Feedbacks on the CF 3-way test event

A while ago, we were asked for a detailed article about the 3-way canopy formation competition project.
The questions asked were the followings: 

What idea is behind it?
What are the first rules about this?
How did it work?
Exit altitude?
Video outside or inside?
How does it continue?
What are the next plans?

So here is some answers to let us discuss about (sorry for the long text…).

What idea is behind it?

The French CReW Team organized on the 1st and 2nd of June a CF test event with a new format : a mix of 3-way CF Sequential and 3-way CF Rotation.
5 teams were there for this test event.

The idea behind this test event is to find a new type of CF event to propose it to the International Parachuting Commission (IPC).

The observations is that on the 2-3 last europeans / world meet in CF, we had had more and more difficulties to keep the 4-way Sequential in particular with enough nation to justify an international meet. Even big CF nations (like France) were not able to present 4way teams at the last World Meet in 2018.
Some reasons for that can be (but not only) the difficulties to bring together 4 performers (plus a videographer) and the technicality of the 4way Sequential which can be very tricky with non-experienced skydivers / CReW guys.

So it becomes urgent to find something different :

  • a 3-way event could help to build a team compared to 4-way.
  • the new idea required to propose something easier in term of technicality.
  • and finally, an event which would mix Rotation and Sequential could bring some « fun » and would need less expert skills (even if we knew that for the best and fast teams, there will be expert skills !).

Based on that, the idea took form : 
a combined event of 3-way CF Sequential and 3-way CF Rotation. 


We made the rules with the followings ideas in mind.

Dive pool

For the 3-way Sequential, we made the dive pool with blocks and randoms and decided to impose the side of the formations as we do in 2way (« no mirror formations are allowed »). In this way, we would have many interesting moves like a stair-step right foot (C) to the stair-step left foot (D).

Block n°3 of the 3-way event

Working time

We chose 1min of working time for 3-way Rotation and 1min30 of working time for 3-way Sequential. For safety reason we kept the 30 secondes exit rule as it has worked well on the last 10+ years of CF competition. Theses working time were chosen based on the 4way events (90 to 60 secondes from 4way Rotation to 3way Rotation and 120 to 90 secondes from 4way Sequential to 3way Sequential)

Exit altitude

As we reduced the working time, and as it’s faster to build a 3way than a 4way formation, we also reduced the exit altitude to 2000m (6500 ft). The same altitude as 2way (7000ft) can be used to make the organisation of an 2way / 3way event easier. The reduction of altitude compared to 4way Sequential will also help to reduce the cost, but that’s a (positive) side effect.


The scoring of each jump is the same as in other 4way events. However, it was evident that the jumps in Rotation and in Sequential will score with substantial differences so we chose to use the same system as in Canopy Piloting to allow us to make a combined ranking of two different specialities. For that, in each round, the team with the best score will get 100pts. The other teams scores for the round are calculated as a percentage of the top ranked team’s result – expressed in points, calculated to the third decimal with no rounding applied. For our event, the teams made an average of 2-3 formations due to the fact that there were 2 beginners per team so this system of calculation was not required but the principle was there.

The judgement was supposed to be with air videographers. However, with the lack of videographers and the needs of the organisation, we used direct judgement on the ground for the Rotation rounds. Ideally, all jumps should have been made with air videographers.

What to learn after this first test event ?

Firstly, this event happened with 5 teams, composed with 4 French World Champion and 3 French National Champion and 7 really novice CReW dogs. All teams compositions were as balanced as possible which explained the low scores of 2~3 points.

Round 5 (8-A-3) of the team composed of Guillaume Dubois, Joel Teixeira and Sophie Thoueille

Rotation jumps

3-way Rotation jumps were all made in stack (no plan). It was easier for the novice performers to enter in 3rd position in the stack than it would have been in a 4way stack or plan. The stack was preferred (compared to the plan) because there is no time between the bottom guy who enters and the number 2 guy who become the pilot to go from plan to stack.

Sequential jumps

The 3-way Sequential jumps were really interesting. It showed :

  • it’s as complicated to incorporate a novice in 3way as in 4way sequential as making them pilot the formation is the same problem in both specialities but it’s easier to make them enter at the bottom of the formation as it’s easier to enter in number 3 than in number 4.
  • the « no mirror formations » thing is really funny as we got in the draw the C to D transition (stair-step right foot to stair-step left foot).
  • most of the teams choose to make top docks on the number 2 which was already connected to the number 3. this technique was not used anymore in France in 4way as it requires really experienced and skilled performers. It’s really easier to make it on a 2 way formation to make a 3way and it’s really quicker to release as you don’t have to wait for the number 4 to get in the formation.
  • the 3way sequential event allow teams to be incredibly faster in the releasing of the points compared to the 4 way. As there is no number 4 to wait for, when the last guy gives his line, he is released immediately, with no tension, so everyone kept their toggles position, is ready to pilot and fly again. 
    We made a 3way jump outside of the competition with 3 French Team Member and we were surprised how fast we can go without any specific training.

Results and rules

The results (and the 3way sequential videos) on the 3way test event :

The translation of the rules of the event and the randoms/blocks : 
Original rules in French : )

How does it continue ? 
What are the next plans ?


The idea is very promising. Only some small details need to be improved but this 3-way event answers well to the issues.

Next plan is to make more events like this, nationals and/or internationals.
We need to see how it works with more skilled teams.
The same event will be made again in France next year, and we would like the french federation to integrate this event to their « French Cups » in 2020 (the french federation is planning an event from the 5th to the 7th of June 2020 which should include another 3way event, dates to confirm). 

A non-official « Combined 3-way Rotation / 3-way Sequential Web Challenge » could be arranged (in 2019 (last posting before Christmas 2019 to let the judges do their thing before the New Year) or in 2020 (last posting 2 weeks before the World meet 2020 to get the results in Tanay) for example) ?
Perhaps a survey/poll on facebook and/or could let us know if it would be interesting to be done. French Judges will surely be interested to evaluate this new event.

It would be interesting if other nations try this new format, you have the rules and the draws ready to use.
A feedback and discutions can be done in Romania in few days at the World cup / European championship.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.