Bartholomew Emerges Victorious from 2013 World Games

After three days of lead changes, wild weather and nine intense jumps, Team Alter Ego member Curt Bartholomew added Canopy Piloting Gold to the USA medal count at the 2013 World Games, continuing his reign as the #1 Canopy Pilot in the world.

“This was a super tight competition in the hardest conditions I’ve ever flown in,” Bartholomew said after the competition. Chosen as one of only six US Canopy Pilots to compete at the World Games (held every four years and organized by the International Olympic Committee), Bartholomew was the seeded #1 Canopy Pilot going into the competition, which began last Thursday.

Only the very best Canopy Pilots in the world received an invitation to the World Games, and 36 champions had their eye on taking the top spot in the highly-coveted and highly exposed World Games. Having dominated the competition scene for the past year and a half, winning the last two world competitions (2012 World Canopy Piloting Champion and 2011 Dubai International Parachuting Champion), Bartholomew was in the crosshairs and an intense showdown was imminent going into the World Games.

Bartholomew was bested by teammate Nick Batsch at the 2013 US Nationals Championships and has been healing after an injury that occurred late in his regional Florida Canopy Piloting Association Championship run. In addition to Batsch, seven-time World Champion Jay Moledzki was fresh off a Canadian National Championship win and had his sights set on earning Gold at the World Games.

Throughout the competition, Bartholomew, PD Factory Team members Pablo Hernandez and Moledzki moved around the top 3 spots, with lead changes as close as 0.4 points separating first and second. Going into the 3rd and final day of competition, the scores pointed to a showdown between Bartholomew and Moledzki, with Hernandez taking 3rd. Batsch would earn three 100 scores during the competition and set a World Games Distance Record at XXX meters, but stumbles in the first two rounds of Zone Accuracy left him short of the podium in 4th place, missing 3rd by 1.5 points.

An upset was plausible with any given event, though, as the top 10 were within striking distance if one of the top three had even one bad round.

Moledzki would end the competition in 9th, with fellow PD Factory Team member Thomas Dellibac taking over 2nd place on the podium. Dellibac posted consistent scores throughout the competition, which allowed him to capitalize when Moledzki posted a 67.032 to Dellibac’s 92.307 in the first event of the day, Zone Accuracy. Dellibac also outscored Hernandez, closing the gap to 2nd and 3rd. Dellibac bested Moledzki by 9 points and Hernandez by 18 points in Speed for the second round of the day and had the podium in sight. When Moledzki scored only 3 points in the final Distance round he dropped unexpectedly to 9th and Dellibac sealed the silver by outscoring Hernandez by 11 points in the round. Positions 2nd, 3rd and 4th were only separated by 1.5 points between each rank.

“I’m last out. I watched all the key players throw down, with Curt landing right before me,” Moledzki wrote to his Facebook fans after the competition. “I saw the mark, I knew what was necessary to beat it by enough to pass and regain the lead. I put the hammer firmly down and brought mega heat to the gate, but couldn’t keep it below the marker. I didn’t come here to get a silver medal”.

Hernandez fought throughout the competition with only Speed showing as an achilles heel. In a dead heat for Gold with Bartholomew and Moledzki, some would say his time to be on top of the podium is due.

Bartholomew never fell below 3rd place, and his consistency in producing solid scores in each event allowed him to finish a full 45 points ahead of the silver earning score. He was also awarded “Athlete of the Day”, chosen out of 4500 athletes also competing on August 4 and joining only 29 other competitors who were chosen among a pre-selected jury.

“2013 World Games Champion. I’m still wrapping my mind around that,” Bartholomew said. “I will remember this one for the rest of my life”.

World Games 2013 Canopy Piloting Top 10:
1. Curt Bartholomew (USA)
2. Thomas Dellibac (USA)
3. Pablo Hernandez (ESP)
4. Nick Batsch (USA)
5. Andrew Woolf (AUS)
6. Brian McEnney (USA)
7. William Sherman (UAE)
8. Timothy McMaster (UAE)
9. Jason Moledzki (CAN)
10. Roman Dubsky (SVK)

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Alter Ego Teammates prepare for the 2013 World Games

Jul. 31, 2013 – Following a commanding performance at the US Canopy Piloting (CP) Nationals in May, Curt Bartholomew and Nick Batsch from Team Alter Ego are ready to repeat that dominate performance at the The World Games in Cali, Columbia, starting Thursday, August 1.

Chosen as two of only 6 US Canopy Pilots to compete at the World Games (organized by the International Olympic Committee), Bartholomew & Batsch are the early favorites to bring home Gold and Silver at the widely covered event.

Although the pair bested the rest of the field by 45 points at the US National Championships and became the winningest CP team in US Nationals history with their 5th collective Gold, they aren’t taking their competition for granted and are always pushing their training and performances to stay on top.

“I am very excited to have the opportunity to take part in such a large scale, world class event,”Bartholomew said about the World Games. “I have been dealing with some serious injuries the last few months but I can’t wait to perform in front of, and along side so many other sports!”

As teammates, they rely on each other during competitions in planning strategies for each round and discipline. Having won every major CP competition for the past two years, their strength as teammates is paying off.

“We push and help each other, it’s how we stay on top,” Batsch shared. “Our goal is not just to win, but to win by a staggering separation between us and the rest of the field. We are talking with each other in between every round to make sure we have the right plan for each event”.

As competitors, they are each other’s biggest competition. The pair are consistently in a dead heat with one another until the final jumps of a competition. A margin of only 1.7 points separated the two leading into the final jump at the 2013 US National competition. In second place, Bartholomew jumped first and scored a perfect 100 in Zone Accuracy. Batsch answered with a 100 of his own, maintaining his lead to earn Gold Overall and his 4th US National Championship title.

“If someone is going to beat me, I want it to be my teammate,” Bartholomew added.

The World Games

The World Games began Friday, July 26 and includes 4500+ athletes from 101 countries participating in 31 different sports. The Canopy Piloting competition at the World Games will be held August 1-4. The CP field is comprised of 36 registered competitors and includes only the very best Canopy Pilots from around the world.

Canopy Piloting

Canopy Piloting competitions are judged over the performances in 9 rounds of competition: 3 rounds each of Zone Accuracy, Distance and Speed. The pilots must navigate a water course at speeds upwards of 100 mph, with each event presenting unique challenges that affect how the pilot maneuvers his canopy. The placement of a toe can be enough to mean the difference between who is on top and who settles for Silver.

Team Alter Ego’s Curt Bartholomew & Nick Batsch

Bartholomew & Batsch currently hold 3 global titles: Bartholomew holds the CP World and Dubai International Parachuting Championships, while Batsch is the current CP World Cup and US National Champion. Immediately following the World Games, Bartholomew & Batsch will travel to Kolmna, Russia for the Canopy Piloting World Cup Championships, followed by the 4th Dubai International Parachuting Championship in December.

Alter Ego Dominates 2013 National Championships

May 18, 2013 – Alter Ego proved why they are the #1 Canopy Piloting Team in the World at the CP National Championship last week. Separated by only 1.77 points leading into the final jump, Curt Bartholomew ran a perfect Zone Accuracy jump and forced teammate Nick Batsch to do the same in order to win the championship.

“For awhile it was just me and Nick in the plane,” Bartholomew shared after the final jump of the National competition. “It was really cool and nice to have that moment with my teammate.”

A crowd gathered around the landing area, growing in numbers as other competitors, many out of medal contention, finished their own final jumps. By the time the final two competitors were lined up, a hushed anxiety grew.

When Bartholomew landed, a cheer erupted as many believed he had just won. Bartholomew quickly removed his gear and watched as Batsch prepared to approach the course. Meanwhile, Batsch was watching the action from 3,000 feet in the air.

“I put my canopy in brakes and watched Curt’s landing” Batsch later said. “I knew I had to hit 100 and as soon as I rolled out of my turn, I knew I had it.”

Batsch’s final jump ended two days of intense competition between the field of 79 and when he landed a perfect 100, his teammates and rivals were among those cheering the loudest, even though the two had eclipsed the competition with a staggering 45 point lead over 3rd place. Batsch later collected his 4th National title, making him the winningest Canopy Pilot in USPA Nationals history. The pair earned 7 of the 12 medals awarded at the competition.

Their win at CPNC also earn the pair a position on the US Team, competing at the World Cup in Kolomna and the Dubai International Parachuting Championship (DIPC) later this year in addition to previously being chosen to compete at the 2013 World Games (organized under the IOC) in Colombia.

As Batsch and Bartholomew prepare for the upcoming world competitions, the pressure intensifies for the broadened stage. Having earned gold and silver in nearly every major competition they’ve competed for the past 3 years, they are used to being targets at competition.

This pair comes prepared, as a key difference between Batsch and Bartholomew is in how they work together, even during a competition.

“We work to help each other’s performance in each event” Batsch explained. “We are talking with each other in between every round to make sure we have the right plan for each event”.

Their dedication played out during the Distance and Zone Accuracy events of the competition. While the scores show that the two are almost identical in performance, they each have go-to events during competitions.

Batsch is the current World Record Distance holder and has owned that title 6 consecutive times. During the National Championship he set a new Florida state Distance Record at 124 meters. However, he was bested by Bartholomew in the Distance event of the competition for the first time.

Likewise, Bartholomew is known as being a clutch performer in the Zone Accuracy event of the competition – almost scoring 100’s on demand. This time he was unseated this time by Batsch.

“We push and help each other. It’s how we stay on top. Our goal is not just to win, but to win by a staggering separation between us and the rest of the field,” Batsch continued. “50 points separation is not enough. We want to double that”.

“If someone is going to beat me, I want it to be my teammate,” Bartholomew added.

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Curt Bartholomew Wins 2012 World Championships in Dubai

12/15/2012 – DeLand

Team Alter Ego members, Bartholomew and Batsch Sweep Canopy
Piloting World Parachuting Championships

Teammates, Curt Bartholomew and Nick Batsch, emerged on top of the 129-field competition at
the World Parachuting Championships in December, bringing home every Gold Medal
in the Canopy Piloting Events, a new World Record and the 1st and 2nd place Overall
Canopy Piloting Championships.
Bartholomew (DeLand, FL) and Batsch (Denver, CO), teammates on the US-based
Canopy Piloting Team, Alter Ego, placed 1st and 2nd, respectively, at the US Nationals
event held earlier in 2012 and were members of the 8-person team representing the
USA at the Championship event.
Team Alter Ego’s final medal count was 6 out of the possible 12 in the Canopy Piloting Division, including
every gold medal. Bartholomew brought home the coveted Canopy Piloting Overall gold
medal and trophy and was named World Champion. He earned gold
medals in the Speed and Zone Accuracy events and a bronze medal in the Distance
Event. Batsch set a new World Record for Distance (his 6th World Record), silver
Canopy Piloting Overall and a gold medal in the Distance event.
Bartholomew finished the competition nearly 44 points ahead of teammate Batsch and
65 points ahead of 3rd place finisher, Pablo Hernandez (ESP).

Canopy Piloting Competition Detail

Three events are held to determine the overall Canopy Piloting Champion: Speed,
Accuracy and Distance. Each event is has three rounds and an overall winner is
determined using the combined results of each round.
Bartholomew came out strong, quickly establishing dominance in the Speed Event
rounds in Day 1. After the heaviest day of jumping in the competition, Day 3,
Bartholomew grew closer to his goal of an overall Canopy Piloting Championship title by
clinching the Gold in Zone Accuracy with a perfect 100 score. The perfect 100 score
was one of only two scored in Zone Accuracy during the entire competition.
With the silver medal left in play, teammate Nick Batsch broke his own World Record in
Distance with a 154.09 run in the second round of the Distance Event. Batsch set the
previous World Record of 151.95 meters earlier this year at the US Nationals
Competition. This staggering 154.09 meter run, the length of 1.6 football fields, was
Batsch’s 6th World Record!

Nick Batsch
2nd Place Canopy Piloting Overall
World Record – Distance
Gold – Distance
Curt Bartholomew
1st Place Canopy Piloting Overall
Gold – Zone Accuracy
Gold – Speed
Bronze – Distance

Team Alter Ego
While Bartholomew and Batsch each represented Team USA at the World Parachuting
Championships; stateside, they are each members of a four-person Canopy Piloting
team, Team Alter Ego. Team Alter Ego has exploded into the competition scene with
Bartholomew and Batsch holding the National, World and International titles for the past
2 years.

2012 – Bartholomew
Gold US Nationals
Gold World Parachuting Championships – Canopy Piloting
2012 – Batsch
Silver US Nationals
Silver World Parachuting Championships – Canopy Piloting
2011 – Batsch
World Cup
2011 – Bartholomew
International Championship

Curt Distance

Batsch Wins 2011 World Cup of Canopy Piloting

After being one of the top Canopy Pilots in world for a few years, Nick Batsch edged out the competition for his first World Championship victory.  The competition took place at the beautiful dropzone of Skydive Pink in Klatovy, Czech Republic.  Surrounded by the gorgeous countryside in Europe, 101 Canopy Pilots gathered to duke it out for a World Title.  This was the biggest swoop competition to date!  Nick was flying his new NZ Aerosports Petra, the same canopy he set an astounding Distance World Record of over 222 meters at the PD Big Boy Pants in Colorado.  He was also flying his 62 square foot Petra for speed, which Nick received JUST before the competition and only had a few jumps on.  The competition was fierce, the lead changed among the top runners multiple times.  Nick’s teammate and newcomer to the international scene Curt Bartholomew (who Batsch had a heavy hand in mentoring and coaching) even grabbed the lead for a few rounds before a zero in Zone Accuracy knocked him out of contention.  Nick swung back into the lead and didn’t look back.  Among the top 5 breathing down Nick’s neck were pro’s at the highest level Jonathan Tagle, Jay Moledzki, Marat Leiras, Pablo Hernandez, Tommy Dellibac and Billy Sharman.  The Speed event was an all American sweep with Nick on top, followed closely by Jonathan Tagle, who just edged out Bartholomew.  That would make this Bartholomew’s first international medal, due in large part to Batsch’s coaching and support.  The meet rounded out and finished with Batsch’s specialty…..distance.  Nick scored an impressive 295.52 points out of 300 over the 3 rounds of distance.  With nerves running high and a World Title on the line, Batsch delivered with the farthest run of the round to close out the competition and stamp his name in the history books!  Nick ended the meet with a Gold in Speed, a Gold in Distance, and the Gold Overall giving him a coveted World Championship Title!

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