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Swoop Challenge Hits The Copenhagen Lakes

By adminon - Read 7445 times

The centre of Copenhagen will become the stage for a world premiere on Saturday June 13th. The famous Copenhagen Lakes in the middle of Denmark's capital will host the first ever professional freestyle parachuting competition ever organized in the heart of a major city as the Swoop Challenge CPH Invitational gathers the world's top athletes for 6 days of intense parachuting in a unique format.

The philosophy of Swoop Challenge is to take parachuting to the people. The action packed and intense parachuting meets the urban and cultural settings of a vibrant big city in a unique blend of culture and extreme sports in beautiful settings in Denmark's capital.

The best athlete after the two rounds will be crowned Swoop Challenge CPH Invitational 2015 champion and will receive a USD 7,500 first prize. Second and third place finishers will receive $5,000 and $2,500 respectively.

Innovation of the sport

The Swoop Challenge CPH Invitational 2015 consists of six days of parachuting: A training camp and qualification, a grand air show in the Copenhagen Harbour and the competition day on the Copenhagen Lakes with more than 50,000 spectators watching.

The professionalisation of the sport, the brand new competition format and the idea of having parachuting in urban areas has never been seen anywhere in the world.

“We’re turning everything upside down and bringing extreme sport into the hearts of cities where people can experience it right in front of their own doors rather than out in the middle of nowhere where it usually takes place. We like playing with the contrast of extreme sports within a cultural and historic city while really focusing on the live experience for both spectators and viewers alike," co-founder George Blythe says.

Image by Anders Bruun Larsen

In 2013 he and co-founder Michael Kattrup Lassen came up with the idea to parachute in the middle of major cities, where people naturally are. In August last year with the help from a lot of friends they showcased the sport and had 14 athletes doing one display jump each to test what was possible. The outcome by far exceeded the expectations of the duo and they partnered up with other experienced persons in the parachuting and event world to pull off the next step of their plan: The first professional freestyle competition ever to be held in the center of major cities.

"We know from last years pilot project, where we held a display with 14 jumpers, that parachuting in the heart of cities was very interesting. Back then we had no idea what was going to happen, but 20,000 spectators turned up at Peblinge Lake with both national tv stations, DR and TV 2, covering the event. This success gave us the drive to follow our dream of developing a full-blown competition in the middle of cities where the world’s best athletes would be brought to town. We now have some the world’s best that are very excited about the idea of Copenhagen and we’re really looking forward to presenting them to the thousands of spectators at Peblinge Lake Saturday June 13," George Blythe says.

Best extreme sports athletes in the world

Athletes from 11 countries are coming to Denmark and among the are multiple world champions and top athletes of the sport. They visit Herning and Copenhagen to take part in a competition of the highest international level and in a format none of them have seen before.

Image by Aleksander Horup

"One of my favorite disciplines in swooping is freestyle, and I love being able to swoop in very unique places. The opportunity to swoop in downtown Copenhagen in front of more than 50,000 spectators is awesome and something like this has never happened before. Swooping in a major city is a big dream and I am glad to be a part of such an amazing event," says American Curt Bartholomew, the defending swoop world champion from 2014 and 2012 and the 2013 World Games and World Cup champion.

The 20 athletes will be attending a training camp and qualifying in Herning at Dropzone Denmark where they will compete for one of the 16 spots in the Swoop Finals in Copenhagen.

Athletes from 13 countries are competing:


Abdulbari Qubeisi, United Arab Emirates, 4,600 jumps

Billy Sharman, South Africa, 8,642 jumps

Chris Stewart, New Zealand, 5,100 jumps

Christian Webber, Denmark, 2,800 jumps

Cornelia Mihai, Romania, 7,000 jumps

Curt Bartholomew, USA, 6,900 jumps

David 'Junior' Ludvik, USA, 14,500 jumps

Gage Galle, USA, 8,000 jumps

Jeannie Bartholomew, USA, 3,000 jumps

Kenneth Gajda, Denmark, 11,000+ jumps

Kristian Moxnes, Norway, 8,000 jumps

Leigh McCormack, Australia, 4,830 jumps

Martin Reynolds, England, 5,500 jumps

Micah Couch, USA, 10,000 jumps

Nicholas Batsch, USA, 7,250 jumps

Noah Bahnson, USA, 10,000+ jumps

Patrick Kaye, USA, 15,000 jumps

Petter Mazzetta, Sweden, 7,500 jumps

Tukes Iwamoto, Japan, 10,000 jumps

Support from official Denmark

Both the City of Copenhagen and Sport Event Denmark are supporting the event and look forward to see this brand new initiative:

"This is the first time a professional freestyle parachuting event takes place in the heart of a major city, and Copenhagen is the perfect venue with the lakes as the iconic backdrop. The setup is creative and unique in a way we haven't seen before and it correlates perfect with Copenhagen's image as a both historic and cultural capital and an urban and innovative city. When it comes to Swoop Challenge, Copenhagen shows that this is a city that loves sports events in the heart of the city," says Carl Christian Ebbesen, Mayor of Culture and Leisure in the City of Copenhagen. The city supports Swoop Challenge financially.

"In Denmark we organize a wide range of international sporting events on land and water, and with Swoop Challenge now also from the air over Herning and Copenhagen. The Swoop Finals in Copenhagen will be the first, professional freestyle parachuting competition ever held in the heart of a major city, and Copenhagen will once again be showcased as an event destination of the highest international standard," says Lars Lundov, CEO of Sport Event Denmark, the national sporting event organization that works to attract major international sport events to Denmark and who supports Swoop Challenge financially.

PROGRAM FOR SIX DAYS OF INTENSE PARACHUTING June 8-13 2015:

Swoop Qualifying Monday to Wednesday June 8th to 10th, Dropzone Denmark, Herning:
Training camp Monday and Tuesday and qualification Wednesday for 20 athletes. The top-16 in the qualifying rounds will attend the Swoop Finals in Copenhagen.

Swoop Night Lights Friday June 12th, Nordre Toldbod, Copenhagen Harbour:
Spectacular airshow over Copenhagen in front of Toldboden and CPH City & Port Development's headquarters. From 18.00-20.00 (6-8pm).

Swoop Finals Saturday, June 13th, Peblinge Lake

Two rounds of competition at Peblinge Lake in front of Kaffesalonen’s platform, where the total score after two rounds decides the winner of the Swoop Challenge title. From 13.00-18.00 (1-6pm)

For The Whuffos - How Swooping Works

The participants jump out of helicopters in 1.500 meters/5000f and deploy their parachutes shortly after, as the focus is on the actual flight in the parachute, not the free fall aspect.

The small and aggressive parachutes, called canopies, enable the athletes to fly fast towards the ground. When arriving above the course, the swooper dives the canopy towards the lake's surface to reach speeds of almost 150km/h and prior to contacting the water the swooper levels out the flight.

The last stage of swooping consists of freestyle tricks on the water with high speeds before landing on a platform right in front of the spectators. 22 tricks currently exist and can be combined into different combos. There will be two rounds and five international judges will score each jump based on the turn towards the water, the actual freestyle swoop and the landing.

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