Annual Skydive Orange Boogie: Tight & Bright baby!By Melissa Nelson on 2013-09-09
Skydive Orange. Nestled in the countryside of the historic town of Orange, Virginia. The town’s old Silk Mill was one of the major producers of parachute cloth for World War II. However, what we skydivers know Orange for is the drop zone’s annual Skydive Orange Boogie and this year’s theme was tight and bright!
A little over a year after completion, the annual boogie was held under their new hangar which held the 228 registered jumpers. Like many skydiving centers going from the historic barnstorming-type hangars, Skydive Orange’s new hangar is one to boast about: tons of indoor, padded packing space; large flat-screen TV’s for debriefs; and nice, clean bathrooms!
The short-lived weather holds and weather forecasts did not detour many. Over the three-day boogie there were 1,129 jumps made from a super otter, CASA and R44 Helicopter. RW Organizers Kirk Verner, local Jim Smith and Joost Luysterburg kept all levels from big ways to beginner 4-way formations. Freefly organizers Matt Fry and myself did everything from tube jumps, beginner head down, angled and tracking jumps. And Andreea Olea and Cristopher Kotscha fed the birds wingsuit flocks all weekend.
Undoubtedly Skydive Orange has a colorful tradition – awesome themed parties! These parties are the not-to-be-missed. This is where the sexy, the weird, the questionable and the creative deck it out in some ridiculous threads – or lack thereof! And for historical purposes, stripping down and laying the numbers (if this doesn’t make sense, it means you need to go and find out next year)!
Quotes from random jumpers, “Memories of glow sticks flying through the air, and a glowing figure decked out lit up in Christmas lights running down the runway…” “Some idiot tried to take a ghost pepper challenge. And lost horribly! He was gracious enough to run and hurl outside the Tiki Bar though.” Ghost pepper one, Mike Norton zero.
Props to DJ Ron Douglass, who tirelessly spun rhythm and bass until, more or less the next day. Skydive Orange ran like clockwork: smooth operators. This goes with the efforts of many who are up early and up late making sure the planes are fueled, jumpers and manifested and registered, organizers are fed, bathrooms are cleaned, planes are flown and everything in between. Props go to: the manifest crew, pilots, loaders, Liz Kang-event organizer, load organizers, Barclay & Collins band and the vendors who donated prizes: L&B, Paraclete, Aerodyne, Join, Vertical, Liquid Sky, Blue Skies Magazine, Tony Suits and Cookie; to the vendors who came out: Chuting Star, Icarus, Sunpath, Birdman, Invertica and Liquid Sky.
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