RULES

The purpose of sports competition is to create a venue in which skills can be progressed and a fun and competitive atmosphere can be established. The Wide Open series encourages the development of skills that are more relevant than any other current open format skydiving competition, and the Four-Cross competition is more fun.

In the WOWS, there are no solo jumps. There is no overall GPS scoring. There are no averages or points. There is only Four-Cross racing and heat advancement through competition brackets. WOWS aims to be the fairest, most fun, and most objective format possible.

There are two parts of each competition, with a podium for Speed, and a podium for Distance. In essence, each WOWS event is two comps in one because there is no “combined” or “overall” score.

All tasks are flown Four-Cross. A pilot can win Speed or Distance, or both, by advancing through the brackets of each part of the competition. The competition format is run head to head in heats of 4 competitors.

Regionals

  • Heats of 4 competitors exit the jump plane together, with one "rabbit" forming the base. The "rabbit" is not a competitor or a judge, he/she is solely a human start gun.

Championships

  • WOWS Championship Events utilize a tailgate aircraft, and no “rabbit”. In each heat, the 4 competitors exit the Skyvan simultaneously, facing the front of the plane, and exiting along the line of flight.

In both formats, Pilots then race together toward the finish line (speed), or the finish altitude (distance).

At the end of the competition, a Speed winner and a Distance winner are crowned.

Check out this video for a visual explanation.

Regionals

  • The aircraft exit order is decided by draw or by mutual agreement. All pilots in each heat exit the plane together with the "rabbit".
  • From the moment the rabbit exits the plane, all pilots in the heat must form up on the rabbit. When the rabbit is lined up on the race lane, he/she gives a signal, or “keys”, the start. The rabbit keys the start of the race with a physical gesture visible to all racers, typically by kicking legs. The start location and altitude is up to the rabbit.
  • From the moment the rabbit signals, the heat begins.
  • At the start, all pilots must be below and behind the rabbit. How far below is not controlled, but it is in the competitor’s best interest to not be far below. If a pilot is above, in front of, or more than 150 ft behind the rabbit when the start is keyed, then they are DQ'd from the heat.
  • Jumping/charging the start gives the pilot an advantage and is not allowed, as it goes against the spirit of the competition. It will be deemed a false start and result in a DQ in that heat.

Championships

  • Door position is decided by the pilots in each heat, in order of seeding.
  • The start location and altitude is up to the start master, who decides based on the position of the aircraft (the spot).

Exits:

  • All pilots must exit on the green light only. If there is any contact with the pilot’s feet and the floor of the aircraft on the red light, it is considered an exit violation.
  • Incidental contact between a competitor’s arm/leg and the aircraft wall after exit will not be considered an exit violation.
  • Exit violation (false start) results in a DQ in that heat.
  • This is to be determined by the start master, using exit videos, and is not a votable decision.
  • A competitor who has been issued an exit violation can request an official review no more than 10 mins after results have been posted.
  • The initial ruling will stand unless indisputable evidence is presented or found during official review.
  • When the tailgate aircraft is on final jumprun, the 4 competitors position themselves on the tailgate in their door positions, facing the front of the plane. When the plane is at the start of the race lane, the start master will initiate the light tree and all 4 competitors exit on the green light.
  • All wingsuits must have no sharp or uncovered aluminum or carbon fiber protrusions, for the safety of the other pilots in the heat.
  • All exits must be facing the line of flight.

Squabbles over positioning in the door and intentional burbles are governed by the spirit of the race: self-responsibility and democracy. There is no advantage to playing bumper cars. There is plenty of airspace to accommodate four pilots flying side by side.

It does not matter where the heat begins, or at what altitude, because the competition is Four-Cross and the finish lines are static for each task.

The finish line is either an altitude "Floor" (for Distance), or a GPS "Wall" (for Speed). The race lane, and the finish lines, are placed above a visible landmark (highway, runway, hangar, etc). This means that for speed, pilots race toward a visible finish line such as a road or runway. Pilots are racing toward a landmark finish line for speed, and along a landmark race lane for distance (such as parallel to a road or runway). This visual and geographic orientation is important both for the race and for skill development.

All heats (speed and distance) take place within LANES.

The competition lane is 500m wide. Pilots must stay inside the lane for the duration of the task.

Lanes are chosen based on terrestrial landmarks such as roads or runways. Pilots can visually identify the lane from the air, and from the trajectory of the rabbit in non-championship events. The end of a speed lane is the finish line. The finish line for the distance race is an altitude floor.

Speed: The finish line is a “Wall” extending upward above a visible landmark, such as a road or runway. In the Speed competition, pilots must cross the finish line above a safe predetermined altitude.

Distance: The finish line is an altitude “Floor”. Once the race begins inside the race lane, pilots fly as efficiently as possible (max L/D) until they reach the finish altitude of 6,000 feet. Once the pilot crosses 6,000 feet for the first time, the race is over and your score is how far you flew inside the lane.

Finish altitudes can be changed from competition to competition, and even from heat to heat, depending on patterns, conditions, and competitor preference. The two finish altitudes are:

  1. Speed: a “safe” minimum altitude which all pilots must cross above. Typically, 4500’.
  2. Distance: a finish “floor” that marks the end of the race. Typically, 6000’.

The winner is the first person to pass through the finish line, or "Wall". The finish wall is a vertical GPS wall extending upwards over a landmark such as a runway or highway.

Regionals

  • The start of the heat is keyed by the rabbit. Pilots race toward the finish line inside of the 500m wide lane. The race lane is perpendicular to the finish line. The finish line is also 500m wide. The finish line must be crossed above a certain safe altitude. Crossing the finish line below the safe altitude results in disqualification.
  • The winner of a speed heat is the pilot who:
  1. Is below and behind the Rabbit at the time of the start (the rabbit’s key signal).
  2. Is the first person to cross the finish line above the safe altitude. The “first” position is determined by the pilot’s GPS clock which is synched to GMT.

Championships

  • The start of the heat is signaled inside the plane. Pilots exit immediately and race toward the finish line inside of the 500m wide lane. The race lane is perpendicular to the finish line. The finish line is also 500m wide. The finish line must be crossed above a certain safe altitude. Crossing the finish line below the safe altitude results in disqualification.
  • The winner of a speed heat is the pilot who:
  1. Exits the aircraft in less than 1 second
  2. Is the first person to cross the finish line above the safe altitude marker. The “first” position is determined by the pilot’s GPS clock which is synched to GMT.

Winner is the furthest person to pass through the finish altitude "Floor", within the race lane. Pilots must maintain heading, and stay within the race lane. The scoring system determines the distance that each pilot flies, above the finish floor.

Regionals

  • The start of the heat is keyed by the rabbit. Pilots fly as efficiently as possible until reaching the finish floor.
  • The winner of the Distance heat is the pilot who:
  1. Is below and behind the Rabbit at the time of the start (the rabbit’s key signal).
  2. Is the pilot to fly the longest distance inside the race lane, above the finish altitude floor.

Championships

  • The start of the heat is signaled inside the plane. Pilots exit immediately and fly as efficiently as possible until reaching the finish floor.
  • The winner of the Distance heat is the pilot who:
  1. Exits the plane in less than 1 second
  2. Is the pilot to fly the longest distance inside the race lane above the finish altitude floor.

Heats should exit the plane on their own pass, leaving at least 3 minutes in between each heat. Safe race lanes should be established in a location that will not interfere with normal DZ traffic. Exit patterns should be established so that pilots are exiting the race lane after the finish in a similar direction. Deployment zones should be established so that pilots are opening parachutes in a pre-determined location. Preach vigilance and awareness: each heat involves four other pilots. Each skydive may involve additional traffic.

The scoring for each heat is based on GPS readings from each pilot. The first two pilots from each heat advance. The overall Speed and Distance competition is decided by heat advancement only. This means that pilots advance through brackets, winning their heats, until the final.

Scorer 1: Checks with the rabbit and the competitors to ensure that all pilots were below and behind the rabbit at the start. For Championship events, verifies (with the start master) that all pilots exited immediately upon being signaled.

Scorer 2: Ingests Flysight tracks and determines who crossed the finish line first, or who flew the furthest distance along the course above the floor altitude. Scoring each jumper takes approximately 1 minute under normal circumstances.

There are no judges in WOWS. Part of the spirit of the competition is self-responsibility. If a score is called into question, the heat (including the rabbit) votes on a decision.

Wingsuits:

WOWS is Open Class. This means that any production wingsuit (available to, or very similar to publicly available) design is accepted. Most pilots opt to fly high performance suits. Each WOWS event strives to complete Speed and Distance events. All competitors must use the same wingsuit for both Speed and Distance.

AADs:

AADs are mandatory for all participants. They must be turned on for every jump.

GPS:

Every participant must bring their own FlySight. The Flysight is the only GPS device accepted. www.flysight.ca. Re-jumps will not be made in the event of a GPS malfunction, so having a backup is in the best interest of all competitors.

Emergency Handles and the MLW:

Each competitor must have their MLW exposed, outside of the wingsuit, from the harness rings to below the emergency handles.

Altimeters:

Audible altimeters are required (FlySight altitude alarms do not count).

Cameras:

GoPros are required for all participants in the SemiFinal and Final rounds. They must be mounted to the top front of the helmet. Competitors will be required to start recording before staging and leave on until after landing. Before loading the plane, please be sure your camera is charged and has a memory card with at least 8 GB of free space on it.

Full Face Helmets:

We highly recommended the use of full face helmets for WOWS Championships events, due to the close proximity to other competitors during the exit.

If the pilot has an exit weight (minus ballast of any kind) which is less than 200 lbs, then they may add ballast up to a 200 lbs (±2 lbs) exit weight maximum.

The maximum ballast amount allowed, regardless of exit weight, is 20 lbs.

For example:

  • If a pilot is 205 lbs exit weight (person, clothing, parachute system, and wingsuit - with no ballast hidden in the rig), then the pilot may not carry any ballast at all.
  • If a pilot is 190 lbs exit weight (person, clothing, parachute system, and wingsuit - with no ballast hidden in the rig), then the pilot may carry a maximum of 10lbs ballast.
  • If a pilot is 170 lbs exit weight, then the pilot may carry a maximum of 20 lbs ballast, for a ballasted total exit weight of 190 lbs.

A deviation of ±2 lbs from morning weigh-in is allowed to account for natural daily fluctuations in body weight. Pilots will be randomly selected for weigh-ins, so know your weight and adjust as needed!

If you wear weight for Speed, you MUST wear weight for Distance. There will be no exceptions for any reason.

Each pilot’s exit weight, including any ballast and all equipment, must be within ±2 lbs for both Speed and Distance events.

Any pilot caught violating any rule relating to ballast and exit weight, will be ejected from the event with no score, no ranking, and subject to a ban from all future WOWS events.