12/02/2012 (press release: catransue) // Louisville, KY, USA // Team Nomad
After a week fraught with delays due to weather, the final rounds of the Speed discipline of Canopy Piloting (CP) were held Sunday. Bartholomew cinched Round 1 of Speed 3 days earlier with a time of 2.429 seconds, scoring the top 100 points. Sunday he solidified his 1st place position in the category with another 1st place run in Round 2. Bartholomew finished 22 points ahead of the 2nd place winner, Thomas Dellibac (also from Team USA).
Three events are held to determine the overall Canopy Piloting Champion: Speed, Accuracy and Distance. In Speed, competitors pass between course markers, breaking an electronic beam, to start the speed run time. Navigating their canopy through a set course, the competitor’s time is stopped as they break a second beam across the exit gate and their time is measured to the thousandth of a second. This discipline requires a high level of skill and experience with many federations insisting on a minimum requirement of 500 parachute jumps before allowing a competitor to enter a Canopy Piloting Event.
One round each of Distance and Accuracy have been completed at the World Championships in Dubai, and with only four chances left to claim the Overall Canopy Piloting Championship, Bartholomew leads the 129 person field by a 24.42 point margin. Second place is teammate, Nick Batsch.
Bartholomew and Batsch are both among 8 Canopy Pilots representing Team USA at the World Parachuting Championships, but stateside, they are an even stronger team. Bartholomew and Batsch are members of a four-person Canopy Piloting team, Team Alter Ego, and have been dominating the Canopy Piloting competition scene for the past 2 years. Batsch is the reigning World Champion (2010), and finished 2nd at the 2012 US Nationals Canopy Piloting Championship. Bartholomew is the reigning International Champion (2011) and finished 1st at the 2012 US Nationals Canopy Piloting Championship. The pair are on track to continue this trend with strong showings at the World Championships, widely considered the premiere determination of the best Skydivers in the sport.
Canopy Piloting is the newest skydiving discipline to be included in the World Parachuting Championships, made possible by the development of smaller and faster canopies in the mid 1990’s. The discipline was originally called “blade running” but soon evolved into the format used today. While competitors compete over a stretch of water for safety reasons because of the high speeds involved (called “swooping the pond”), the nature of the action makes it the most spectator-friendly of all the skydiving disciplines.
The World Parachuting Championships are held every 2 years while the International competition is held on the “off” years.
Canopy Piloting competition resumes Monday, 7:30 a.m., GST-Dubai (10:30 p.m. EST) when the first of the final four rounds begins towards determining a champion.
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