July 22nd, 2013 by Rob

Inaugural Jurien Bay Boogie, Western Australia

Article written by CYPRES sponsored Michael Vaughan


pinnacles-western-australia-smallQuoting wikipedia: “Western Australia is Australia’s largest state with a total land area of 2,529,875 square kilometres (976,790 sq mi), and the second-largest country subdivision in the world”. To keep that in perspective it is 9 times the size of Texas and 7 times the size of Germany. And while Texas has almost 100 people per square kilometre and Germany 225, WA has less than 1. Given that almost 2 million people live in Perth, the capital of WA, there is a hell of a lot of empty space out there.

Ok, enough of the boring lecture. Jurien Bay (J-Bay) is on the coast of WA, a couple hours drive north of Perth, population 1507. I am not sure if that includes the dz staff or not. Pete and Chrissy started the dz less than 4 years ago with a dream. That dream was to build the business up, starting as a small Cessna operation, and within 5 years buy a turbine. Well it has been less than 4 years and they are now the very proud owners of their very own Caravan.

So what do you do when you (and your bank) spend all that money on a very expensive flying machine? You have a boogie of course! That is how the inaugural J-Bay boogie came about. Put out a general invitation to anyone and everyone to come ong0030985-exit over for 4 days of jumping above that magical coastline. You can tell by the smiles on Pete and Chrissy’s faces not only how proud they are to own the caravan but also proud to be hosting their “first” boogie. Hey Pete, that’s beer!

The story I heard was their preferred RW load organizer was unavailable and so they went down their list and eventually came to me. “Hell yeh, I’ll be there!” I had heard lots of good things about the dropzone over the last couple of years and here was my chance to see it all for myself. Adam “Longy” Long and Marcus “Here to get current” Priem came on board to organize vertical and angle jumps. Scott “You are screwing up the average age of load organizers” Paterson kept the wingsuiters busy with both small and larger flocks.

I did a few 4 ways, a bunch of star crests (congratulations Bruno, Dan, Dean and Dom) and a ton of jumps, both large and small, with the more experienced skydivers on the dz. As more and more people arrived the groups got bigger, everyone got more current and the skydives became more successful.

There were so many people, Pete and Chrissy included, excited about the prospect of doing a 16 way. So for our last jump on Saturday (Day 2) we dirtdived a 16 way. I just wanted to keep it simple, build a 16 way “Jambo”, enjoy all those smiling faces and give our video guy Ash “Papparazzi” Geneve the opportunity to take some photos of us, the coastline and the sunset. Sas was adamant “You always need a second point!” So we worked out a simple transition and built a second point into our plan. Of g0030045-8-way-2-vidcourse the skydive went off without a hitch, we built a perfect Jambo with tons of altitude to spare, we all smiled and posed like rock stars as the paparazzi did their job above us, then we moved onto that 2nd point. Thanks Sas.

So Pete how many 16 ways have you done at Jurien Bay? That’s beer!

On Sunday as well as the usual star crests and other jumps we put another very successful 16 way in the air. The plan for this one was to practice building something that would lead easily into a formation load 30 way. “But hang on” I hear you say, “there is only one caravan at this boogie”. It turns out the party hard gang from Skydive Express were planning on flying to J-Bay once all their work was done. They wanted to be on a formation load and then party with the rest of us before returning to their own dz in the morning for work.

Sas was adamant after the success of yesterday’s 16 way that we should have a 3rd point. (Cue some groans at how much there would be to remember) I just laughed and conjured up that 3rd point, “Why not?!” In the air the first point built with plenty of working time to spare. We did not manage to get to that 3rd point after all but it was there just in case we needed it.

g0040410-star-crestNext up, formation load! 30 skydivers, 2 caravans, 1 point skydive (yes Sas that is plenty for this one!), a beautiful Indian Ocean sunset. Another brilliant skydive and what a way to finish the day!

So Pete how many 30 ways have you done at Jurien Bay? That’s beer!

Enough of the skydiving. The ladies from the local footy club did a sensational job of providing lunches and dinners and making sure we had the energy to keep jumping. Ladies, that lasagne was bliss to my taste buds. Sarah “blah blah nickname?????” did a fantastic job of turning us all into movie stars with entertaining day tapes each evening. Every night there were a ton of giveaways donated by a bunch of sponsors including the WA Parachute Council, Downward Trend, Cookie, the Shire of Dandaragan, the Jurien Bay Football Club and many more. The biggest prize of the week was a free canopy from Icarus for the stand out up and coming skydiver of the boogie. Steve Arkwright you are one lucky bugger! Plus the daily “golf ball award” meant that everyone got to hear about the most embarrassing incident of the day.

WOW!!! Now that that was a great boogie. Thank you Peter and Chrissy for having the vision and to all your staff for helping to make it happen.

If I get to come back next year I would really like to check out some of the area around J-Bay including the Pinnacles. I have also heard good things about the local tours that take you out to swim with the sea lions. Perhaps we could work on some beach jumps too? Bring that on!

Photos by Ashley Geneve

Ash perspective boogie video http://vimeo.com/68044147




June 5th, 2013 by Rob

Canopy Course at York Western Australia

Article written by CYPRES sponsored Michael Vaughan

I have been jumping for 17 years and have jumped in all states of Australia except Western Australia. I have been to Perth, the capital of WA, a few times before but never to skydive. I had heard so many good things about Skydive Express DZ in York WA so when I got invited to come and teach a canopy course I jumped at the chance.

img_1363-jen-2-way-landing-emailYork is a resort style dropzone with a huge custom built hanger which houses manifest, bunk-rooms, packing area, training rooms, theater and a café with fantastic food thanks to the chef extraordinaire Harry. The pool would be bliss on a hot summers day but it is a little too cool for me in May for swimming. I am not sure why I didn’t make it into the sauna though, that would have been perfect! The caravan is a great plane for this size dz. The ‘building-in-progress’ swoop pond is going to be the largest in Australia when it is finished – I can’t wait! There is a whole lot of other work being done on the dz right now as the new owners go about making this the best dz in the country.

The canopy course was well overbooked weeks in advance. Those who were late to register had to go on the waiting list and cross their fingers that someone would be under the weather or have other commitments and not be able to make it. That is a good sign that jumpers in the state are keen to learn and improve their canopy skills. It is also a good sign that I might get invited back again.

Saturday was a perfect day for jumping, blue skies and light winds. Participants spent the day doing hop and pops from 5000 feet focusing on circuits and landings. Experience levels ranged from 20 to 1000 jumps, from novices to instructors and swoopers. I videoed and debriefed all the landings and covered various classroom theory sessions such as downsizing, getting back from long spots and leaning how to use rear risers on landing.

On Sunday the course involved hop and pops from 8000 feet with other canopies in the air to allow participants to see the result of using various canopy inputs while they have another reference point up there with them – a coach under canopy. It’s mostly no contact CRW with just a tiny bit of contact thrown in for extra excitement. We also got to do a bunch of follow the img_3653-john-brown-emailleader jumps with 50m crepe streamers. They are always a load of fun and a great learning experience too. For a lot of people getting to bump end cells and even build the odd 2 stack here and there is way closer than they have ever gotten to another canopy before. Not only does it enhance skills but it also builds confidence in traffic which is essential on a busy dz.

Unfortunately most canopy courses I do are on weekends. That is when the dz and staff are busiest so they often miss out. Not this time. I was asked to do a canopy course for the staff jumpers on Tuesday which is their day off. The day included a combination of working on personal flying skills as well as some train the trainer sessions to allow the staff to improve their own coaching/teaching skills.

I even got to do a couple of fun jumps over the weekend including a hop and pop from 14000 feet with Kenton for his 200th jump. We built a 2 stack, flew it around the heavens, did some carousels and partook in some general canopy tom foolery. The pilot even came to play doing a few flybys to say hello. Well done Kenton, 200 jumps is a fantastic achievement.

img_1357-group-shot-email


York will host a huge boogie in October with a couple of caravans and international load organizers of the caliber of Mike Carpenter (Volare), Pete Allum (Sinapsi), Matt Hill (Kristal), Kristian Moxnes (Skywalkers) and more coming. If I am lucky (and I am, just ask me!) I will be back again in October. I will then get a chance to run that monster 120m x 40m pond that will be complete by then. Looking forward to it!Many thanks to everyone involved for making it such a successful weekend..

Photos by Splitty





May 2nd, 2013 by Martin

Helmut Cloth at the Queens Day Boogie in Texel

Some impressions of the Queens Day Boogie April 27 - 29 in Texel


February 20th, 2013 by Martin

Le colloque de la FFP du 14 au 16 février 2013

by Nadine Bordas

ffpLa 2ème étape du CYPRES Road Tour a eu lieu en France, en Vendée pour le colloque de la FFP, du 14 au 16 février dernier.
Partis avec la neige, nous avons trouvé le soleil en arrivant et les mimosas en fleur !

Dans une ambiance très chaleureuse, les nombreux participants ont eu le privilège sur le stand Airtec de découvrir le véritable CYPRES STRATOS dont Felix Baumgartner était équipé lors de son incroyable saut dans l’espace, et ont reçu toutes les réponses aux questions concernant ce fameux CYPRES ou bien encore concernant la nouvelle mise à jour sur les CYPRES expédiés depuis Janvier 2013… et comme l’a si bien dit mon collègue Rob, Vive la France :-)


February 19th, 2013 by Rob

Canopy Course, Skydive Auckland, Parakai, New Zealand


Article Written by CYPRES sponsored Michael Vaughan

I last came to New Zealand for a canopy course at Mercer in 2010. When I got the invite to come back again and coach at Skydive Auckland in Parakai I jumped (like the pun?) at the chance. Parakai is about 50km and just over half an hour north of Auckland in New Zealand. They have a PAC and a Cessna to jump out of and are busy with sports jumpers of all persuasions as well as the usual students and tandems.

 

The canopy course was well oversubscribed and over the course of the weekend I met a few people who had tried to get on it but could not as there were no slots available. It looks like sports jumping in New Zealand is alive and well and jumpers are keen to learn and improve their canopy skills.

 

The weekend started nice and early on Saturday morning with a meet and greet session in the classroom. All 14 participants liam-daviesshared their jumping experience and goals for the weekend. Some wanted to learn how to use all their canopy inputs, others wanted to improve their accuracy and while others were very happy with how they were going under canopy and just wanted some feedback on how they were doing. After a quick discussion about exit orders and landing orders and a very simple canopy exercise it was time to jump.

 

Saturday went well, everyone got in 5 jumps except the 2 people who missed the last jump when they took off early with Nitro Circus tickets in hand – I reckon I would do the same thing! During the day participants got to use their harness for turns, do some rear riser stalls, practice flares, switchblades and even practice recovering from a toggle off on opening by inducing the malfunction themselves. The swoopers showed us show it is done by carving up the landing area while the lesser experienced participants flew their planned circuits and did straight in approaches. All landings were filmed and later debriefed in the classroom. As soon as the last load landed the BBQ was already fired up – many thanks to New Zealand Aerosports for sponsoring the BBQ - and everyone grabbed a hamburger and a beer to head to the classroom one last time for the final video debrief of the day.

 

jason-humphriesThe weather was not quite good enough for jumping on Sunday. The cloud was low and thick and any holes that passed by did so very quickly so there were no real opportunities to jump. The day was spent in the classroom with theory sessions and getting a chance to ask any questions that participants had on their minds. Topics covered included circuits, progressing to high performance landings, downsizing, getting back from long spots and many more. Liam Dunne from Deepseed also made a guest appearance to show his landing accident video and share his words of wisdom with us all. In 2012 Liam was involved in a low cutaway and cypress fire and is recovering from his injuries. Liam described the series of events that led to the incident and also shared with us all of his thoughts on how it could have been avoided. It was a very educational session which led onto discussions about rsl’s, skyhooks, emergency procedures, AADs and much more. Sessions like Liam’s can only help to make us all safer by promoting discussion on a range of safety related subjects.

 

All in all it was a very positive weekend. Thankyou to Tony and Lottie from Skydive Auckland for making the event happen. Thankyou also to my sponsor New Zealand Aerosports for covering my airfare from Australia to New Zealand to make the event more affordable for participants. And of course thank you to all the participants for being so keen to learn and improve.

course-participants

I hope to see you all again soon. In the meantime, safe piloting….

 

Photos by Lottie

 

 


December 11th, 2012 by Skyleague

Helmut Cloth will help Rocketman Olaf Zipser to be safe

elmut Cloth in his Airtec office, with photo of his friend Freddy Leising on his desk who died in a skydiving accident in 1986

Helmut Cloth in his Airtec office, with photo of his friend Freddy Leising on his desk who died in a skydiving accident in 1986

The Mondial Dubai 2012 is over, and many celebrities of the skydiving world made a trip there, including Felix Baumgartner and Helmut Cloth, inventor of the CYPRES, who worked together for the recent high-altitude record attempt.


Another celebrity was at the competition site, Olaf Zipser, and the NSL News was able to meet with both at the same time and at the same place for a conversation about space travel.

Helmut Cloth goes 26 years back in time with the development of the oldest and most reliable life saver. He is a soft spoken man and prefers to be in the background. Olaf Zipser has been on the forefront and often in the spotlight of the skydiving world. He is one of the inventors of the Freefly and Freestyle events.

Tests for space exploration equipment: Olaf Zipser

Tests for space exploration equipment: Olaf Zipser

Olaf Zipser was also competing at the Mondial Dubai 2012. He was filming the stronger one of the two Freefly teams from Venezuela, and he was on camera for Venezuela’s Freestyle performer, as well.

Helmut Cloth and Olaf Zipser have something in common, besides the CYPRES 2 in their containers. They are both involved in recent space exploration projects. Actually, Felix Baumgartner’s high-altitude jump was mostly a record attempt for an event that is not new. However, Helmut Cloth mentioned that Felix Baumgartner was not that far from possibly needing the CYPRES when he was spinning at a very high speed.

cypres_nslOlaf Zipser goes a step further with his recent project. He will soon shoot himself into the higher atmosphere with a space rocket and then descend under a parachute after leaving the capsule. He and his partners are working on a rescue system for astronauts in their rockets when things go wrong while they are still within the atmosphere. Helmut Cloth will work with Olaf Zipser to support this project just as he supported Felix Baumgartner’s project. The video of the NSL Talk at Skydive Dubai provides more details.


October 12th, 2012 by Martin

Wingsuit Weltrekord 2012

von CYPRES Crew Member Sebastian Nossing
Fotos: Dan Dupuis und Mark Harris

Jahre nach dem Erscheinen der ersten kommerziell verfügbaren Wingsuit trafen sich im September 2012 100 Springer aus 21 Nationen in Perris, Kalifornien, um einen Weltrekord aufzustellen.

wingsuit_record_dan_dupuis_web

Ausgeschrieben war eine 100er Diamant-Formation. Die weiteste Anreise hatte der Südafrikaner Oliver Noten, der 18.000 Kilometer um den Globus nach Perris reiste. Der jüngste Teilnehmer war Kiefer Grossi, 22, und der älteste der gebürtige Deutsche Eike Hohenadl, 71, der in Lake Elsinore lebt. Aus Deutschland reisten Rolf Brombach, Tim Hedderich, Laura Nossing, Sebastian Nossing, Alexander von Scheidt sowie Maxi Werndl an.

Im Vorfeld gab es mehrere Wingsuit-Events, in denen schonmal GroFo-Erfahrung gesammelt werden konnte. Neben diversen größeren europäischen Formationen, unter anderem dem deutschen (inoffiziellen) Rekord mit 19 Wingsuitern, gab es auch ein dreitägiges Pre-Record-Camp direkt vor Ort in Perris. Schon dabei wurde den Teilnehmern klar, welche körperlichen Belastungen der Rekord mit sich bringen würde. Bei hochsommerlichen Temperaturen, die schon morgens die 30°C überschritten, wurden Formationen gebrieft, Exits geprobt, das Anfliegen und die Separation gelaufen bis alles passte. Anschließend ging es direkt in den Flieger, um das soeben Gebriefte möglichst exakt in die Luft zu bringen. Im Laufe des Tages kletterten die Temperaturen auf über 40°C, und nicht immer stieß ein “Formation, FULL GEAR, dirt dive!” call zum erneuten Briefing in der Sonne auf Begeisterung - dennoch war die Stimmung gut und die Lernkurve ging bei allen Teilnehmern steil nach oben.

Während beim Pre-Record-Camp noch maximal 60er-Diamanten aus drei Flugzeugen geflogen wurden, waren beim Record-Camp alle fünf Maschinen von Anfang an im Einsatz. Zunächst noch getrennt in 40er und 60er und ab dem zweiten Tag in 81er und 20er.
Bereits die 81er hatten das Zeug zum Rekord, wurden aber nicht angemeldet. Alle wollten die magische Grenze von 100 knacken. Am vierten von fünf Tagen war es soweit, endlich waren die Organisatoren und Plane Captains zufrieden mit der Leistung aller Teilnehmer und sahen den Zeitpunkt für einen Rekordversuch gekommen.

Zwei Skyvans und drei Twin Ottern hoben kurz nacheinander ab um dann als Formationsflug auf 4000 Meter zu steigen. Die Stimmung an Bord aller Flieger war angespannt, aber sehr positiv. Als das rote Licht anging, wurden die Türen geöffnet, beim grünen Licht bewegten sich die Floater in die Tür. Exit. Alles wie immer, nach dem Exit ging es zügig nach links, jeder suchte seinen Sektor und seinen Slot und flog ihn langsam an. Aber irgendetwas stimmte nicht. Die zweite Skyvan hatte ein Problem mit der Türverriegelung, was keinen Exit erlaubte. Ungläubig standen wir an der Rampe und sahen den wegfliegenden Vögeln aus den anderen Fliegern hinterher.
Nach der Landung ging es direkt zum Debrief, und was wir dort sahen stimmte jeden plötzlich äußerst positiv. Der 100er-Diamant flog wunderbar, mit einer gut sichtbaren und exakt definierten Lücke, wo eigentlich die Springer der zweiten Skyvan hätten sein sollen. Nachdem das Problem mit der Tür gelöst war, ging es nach einem kurzen Briefing schnell wieder in die Luft. Immer noch war Feintuning nötig, was nach jedem 100er zu intensiven Debriefings führte. Nach dem fünften Sprung wurden die Fotos und Videos den Schiedsrichtern zur Auswertung übergeben und das Warten begann. „Wingsuiters come to the debrief area!“ war nach etwa zwei Stunden zu hören. Dort erwartete uns die Organisatorin Taya Weiss mit der Nachricht, dass unser letzter Sprung soeben als Guiness World Record anerkannt worden war.

wingsuit_record_mark_harris_web

Das Lerntempo aller beteiligten Springer war erstaunlich hoch. Anfangs dauerte der Aufbau des 60er noch sehr lange, so dass die letzten Springer oft nur zwei Sekunden in ihrem Slot fliegen konnten. Die 100er wurden von Anfang an sehr schnell aufgebaut und flogen sehr lange, bis zu zehn Sekunden. Die durchschnittliche Fallrate der Basis lag bei 107 km/h und die geflogene Strecke bei etwa 3,5 Kilometern. Offenbar sind noch größere Formationen möglich.

Aufgrund des hohen zeitlichen und finanziellen Aufwands und der geringen Anzahl qualifizierter Springer weltweit kann es nicht jedes Jahr einen Rekord geben. Es werden aber auch in Deutschland immer wieder Events stattfinden, auf denen Wingsuit-GroFos möglich sind und Organizer vor Ort sein werden. Wer daran Interesse hat, wendet sich bitte an Rolf Brombach rolf.brombach@freenet.de oder Sebastian Nossing info@westerwings.de

Unterstützt wurde der Rekord von Airtec, Performance Designs, Chuting Star Rigging, Mirage Systems und Wicked Wingsuits.


October 10th, 2012 by Skyleague

Formation Skydiving Record Participation in Dubai 2012


Preparations for the Mondial 2012 in Dubai

Preparations for the Mondial 2012 in Dubai

The 4way Open Class competition at the Mondial 2012, will wrap up a new record participation at the World Championship of Formation Skydiving if all registered teams make it to Dubai.

4way competition is once again by far the most popular event. 34 national teams from all over the planet (Argentina, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, China, Colombia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Equador, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Great Britain, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Kazakhstan, Lithuania, Netherlands, Portugal, Qatar, Russia, South Africa, Singapore, Slovania, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, United Arabian Emirates, Ukraine, United States) have signed up for the event, while 16 teams compete in 8way and 14 in the female 4way category.

121007_chartnew

The total number of 64 teams in the three traditional Formation Skydiving events is the best participation in the history of the sport. Additional nine teams are registered for the VFS 4way event.

NSL News live coverage at the Mondial 2003 in Gap, France

NSL News live coverage at the Mondial 2003 in Gap, France

The Mondial 2012 will also include the 6th World Championship of Formation Skydiving that the NSL News will bring live from the competition site to the attention of the online audience. The first live coverage came from the Mondial 2003 in Gap, France. Dubai 2012 is the 10-year anniversary of NSL News live coverage.

Dubai seems to become a new center of the skydiving world and has blown a lot of fresh and strong air into the sails of the sport. The first class facilities of Skydive Dubai have hosted three major events, while a brandnew indoor training center offers everything that skydivers need for training.

4way and 8way world champions Craig Girard and Eliana Rodriguez have brought skydiving expertise and a wealth of knowledge and experiences to Dubai and generate new “skydivers with grippers on their jumpsuits” all the time, as Craig Girard put it for the NSL News.

NSL News live coverage at the World Meet 2010 in Menzelinsk, Russia

NSL News live coverage at the World Meet 2010 in Menzelinsk, Russia

There was actually one World Championship of Formation Skydiving that attracted an even higher number of 4way and 8way teams. Turkey hosted the World Meet in 1997, and there was no female 4way category by then. 51 teams competed in 4way (38) and 8way (15) in 1997.

38 teams in the 4way Open Class is still the standing record participation, while this year’s 34 teams match the participation number in Spain 2001. The 16 teams competing in 8way in Dubai are a new sole and unique highscore. The same counts for the 14 teams in the female 4way category.

cypres_nslThe highest total number of teams since the introduction of the female 4way category in 2001 was recorded the same year in Spain with 54 teams. The 64 teams in Dubai this year leave this number in the dust. All curves are pointing up in the chart, and the hibernation period of the past four years seems to be over…


October 10th, 2012 by Rob

2012 NSW FS State Championships


Article Written by  CYPRES Sponsored Athlete Michael Vaughan, Photos by Ken Stone, Rosy and Dave Noble


Each year for the last bunch of years not only have the NSW State Championships been on on the October long weekend but

2 way novice gold "the flying monkeys" photo Dave Noble

2 way novice gold "the flying monkeys" photo Dave Noble

they have been at Sydney Skydivers dropzone. This year was no exception. The Monday is the labour day public holiday in NSW which makes it a good weekend to have a competition. That way we always have a backup day on the Monday if we have some weather delays during the weekend. That is also something I remember happening a lot at the State Championships – weather delays!

 

Bright and early Saturday morning we had all the teams registered – 3 teams in 2 way VFS, four 4 way Intermediate FS teams, three 4 way open teams and three 2 way novice FS teams. 2 way VFS has a simple pool to allow them greater success rather than jumpers having to make the big leap into 4 way VFS. In 2 way novice FS one of the competitors must have less than

Judges Photo by Dave Noble

Judges Photo by Dave Noble

150 jumps. It’s a great fun way of introducing lesser experienced skydivers to the joys of competition and going faster than they ever have before by jumping with someone with a lot more jumps than them.

 

It might have been bright on Saturday morning but the forecast was not so bright. We were expecting a windy day so we got crackin and got a round of each event in before the wind picked up beyond jumpable limits. Time for coffee. Time for stack up and exit practise for the Aussie womens 4 way team Valkyries. Time for a cup of tea. Time for a safety seminar by Michael Vaughan on handling 2 canopies out (thanks to Jim Cowan for your expert information). Time for lunch. Time for more coffee. And that’s it for the day, no point hanging around any longer, the wind is not dying down at all.

 

Sunday morning, bright, still a little windy but jumpable all day. One of the 2 way VFS teams had withdrawn so the 2

4 way open Gold Valkyries Photo Ken Stone

4 way open Gold Valkyries Photo Ken Stone

remaining teams managed to get all their jumps in and were awarded their medals on Sunday evening. Congratulations to “Flying Fish” winning Gold and “TSC” taking out the Silver medal.

 

It was a really busy day on the dz with the competition happening in conjunction with the normal dropzone activities. By days end most 4 way teams still had a round to do. Those were completed nice and early on Sunday morning and medal presentations were done soon after. The Australian womens 4 way team “Valkyries” took out Gold in 4 way open ahead of “Smash” and “Pong”. Best of luck at the World Championships in Dubai “Valkyries”.

 

In the 4 way FS Intermediate competition “Rite of Passage” won Gold ahead of “Vertical Challenge” and “Matrix”.

 

 

Vertical Challenge Photo Ken Stone

Vertical Challenge Photo Ken Stone

Now it was onto the 2 Way Novice competition. This year I got together with Dawn Tratt with Calder Chernoff on camera, calling ourselves “The Flying Monkeys”. Dawn has about 50 jumps and does manifest and dubbing to help her pay for her new addiction. We had an absolute blast. We came out of the blocks like Usain Bolt posting an 18, “Lingule” posted a 13 and “Burbled a “?????”. We followed that with a couple of slower rounds posting a ? and a ?. In round 4 we left Bolt for dead putting together a 28 point skydive in 35 seconds. Nice work Dawn, never in my wildest dreams could I have done that at 50 jumps. Those smiles were all worth it. And thanks for playing under canopy, I had a ton of fun flying with you. After the 5 rounds “The Flying Monkeys” won Gold with 84 points from Silver medal winning team “Burbled” on 25 points and “Lingula” taking out the Bronze with 24 points.

 

Another successful State Championships done. Many thanks to Sydney Skydivers for hosting the event, Jon Mc for being meet director, Liz for Dubbing, all the judges, pilots, staff and most of all thankyou to those who participated.

 

Ladies and gentlemen, that’s a wrap!


2 Way Novice Formation Skydiving














Team#

Team Name

R#1

R#2

R#3

R#4

R#5

Total

201

The Flying Monkey

1

14

12

28

12

84

203

Burbled

6

6

3

10

-

25

202

Lingula

13

6

5

-

-

24

4 Way Intermediate Formation Skydiving















Team#

Team Name

R#1

R#2

R#3

R#4

R#5

R#6

Total

303

Rite of Passage

6

10

10

8

6

5

45

302

Vertical Challenge

5

9

7

7

4

5

37

301

Maitrix

3

1

3

1

4

4

16

304

Victorious Secret

0

0

2

0

-

-

2

4 Way Open Formation Skydiving
















Team#

Team Name

R#1

R#2

R#3

R#4

R#5

R#6

Total

401

Valkyries

11

10

12

8

15

11

67

403

Smash

11

9

10

9

11

7

57

402

Pong

5

7

9

7

11

8

47

2 Way Novice VFS

















Team#

Team Name

R#1

R#2

R#3

R#4

R#5

R#6

Total

503

Flying Fish

6

3

8

3

-

-

20

502

TSC

0

1

8

2

-

-

11

501

Altitude Sickness

-

-

-

-

-

-

0

 

 


September 25th, 2012 by Skyleague

72 - God Save the Queen

120923_01_blueskiesThe latest edition of the Blue Skies Mag included a new article for the NSL News column. Topic was the UK Nationals 2012, and it was not the athletic part of the event that caught the NSL News attention.

4way Formation Skydiving competition in the United Kingdom has once again come to a new record participation this year. It was interesting to go back in time and give it some thought how the growth of the British 4way and 8way community can be explained.

The Queen does not really have anything to do with that. However, perhaps one day the British government will support skydiving competition in the United Kingdom as well as the French government does. There are other main factors at the moment, and one of them is the Satori Academy. Other skydiving school projects help too.

Big scoreboard at the UK Nationals 2012

Big scoreboard at the UK Nationals 2012

72 - That’s the number of 4-way teams that competed at the United Kingdom’s national championships in August this year. 72!!! The UK teams already set a record in participation with 55 teams last year, after 54 in 2010. After the 55, they talked about aiming at the U.S. numbers, thinking that they could get to the same attendance level as the biggest skydiving country in the world. Really…? Maybe a little bit overconfident after getting to host the Olympics…?

The answers are, “Yes they can,” and, “No, they are not overconfident.” The numbers always tell the truth: 65 teams competed at U.S. Nationals in Eloy last year, 57 teams in Ottawa in 2009 and then 59 in 2010, 55 in 2008, 58 in 2007 and 63 in 2006. Seventy-two teams at the UK Nationals 2012… This alone is impressive enough, but there is more behind it.

It is happening at a time when belly flyers are arguably struggling for survival in formation skydiving competition, or in skydiving competition in general. VFS 4-way has been touted as the 4G of skydiving for a while. And it is, athletically, in my eyes. Unfortunately, this new-age discipline faces many serious obstacles, which have not been overcome yet. Four VFS 4-way teams competed at the UK Nationals 2012. In other words, 4-way and 8-way formation skydiving competition is far from going under; it is still the main event at any national or international championship event.

Andy Scott (3rd from right) at the World Meet 2006 in Germany

Andy Scott (3rd from right) at the World Meet 2006 in Germany

What happened in the United Kingdom? Andy Scott, British Parachute Association (BPA) manager of formation skydiving competition at that time, renamed BPA’s Grand Prix competition series to the United Kingdom Skydiving League (UKSL) and synchronized the British competition classes fully with the NSL Network in 2006. British skydivers had a fitting arena from then on, and the participation began to grow consistently.

The beauty of this setup is that the UKSL runs under the BPA umbrella. Andy Scott’s 2006 move for the UKSL brought the same four competition classes to the national championships, automatically and at the same time. The teams had the opportunity to attendmonthly UKSL meets, knowing they would find the same format at the UK Nationals. Year by year, teams and competitors moved up from category to category through the whole system, while new skydivers started wherever they wanted to join the 4-way fun. The complete system has been open for everybody, whether pickup teams and scramblers or future world champions, and it was synchronized from bottom to top.

Satori Academy delegation at the UK Nationals 2012

Satori Academy delegation at the UK Nationals 2012

Then there is the Satori factor. The team appeared on the UK 4-way scene for the first time in 2008, with an all-female lineup (Julia Foxwell, Amanda Kemp, Liz Matthews, and Katie Woods). The lineup, scoring level, and purpose have changed over the years. Julia “Jules” Foxwell is the only original member left, and remains the heart and soul of the team. She has now three guys around her—Aaron Faith, John Mclver, and Ian “Milko” Hodgkinson—and they have turned Satori into a team factory. You read that right: not a tandem factory, a team factory. The Satori Academy generates teams.

The Satori Academy generated and took care of five teams in 2011 (Blue, Green, Red, Purple, and Yellow) and has grown to 11 teams in 2012 (Cobalt, Orange, and Purple in the rookie class; Yellow, Turquoise, Magenta, and Green in A Class; Black, Cyan, and White in AA), not counting the Satori national 4-way team itself. Imagine reproducing from 1 to 12 in two years…Satori and 10 of the 11 Academy teams then competed at the UK Nationals. Are you still surprised about the 72-team record participation?

Satori 2012 lineup - Not enough time for training?

Satori 2012 lineup - Not enough time for training?

The Satori members are not the only UK team who recruit and build new teams and lineups. Other experienced competitors are very proactive in this area, including the Bodyflight Aerodyne and Brit Chicks projects. Another amazing and very special UK factor is the proactive domination by female competitors. The United Kingdom has not only become well-known in the skydiving world by winning several sets of gold medals in the female 4-way category. There is a very large participation of female competitors in all categories, and the British 4-way world champions probably became role models, as they also dominated the open class competition for a while.

There is a downside to all those team-building projects in the United Kingdom, though. The British ladies have lost the number one position in the world to France, as the many former world champions don’t get together much any longer to train and compete. The Deep Blue lineups and Defenders have taken over the female 4-way competition on the very top.

Queen demo into the 2012 Olympics in London

Queen demo into the 2012 Olympics in London

It is similar in the open class; Satori members are so busy running the Academy that there are limited time and resources for team training. However, this will change in the long term. The United Kingdom has turned into a powerhouse in formation skydiving competition, and it is only a matter of time until the British FS community will produce open class lineups in 4-way and 8-way that will win medals again for the country. Watch out, USA, France and Russia…

So, what does the near future bring to formation skydiving competition in the United Kingdom? Just as with the Olympics, the Queen - who is already a parachutist according to the official promotional London 2012 clip - will eventually want to bring the same fun she had to all Englishmen and women. She will support skydiving with just as many resources as she supported the Olympics. cypres_nsl1The UK government will begin to support skydiving competition the same way France has been doing it for many years. BPA will have national coaches and select the best competitors for the national lineups who will train full time and win the first gold medals for the United Kingdom. The Queen will be happy.

I am moving to England…