as the AAA category, however all team performers are female.

2024 Australian Nationals

On the back of their recent success in the FS-Blast category, the Ravens decided it was time to step up and challenge themselves in the FS-A category.

The team consisted of Peter McKenzie (Inside Centre & Captain), Sam Glase (Point), Emelia Vassiliou (Outside Centre), Tim Muehlberg (Tail), Rod White (Camera), Jarrad Nolan (Outside Camera), Laurence Garceau (Tunnel Coach) and Paul Schwizler (Reserve). 

Ground Photo of Ravens at Australian National Champs FS-A by Jarrad Nolan

The 2024 Australian Nationals were held at Barwon Heads in Victoria, with the FS-A competition taking place on Monday 11th March. Usually the competition would be completed across two days, but with bad weather imminent, the FS-A competition was reduced to a single day, adding pressure for all of the teams competing. Even so, the Ravens had a spirited preparation, enthused with the silver from the Blast Nationals and having successful training jumps under their belts.

On competition day, with 5 rounds completed by all teams, the Ravens achieved a total of 23 points (an average of 4.6 points per jump), putting them in the top spot and achieving gold!

RAVSTASS Ravens at National Champs FS-A by Jarrad Nolan

RAVSTASS Treasurer, Tim Muehlberg, said: "Our 2024 focus is to now build on this success and create a pathway for our members from Blast, through FS-A to FS-AA, and create a club environment where the seniors mentor the juniors, and the juniors can grow into their potential".


Congratulations are in order for the "RAVSTASS Ravens" on their fantastic achievement, and teams "Tandemonium" and "Valjanikos" who achieved silver and bronze respectively in the 4-Way FS-A category, as well as all other competitors in the 2024 Australian Nationals.

If you want to get into competition, check out the APF Competition page and Calendar of Events to see where you can get involved.

Thank you to Tim Muehlberg for contributing to this article.

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[Photo Sources: Rod White, Jarrad Nolan, APF]