Florian Landreau wins the first acro world qualifier.

The Swiss Championships were the first stop of the Acro World Qualifier, the international Acro Tour that offers 2 qualifying spots for the 2024 Acro World Tour.

From 28th to 30th of July, the Swiss Championships took place in Brienz (CHE). The Swiss Championships were the first stop of the Acro World Qualifier (AWQ). The AWQ is a new competition introduced in 2022 that consists of 4 events around the world where amateur acro pilots as well as rising stars compete to win one of the 2 spots available to join the pros in the 2024 Acro World Tour.

Florian Landreau wins with a pro tour-level run!

Florian Landreau (FRA) ended up with the win, putting down a flawless run, getting over 3 points ahead of the closest competitor. Unfortunately, the weather during that weekend was incredibly challenging and saw pilots waiting for hours on takeoff under the rain and with strong wind to try and complete more runs. But at the end of the 3-day event, only run 1 could be completed. However, the Frenchman's victory suffered no contest as his lead after run 1 made sure that he would win in almost all scenarios.

A young French pilot, Florian isn't unknown in the competition scene as he took 3rd place in last year's opening AWQ event in France. His winning run was flawless from top to bottom and closed it with an incredible landing, proving to everyone that he was the number 1 contender in the AWQ as well as a serious contender for the upcoming years in the Acro World Tour.

Gabriele Fonck (GER) is the first woman!

This year's opening AWQ event had 5 women registered out of 23 competitors, showing that the sport's women competitor scene is growing! With women's favorite and last year's Women World Tour Champion Maud Perrin (FRA) out due to injury, the competition is wide open. And it is 2021 World Champion Gabriele Fonck who took the win with an incredible run that put her 7th overall and 1st in the female category. But rookie Daniela Freutsmiedl (AUT) also performed incredibly well, grabbing 11th overall and showing great skills and strategy for her first competition. While Jennifer Ploschberger (AUT) grabbed 3rd, pulling also a great performance! The women's category is booming and promises great battles in the upcoming competition between all those athletes!

Swiss Championships got no champions.

The Swiss Championships operated with different rules than the AWQ and unfortunately needed 2 runs to be validated. In the end, Vincent Tornare (CHE), who was leading the Swiss champs after run, couldn't be crowned Swiss champion. No doubt he will be hungry to grab that title next year as it was one of his main goals of the season and a great opportunity to get his first title.

If the first golden ticket to the AWT seems to be promised to Florian, no favorites managed to set themselves apart for that second ticket.

With Florian a head and shoulders above the rest of the competition, the first golden ticket seemed to be for him for next year's AWT, although the season is still long with 3 more events to go and many things still to happen. However, the ranking is really tight from 2nd Jose Garcia (COL) to 7th Gabriele Fonck (GER), with only 1.5 points separating them. Anyone of those 5 pilots could be competing for a spot in the AWT, and it is going to be hard to predict who is going to make it as they all have serious arguments. Jose Garcia seems to be anyway one of the favorites for that spot as he has experience at this level since he competed in 2022 in the AWQ already, and he could very well hold on to that 2nd spot. But Lucas Ruffieux (CHE) and Hugo Lami (FRA), respectively 4th and 5th of the event despite being rookies at this level, showed great skills and both did amazing, so it will be interesting to see where they end up at the end of the season. And let's not forget Gabriele Fonck (GER), who is a veteran of competitions and the first female of that event, with her experience and technical skills in heli connection, she could well surpass them all to get that AWT spot.

AcroMax (ITA) will be the next stop of the AWQ, and this time it will be a joint event with the AWT.

AcroMax is set to be the next stop of the AWQ. It will be a joint event with the AWT, so both tours will finally be together with pros and amateurs sharing the beautiful scenery of Gemona. AcroMax is notoriously a difficult spot with strong valley winds and difficult weather, so everything could still change in that AWQ ranking, with any of the top 7 pilots possible event winners.

Acro World Tour

Kings of the Box 2023 - stop 02
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