A New Skydiving Champion Drops in on Jobbie Nooner

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While Detroit buzzes about Jobbie Nooner, the "Mardi Gras of the Midwest” thats been celebrated for more than 20 years, the story this year goes beyond the boats, beads and booze after the first-ever Red Bull Motown Swoop brought in 8 of the world's top skydivers for a "swoop" competition that named Jay Moledzki the champion.

Clint Clawson/Photo Credit: Robert Snow/Red Bull Content Pool

I've been a part of a lot of events in Detroit, but I have never seen anything like Red Bull Motown Swoop. I didn’t know what to expect; this one definitely tops the charts!

A 300-foot course was constructed on Lake St. Clair Friday when eight of the best skydivers from around the world competed during Red Bull Motown Swoop. Despite questionable weather, thousands flocked to Gull Island on boats to party for Jobbie Nooner, and for the first time to witness the inaugural “swoop” contest that named Canadian Canopy Pilot, Jay Moledzki, champion.

“The weather was a challenge, the wind and the water was rough,” explained Moledzki, “but seeing a crowd like this enjoying the freestyle swooping made it super fun.”

Moledzki earned the most points for his successful swoop skills and wowed the crowd with his smooth landing on a small raft placed at the end of the course. The remaining roster of participating athletes included Pablo Hernandez, TJ Landgren, Matt Lewis, Travis Fienhage, Marat Leiras and Red Bull Air Force members Jeff Provenazano and Clint Clawson.

Jon Devore of the Red Bull Air Force hand-selected the competitors for their world-renowned aerobatic skills, but unlike most swoop competition formats, they were judged on their best-looking “swoop” with a parachute after jumping from a small plane, one-by-one. Three local celebrities with no skydiving expertise were invited to judge, including Jason Krause (guitar player for Kid Rock), Detroit hip-hop artist Hush Carlisle and the lead singer of the Dirty Americans’ Matthew “Myron” Kozuch.

“I’ve been a part of a lot of events in Detroit and with the band,” explained Krause, “but I have never seen anything like Red Bull Motown Swoop. I didn’t know what to expect; this one definitely tops the charts!”

WHAT’S FALLING FROM THE SKY?

Red Bull Motown Swoop is an inaugural skydive competition that took place during Jobbie Nooner, the tradition in Detroit that represents a day when the “Jobbie's” (auto workers) ditch work and party on their boats. Each competitor free fell for 10-20 seconds after exiting the plane 4,000 ft. above Gull Island. The athletes deployed their parachutes around 800 ft. above the water at speeds up to 70mph, with hook-turns before hitting the ground. Using their speed to “swoop” across a 50' x 300'course while performing freestyle moves such as “blindman,” “miracleman,” “lazyboy,” “ghost rider,” “method,” “switchblade,” and others.

For more information, visit http://www.redbullusa.com/motownswoop

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Kelli Shives