Ready for a new thrill?!? Jump from tandem paraglider - D-Bag course with the justACRO Team
Let your experts Gábor Kézi and Pál Takáts guide you into the world of this unique start technique! No mather if you are an acro freak or a serious cross country pilot who want to start an XC flight early from a hot-air balloon, we will show you how to get there safe!
The only minimum requirements to participate in this course are to be able to perform stall maneuvers safely and know how to manage twists and cravattes.
A new concept, beautiful location, super friendly atmosphere and tons of fun - these words would define briefly the first Freestyleair! And indeed, as kind of a "replacement" of the cancelled Vertigo, this quickly but very well organized event hosted the 2nd Swiss Acrobatics Championship, opened to international pilots as well. 11 teams in synchro, competing under the 'normal' APWC sporting code, and 26 solo pilots, following the new "freestyle" concept and between the runs the program was mixed up with helicopter d-bag demos, base jumpers, and so on...
The small village of Beckenried situated along the shore of the Vierwaldstaedtersee is a great location for an acro competition. Right in the center of town is the station of the cable car which climbs up a good 1100 meters to Klewenalp and the take-off spot is just a few minutes walking away. However, the fly-out is quite long, but it still gives a guaranteed 600-700+ meters to work with over the water, where the valley wind is usually only moderate.
The idea was to create an event based on the official world cup rules (using the same judging system), but with some additional elements to give the pilots more freedom to express their style. The problem with the current APWC rules is that to get the best scores, the top pilots need to perform exactly the same maneuvers (like Tumbling, Infinity, and the combination of Helico to SAT, SAT to Helico or Heli to Heli). At the same time the level is getting so high that a bunch of pilots perform these tricks almost flawlessly, giving hard time to the judges and rising extremely the importance of the landing points for the final ranking.
The rules in a nutshell: The pilots had to perform 5 (+2 bonus) maneuvers. There were no "connection" maneuvers like SAT to Helico or Helico to Helico, instead the way of connection between the maneuvers were scored separately (maximum 4 of them, between the 5 figures) with a coefficient of 0.8 for dynamic connections and 1.6 for negative (stalling) connections. Furthermore everyone could perform 2 more "bonus" maneuvers for extra points (doesn't matter what, just something nice and clean, but no radical trick) at the end of the run with 0.5 coefficient for each trick. Of course not everybody had the chance or the right strategy to be able to go for the bonus tricks. The weight of landing and choreography were raised up with 5-5 %, so the techical execution of the figures got 60%, whilts choreo 25% and landing 15% of the total scoring. Before the first solo there wasn't even a maneuver sheet to fill so it was really "freestyle", actually even too much, because sometimes the action turned to be extremely difficult to follow for judges :-) So for the second run the participants had to announce their 5 figures and their order, but the 4 connections and the bonus tricks still offered a great freedom. Another extra feature was to be able to put 3 helicopters in one run.
Swiss Champion Hervé Cerutti
In the overall solo category Pál Takáts finished first, flying the U-Turn Thriller (with Precise Profile Nose system and the world´s first Extended Aeration System), which is the result of 2 years development and testing, a workout of U-Turn Team Pilots Pál, Gábor and Bernd and constructor Ernst Strobl. Pál won 2 runs mostly performing a Tumbling, an Infinity and 3 Helicopters with quick Twister connections, finishing with the bonus tricks. Defending Swiss Champion Hervé Cerutti (flying Gradient Seven) showed his best again. Despite having no Infinity Tumbling in his program, the precise helico combos and of course his speciality, the breathtaking ground-spiral-raft-landings in every run brought him the overall 2nd place and the Swiss Champion title again, a good 30 points ahead Remo Niederer (overall 4th) and Christian Maurer (overall 6th)!
Several ambitious, young german acro pilots, who are training for years now, but joined the competitions for the first time this season, now surprised the scene with their great performance! The young Bauer Josef took the overall 3rd place and Schweizer Jochen finished 5th!
The american twins Anthony and Timothy Green finished first in the open synchro category, just one point in front of the justACRO Team and the swiss synchro champions, the Lucky Clowns with Yves Berlovitz and Remo Niederer. The Twins performed nice synchro action with some really spectacular SAT Rodeos and synchro spirals all the way down to the water. The justACRO Team got no points for one of their synchro spirals in the first run, which gave a 10 points minus to the first position, and despite doing well in the last 2 flights they could just not turn it over.
From 17th to 20th September the 10. Internation Balloonfestival will be held at the Europa-Park, the continent's biggest amusement park in Rust, Germany. More than 30 ballons are coming from all over the Europe and this year the highlights will be 2 times daily paragliding acro demo performed by U-Turn pilot Pál Takáts, starting from the hot-air balloons and a helicopter. The fun and entertainment world receives between 30.000-40.000 visitors during the weekend and this will be the very first attraction which will be possible to observe from all corners of the Europa-Park, at the same time.
On Saturday evening (17. September) at 18:45 pm. the german SWR3 television is going to send a LIVE coverage of the opening acro show of Pál, followed by an interview straight after landing!
The 36th edition of the Coupe Icare Festival, the greatest event ever of the "free flying" community is coming up this week!
The programmes are of course the traditional events : Film Festival, Icare Expo, aerial demos, Costumed Flight Competition, street shows, concerts etc...
Click at the bottom for a list of all the attractions and the programs!
With the cancellations of several competitions the 2009 season of the Aerobatics Paragliding World Cup Tour schrinked to only 2 events, the Paranoia Acrobatixx (solo category only, including the Austrian Championship) and Acroaria, the Pre-World Championship in Italy. In total it gave 6 valid solo runs for the final ranking.
The Paranoia Acrobatixx (17-19th July), hosted by the lovely touristic town of Zell am See was celebrating it's 5th edition! Not less than 40 international pilots started the race, including 12 austrians.
After a very early start at 7.00 am in the morning to complete the qualification for the newcomer pilots, the competition started. The weather forecast was bad, but just before the thunderstorms arrived over Zell am See the first task was completed for all pilots. Due to the lower height difference of the startplace the tasks consist of 3 maneuvers only (meaning that only the first maneuver can be Tumbling, Rythmic SAT or Infinity).
Bernd Hornboeck, the Austrian pilot from the team Against the Grain flew to the first place with his brand new acro glider the Thriller from U-Turn, taking a good 3 points advantage in front of Hernan Pittoco (AR), Cyrille Planton (FR) and Horacio Llorens (SP), all 3 riding Sol Supersonic (1st run results). Soon after the last pilot landed it started to rain heavily which didn't stop till next morning, and left a 10 centimeters of fresh snow up on the mountains during the night. Then on saturday it started to clear up early and the second run could start before midday, however the pilots did not welcomed the freezing temperatures up at launch in the middle of the summer. Cyrille Planton won the second task with more than 91 points, but Bernd performed well again making the 4th position in the run and keeping his overall first postition. His team mate Marcel Schrittwieser - who performed great in the first run already took the second place, ahead of Horacio Llorens as third, impressing everybody with his precise spiral landing - as usual (2nd run results)! With 88.35 points Hernan came "only" as 5th, but this also shows the nowadays more and more common "tight score" competition between the leading pilots. The top 4-6 usually performs their figures practically perfectly, so the landing points - which anyway only weights 10% of the total scoring- take a much bigger part of the game.
In the final 3rd run (3rd run results), after 3 days of precise tricks and full concentration, Bernd messed up his first figure which was enough to boost him down to 6th in the final results. Not like his team mate Marcell who impressed everybody with his clean tricks and great performance during the whole weekend, taking 3rd place and the bronze medal in overall, as well as the gold medal of the first official Austrian Championship! The SAT members Hernan Pittoco (1st) and Horacio Llorens (2nd) shared the highest steps of the solo podium with finishing just like 1 points difference between them, whilst Cyrille Planton came in 4th and Félx Rodriguez 5th flying the Ozone FLX2. There would be another long list of young and talented pilots to mention from Austria, Germany and Switzerland (like Remo Niederer, Yves Berlovitz, Oehl Lino, Bauer Josef, the Kahn brothers, Schweizer Johan and so on, just to name a few...) who all did great, some of them doing their very first or just second competition season.
justACRO - Soooo, first of all BIG congratz for your first position! I love to see your smiling faces on the podium :-)
Bernd - Thank you! This synchro comp was very interesting from my point of view.
On the first day we started with a nice but not perfect run, so we finished at the 3rd place behind SATisfaction (Horacio & Hernan) and the Peritas (Alex Rodriguez & Javier "Malagita" Tejero from Spain). We had launched almost as last from all the teams and couldn't see the runs of the other teams but what surprised me a lot was that Peritas received about 23 points for the synchro. I have never seen more than 20 points for that in any competition (later it turned out that it was just one of the several calculation mistakes on the event).
During the whole competition the average height above the water was quite low. Normally I'm used to have a lot of altitude at this place. Of course depending on the thermal activity some teams/pilots had a very nice altitude in between but the average was not so good. Because of this it was very important to work out a good "tactic" with Xandi and not to be in the situation that we miss one maneuver. For example the Against the Grain youngsters Basti & Ricky Kahn (team Lorit) did a synchro spiral in every of their 3 runs but got ZERO points for the synchro spiral in every single run!!!
justACRO - Ouch that sounds bad! Unfortunately the rules are the rules...but by the way, I think 3 full rotations close to each other to validate a syncho spiral takes enourmous altitude with nowadays acro wings!
Bernd - Yes, absolutely! Stefan Hodek was the head judge and was very precise about minimum rotations and stuff like that, but he was also VERY neutral about the pilots and teams. That means that he didn't care about who he was judging; he was treating everybody the same! And that's exactly the way it should be...
Afterwards our 2nd run was also not perfect but OK, we could stay at the 3rd place. some teams changed places...
We had a quite nice final run with some very-close-to-each-other synchro and a nice flow.
There were some teams that received ZERO points for their mirror spiral (Lorit, SATistfaction, Lucky Clowns, etc.). I haven't been there anymore because we went up to fly again for the expression session, but others told me some pilots were pretty pissed about it...Xandi, Marcell and me went to do the expression session as team "genossen homofürst extremal" and showed some really nice synchro with 3 wings flying close to each other.
After all I'm very happy, we could finish all of our runs (completing all the maneuvers) and could show a quite constant performance. We had very differnt wings this year. Xandi is competing with the Icaro Nikita which has quite short lines, and me on the new U-Turn Thriller with 45cm longer lines than Xandi...So we had to improvise a lot ;-)
justACRO - So work on those lines up for next time! I also have to pick-up 15 kg's to get perfectly synchronized... :-) Bernd, thanks a lot for your impressions, congratz and big hugs buddies!
SATisfaction in synchro spiral
Understandably there was a mess around the scoring, unvalid tricks and numbers of minimum rotations...Many pilots reported failures or calculation mistakes after the daily results were published. Some synchro teams complained as well after it turned out that in the official FAI rules available on the Acroaria website the number of minimum rotations for syncho spiral are only 2 complete turns, whilst the judges requested 3 during the event! The SATisfaction team and even one of the judges announced an official complain to the FAI to sort out the situation, but if it will ever effect the final results in some way, nobody knows.
Top5 Synchro results
1. Against the Grain - Hornboeck Bernd, Meschuh Alexander (232,20 pts.)
2. Satisfaction - Pitocco Hernan, Llorens Horacio (227,48 pts.)
3. Verell Freestyle - Yoan Castagnoli, Cyril Planton (220,12 pts.)
4. Peritas - Rodriguez Alex, Tejeiro Lopez Javier (204,11 pts.)
5. Acrotwins - Green Thimothy, Green Anthony (204,09 pts.)
From the results of the 6 completed World Cup solo runs, spanish Horacio Llorens won, for the second time in a row, but the official World Cup results are not released yet...
Despite the Acro World Cup series had its "poorest" season ever with only 2 solo and 1 synchro event, however all the pilots strongly hope that the tendency will change again and that in the future there will be several new comps organized at new locations!