18th Kenya Boogie a SuccessBy Natasha Higman on 2006-11-23
This year's Kenya boogie was once again a fabulous event with over 126 skydivers who did over 3,000 jumps skydives, including 100 tandems all landing on a sparkling white beach. People travelled from the East and West Coasts of the US, lots of Brits, some Germans, Belgians, French, Dutch, Russians, South Africans, local Kenyan's (including Swiss/US national, an only US national and a Russian), a couple of people from Rwanda, and one person travelled all the way from Guyana.
For many couples or families of whom only one person jumps, this is a good skydiving event to go to as there are a lot of non-skydiving activities. The pool at the hotel is nice and clean (although not really swoopable, it is considered not to have enough outs!), the lawns are nicely kept and covered in sun loungers for those who just want to get some rays. The beach is absolutely beautiful, with very fine sand and coral reefs quite close to the shore. One can see the reefs from the air and they were often used to determine where along the coast we should be exiting the plane to get back to the hotel taking into account the wind strength and direction.
The hotel has a scuba school and a number of the already PADI qualified skydivers who were there took the opportunity to go under water as well as into the air. The dive sorties were always in the mornings, which meant that although skydiving was out of the question the rest of the day for fear of the bends, by around midday the following day people could start the climb onto the bus which took us from the hotel to the airstrip. A hotel further up the beach had a kite-surfing and wind surfing school and at times I spotted a few kites while under canopy, however they are all brightly coloured so although you couldn't see the lines you could make sure you didn't fly into the kite or its lines quite easily.
We had three load organisers for FS jumps, Bruce Robertson from the US, Caroline Hughes from the UK and Jorg Schmidt from Germany. Max Cohn was also there as a freefly advisor. Caroline organised two fun competitions, a 4-way scrambles and a 9-way speed, kindly judged by Bruce.
People were seen jumping with blow-up butterflies, sharks, dinghies and an inflatable Noddy Car being reversed out of an Otter door by one of the members of team Noddyflight (don't ask!). There was a missed opportunity to play Quidditch, as somehow the jumps releasing oranges in freefall never quite coincided to be on the same lift as the jump with palm leaves as broomsticks!
A number of people passed some milestones, Stephen B, from New York, did his biggest flat formation jump since he injured himself a few years ago leading limited leg movement and control. Kalahari (not his real name of course) from South Africa got his SA Cat 3 to get his B licence. Nick from the UK did his first Orange jump and Adrian B was the first person known to actually catch an orange on such a jump, although he must have passed on the secret as others have since been known to have done so too!
Harro Trempenau put on a wonderful boogie for everyone for the 18th year running and for news of the exact timing of the 19th Kenya boogie, keep an eye out on www.kenyaboogie.com
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