6th Marko Mike Wingsuit Boogie / 5th Inl. Artistic Wingsuit Comp

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Thank you, Csaber, Dr. K.
I've been a bit busy since I got back and I needed time to get my head around all this before deciding what to say about this adventure. Suddenly have TV and newspapers looking me up. The reaction from my skydiving (and nonskydiving) family back here at home and around the world has been intense and totally unexpected. My crew managed to catch me completely offguard with a surprise ambush making a huge scene at Boston's Logan Airport in wingsuits with signs and a stretch limo plus a bunch of friends present by video.

The look on my face must have been priceless.

The level of respect love and support I've been given has left me totally floored, groping for words to describe how I feel about it and failing.

But I'll give it a try anyway.

Csaber: What a completely world-class event at a world class dropzone. We have a lot to learn here in the States about how to make a major event run well and organize a DZ. Jumper tracking, gear checks as customary procedure, loads that actually go on-time, 15- and 10- minute calls accurate to the second, (I know, I was tracking it myself by stopwatch to make sure I wasn't late for a load). The mag card system with tickets and touchscreens actually worked, and worked well.

You people run an amazingly tight ship while simultaneously being one of the most relaxed, fun places to be, that I've ever been to.

The countryside, location, scenery, nearby lake, scale and nature of the landscape make for the most incredible fantasy skydiving location imaginable. Virtually unlimited flying space, at last. Nearly infinite landing area. All the space made for easy pattern safety, I just gave everyone else a lot of room and saw no canopy conflict problems. Turbulence-free 20 mph winds once, and enough range to use them safely. It was long-range wingsuit heaven.

The facility was first rate in every way. The MI-8 was the most awesome jumpship I've encountered in a decade of jumping. The food was pretty good, and occasionally excellent, readily available at most hours, and everyone involved was very helpful. Thanks to Istvan and Szolti for keeping the food hangar cookin'.

The bathrooms and showers were clean. The little bunkhouse-style rooms available on-site were neat as a pin, very well secured with good locks, no fear of gear theft, (nobody there that I thought would steal, either, but the security of solid rooms was appreciated) and so convenient I'd prefer them over rooms with more amenities at the main airport office. The DZ compound itself is where all the action is, and being able to party with everyone going hangar to hangar and then walk 100 feet to a nice bed in my own private room right around the corner behind a hangar made it so complete that after day 1 till the competition ended I never needed to leave the DZ at all.

I have little experience in Europe besides one trip to Germany last year, and I did not know what to expect from the place or people.

The people in Hungary turned out to be warm welcoming and helpful throughout, and patient with my initial unfamiliarity with how things work there. The system makes sense and was easy to get used to.

The competitors were top notch, great sportsmen and fantastic pilots. Ideas and techniques shared and exchanged freely. I got to meet, fly with, hang out with and spend time talking technique with the likes of Martijn Maas and the Redbull team, The Fly Like Brick team, Team Suren, my friends of Elsinore Badwings, the UK, German, Russian and Ukrainian crews and Hungarian locals and many, many more.

Elana: When I really needed a coach and didn't know I needed one, I had you. Friends unafraid to tell you when you're doing it wrong and who care enough to take the risk are so rare. Maam, I am in your debt.

Redy Redfern, thanks for fogging help.
Richter, thanks for the water and showing me where the good food is in town. You were totally right about the salad.

Jim Scott... I'll take that motorcycle safety course. Really glad I got to hang out with you. The whiskey was particularly excellent sir, thank you.

Jarno. As always, a blast, bro. Thanks for a lot of things from basic guidance in European ettiquette to helping make me feel at home in a strange place. When in doubt, consult the flying Dutch clown who speaks eighteen languages. By the way, during the awards ceremony? The hop act? I was laughing -extra- hard, because you got the wrong leg.

Both times.

Daniel, thanks for keeping the DJ booth kickin'. Learned a lot of new to me good music, you hooked me up bigtime, I owe you one. I don't know whose idea it was to play "Wasted Years" during the peak of the award ceremony, but that song in particular has a lot of significance to me and made the moment unbelievably personally powerful for me.

Martijn: I just wish I'd had a chance to fly with you more, man. One of us is gonna crack Helmut's record if we keep this up. :)
Costyn, Bart and Jarno: Fantastic pictures guys, awesomeness factor: 11. The dial is only supposed to go to Ten. Oops.

The Ukrainians: Drinking with you guys was epic. I'm told there is video of the consequences, and I'm amazed that I was still standing afterward at all. You guys are FUN!

Dad: Never would have got near this if I hadn't listened. Mission Accomplished.

My home crew: You People Are Made Of Light.

My friends role models and heroes from here to Cali, Florida and back again who told me they believed: Scotty. Spot. Perry. Scott Bland. Rich Fowler. Don Mayer.

The entire dropzone in general: My god, do you people ever know how to throw a party! I am very glad I came, I had the most glorious adventure of my life, and I will be back.

I can't wait to see the video.

Live and learn... or die, and teach by example.

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