Pushing Boundaries—The First Annual Skydive DeLand XRW Cup
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Monday, June 17, 2024
Pushing Boundaries—The First Annual Skydive DeLand XRW Cup

Pushing Boundaries—The First Annual Skydive DeLand XRW Cup

Event News
Sunday, February 11, 2024

Photos by Norman Kent.

In January 2023, Skydive DeLand in Florida hosted its first XRW (cross relative work) beginner camp, which turned out to be a big success. Some jumpers were new to the discipline, which combines wingsuit flying and canopy flying, but everyone who participated achieved at least one new dock or formation, while some achieved multiple. To build on the January event’s success, the organizers scheduled a competition for the end of the year, and on December 1-3, the first annual Skydive DeLand XRW Cup took place.

The inspiration for this competition began around two years ago, when skydivers Jonathan Bizilia and Lucas Nickolich watched acrobatic wingsuit flying team Fly Like Brick do compulsory moves for a competition. Pursuing XRW seemed challenging and fun.

The first challenges, when it came to planning an XRW competition, were establishing rules that were fair and incentivized jumpers to participate. Fortunately, Bob Hallett at Skydive DeLand saw the potential in such an event and helped with the latter challenge, donating $3,000 for competition prizes. The split for the XRW cup was $1,500 for the winners, $1,000 for second place and $500 for third.

Determining the rules was important, as the goal was to create an event to such a standard that one day it may be considered for inclusion at USPA Nationals. Bizilia and Nickolich worked with USPA Regional Judge and experienced XRW organizer Scott Lazarus to establish procedures, using existing canopy formation competition rules. Lazarus then volunteered his time to judge the competition.

Teams were composed of one canopy pilot and one wingsuit flyer. They had 60 seconds from the first point of contact to complete three pre-established points, in order, as many times as possible. Those points included a back-fly hand dock, back-fly surf dock and belly-fly hand dock. Judges used the three best scores of the four rounds for each team, which they averaged to determine the winners.

Throughout the weekend, the competitors discussed adjustments to the rules. Some changes were necessary, but they agreed the event was on the right track. Other USPA judges also came out to observe and help make revisions, as well as provide outside perspective. Across the board, feedback was positive from competitors, judges and observers.

Competitors also took advantage of the gathering in order to make several big-way jumps over the course of the event. The focus of the weekend was to explore the possibilities of XRW, and Skydive DeLand was generous and accommodating—an ideal location for the competition.

 

First place: Team Full of Beans

CP: Lucas Nickolich

WS: Jonathan Bizilia

 

Second place: Team StabLess

CP: Luca Ferreira

WS: Ryan Blunk

 

Third place: Team Descend

CP: Kyle Stubbs

WS: Dane Klippel

 

Lucas Nickolich | D-38652
DeLand, Florida

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