Photos of Swoop Freestyle World Championship!

Someone watching the Swoop Freestyle FAI World Championship on San Diego Bay points to a contestant skimming across the water!
Someone watching the Swoop Freestyle FAI World Championship on San Diego Bay points to a competitor skimming across the water!

This afternoon I headed down to Embarcadero Marina Park South to watch the 2018 Swoop Freestyle FAI World Championship! What an exciting sport! Even with my little camera, I managed to get these fun photos!

Swoop Freestyle is a relatively new extreme sport. Competitors skydive, parachute toward the ground with increasing speed, then swoop right above the ground–in this case the blue water–while performing a variety of poses and tricks. The daring athletes swoop at speeds up to 90 mph! Successfully landing on the floating (and slippery) platform is one of the keys to a high score.

I was told this is only the second World Championship event–the first was in Copenhagen–and that this thrilling professional sport is still in its infancy. I can definitely see how it could blow up and become something really big!

I lingered for perhaps an hour and watched much of the First Round action. I’m no expert when it comes to Swoop Freestyle so you’ll have to please forgive my obvious lack of knowledge. I did see dramatic crashes, wild, careening maneuvers, Superman swoops, and some amazing, absolutely miraculous landings atop the floating platform!

Technically brilliant swoops and perfect landings raised a loud cheer from the enthusiastic crowd!

Take a look at these photos and you’ll get an idea of what the event was like…

Here comes another contestant. Helicopters took parachutists high above the water, and the crowd shielded their eyes from the sun to see them descending.
Here comes another competitor. Helicopters took parachutists high above the water, and the crowd shielded their eyes from the sun to see them descending.
Vying for the world championship of Swoop Freestyle, this contestant approaches the floating platform, just off Embarcadero Marina Park South.
Vying for the World Championship of Swoop Freestyle, this competitor approaches the floating platform, just off Embarcadero Marina Park South.
One of the athletes is cheered by the crowd after making their dramatic swoop!
One of the athletes is cheered by the crowd after making their dramatic swoop!
A banner at the event shows the weekend schedule. The Masters of the Sky wowed lots of excited fans.
A banner at the event shows the weekend schedule. The amazing Masters of the Sky wowed lots of excited Swoop Freestyle fans.
I was told Swoop Freestyle athletes came from 13 separate countries to vie for the World Championship.
I was told Swoop Freestyle athletes came from 13 separate countries to vie for the World Championship.
Testing a parachute in a section of the park where Swoop Freestyle contestants prepared and boarded a helicopter.
Testing a parachute in a section of the park where Swoop Freestyle contestants prepared and boarded a helicopter.
Lots of fans in attendance had a special interest in skydiving. They came to watch this unique sporting event from far and wide.
Lots of fans in attendance had a special interest in skydiving. They came to watch this unique sporting event from far and wide.
Some people were enjoying a VIP section.
Some people were enjoying a VIP section.
Here comes another canopy. In mere seconds there will be another daring swoop!
Here comes another canopy. In mere seconds there will be another daring swoop!
Members of a Rescue Team were out on the water, but during the time I watched, they weren't needed.
Members of a Rescue Team were out on the water, but during the time I watched, they weren’t needed.
Crash! This contestant let everyone know he was okay right away.
Crash! This competitor let everyone know he was okay right away.
Here comes another swooper!
Here comes another swooper!
Flying with feet touching the water's surface, approaching the floating platform. I don't recall the result of this swoop.
Flying with feet skimming the water’s surface, approaching the floating platform. I don’t recall the result of this swoop.
Will this swooper make it to the platform? Some contestants, unfortunately, miscalculated and came up short.
Will this swooper make it to the platform? Some contestants, unfortunately, miscalculated and came up short.
More great Swoop Freestyle action out on San Diego Bay.
More great Swoop Freestyle action out on San Diego Bay.
Sometimes two swoopers would come in simultaneously. There was a lot of exciting, intense drama!
Sometimes two swoopers would come in simultaneously. There was a lot of exciting, intense drama!
After sitting on a hard rock for a long time, I wandered around to stretch my legs. Here's the entrance to the VIP section.
After sitting on a hard rock for a long time, I wandered around to stretch my legs. Here’s the entrance to the VIP section.
Several sponsors and vendors had booths around the park, including Skydive San Diego.
Several sponsors and vendors had booths around the park, including Skydive San Diego.
Here come a couple of paragliders doing a demonstration during a break in the Swoop Freestyle competition.
Here come a couple of paragliders doing a demonstration during a break in the Swoop Freestyle competition.
The two paragliders slowly approach the platform. I always enjoy watching paragliders cruise above the beach at the Torrey Pines Gliderport.
Paragliding slowly toward the platform. I always enjoy watching paragliders soar along the cliffs above the beach at the Torrey Pines Gliderport.
The live music guys were taking a break when I walked by, but did a rocker pose for my camera!
The live music guys were taking a break when I walked by, but did a rocker pose for my camera!
There was a fun demonstration by two daredevil water jetpack guys.
There was a fun demonstration by two daredevil water jetpack guys.
Entertaining the crowd!
Entertaining the crowd!
Flying through the air without a parachute!
Flying through the air without a parachute!
Now that really looks like Superman! Where's the cape?
Now that really looks like Superman! Where’s the cape?
Three guys demonstrated zooming through the San Diego sky in wingsuits. They looked to me like flying squirrels. Unfortunately, I got my photo after their chutes deployed.
Three guys demonstrated zooming through the San Diego sky in wingsuits. They looked to me like flying squirrels. Unfortunately, I got my photo after their chutes deployed.
Here they come. Splash.
Here they come. Splash.
Helicopters were flying back and forth across the bay during much of the event. The Swoop Freestyle competition is about to resume.
A couple helicopters were flying back and forth across the bay during much of the event. The Swoop Freestyle competition is about to resume.
Here comes one swooper.
Here comes one swooper. This competitor angled in really close to the crowd.
Flying inches from the water.
Flying inches from the water.
Here comes another. As you can see, it was a typically perfect San Diego day for the event.
Here comes another. As you can see, it was a typically perfect San Diego day for the event.
Swooping on in. I think this contestant came up short.
Swooping on in. I think this contestant was too far from the platform and came up short.
Here comes another Swoop Freestyler. Nice form!
Here comes another Swoop Freestyler. Nice form!
A perfect landing! This guy received a high score and with his performance became a contender for world champion.
A perfect landing! This guy received a high score and with his performance became a contender for world champion.
Excitement at a great athletic achievement!
Excitement at a great athletic achievement!
Some fans were waving a national flag for one of the Swoop Freestyle international athletes.
Some fans were waving a national flag for one of the Swoop Freestyle international athletes.
As the crowd watched the action, behind the scenes contestants were preparing parachutes and getting ready for their jump.
As the crowd watched the action, behind the scenes the athletes were preparing parachutes and getting ready for their competitive jump.
A huge tent contained lots of parachutes. I'm not sure if these were drying out, or what.
A huge tent contained lots of parachutes. I’m not sure if these were drying out, awaiting use, or what.
Will this be the next World Champion of Swoop Freestyle?
Will this be the next World Champion of Swoop Freestyle?
Heading off in a helicopter to take another flying swoop.
Heading off in a helicopter to take another flying swoop.
Here's an action photo into the sun from a spot near the Hilton, behind the San Diego Convention Center.
Here’s a distant action photo into the sun from a spot near the Hilton, behind the San Diego Convention Center.
Didn't quite make it onto the platform! Close but no cigar!
Didn’t quite make it onto the platform! Close but no cigar!
But he still gave me a smile and thumbs up!
But he still gave me a smile and thumbs up!
Excitement is nonstop at the 2018 Swoop Freestyle World Championship!
Excitement is nonstop at the 2018 Swoop Freestyle World Championship!

I live in downtown San Diego and love to walk around with my camera! You can follow Cool San Diego Sights via Facebook or Twitter!

Published by

Richard Schulte

Downtown San Diego has been my home for many years. My online activities reflect my love for writing, blogging, walking and photography.

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