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Found 59 results

  1. Performance Designs hosted the PD Bullseye Sport Accuracy series across the US and Europe this summer. The competition visited 5 countries, 9 dropzones and met over 400 skydivers. This series was a chance for people with under 500 jumps to test their sport accuracy and become better canopy pilots. The 23 finalists traveled to Skydive DeLand on December 6th to meet each other, the PD team, train with Flight-1 and then compete for the chance of becoming a PD Sponsored Athlete. After an exiting competition the winner was announced: Paul Winner from Skydive Orange. Second place was taken by Lori Patalocco from Skydive Spaceland Houston and Third place by John Victor from Skydive Spaceland Dallas. “I felt that going into the competition, I had a chance. I’d put a lot of time into working on canopy skills this year. Then you get to the finals, start meeting the competitors and you realize that everyone has been working hard and the pressure was on. This event was incredible and thanks to PD for coming up with an idea that made so many people focus on their canopy piloting. What's next for me? I got my coach rating this year, and want to continue working with new skydivers and keep progressing on my free fly skills. Canopy wise, I’m hoping to attend an FLCPA event this coming year. I'm proud of myself and all the competitors for all the hard work we put going into this competition. I'm honored and excited about the amazing opportunities that our ahead for me.” - Paul Winner, PD Bullseye 2019 Winner Congratulations from Performance Designs to all the finalists for their hard work and enthusiasm for becoming better canopy pilots. Stay tuned for more details on PD Bullseye 2020. “We’re super excited about how the 2019 PD Bullseye season turned out. Loads of newer jumpers discovered and were excited about developing their canopy flight skills in a fun and competitive environment. It was great to see this series work and create greater enthusiasm in our community for safe and fun canopy flight. Learning to fly and land your canopy well is cool, and we’re glad we’ve been able to do a little part in promoting that.” Albert Berchtold, PD Marketing Manager
  2. Just wanted to reshare this https://www.milehighhub.com/calendar It's gained a ton of features over the months.
  3. Para Gear is interested in photographic submissions that you may have for the 2019 - 2020 Para Gear Catalog #82. We have taken the time to briefly describe the format and certain criteria that we look for, in order to help you to see if you have something worth submitting. We have included examples of previous catalog covers for your reference. http://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.290693934285998.71336.290673160954742&type=3 or http://www.dropzone.com/photos/zArchive/Article_Photos/Para_Gear_Covers/index.html Over the years Para Gear has used photos from all of skydiving's disciplines. We do not have a preference as far as what type of skydiving photo it is, rather we look for something that either is eye-catching or pleasing to the eye. In light of the digital age, we are also able to use photos that in one way or another may be less than perfect and enhance them, removing blemishes, flipping images, altering colors, etc. Front cover of catalog 81 Back cover of catalog 81 The following are preferences. However what we prefer and what we get, or choose, are not always the same. If however we came down to a choice between two photos of equal quality, we would opt for the one that met more of our preferences. We typically prefer that the photo be brighter. In the past we have used sunset photos and even a night jump photo, although by and large most of the photos are daytime. We like the subject of the image to have contrast with the background. Subjects that are wearing brighter more colorful clothing usually stand out more. We prefer to have the people in the photo wearing equipment since that is what we sell. Headgear, goggles, jumpsuits, altimeters, audible altimeters, and gloves are all good. We also prefer to see skydivers wearing head and foot protection. We do not print any BASE jumping nor any Tandem photographs. No submissions of these will be accepted. We are not interested an any photos of individual or groups of skydivers standing on the ground. Front cover 2016 Back cover 2016 Our basic criteria is as follows:Vertical Format. The front and back covers of the catalog are both in a vertical format. We can use a horizontal (landscape) shot, as opposed to a vertical (portrait), and then crop it as long as the image lies within a vertical cropping. Photo Quality. The front and back cover shots will be printed as 8 ½ x 11 in 300 dpi format. Any film that can hold its quality up to this size and print dpi is fine. Digital format is preferred. In the event of a final cover choice, we prefer to be sent the original digital image or slide for getting the best quality out of the image. Back Cover Photo. The back cover photo is no different from the front except in one respect. We need to have room on the left side of the image for the thumb index. In the past we have taken images and been able to horizontally flip them thereby creating this room. Originality. Anything that is original, eye-catching, or makes someone take more notice of the catalog covers is something we look for. It could be a photo from a unique camera position or angle, a scenic skydive, shots under canopy, landings, etc. We look for photos that have not been previously published and most likely would not accept them if they have, as we want a photo that no one else has seen yet. We also do not want any photos that are chosen as the front or back covers to be used for other non Para Gear advertising for a period of one year. Para Gear offers $500.00 each for both the front and back covers we choose. Our current deadline for catalog cover submissions is November 16th 2018. Sending sample pictures by e-mail to curt@paragear.com, If you are sending sample digital pictures please note that they do not need to be in a very large format. If we like the sample picture we will then ask you to send the higher quality original. Please feel free to contact me directly with any questions.
  4. Image by Serge Shakuto Relying on the default method is unsatisfying because you may find yourself being the only ‘experienced’ jumper on a load of tandem pairs and AFF students, the odd skydiver on an aircraft with an organized group that you haven’t been invited to join, or one of a few miscellaneous jumpers. In any case, you’ll probably end up with limited choices: punching a hole from 14,000’ or attempting to put together a jump with people whose level of skill and experience you don’t know. Whether you become a load organizer by necessity or by choice, remember that the process of actively organizing a formation skydive is not the same as passively manifesting an aircraft load. The organizing process precedes manifesting and requires you to assume a leadership role over a group of jumpers; it is just like herding cats. “Do I really have to tell people to talk through or walk through the dive flow more than once?” Yes, you do… The first task is to figure out who is willing and able to participate in the jump — record names and evaluate who you are inviting on the load based on their experience level (not just number of jumps) and their competent ability to perform as the dive flow demands. Pay close attention to the number of relatively inexperienced jumpers on a load; the desire to develop the skills of new skydivers should never compromise the safety and well-being of the entire group. Every jumper must be aware of the time required for the pre-jump dirt dive and post-jump debrief as well as the timing of the jump, whether it is the next fuel load or the last load of the day. Inevitably, at least one person will ask “So, what are we doing on this jump?” The answer has more to do with the purpose of the jump and less to do with the specific formation(s) to be built. The purpose affects every aspect of the plan – it may be to develop a new jumper’s skills; to practice for a larger or more complicated formation; or to qualify jumpers for the SCR or SCS award. Sometimes, it may just be to decompress with a no-stress jump after a long day. Based on the purpose of the jump as well as the number and skill level of the jumpers, determine the formation(s) to be built — remember, not every jump has to have multiple transitions. Keep it simple or make it complex by adding variations that stretch the flying skills of the participants; whatever you plan, whether it’s no-contact dives, docking dives, or flying ‘pieces’, focus on orchestrating a safe, enjoyable skydive. You can use a variety of sources to plan formations but you may have to rely on your imagination; one resource is the Wild Lava app, Skydiving Formations, which contains more than one-thousand 2-way to 20-way formations. Image by Serge Shakuto At this stage, you must decide on the exit method and order to facilitate a fast exit in order to maximize working time and to minimize horizontal and vertical separation between jumpers. Consider if the purpose and plan call for a linked or unlinked base piece and how many jumpers are going to be outside the aircraft. While there is a tendency to refer to everyone outside the aircraft as a ‘floater’, true floaters are flyers that will enter the formation later, rather than sooner. Finally, don’t neglect thinking about the location of the videographer — if you relegate the camera guy to the back of the exit order, you may not get the video record of the skydive that you had hoped for. Your capacity for organization and leadership will be tested when it comes time to practice exits and entry order. As the load organizer, you establish flying procedures such as the base / pin combination and whether the plan requires slot-specific docks or not; to prevent traffic jams, you may specify quadrants or sectors to be flown. Preliminary dirt dives can be accomplished wearing jumpsuits without equipment while the last ‘waiting-to-load’ practice has the advantage of allowing everyone to key on jumpsuit and gear color combinations. An often overlooked opportunity during dirt dives is to emphasize flying the formation and the importance of good reverse grips on grippers rather than wrists (or ankles). If there are going to be transitions, ensure that everyone understands the signal and who gives it. The conclusion of the initial dirt dive is probably the best time to brief jumpers on the break-off and deployment altitudes based on experience and/or formation size. Also, depending on the conditions, it may relevant to discuss jump run and exit and opening points as well as who will be spotting the load. Reinforce the landing pattern based on current conditions. If you haven’t done so already, manifest the load and coordinate exit order with other groups / individuals onboard the aircraft: Formation skydivers (belly-to-earth).Free-flying formations (head-down, standing, or sitting).Freefall students with instructors.Tandem pairs.Tracking or angle flying groups.Wingsuit flyers.Once everyone has landed, account for all jumpers on the dive, debrief jumpers, and view the video of the jump. Even if your fellow skydivers don’t specifically thank you, most people do appreciate the work that the load organizer takes on and how the effort adds to the value of the jump. Throughout the process, be willing to accept constructive suggestions and make appropriate changes but know when you’ve reached the good idea cut-off point. Any time that a safety issue arises, address it directly. The process of developing the skills required to structure a formation skydive in a systematic way will test your organizational and leadership abilities; you will find that the results are worth the effort. One final thought, not everyone will agree with your decisions so don’t take any disagreements personally… Load Organizing Checklist Evaluate who you are inviting on the load based on: Experience level (not just number of jumps). Ability to perform as the dive flow demands. Commitment to the time (pre-jump dirt dive and post-jump debrief) required. Reputation for safety and air awareness.Establish the purpose of the jump: Developing new jumpers’ skills. Practicing for a larger or more complicated formation. Qualifying jumpers for the SCR or SCS award. Decompression.Determine the formation(s) to be built.Decide on the exit method: Linked or unlinked base piece. Number of jumpers outside the aircraft. Use of true floaters. Location of videographer.Determine exit order.Brief jumpers on: Jump run and exit / opening points. Transition signals. Break-off and deployment altitudes. Landing pattern.Manifest load and coordinate exit order with other groups / individuals onboard: Formation skydivers (belly-to-earth). Free-flying formations (head-down, standing, or sitting). Freefall students with instructors. Tandem pairs. Tracking or angle flying groups. Wingsuit flyers.Designate a spotter.Conduct dirt dives to practice exits and entry order.Establish flying procedures: Base / pin combination. Slot-specific. Not-slot-specific. Quadrants.Account for all jumpers on the jump.Debrief jumpers and view video of the jump.
  5. What do Belgian beers and boogies have in common? Greatness. If you haven't combined both yet, you are missing out. Last chance was at end of July, in Moorsele (west Belgium). The Flanders Boogie is quite possibly the largest boogie in Europe. Not happy with that, the club behind -PCV- makes it also the cheapest. PCV is a non-profit organization, which means that every penny is used to make the club greater, while keeping the jump ticket prices the lowest in the continent -as low as 15€ to 13000ft-. If you aren't convinced yet maybe 3 supervans and 1 grand caravan will tip the balance. An event for every jumper. The Flanders Boogie is an inclusive event in nature. At all levels. The number of jumpers increased over the last few years, reaching now almost 500, from more than 20 different nationalities. There are jumpers from every skill level and discipline. In this day and age, freeflying is the most popular discipline. As such, most of the participants and organizers focused on different forms of freeflying. Every day in the morning participants had to sign up for the desired group. Head up, head down, tracking/tracing or dynamic flying. Each one of these disciplines was further divided in beginner, intermediate or advanced groups. That made it easier to find an appropriate bunch of mates for each flyer. 13 coaches took care of the groups, that had a maximum of 7 participants (+ coach). Do you think that a cheap boogie would have second level coaches? Think again. Ally Milne, David Nimmo, Hedda Andersen, Julian Barthel, Kurt Dockx, Luis Lopez-Mendez, Reed Ramage, Troy Rodway, Rene Terstegen, Kim Van der Horst, Mike Wittenburg, Dylan Poty and Rich Madeley (from Fly Warriors, Fly-In, Airspace, Skydive Empuriabrava, Maktoum, Turbolenza, ...) were the freefly organizers, and some of the best flyers of the planet. Moreover, the all-mighty Gustavo Cabana joined some of the jumps so mere mortals could see the shredding of the most advanced jumps right before each day's party. Don't believe me? Watch the video. Even though freeflying has an important presence in the Boogie, the number of belly jumpers is still very significant. They also had their big share of fun. Quality 4 and 8 ways? That is guaranteed when world champions like Hayabusa are in the house. Big ways (16 and 32 ways)? No problem when Marco Arrigo, Martial Ferre, Lesley Gale, Roy Janssen, Johan Van Eeckhout and Herman Landsman are in charge. Are you a beginner skydiver and you think this boogie is not for you yet? Wrong. Coaches of the club organize fun 4-ways, with one coach and one experienced videoman, where you can learn the basics of relative work, if you are cleared to jump with more people. I told you. This is an inclusive boogie. Wingsuiting is the last big modern group discipline. If massive flocking is how you roll, you'll have a good time here as well. Darren Burke, Benoit Syben, Joran Dekker and Julian Boulle were the bosses in the area this year. If that is not enough, sometimes balloon jumps, high altitude jumps, CRW or cross country jumps are also organized during the Boogie days. Unfortunately the weather made it difficult this year for these activities. Be careful with what you wish. Last year the weather was hot. Too hot. I bet more than one was wishing for cooler weather. I know I did. Wish granted. This year was by far the year with the most challenging weather conditions. Wind, clouds and low temperatures -for being July- were the norm the whole week. Belgian summers tend to be a bit unpredictable, but this level of crappiness is a new high. Multiple weather holds and 500+ jumps limits kept a lot of people on the ground. The plus side? There is a brand new tunnel 15 minutes away, and the motivation was high as soon as the conditions improved a little bit. That's obvious when you notice that we broke a local record: 115 loads in a single day! Nobody wanted to miss the chance when after 5 days we had a day of good weather. More than jumping. The Boogie is also a great opportunity to talk to all the vendors present there. You can see their newest products, talk about them, demo them, try them on and even get measured if you decided to order a new container or suit later on. NZ Aerosports, Icarus, Performance Designs, Aerodyne, Vigil, Cookie, Sonic, SWS, Sife, Parachute Systems, Intrudair, UPT and Boogie Man representatives were there during the boogie with their latests products. Since last year, one of the evenings all the vendors present there organize the vendor's night, where beer and snacks are on them! The sponsors of the Boogie -lots of them present during it- also helped to make it more attractive with awesome prizes during the raffle. The prizes included discounts on products, free gear, tunnel time, t-shirts... you name it. After a legendary day of jumping (or of waiting) you need a legendary night of partying. Did I mention Belgian beer while watching the video of day, edited most days by the master mind of Marcel Leen? Well, I did it now. After it there was live music or DJs to keep the mood high. For some, too high. Maybe the questionable weather was not that bad on some cases. Wrapping up. During 7 days 459 skydivers from 20+ countries made 6904 jumps in 414 loads (16.67 jumpers per load, and 59 loads per day). The weather tried to keep everyone down and in the lowest day just 21 loads went up. The Boogie rebounded and made 115 loads when the conditions were good. Fun was had. Skills were learnt. The sky was shredded. Beer was drank. The wind blew and we blew back. That was stupid but we blame the beer. If you weren't there you missed out. Learn from your mistakes and save the date for 2018. If you were there and you are feeling the Boogie blues maybe watching again the daily videos will cheer you up. Flanders Boogie 2017 - Day 1. Flanders Boogie 2017 - Day 2. Flanders Boogie 2017 - Day 3. Flanders Boogie 2017 - Day 4. Flanders Boogie 2017 - Day 5. Flanders Boogie 2017 - Day 6. Flanders Boogie 2017 - Day 7.
  6. The TOP Wingsuit flyers from around the globe will get together at Skydive Fyrosity℠, Overton, NV to compete in one of the most challenging skydiving competition – 2nd FAI World cup of Wingsuit Flying. Nov 1-9, 2017 50-70 athletes from over 10 countries and five continents will test their mental and physical strength against each other in two disciplines – Performance Flying and Acrobatic Flying. For years, wingsuit flying has allowed humans to realize the age-old dream of personal human flight - Zipping through the air like Superman. With the invention of the modern wingsuit, growth of pilot skills and wingsuit technology in the last 2 decades, now this dream is a reality. Today, we live in spectacular and adventurous new era of aerial sports and Wingsuit flying history – World level competition! The 2nd FAI World Cup of Wingsuit flying will crown the best wingsuit pilot – the fastest, the toughest and the most accurate one will take the gold. The Event2nd FAI World Cup of Wingsuit Flying 2017 will be held at Skydive Fyrosity℠ . The skydiving Drop Zone is located at Overton-Perkins Field, NV only 60 miles NE of Las Vegas directly east to the Valley of Fire and North of Lake Mead National Park. The official bid to host the Event, was presented by Randy Connell – Director of Competition USPA and an Alternate USA Delegate to IPC on behalf of USA / USPA (United States Parachute Association) and Skydive Fyrosity℠ at the 67th IPC (International Parachuting Commission) meeting held in Faro, Portugal – Jan 25 – 29, 2017. The bid was voted and approved on Jan 29th, 2017 - http://www.fai.org/parachuting. IPC (International Parachuting Commission) is the world governing body of competitions skydiving under the umbrella of the FAI (Fédération Aéronautique Internationale). 50 to 70 of the world’s best wing suit flyers and competitors, plus head of international delegations, judges, FAI / IPC officials USPA Officials, family, friends, skydivers, and guests from around the world are expected to descend upon Overton, NV from Nov 1 – 9, 2017 to compete for the gold in one of the most physically and mentally challenging sporting competition – Wingsuit Flying. Overton will be renamed to “Wingsuit City” for the duration of the event and will forever be recorded into the skydiving history as the home of the 2nd FAI World Cup of Wingsuit Flying - 2017. Marilyn Kirkpatrick, the Clark County Commissioner for this area, is so excited to have Skydive Fyrosity℠ as part of the Clark County family and sees great potential benefits for the northeast area as this thrilling sport continues to grow. Wing suiting development and Las Vegas have a long history together going back to 1996 – 97, one of the original developers of the modern wingsuit is a local Las Vegas resident and current Drop Zone owner of Skydive Fyrosity℠ – Sammy Vassilev. “It is an incredible honor to have been part of the wing suiting from the very beginning and now to be able to host the 2nd FAI World Cup Wingsuit Flying at our home DZ here in NV is just the most incredible feeling”. One of the original modern wingsuit designs is on a display at Skydive Fyrosity℠ and is available for anyone to see. The DisciplinesThe 2nd FAI World Cup of Wingsuit Flying consists of 2 separate events: Acrobatic Event and Performance Events. The acrobatic competition event consists of team of 3 people, 2 acrobatic performers and a 1 camera man capturing the performance on video. The team of 3 will exit the aircraft at 12,500 above the ground and the performers have a working time of 65 seconds to demonstrate to the judges their ability and acrobatic skills, consisting of flyovers, flips, turns, relative flight. The Artistic event has 7 rounds (jumps) and is judged for accuracy of performance, artistic performance, completion of the formations, grips, and quality of the camera work. The camera man and the image the competitor camera person delivers is part of the acrobatic performance. Each jump is considered 1 round, 1 round is considered complete when all competitors have successfully completed the jump for each round including re-jumps. The Performance Event is an individual competitor event consisting of 3 tasks – Speed, Time and Distance. Each task consists of 3 rounds (jumps) for the total of 9 competition rounds (jumps). The performance event does not have aerial video, however ground-to-air video can be used if such equipment is available. Therefore, the performance event is judged by state of the art GPS system which records the performance of each competitor delivered to the judges after each jump for evaluation. Once the data is downloaded into the software and evaluated the person going the fastest, furthest and spends the most time in the air is declared the winter in each task. The aircraft exit altitude is 12,500 above the ground up to 4 miles away from the landing area and the beginning of the performance evaluation starts at 3000 meters / 9,842.5 ft above the ground and ends at 2000 meters / 6,561.6 ft. The competitor performing the best within the 1000 meter / 3,280 ft evaluation window gets the gold medal. 2016 World Champions of Wingsuit Performance Flying: 1. Chris Geiler – USA - View profile 2. Travis Mickle- USA - View profile 3. Espen Fadnes – NOR - MView profile 2016 World Champions of Wingsuit Acrobatic Flying: 1. USA TEAM 2. USA TEAM 3. RUSSIA The History of Wingsuit And How It Is Related to Las VegasAn early attempt at wingsuit flying was made on 4 February 1912 by a 33-year-old tailor, Franz Reichelt, who jumped from the Eiffel Tower to test his invention of a combination of parachute and wing, which was similar to modern wingsuits. He misled the guards by saying that the experiment was going to be conducted with a dummy. He hesitated quite a long time before he jumped, and was killed when he hit the ground head first, opening a measurable hole in the frozen ground. A wingsuit was first used in 1930 by a 19-year-old American, Rex Finney of Los Angeles, California, as an attempt to increase horizontal movement and maneuverability during a parachute jump. These early wingsuits were made of materials such as canvas, wood, silk, steel, and whalebone. They were not very reliable, although some "birdmen", notably Clem Sohn and Leo Valentin, claimed to have glided for miles. Las VegasIn the mid-1990s, the modern wingsuit was developed by the French skydiver Patrick de Gayardon, adapted from the model used by John Carta. Patrick loved Las Vegas and few people know that he did a lot of jumps testing his suit and prepping it for the Grand Canyon flights in Las Vegas. In 1997, in Las Vegas the Bulgarian second generation skydiver Sammy Vassilev a.k.a (Popov) designed and built a wingsuit which had a larger wing between the legs and longer wings on the arms. His prototype was developed at Boulder City, Nevada. Testing was conducted in a vertical wind tunnel in Las Vegas at Flyaway Las Vegas. Vassilev’s (Popov's) wingsuit first flew in October 1998 over Jean, Nevada, but it never went into commercial production. Vassilev’s (Popov's) design was a great improvement in creating lift; it was able to slow the vertical speed to 30 km/h while gliding horizontally at speeds over 200 km/h. Today exactly 20 years later Sammy Vassilev is one of the co-founders of Skydive Fyrosity Las Vegas and will be hosting the 2nd FAI World Cup of Wingsuit flying! The original wing suit built by Sammy Vassilev will be exhibited during the World Cup at Skydive Fyrosity℠. The suit was jumped during the World Championships of Wingsuit flying from the test pilot for INTRUDAIR - Benedikt Hovelmann and it is still flying fast and stable. More history:In 1998, Chuck "Da Kine" Raggs built a version which incorporated hard ribs inside the wing airfoils. Although these more rigid wings were better able to keep their shape in flight, this made the wingsuit heavier and more difficult to fly. Raggs' design also never went into commercial production. Flying together for the first time, Popov and Raggs showcased their designs side-by-side at the World Free-fall Convention at Quincy, Illinois, in August 1999. Both designs performed well. At the same event, multiple-formation wingsuit skydives were made which included de Gayardon's, Vassilev’s (Popov's), and Raggs' suits. Commercial eraIn 1999, Jari Kuosma of Finland and Robert Pečnik of Croatia teamed up to create a wingsuit that was safe and accessible to all skydivers. Kuosma established Bird-Man International Ltd. the same year. Birdman’s "Classic", designed by Pečnik, was the first wingsuit offered to the general skydiving public. Birdman was the first manufacturer to advocate the safe use of wingsuits by creating an instructor program. Created by Kuosma, the instructor program's aim was to remove the stigma that wingsuits were dangerous and to provide wingsuit beginners (generally, skydivers with a minimum of 200 jumps) with a way to safely enjoy what was once considered the most dangerous feat in the skydiving world. With the help of Birdman instructors Scott Campos, Chuck Blue and Kim Griffin, a standardized program of instruction was developed that prepared instructors.[4] Wingsuit manufacturers Squirrel Wingsuits, TonySuits Wingsuits, Phoenix-Fly, Fly Your Body, and Nitro Rigging have also instituted coach training programs. The HostSkydive FyrosityLocated at Overton- Perkins field Airport about 55-minute drive from the Las Vegas Strip, North-East of Las Vegas in one of the most beautiful locations in Nevada, Skydive Fyrosity℠ offers the most incredible views of Valley of Fire, Lake Mead, Grand Canyon, Moapa Valley Indian Reservation, Mormon Mesa, Mormon Peak, Virgin & Colorado Rivers, Zion National Park, City of Las Vegas, City of Mesquite, City of St. George, UT and 3 US states, Arizona, Utah & Nevada. The most breathtaking view of your Las Vegas tandem skydiving experience are at Skydive Fyrosity™. Skydive Fyrosity℠ is the only full-service Drop Zone in Southern Nevada and the Las Vegas area. Offering the best skydiving facility and state of the art tandem skydiving equipment in Las Vegas. Skydive Fyrosity℠ specializes in 1st time tandem skydive students and complete skydive training to all looking to learn to and become skydivers. Skydive Fyrosity℠ is the only certified Skydive Training Center (TC) by USPA in Nevada. We provide the most exclusive, personal and exhilarating tandem skydiving experience to first time tandem students, licensed and experienced skydivers, athletes, skydiving competitors, students, life lovers, adventurers, thrill seekers looking to live their lives to the fullest. Skydive Fyrosity℠ offers the most advanced and complete skydive training via the exclusive AFP Training program, (Accelerated Freefall Progression Program) and skydiving education for the active and extreme sports adventurers looking to become licensed skydivers. Skydive Fyrosity℠ welcomes all licensed skydivers, pro skydiving teams and athletes from around the world to enjoy our beautiful year-round Las Vegas Drop Zone. More: www.SkydiveFyrosityLasVegas.com
  7. The first annual JUMP-TANDEM V.I.P. FESTIVAL took place at the Dropzone Prostejov in the Czech Republic on July 11-16 2017. As the coaches arrived, there was nobody smaller than Léo Blanchon of the Bro’s (FF) and Kim Törnwall (FF), Rolf Brombach (WS), Regan Tetlow (FS), David Nimmo and Luis Adolfo Lopez-Mendez of Fly Warriors (FF). Each of them trained a small group of skydivers 4,200 meters in V.I.P. style so that everybody made great progress in their skills during the festival. There were also jumps made from two hot air balloons hovering at 4000 meters! Everybody landed safely in the drop zone. There was a party every night with happy hour, live bands and DJs. The final night featured a raffle with prizes in value of more than € 7,000. JUMP-TANDEM Dropzone Prostejov has already organized two Vector Festivals (2011, 2012), World Parachuting Championships (2014) and many World Cups and European Championships (2005-2013), for which it has become well-known. Plans are for only one V.I.P. mark in Europe next year too, which means that there is going to be very limited space available for registrations. If you don’t want to miss your slot on the very special 2018 JT V.I.P. FESTIVAL, check either the website or Facebook page regularly for more information about the event. More available at www.jumptandemfestival.com or www.facebook.com/jumptandem1/. Special thanks to festival partners Aerodyne and Cypres for their support.
  8. Continued from Part 1 Steady and organic as it has been for three years running, the growth for this particular event is a little more along the “exponential” lines. The biggest boogie Diani had seen before this particular crowd descended was made up of around 30 people; today, almost a hundred jumpers are thronging about the place. They’re poured out in ones, twos and threes on the pillows heaped on princely carved daises. They’re queueing up for smoothies at the bar--a converted Volkswagen bus, painted a cheerful robin’s-egg blue. (The van’s side roof has been removed to reveal a seemingly indefatigable blender and its winking operator--Jimmy, a Kenyan with light eyes, a quick wit and international schooling who’s just about to start on his helicopter pilot’s license.) Two dropzone dogs chase wayward monkeys up the treetrunks. A local taps an endless stack of coconuts with his practiced machete, revealing the restorative nectar inside for the jumpers rustling back in from their beach landings. A dozen packers, tidily kitted out in their official Skydive Diani shirts and swoop shorts, busily compress a steady stream of nylon under thatch roofs. It’s busy here. Not too long ago, this wide lawn would have had a population of perhaps four, give or take--and, reliably, one of those residents would be Ingvild Finvåg. Ingvild’s Viking-blue eyes and honey-blonde, Disney-princess locks announce her provenance with rigorous clarity, even if the mildness of her Nordic lilt does not. Her polished manners and peach-cheeked smiles belie the steady, bulldog resolve that has placed her squarely next to Gary at the heart of the Diani operation. Ingvild did a handful of skydives in her early 20’s, but it didn’t quite take. Seven years later, she moved to Mombasa from Oslo to work the volunteer circuit; this time, it snagged her thoroughly. She landed from her first Skydive Diani jump and essentially never left. Ingvild started her AFF in earnest a week later, logging a hundred jumps within that first season, then quickly going on to earn her TI and AFF instructor ratings. As it turns out, hers was one of the first tandems Skydive Diani had ever done. “I just hung around, jumping all the time, and built up jump numbers,” Ingvild remembers. “I just wanted to be around the drop zone.” Ingvild initially picked up a gig as the dropzone’s marketing liaison; now, she’s General Manager. On this particular afternoon, she’s ensconced at the front desk, working out the details of the catering for tonight’s Christmas party as she scruffles Bonbon, her roly-poly, lambswool dog. Next to Ingvild, Aaron Kitchener--an old friend of Gary’s, who co-runs his Kenyan security firm--is pitching in to run the manifest and make sure the bottomless coffee and tea urns stay full. When the final load goes up, Aaron ambles out from behind the desk, summoning the ground crew to help him unbox, unwrap and light dozens of oil lamps, all in the DZ’s signature blue. By the time the sunset load comes whooping down, the lamps are casting warm pools of light at the feet of the lawn’s tall palm trees, guiding the way to the free beer. If this isn’t paradise, I don’t know what is. We hear the Christmas party before we see it. Kenya Defence Forces Parachute Display Team by Joel StricklandAs we stroll down the long driveway towards the boutique hotel Gary and Ingvild have arranged to host the shindig, the happy chitter of a hundred giddy skydivers comes through the trees to announce that we’ve come to the right place. When we enter the venue, we’re stunned: this is an actual-factual Christmas party, not a cobbled-together skydiverly simalcrum. It’s a pressed-tablecloth affair, with roses and candles and African-themed Christmas crackers at every place setting. Skydivers swish about in showy dresses and ironed collars. Solicitous waiters work their way through the constellation of tables like fish in a reef, wine bottles dipping this way and that. We’re seated with the Kenyan Defense Force parachute demo team, a decorous foursome who, as we draw them out, set about showing us smartphone photos of their farms and families. We work our way together through a splendid little buffet, watching luminarias twinkle around the pool as we tell our stories. As we tuck into our Christmas pudding, a representative of the Kenyan Civil Aviation Authority makes his way to the front stage, attired in what must be his full traditional kit. As he sings the dropzone’s praises and hails the rich future of Kenyan airsports, jumpers pepper his speech with happy hoots and hollers. The phenomenon seems a little new to him, but he rolls with it, eventually passing the mic to Gary, who delivers an emotional brief history of the place before introducing a live band. In a handful of minutes, the dance floor is pumping and the pool is splashing. At one point, Jarrett Martin takes advantage of a suitable path to take a flying roll into the deep end. By the time I call it a night, I’ve already written off tomorrow morning. Fair play. Image by Mikael SoderbergIt’s certainly not the only morning that we happily write off over the course of the ten-day event. Gary and Ingvild have planned get-togethers for every night we’re together there, and none of them are missable moments. From the outdoor cuddle-puddle movie night to the jump-in “invasion” of the island at the far border of the marine reserve, these are one-event-per-boogie special, but they’re happening every time the sun goes down. There’s the pizza night at the fancypants resort down the road, for instance. After we pass through the massive wooden gates, staff in crisply pressed uniforms with crisply pressed hellos lead us past a succession of rose-petal fountains. Somewhere back beyond the second or third swimming pool, we’re established family-style at long tables and presented with pizzas that would pass the muster of any Italian expat. Someone unfurls a projector screen and hits play on the day tape, which revolves on the axis of some gorgeous flying by Airwax--the French team--as they spin around the tropospheric ballroom with consummate grace. The dazzling footage has the knock-on effect of reminding us that we’re here for skydiving, after all. Several of us immediately order water. On another evening, we pile into the Dornier for sunset inhopps to the Tiwi rivermouth. The takeoff timing leans heavily towards the late side for this strictly VFR airstrip, so we hardly get a peek at the low, golden sprawl of Mombasa and its interwoven estuaries before we’re scrambling out the door. The exit rush and the sudden fall of darkness has me a little discombobulated when I land, so I’m nowhere near prepared for what happens next. As I’m scrabbling up my lines and putting together what just happened, a group of Kenyans marches up from the treeline, surrounding me and the jumper I landed with. Dozens of them. Before I can respond to their sudden arrival, they start singing. And hugging us. And hugging each other. And dancing. And suddenly, we’re spinning in a vortex of big gospel voices, heads thrown back, pouring bouncing, burnt-sugar Swahili into the twilight sky. They eventually let us go after hauling us back in for just one more selfie; just one more enforced nuzzle into a rotund grandmama’s rooster bosom; just one more high five for somebody’s shy preschooler. They wave until we’re hundreds of feet farther on our way towards the barbecue Gary and Ingvild have set up on the banks. As I tromp through the rivermouth dunes towards the glow of headlights and smiling faces, I can’t help but thinking there’s no place like this one. I can’t help counting the days until I return. And next time, I’ll order extra toast for the monkey. Originally published in Blue Skies Magazine
  9. “Hey!” The monkey freezes, holding two pieces of toast overhead like semaphore flags. For a moment, nothing happens. We just stare at each other across the patio table: two primates who want breakfast and are a little startled to find that someone with overlapping priorities has added complications to the goal. For a moment, I think he’s going to set them back down, pat them reassuringly with his long, delicate hands and cast a fulsome grin over his shoulder as he saunters bipedally into the bushes. Instead, he lets loose with a cowabunga screech when I start to rise, tucking both slices under one lanky arm as he uses the other to facilitate an impossible leap to the roof above my head. Once up, he pops his face back over the edge. I’m quite sure he winks. He then chitters his way into the enormous baobab that overhangs the packing huts, clearly satisfied with himself. My companion at the table pours himself another cup of tea, orders more toast and pats his forehead with a napkin. The first load of the morning is on a 30-minute call, but we’re already tugging at our collars. Diani snuggles the equator, so the seasons don’t dance a spring-summer-fall-winter foxtrot; it’s either pretty hot or really hot, and it’s pretty darn hot already before 9AM on this early-December day. The pressing swelter is making us pay for last night, which was spent at the beach bar next door, with several bottles of Tusker and an ill-advised shot of tequila or two, chasing crabs through pools of lamplight on the velvet sand. The heat blossoms up, up, up from where we sit in the sultry seaside jungle, pressing long thermal fingers through the troposphere, summoning a shoulder-to-shoulder crowd of cumulonimbus calvus. These puffy troops stand a daily watch along Diani’s ribbon of powdered-sugar sand; along the impossible blue of the Indian Ocean. Similarly reliable, Kenya’s coastal wind system pumps as reliably as a healthy heart. It pushes consistently and directly down the twelve-mile-long line of the beach, day after day after day. When the ten-minute call goes up, I set my remaining toast back down and smile. It’s time to go play. My companion and I wiggle into our gear and make our way to the dropzone bus, relishing the little puffs of air conditioning that emit from the ceiling vents. Once our motley bunch of boogiers have boarded, we’re underway: two French freefly medalists, fresh from the Mondial; a South African dropzone owner watching his clever daughter giggle her way through AFF; my curly-haired companion, a beguiling Briton who has taken national gold in freefly and freestyle alike; a Russian instructor who has probably never once frowned; Diani’s resident TIs, who look like two different artists’ renderings of Peter Pan; an international assemblage of fun jumpers, representing a comprehensive gamut of languages, disciplines and gear loyalties. As we cobble together an exit order, we scratch down the gravel road from the stately white house and grounds that comprise the dropzone, starting what I can only properly describe as a ten-minute summary of the African experience. The road between the dropzone house and Diani’s Ukunda Airfield is about four and a half kilometers long. That four and a half kilometers starts in earnest with a paved, two-lane road, lined by crayon-box craft stalls and criss-crossed by vervet monkey families. Exuberantly painted tuktuks (“JESUS LOVE! WU-TANG 4EVER! BIG DADDY!”) blast past the bus, signs proclaiming their three-passenger capacity partially obscured by passenger number five’s arm, leg or shopping bag. When we negotiate the sharp turn onto the airstrip road, we’re greeted by a gaggle of tiny children in baggy school uniforms, howling and waving at us through the windows as we bump along. Shiny babies peek shyly from the backs of their mamas who, draped fastidiously in the sherbert wraps of their kikoy, walk with the lulling, rolling cadence of hips that have never been parked at a desk. Imminently pregnant cows march, at their kid shepherd’s behest, to match our forward movement as we pass a series of crumbling tin-roofed shops selling peanuts and airtime; a mission schoolhouse; a braiding salon comprised of a single pink lawn chair; a toilet plumbed directly into the middle of an open yard; a throng of shoeless teenagers in Chinese G-Star polo shirts, singing. The bus driver tries to hurry. I want him to slow down. Once we’ve passed the stern-faced airport soldiers and have bundled out of the bus, I lean down to firm my shoelace ties. I’m jostled by a woman dressed in her shiny-shoed Sunday best, as is often the case in Kenyan airports. She has wandered over to poke at the rig on my back. “Is this a parachute?,” she asks, as I weave to avoid a more comprehensive probing. When I answer in the affirmative, she shakes her head and smiles the wide, crinkle-eyed, hakuna-matata smile that seems to be the Kenyan default. “Say hello to God for me,” she says as she wheels her carry-on through the doors of the tiny terminal. As I try to figure out exactly what she meant by that, I hear the Dornier spin up. Another Diani day has officially begun. Skydiving, as you can see in the faces of the locals, is a relatively new addition to the list of activities on offer at Diani Beach. In fact, as of my first jump at the dropzone, it had been three years almost to the day since Skydive Diani first opened its doors. Though the country’s history in skydiving goes back a decade, Kenya’s skydiving scene had been categorically temporary--a week-long belly boogie, here or there, hosted from borrowed safari bushplanes in different parts of the country. In 2012, a square-jawed British expat named Gary Lincoln-Hope ended up at one of these boogies--which was, fortuitously, taking place in Diani. Gary did his first tandem at age 16. He joined the British army soon thereafter, as a commissioned officer in the parachute regiment, traveling extensively in the process. Though circumstances and conflicting responsibilities prevented him from going through his AFF while he was in the army, it was his first priority when he matriculated. The new skydiver founded a London-based security company and jumped faithfully all weekend long, every good-weather weekend. When he decided to expand his security business to Kenya--a country he’d fallen for during the course of several army training jaunts--he didn’t want to stop jumping. “I had been in Kenya for a little when I happened to come to that boogie,” Gary explains, “And I really enjoyed it. It was a huge buzz. I just knew that there should be a drop zone here in Diani. It didn’t hurt that I was really missing skydiving, because there was nowhere to do it in Kenya and I was based in a place with nowhere to jump. Luckily, I was quite entrepreneurial back then. I didn’t really know anything about skydiving, but I had set up a business here and in the UK, and I reckoned I could make it work.” Within months, Gary found the house, sourced a 206, rushed through some documentation, put the proper requests through to a somewhat baffled aviation authority and--four weeks later--found himself the proud operator of an active dropzone. By the time 2012 was out, it was all systems go. At the time Skydive Diani opened its doors, Gary himself had 300 jumps. Several thousand jumps and all their instructor ratings later, Gary and the team find themselves flying multiple aircraft from the cute to the huge. “Skydive Diani was always intended to be a place to go to jump for fun,” Gary insists, “Fun is now and has always been at the top of the agenda.” “I didn’t do it to make money,” he continues “I did it because I wanted to skydive on weekends. But I got a couple of willing tandem instructors to come over. Business was slow at the start, because the difficulty in Kenya is you are not selling tandems; you are selling the very idea of jumping out of a plane.” “During that first four months,” he continues, “I was jumping every single load, just to build up my own experience and jump numbers so I could through the rating courses. It’s been a long road, but it has steadily, organically grown to what it is now.” Continue reading part 2 Originally published in Blue Skies Magazine
  10. With the conclusion of the FAI World Cup of Indoor Skydiving 2016 we have proved a few things, re-affirmed some others and learned a couple more. The standard of flying on display and the speed at which teams of humans fling themselves around the tube has been of an eye-bulging, jaw-dropping standard throughout. Dynamic teams are separated by the kind of times that require lasers to accurately judge and the 4-Way scores can be upwards of forty points. Juniors in every category across the competition demonstrate that they are skilled and able to step up and battle the grown-ups whenever they choose that they are ready. The Dynamic 2-Way competition kicked of with everyone fighting for where they would be seeded into the knockout stage. The eight fastest teams got a buy through the early battles with the exception of the 2015 Suisse 1. Defending world champions Filip Crnjakovic and Fabian Ramseyer made a small early error which snowballed into them performing a whole speed round the wrong way - and subsequently had to work against some strong mid-table opponents to make the finals. Tie-break speed rounds separated the positions at the top - with the Polish Flyspot locals the Vipers taking the gold after sub-one second wins over the French team from Windoor. Special mention should be made for crowd favourites iFly Aspire (Kayleigh and Noah Wittenberg - formerly of Mini Maktoum) and Firefly Singapore (one of which - Kyra Poh - won gold in the Junior Freestyle) as both teams are now competition veterans despite being children - who place among the highest level and are certainly capable of victory. The battle raged in the 4-Way Open between Belgium’s Hyabusa and the French team representing the Weembi tunnel (counting a former Hyabusa member among their number) as the two traded rounds until the later part of the competition where the Belgian’s took it. After a slow start the French ladies began to put up scores in the 4-Way Female that would see them place highly in the open category - leaving the two British teams Volition and NFTO to weigh each other up for the remaining positions on the podium. A very healthy turnout of 8 teams for 4-Way Junior saw the Canadians win a gold, with France occupying 2nd and 3rd and proposing that the next crop of French flyers might represent as strongly in skydiving competitions as the current generation. VFS was all about the imperious performance of Mondial champions SDC Core - who intend to continue for for another few trips around the calendar and don’t show any signs of being beaten just yet. However, the young Golden Knights team are looking promising after their battle for Silver with the Russians and have vowed to go hard into next season. If they can bring the same pedigree to their new vertical team that the Golden Knights have to their FS interests things might get very interesting. The last few competitions have seen indoor Solo Freestyle settle into a legitimate position in the proceedings (and gather a huge number of views with some viral videos) and things are only getting more interesting. The standard of this gathering was high enough that a few mere tenths of points arranged the rankings. Interested competitors now seem to understand that cobbling together your best tunnel moves into a loose sequence is not enough to play at the top - that you have to present all the details properly. While not a competition in which music was a part of the rules, many believe it was successfully demonstrated that a well choreographed routine is only added to by a soundtrack - although it remains to be seen exactly how far this element of the format can be taken as the balance between theatre and the parameters actually written down caused some conflict between the judges scores. Leonid Volkov came from Russia with seven separate routines each accompanied by its own piece of music - yet went home with a Silver medal. There is certainly something to be said for that kind of effort and variety but the ruleset does not specify any criteria for rewarding it. He was beaten but one tenth of a point by Finland’s Inka Titto who performed an intricate, technical free round built from the kind of moves the rest of us can only dream of. Some scuttlebutt about the nature of the competition - that modern tunnel skills are somewhat overlooked in favour of classical freestyle - can be analysed in the battle for third place. Mad Raven Martin Dedek of the Czech Republic beat young Polish local Maja Kuczyńska to the bronze medal by the same single tenth that decided the top two with a fast, powerful dynamic routine that included enough creative elements and concessions to presentation to secure the win over Maja’s prettier, more classical set. This has been the first competition in which the entries in the Dynamic flying category has outnumbered those in the 4-Way open. After some dismissive thinking and comment over the elitist nature of high-end tunnel flying over recent times - that it is solely the province of tunnel instructors and professional coaches - the amount of non-pro and aspiring teams is growing all the time. This reflects the advances we have been making in teaching technique and the accessibility of our sport as a whole. Despite tweaks from one competition to the next - the rules and competition format work with some efficiency, and the rate at which tunnel facilities are sprouting up out of the earth like mushrooms with no signs of slowing down means these world gatherings look set to carry on and continue to grow. Full results can be found on the official IPC website at: http://ipc-wcresults.org.uk/ A wealth of images and more information is available on the WCIS Facebook page at: https://www.facebook.com/search/top/?q=2nd%20fai%20world%20cup%20of%20indoor%20skydiving
  11. Over the last few years - as tunnel competitions have grown ever more popular - it began to look increasingly necessary that some kind of formalisation was in order. A small central element of the involved and interested had been doing a splendid job of arranging indoor skydiving competitions, yet the exponential growth of the industry was bringing with it showdowns of condensing frequency - to the point where it was creating an overall muddle in which not a handful of months would pass without a new set of winners earning a small window of opportunity to declare themselves and be declared the best in the land - right up until the next gathering rolled around. Alongside a strong sense of independence from the tunnel community there was a building desire for more intricate and complex measures that could and would validate victory in the form of accepted world champions with trophies and medals and such. Despite the obvious symbiotic relationship between the sky and the tube there was no small resistance to the idea of joining forces with the Fédération Aéronautique Internationale, and although it seemed some form of cooperation was a likely outcome - voices could be heard on both sides of the line. Perspectives were argued and both had validity. One view held that the FAI was nothing to do with the tunnel (A somewhat ironic switcharoo from the resistance indoor flying was subject to from skydiving traditionalists in its primary years as not being ‘proper’) and that the tunnel community had been doing a bang-up job so far, so what were they really offering other than to assume control over something that belonged to us? Yet with the increase in scale across all areas of tunnel business there was the question of the organisational structure that could be offered - was the flying community able to manage all of the bureaucratic considerations for operating what are now truly widespread international shenanigans? Could they create and produce all of the documents suitable and necessary to conduct professional sporting events? The office nitty gritty and the formational nuts and bolts? Who was going to do all that? On the other side - throwing in with the FAI meant access to a support structure that has been in place for many years across myriad airborne disciplines - including the ones out there are already related to skydiving. However the FAI might bring with it the problems that have become routine in artistic skydiving competitions - issues with judging, format and structure and an unwieldy ability to change enough and fast enough despite being continually presented and queried about the problems - thus hanging an albatross around the neck of something that is moving too quickly and altering form from one event to the next while still finding its feet and discovering the best way to find out who is the best. After some to-ing and fro-ing the result was more-or-less ‘Let’s give it a try and see what happens’. The proof would be in the pudding. After a tentative first go at iFly Austin in 2014, the Hurricane Factory in Prague hosted the first formal World Indoor Skydiving Championships a year later with broad success, and now with over 200 teams from 29 countries spread across 4-Way Open, 4-Way Female, VFS, 2-Way Dynamic and Solo Freestyle descending on Poland’s FlySpot on the outskirts of Warsaw - it would seem that the overall appeal has proved the relationship to be valid as the World Cup 2016 gets going. Opening Ceremony Notably absent from proceedings is a 4-Way Dynamic competition. 4-Way Dynamic is the most dazzling display of what can currently be done in the tunnel and it is a shame that not quite enough teams were ready for this one - also likely indicative of the combination of high difficulty and a still shifting dive pool that sees teams struggle to commit or even spit up into the 2-Way competition. There is also a strong turnout in the Junior Freestyle category, with two thirds as many members as the open version and many kids also present across the belly competition. Everyone has been saying it for years - that the next generation of flyers, raised up in a tube before having anything to do with skydiving would soon be upon us. Well, with some of even the smallest participants electing to fly with the grown-ups and earn their way on a level playing field - here they are. Many here keenly feel the absence of two of our best loved and most talented individuals, both of whom we lost to accidents in the mountains this year while pursuing their dreams - Ty Baird, a peerless, perma-smiling ambassador for the sport in general and FlySpot in particular, and Dave Reader - equally influential in quieter ways. The fingerprints of these two are all over the place - not just directly on how people fly by way of their students - but on the evolution of the very techniques we use and also on the composition of some of the elements of the competition itself. They are much missed. Each time out things are bit bigger and a little smoother. The rules are starting to settle into a reliable shape, the technological gremlins behind the scenes are becoming more manageable, the live presentation gets a bit slicker and as a result our exposure to the outside world a little wider. There is still some work to do to perfect the system, but everything is only getting better - which just leaves us wondering exactly how many people it might be possible to fit in this room to watch what unfolds over the next few days. More information, including the live stream, is available at http://wcis2016.com
  12. As the 2016 Mondial draws to a close it has got me thinking about what competitive skydiving means to our community as a whole. Most of the world has little or no idea that the act of falling from aeroplanes can qualify in form and function as a sport - let alone into the myriad ways of counting up points to assess who is the best at all its different disciplines. Many of us begin our careers in this same way - learning to skydive because it is exciting and cool before knowing anything about the existence of a competitive element. During the height of a serious competition it can sometimes seem a long road from those initial intentions of hoofing about in the sky with your friends - serious faces glued to monitors, disappointment in a missed move or a weak round, tension amongst a team, arguments about the rules and controversy over judging. With the pressure on it can be easy to cast an envious glance at the easy body language of the fun-jumper loads sprinkled here and there amongst the motivated and meaningful march of team after team after team. Yet competition is a big part is how we evolve. Gathering the most accomplished of our peers into a single place for the purpose of deciding who is best is a huge undertaking - the collected years of refined skill on display at a world level skydiving competition is amazing to witness and the sheer amount of training put into the last week or so here at Skydive Chicago often represents the accumulated knowledge of entire careers in the sky - years and decades - to which the end result of all this is more than simply deciding who is the best. Friendships are made and plans for the future created. Lines of communication are drawn across borders in the skydiving world where perhaps there were none. Skills in every discipline that have been honed to a fine edge over recent weeks and months scatter across the globe as this great swarm disperses - to filter back into the progress of skydiving’s nations, communities and individuals. Putting on the Mondial represents a three-year project for Skydive Chicago, and their attention to detail came together with few hiccups. The main issue they have had to wrestle is that the sheer amount of accuracy teams represented meant that despite recognising the task it and going hard from the start they were still trying to get finished after all the other disciplines had long since wrapped up their business. Medal ceremonies were held as the separate competitions ended - starting with the artistic categories, VFS and the eight-way awards first then moving through the others each evening that they finished. There are lot of disciplines at the Mondial which involves much applause, hugs, standing respectfully and proudly for national anthems, and positioning for endless photos. It was an entirely sensible choice to break the awards up over empty evenings as to do it all at once would take a long time indeed - yet this perhaps resulted in a slight sense of fragmentation after the grand communion of the opening ceremony and the weeks proceedings as teams began to scatter once their affairs grew complete. It might have been missing a trick to not keep everyone together until the end - giving the finale a touch more scale and bombast. Yet these are small things in an otherwise impressive undertaking. With the end in sight the SDC staff even put in the extra work to bring the banquet and party forward a day to breathe a little room into those tight travel schedules or perhaps allow time to pursue an adventure in the city - for which many are grateful. Many are now in debt to SDC for a free day through which to nurse a hangover brought on by the multiple encouragements of a table-service banquet, a local funk band, the famous SDC fireworks display and Jay Moledzki playing records late into the night. So what is next for us? New champions have been created and numerous wold records broken (some obliterated). What we could really use though is some more exposure for our sport. The people of Ottawa and the surrounding communities of Illinois have been as welcoming and hospitable as that for which the people of the United States are celebrated by anyone who has ever actually been here. However despite it being on their very doorstep, when you say “skydiving” and “world championships” together in a sentence there is that familiar battle behind people’s eyes between admiration and incomprehension as they try to commute one idea to the next with no frame of reference. With advances in training methods and equipment skydiving only grows more accessible so the way ahead is bright and clear. That there are places like Skydive Chicago in the world - with the space, support structure and lift capacity to make the demands of a forty-nation get together seem relaxed and efficient means we can plan healthily for the future competitive skydiving - building on our successes and see the sport as a whole continue to grow, educate and amaze people around the world. View full list of results here
  13. Henrik Raimer by Daniel Hagström There is so much going on across the Mondial proceedings that keeping abreast of everything that is happening is probably impossible. As a competitor you are acutely aware of how well you are doing, your personal battles and what is going on directly above and below in your table. You are also probably loosely aware of what is playing out throughout the rest of your category but likely not the specifics. You might have a general picture of how the other members of your nation are doing, discussed in the downtime in your delegation tent. By the time you are reaching across the disciplines to those with which you have few connections the myriad complexities, technical acumen and gatherings of points can quickly retreat into mystery. Early call times and some long waits for the right conditions give people a chance to mooch around and learn a bit more about the strange animals on display. An important thing that one can and should take away from this event is that no matter how askance you look at the disciplines somewhat removed from what you do personally, and no matter how much more exciting and important you think your jam is - everyone here is under the same pressure and dealing in equal measures of precision to get the job done. Solaris Freestyle by Nicolas Campistron At this mid-point through the scheduled days the logistics and weather considerations mean that some disciplines are nearly complete, while some still have the lion’s share to go. The Accuracy area has proven a bit of a draw throughout some long hours when prohibitively low cloud puts paid to any freefall activities - there are something like two hundred representatives doing ten rounds each so they descend carefully from the sky in a seemingly endless precession as human after human plops down onto the pad with a projected sharpened heel presenting a score, most often just a mere couple or few centimetres from the dead centre - which when hit is celebrated with a ripple of applause and a happy squeak from the machinery. Formation UpdatesFormation Skydiving is serious business - with a level of skill and technical mastery that takes years to perfect as you evolve through the platforms. Belgium’s Hyabusa have been running away with the open category while a tight battle is playing out in the women’s category between the U.S. Golden Knights and the French ladies with at times just a single point a separating them. Talk of the town here is how much the Qatar team have improved and now throw down proudly in the middle of their peers despite only having become licensed skydivers in 2012. French DominationThe French delegation get good support from their government throughout skydiving and as such their depth of skill is on display across the whole championships. Canopy Relative Work has Frenchies in strong medal positions across the three categories but at this point the exciting part is that both the French 4-way Rotation team and the Qatar 4-way Sequential team have broken world records early on then both proceeded to repeat the feat through subsequent rounds - Qatar doing so a half-dozen times. What's happening in freeflyOn the Freefly side of things, local team SDC Core have cleaned up in the business of turning points in VFS - yet despite being far enough out in front for it not to matter were forced to express some concern over a series of busts throughout one round for the same thing over and over which was explained away as them ‘doing it too fast’ even when reviewed on 70% speed. In the Artistic categories there is always the thorny issue of exactly what the judges like and don’t like, and the discrepancies between that and the points awarded and the opinions of the flyers taking part. This world meet is turning out to be the same story over again as the consensus of opinion from many of the teams is at odds somewhat with the positions on the scoreboard. However - few would argue that the Russians have been leading the way in Freefly for a few years now with amazing creativity and precision. The truest sign of being on top of the pile in freefly is that a lot of other performances start to look a bit like yours - and the Tunnel Rats influence can be traced down through the scoreboard. Freestyle is another category largely ruled over by the French, with their two teams battling it out for gold and silver by a clear margin. Freestyle is evolving and with a strong showing this year, interest from many other countries and a new generation of born and raised flyers on the way things look to be very exciting from here on. German Accuracy by Matthias Walde Team dynamics are interesting and complex - there is always a fair amount of conflict and cat-herding even amongst smaller teams, so it is no surprise that the very best 8-way FS teams are military concerns with the discipline and organisation to make it work. On the back of previous victories the Golden Knights are way out in front and show no signs of slipping. For me, the 8-way competition is the most interesting outside of my own as you can kind of make it out from the ground while laying back on an inflatable crocodile in the SDC pond. Big numbers in the speed skydiving categoryThe biggest surprise of the event so far has come in the Speed category - Sweden’s Henrik Raimer not only broke 500km/h for the first time in an official competition but recorded a new world record with a difficult to comprehend 601km/h. For context - the speediest of the other forms of competitive skydiving operate at around half of that. This is like turning up at the Olympics and running the hundred meters a couple of seconds faster than everyone else. Zoom!
  14. Photo by Joel StricklandThere is much to love about spending time in America. For every little chuckle outsiders have about the way they do things here there is a cultural counterpoint that raises the place above its oddities. For every ludicrous psychedelic foodstuff lining the shelves of Walmart there is a dining experience that you will talk about forever, and for each curious use of language or baffling advertisement there is an example of doing things with such brio and flair it will makes you wish wherever it is you are from was a little more like it is over here. It has been a long while since the World Championships was held in the United States. Eloy presented the World Cup in 2005 but not since 1993 has skydiving biggest shown been to town. When discovering a place like Skydive Chicago it seems curious that it has been so long. Rook Nelson’s SDC is a great example of American bigness in the way the space and resources available here are presented. Manicured grass spills out and rolls off in every direction, looking for all the world like it is someone’s job to perpetually ride a mower in the manner of Sisyphus pushing that rock up that mountain. Uniform aircraft proceed in a unbroken cycle around a bespoke creation in a land-load-takeoff cycle eating up the ever increasing demand for lift capacity as one nation after another arrives to shake off the jet lag and get used to the place. By Friday the floorspace in the huge hanger is at a premium as there are more than 800 competitors from 37 nations scheduled to arrive from all over the world in time for the opening ceremony on Sunday afternoon. We are a well connected bunch so there is lots of catching up to do - perhaps just days have past between friends and rivals - or there are those have not seen since the last world meet in the Czech Republic two years ago. Teams weigh each other up. Progress is mostly hidden in the sky so much of the judgement is expressed about who has the nicest delegation gear to wear about while on the ground. This is parachuting’s biggest affair so everyone acts like it - style points, swagger, matching colours, matching luggage. The colourful menagerie of the length and breadth of skydiving is present - everything from nations where parachuting is largely a military concern representing proudly in canopy formation work and accuracy jumping, through the storied history and wide appeal of flat flying to the fresh faced kids turing up to throw down the new new way in the artistic categories. Photos by Joel Strickland Photo by Craig PoxonBy the time Sunday morning arrives the place is packed out. A day of heavy rain broke the oppressive humidity of earlier in the week but also flooded out the ancillary dropzone at Cushing Field (‘Swamp’) - so every category is here trying to get in their final practice efforts. Jumping only goes until noon to allow for the briefings and draws and to allow time for everyone to get to town for the opening ceremony. The usually perfectly adequate manifesting software was been set aside in favour of good old paper and pencils for which the result is a gigantic snake of humans at the window putting names in for thirty loads down the line. Pressure builds as we get closer to the start of the competition and everyone is deep in their own affairs - but getting this done should be recognised as no small achievement by the SDC staff as half a dozen aircraft do multiple passes and multiple heights - juggling every single category and jumping everyone safely. Some nations present huge delegations for the FAI Worlds using their full allotment of qualifiable teams. France, Great Britain and the USA itself each bring a small crowd to Ottawa Township High School brandishing flags to be introduced and applauded in turn. It is the smaller delegations though that raise the biggest cheers - the UAE has three representatives, Israel two, but the crowd rise to their feet for Cuba and India - nations both with a single member in the competition. Photo by Will PennyThe UK is not so far removed from the USA - we have been trading culture back and forth for a long time. Even so the images of a thousand movies echo in my imagination as we parade around the local high school football field in our delegation uniforms and it makes me wonder how representatives from more exotic nations find it here. The bleachers, the line of proud veterans with old bolt-action rifles, the national anthem perfectly timed with a formation flypast from the SDC aircraft and an enormous flag demo - Old Glory blazing in the strong afternoon sun. Americans are good at this stuff. The competition kicks off in the morning with an early start for some and a more relaxed call of noon for others. For now though we are thirsty and intent on embracing the invitation of hospitality from the mayor and the local community as we ooze out of the school into the town and the setting sun. Stay tuned for further updates out of Skydive Chicago by Joel.
  15. New Zealand’s Mason Holden and Flying Finn Toni Sulankivi blew away the best of the UAE’s indoor skydivers to win the Dynamic 2-Way category in the annual SandStorm Scrambles event at Inflight Dubai. Despite never having competed together – the duo only met for the first time on the night of the competition – Holden and Sulankivi combined superbly for a five round score of 411 points. It was enough to win the 13-team category by 8.8 points from Shayni Couch and Ivan Semenyaka in second place (419.8) with Omar Mohammad and Thomas Worboys coming home in third with a score of 421.1. Staged in inflight Dubai’s 5.03m x 20.73m indoor tunnel, the two-category event saw competitors combined into two and four-flyer teams by Inflight Dubai’s Team Skynamic in order to represent a spread of ability. And while many combinations, including Holden and Sulankivi’s ‘Little and Large’ team, had little or no experience together, the entrants agreed that the format provided some excellent competition. “I hadn’t even met Toni until the draw was made just before we took to the tunnel together,” said Holden, who hails from Wellington in New Zealand and is an instructor at Skydive Dubai. “But that’s what makes the Scrambles competition so much fun. You don’t know who you will be paired with, which makes the five flying routines very challenging.” For Sulankivi – who shared the AED8,000 first prize with Holden - it was the perfect end to a long day of skydiving, both indoor and outdoor. “I live in Abu Dhabi so I was up at 5am to come up to Dubai to go skydiving during the day, before competing in the tunnel in the evening,” said the Finnish flyer, who works in Government IT in the UAE capital. “It’s a very special event and the unpredictable nature and the camaraderie between the teams make it so good. You know most of the guys and girls by sight but to compete as a pair with someone you have never met before is a real challenge.” For Holden there was double success – the Kiwi also claimed second place in the 4-Way Dynamic competition after joining forces with fellow-flyers Mo Mudassir, Jamie Arnold and Emma Merritt in the ‘Bench Pressers’ team. Victory, and the AED16,000 winners’ cheque in the five-team 4-Way Dynamic category, went to the ‘Employee of the Month’ team of Dani Roman, Thomas Worboys, Brad Merritt and Mishka Lucaci on 423.8 points, 12.1 points ahead of ‘Bench Pressers (435.9). Third place went to the ‘Randy Ryanopolis’ team of Ryan Dudderidge, Pablo Rua, Omar Mohammed and Ivan Semenyaka on 444.5 points. Both competitions featured a non-scoring warm-up round, four unique dynamic speed rounds and a mystery final round with the five scores of each round added together to determine the final placing. The next event in the SandStorm Scrambles series will be the Formation Skydiving competition, which will take place at Inflight Dubai on April 22. Competitors have until April 20 to enter at www.inflightdubaisandstorm.com. SandStorm Scrambles Results 2-Way Dynamic 1. Little & Large – Holden/Sulankivi (411.0) 2. Share-A-Van – Couch/Semenyaka (419.8) 3. Shut Up Omar – Mohammed/Worboys (421.1) SandStorm Scrambles Results 4-Way Dynamic 1. Employee of the Month – Roman/Worboys/Merritt/Lucaci (423.8) 2. Bench Pressers – Holden/Mudassir/Arnold/Merritt (435.9) 3. Randy Ryanopolis – Dudderidge/Rua/Mohammed/Semenyaka (444.5)
  16. Skydive Dubai’s Winter Festival runs from December 27 to January 2 at the Desert Campus. Sporting a new format it promises to be even bigger and better than previous years. The winter months can be tough on skydivers, especially those based in cooler climates. As the season slows to a halt, the ominous signs of winter set in around the drop zone. The door on the climb to altitude is opened less frequently, and the shorty summer suits begin to gather dust in the wardrobe. Protective clothing in the guise of t-shirts, gloves, scarves and that second pair of socks, start making their way back into the gear bags. The die-hards still hit the DZ every weekend, but leisurely fun jumpers appear less and less as the temperature at altitude plummets further and further below zero. Those in the know have been preparing for this for months. Instead of straining their necks looking for a possible gap in the clouds, they will be heading for the airport this December. Fast becoming the unmissable boogie of the winter season, and after its unprecedented success last year at Skydive Dubai’s Desert Campus, the Dubai Winter Festival returns with a brand new format that includes a new Advanced Freefly Skills camp. Winterfest attracts skydivers from around the globe, and caters to everyone; from those with a shiny new A-licence to head-down carvers, XRW enthusiasts and wingsuit rodeo heroes. The boogie will run from December 27th to January 2nd, ringing in the New Year with a line-up that would make even the most seasoned pro’s fist pump their way through the exit door. So after increasing that wing loading over the festive season, isn’t it time to swap the grey skies for some sun and sand? You might still need that woolly hat if the air-conditioning gets a bit chilly indoors, but the temperature, ranging in the mid-20’s outside, means that shorty-suit doesn’t need to be retired for the season just yet. Skydive Dubai photo by Brad Merritt“I don’t care what level you’re at. As long as you have a licence you can come out and play with us. We’re going to have small groups … and maybe try to build that up and get some 8-ways, and maybe even some 30-ways.” , said Eliana Rodriguez, co-coach with Skydive Dubai Assar Dubai skydiving team. Load organisers are available for all skill levels and include some of the most well-known names in the skydiving world. For the free flyers, MKTM return to Winterfest this year to continue pushing the boundaries of what is possible in the sky and the tunnel. They are joined by Azure Freefly’s Brad Merrit, Flight-1 instructor Pablo Hernandez, and Skydive Dubai ninjas Jim Harris and Anas Bekkali to name but a few. MKTM’s fearless leader Mike Wittenburg remarked during last year’s boogie, “The desert has a nice drop zone vibe … and everyone is pretty much guaranteed to have a skill level that they can jump with organisers.” For belly flyers, Eliana Rodriguez, Elena Christova and Craig Girard of Assar Dubai are back to boogie. Laszlo Csizmadia, Jane Oakley, and Regan Tetlow are also amongst the formation skydiving organisers ready to hone and perfect skills of all levels. Videos available from the 2014 Winter Festival available here.The wingsuiters will be led by top athletes Julian Boulle, Micah Couch, and Darren Burke. In an interview last year, Burke commented on his Winter Festival experiences; “The people I’m jumping with, that’s what makes the boogie. I’m just thankful to be here. It’s a pretty cool place.” This year the Winter Festival will also host a new Advanced Freefly Skills Camp, a dedicated 5-day event within the boogie incorporating dynamic, sequential, and angle flying. The aim is to progress skills in smaller groups, eventually combining these teams into larger formations. The camp runs for the first 5 days of the Winter Festival, December 27-31, and costs 3000 AED. Included are 30 organised jumps, dedicated load organiser, in-depth briefs and debriefs, and registration for the entire boogie, so you can keep on jumping! The Advanced Skills camp is for those who can already demonstrate safe and consistent approaches in head-up and head-down orientations, and can fly angles competently on their back and belly. And what about the free stuff you ask? As always the daily raffle will have plenty of surprises, and cash prizes will be awarded for creative videographers entering the Winterfest film competitions. All Winterfest participants will avail of discounted jump tickets and receive the ‘coveted’ Dubai Winterfest t-shirt. Don’t forget the daily videos that is created from you jump videos. There is even free on-site accommodation for pre-registrants, so not a moment is missed. Bring your own camping gear and immerse yourself in the festival vibe, or reserve a bed in the Bedouin tent and chill out under the moon and stars. Get in quick and secure your spot! The onsite hotel right next to operations building offers that bit more luxury. They can be contacted directly at welcomeskydivehotel@gmail.com or by calling +971 50 8842 883. The Sleep Inn Hotel located in Silicon Oasis also provides easy access to the DZ and downtown Dubai, and don’t forget to mention Skydive Dubai to claim your discount. Registration costs 300 AED for the entire week, 100 AED for the weekend only (January 1-2), and is included in the fee for the Advanced Freefly Camp. All fees are payable on arrival. What are you waiting for? Pack that licence and a pair of flip-flops, and come to the sun for the Dubai Winter Festival! Register for the Dubai Winter Festival by filling in the online registration form, follow the Dubai Winter Festival Facebook event page for updates, and tag one and all on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook at #skydivedubai. So in the words of 70’s disco idols Baccara, “Yes Sir, I can Boogie!” Skydive Dubai article written by our staff writer Seán Hahessy.
  17. admin

    Sky Camp Halloween Party

    Halloween is the one day each year when you can be whoever you want, think of an alternative self and have fun of being someone else - if just for a while and when mixed with skydiving, you have something really extraordinary, transforming into a flying demon. In many places around the world the skydiving season is just about to end, and in turn we can look back and summarize past few months. For DZ owners, you can review how your business did. Packers; how are your hands, knees and fingers going? If you are a skydiver - have you accomplished all goals set in the beginning of the season (or have you set the goals in a first place). Was this season safe? What have you learned? Thinking about that serious issues can wait though. Have fun. Squeeze this season like a lemon. Let it go for a while. Enjoy life. Sky Camp in Poland recently hosted their Halloween event, and it looks to have been an amazing party to close out the 2015 season! Photos by KonwentPhotography for Sky Camp DZ in Poland.
  18. Some jumps are supposed to be a part of skydiving history, and this jump was one of them, with 100 polish skydivers creating a white-red formation. This week was the hottest in the year at 38 C degrees. The day consisted of 4 skyvans and 1 cessna waiting with engines on, FS suits, helmets, rigs and full sun over beautiful Klatovy airfield. 100 skydivers did their best to focus on the job - which took 8 tries before it was successfully completed. On the 9th load the formation was built, kept strong and everyone from the ground could see the white-red flag in the sky. This would never happen without dedication, discipline, self-control and only one goal in mind. And it all came together with the dedication of skydivers, organizers, dropzone staff, cameramen, load organizers, manifest, packers and sponsors. This way Poland is the 8th country in the world to successfully complete a 100-way national FS record (only Polish citizens)! Congratulations to all those involved. It is also worth mentioning that on Monday there was another record beaten: that of the 34-way of Polish women's FS formation. Girl power at its best! Congrats, ladies! Organizers: Dariusz “Dafi” Filipowski Jarosław “Widget” Shot Maciej “Heniek” Węgrzecki Camerateam: Jarosław “Widget” Shot Jacek “Grabarz” Grabowski Sebastian Lewandowski Load Organizers: Dariusz “Dafi” Filipowski Marek Nowakowski Sebastian Dratwa Safety Officer: Maciej “Mahoo” Machowicz FAI judges: Grzegorz Świerad Maciej Antkowiak Mariusz Puchała
  19. SKYDIVE LIVE’s Annual JUMP INTO THE NEW YEAR Boogie 16-19 January 2015 Our PAC750 airplane, friends, raffles, good vibes and lots of jumping in celebration of the New Year! Come on down Thursday night, January 15th, and hangout with us as we prepare for this fun-filled FOUR day weekend event. We have the fastest jump plane in the Florida panhandle - a PAC750 starting up at 9am on Friday, and a Cessna 182 for hop n’ pops. The DZ is 20 acres with 200+ acres of safe “outs” and plenty of space for you to camp out – either pitch a tent or sleep in our 5,000 square foot hangar which is carpeted for packing and is equipped with an personal outdoor shower available for use. RV hookups are available for a small fee and families are always welcome – bounce house and toys for the kids. There will be lots to do each day, weather days we’ll have free courses, camera course, safety and exit order courses, and anything else you request, just give hit us up on our Facebook page, Skydive Live, and ask. The "GoPro pic of the day" gets a free jump, we'll have Last Load of the day Swoop n’ Chugs, load organizers – from belly to free fly, bonfires at night, and more to follow! For the $25 entry fee, you get a free t-shirt, free lunch each day, and one ticket toward any of the raffles. Friday is a Pig Pick’n BBQ. We ask that everyone please bring a side dish. Saturday night, will be catered – Chicken n’ Dumplings, sweet potato casserole, green beans and more, all for $10. Breakfast is available – you can skydive for 4 days straight cause everything from the time you wake up to the time you go to bed is taken care of! No need wasting time running in to town– just have fun! Raffles – 20 minutes in the Paraclete XP tunnel in North Carolina, a free reserve pack job, a full or open face helmet, your choice and more to come. There will be organizers for all levels of FS and Free Fly, several coaches, and riggers on staff. Two Awesome free fly coaches – Matt and Darcy, Darcy will be our FreeFly Load Organizer. Our full time packer is Jerrid – He’ll pack, you just jump! Sandy Grillet will be making an appearance as our load organizer for the weekend. Sandy is a current 4, 8, and 16 way competitor with over 9,600 jumps. He’s as much a coach as he is a load organizer so if you’re looking to improve your belly skills, Sandy is your guy! Julia Secker-Walker is an AFF-I, coach, and videographer with 700+ jumps. She enjoys skydiving in all disciplines and she especially likes jumping with new students! We are excited to have Julia on staff this season! So whether it’s your 5th jump or 5,000th jump come out to Skydive Live @ 5138 County Highway 0605 Defuniak Springs, FL. 32433 (some GPS’s have the Highway 0605 as Jackson Still Cutoff, they are the same) Schedule training/tandems with Dave 910-533-9097 Any DZ questions, call Jim 850-978-4532. Questions or directions, see www.skydivelive.com Looking forward to a great weekend!
  20. Baltic Boogie takes place every year in July in Poland, on peninsula Hel. Only few days a year skydivers can gather in this specific place to benefit from spectacular views and awesome jumps over Baltic Sea. The temporary dropzone is located just in the middle of the narrow piece of land. The landing area is really tiny, wind conditions are often demanding - after all paradise for surfers equates to a lot of waiting for skydivers, which is why there is a jump limit (100 or higher, depending on current conditions) and only licensed skydivers are allowed to jump. However, despite these limitations, the place really is awesome for jumping. Blue to the left, blue to the right and blue above! For some skydivers even one single jump over Jastarnia is worth showing up for. For this year the organizers put a limit of 80 slots, which was booked within 3 weeks from registration opening. Skydivers from 7 countries invaded the northern part of Poland and - more important - the sky above it. Germany, Switzerland, Australia, Sweden, Netherlands, France, UK and Spain. Performance Designs brought demo canopies, Gregor van den Eynden (Sonic Flywear) and Jared Harris (Flyspot windtunnel) were taking care of load organizing, so when it actually was possible to jump, plane was going up and down all day long, right up until sunset. "If only the weather was more skydive-friendly I would be very happy" - says Sebastian Dratwa, boogie organizer - "But we’ve put a lot of work to prepare everything and the time when we were jumping was amazing. Thanks everyone for coming and see you next year!" All pictures have been gathered and prepared by Kuba Konwent, but it's a common work of many skydivers: Kuba Konwent, Carlos (Artur Karwowski), Jared Harris, Sebastian Dratwa, Grzegorz Ciesielski and Marta Molinska.
  21. The best skydivers in the world had an epic day in Copenhagen taking part in the first professional freestyle skydiving contest ever held in the heart of a major city. The Swoop Challenge CPH Invitational, took place on the famous Copenhagen Lakes, Friday the 12th June. A total of 19 international athletes from 11 countries participated, 16 of them making it to the final in Copenhagen. 70,000+ spectators created an intense atmosphere at the Peblinge Lake, whilst the live broadcast on national TV , and 200 million reached on Snapchat's 'Copenhagen Story' helped in making the event a huge success, as the city took advantage of the first Danish summer day basking in the sun and warm temperatures throughout the whole event. The Swoop Finals were the culmination of 5 days of intense parachuting in Denmark as the Swoop Challenge consisted of a Swoop Qualifying at Dropzone Denmark in Herning, the Swoop Night Lights, a spectacular air show in the Copenhagen Harbour on Thursday, and the the climax, The Swoop Finals on Friday. American superstars led the wayThe sunny and warm weather made conditions close to perfect for the spectator, however the wind direction and strength was unpredictable causing problems for the athletes during the warm up and two competition rounds, with many ending up in the water next to the landing platform (6 meters wide/25 meters long). At the end of a dramatic and close two rounds of competition, it was American superstar Noah Bahnson, one of the top names of the sport, that took home the Swoop Challenge title along with a first price of $7,500. In a close second came Nick Batsch, USA, ($5,000) (both are former swoop world champions) and David 'Junior' Ludvik, USA, ($2,500) rounded up the podium in 3rd. "I have never swooped in front of this many people before and it's just amazing in this beautiful weather and on a great course here in the middle of Copenhagen. We normally don't get to see this setup in skydiving because swooping competitions are held out on skydiving centers in the middle of nowhere on a small pond, so it's fantastic what the organizers are doing bringing the competition to a major city for the first time. Copenhagen is an amazing city from the sky and it is beautiful so see the city from above and landing on the big lake. We have all had a great stay in Denmark attending this fantastic Swoop Challenge event," the winner Noah Bahnson says and adds: "My last swoop is up there among my favorite swoops of all time, it was too much fun," Noah Bahson said on live TV while watching his swoop freestyle trick after he was announced as the winner. World premiere of a difficult and dangerous trick Another American, Gage Galle, attempted something that has only been attempted once, and never been caught on camera before: The barrel roll swoop, a very difficult inverted manouver, best performed over water, due to the high probability of a crash. Even though this trick has never been successfully completed, Gage chose live TV to make his attempt. He succeeded with the barrel roll, and despite crashing in the water exiting the trick, the judges gave him a high score, and for the first time ever, a barrel roll was caught on camera with the crowds going crazy. The world tour dream is aliveThe idea of Swoop Challenge and the motto 'Swoop to the People' was only formed in 2013, and after a trial event last year, the big test of the setup was Friday's competition. Next step is taking the concept to other major, spectacular cities around the world: "What a fantastic day. The 70,000+ spectators in Copenhagen had a giant party, and the crowd created a unique atmosphere around the lake. We have been working extremely hard to build this event over the past two years, and it all became a little more complicated due to the weather forecasts, that made us reschedule on short notice, but despite that, Swoop Challenge was a great success and we are thrilled and proud. 70,000 people chose to stop by the lake today, and this makes it clear to us, that it is possible to unite the beauty in extreme sports and the heart of a historical, cultural metropolitan. After today's success we are dedicated to carry Swoop Challenge across the borders and create a world tour, but it is only attainable, if others are willing to support us. Our athletes, whom are the among the best swoopers in the world, have all said, that it was amazing to jump in Copenhagen," says George Blythe, co-founder of Swoop Challenge. "Swoop Challenge was organized with great success. It opened our eyes and gave us world class parachuters in the skies above Herning and Copenhagen. With this great event, Swoop Challenge has achieved to take event planning the to the next level, and shows us a new way to use spectacular arenas for sporting events. The international athletes tells us, that they have never experienced a more beautiful place to skydive than Copenhagen, and it proves, that the concept of Swoop Challenge is on the right track," says Lars Lundov, CEO of Sport Event Denmark, the national sporting event organization that works to attract major international sporting events to Denmark and that supports Swoop Challenge financially. Dane Webber close to a sensational podiumThe only competitor from Denmark, the Danish swoop champion, Christian Webber, had a great day on home ground, and was sitting at a sensational 2nd place after the first round, after super star Micah Couch, USA. The Dane, who is employed full time and only jumps in weekends and 7 weeks a year on training camps was by far the one with fewest career jumps at 2,800. The Dane followed up with a solid second round to take home an impressive 6th place finish on home ground to the delight of himself and the Danish spectators. Top-6 - the total number of point attainable were 100 per round (200 total after 2 rounds) 1: Noah Bahnson, USA - 140,80 points (60,60 and 80,20) 2: Nick Batsch, USA - 140,01 points (58,32 and 81,69) 3: David Junior Ludvik, USA - 133,49 points (58,75 and 74,74) 4: Patrick Kaye, USA - 126,28 points (57,00 and 69,28) 5: Curt Bartholomew, USA - 123,53 points (57,68 and 65,85) 6: Christian Webber, Denmark - 112,32 points (63,76 and 48,56) ----- 7: Cornelia Mihai, Romania 8: Billy Sharman, South Africa 9: Gage Galle, USA 10: Petter Mazzetta, Sweden 11: Abdulbari Qubaisi, UAE 12: Martin Reynolds, England 13: Micah Couch, USA 14: Chris Stewart, New Zealand 15: Leigh ‘Macca’ McCormack, Australia 16: Kristian Moxnes, Norway Tukes Iwamoto from Japan, Kenneth Gajda from Denmark and Jeannie Bartholomew from America were the three athletes not qualifying for Swoop Finals, but they each had a chance to perform at the Swoop Night Lights on Thursday evening in the Copenhagen Harbour.
  22. The centre of Copenhagen will become the stage for a world premiere on Saturday June 13th. The famous Copenhagen Lakes in the middle of Denmark's capital will host the first ever professional freestyle parachuting competition ever organized in the heart of a major city as the Swoop Challenge CPH Invitational gathers the world's top athletes for 6 days of intense parachuting in a unique format. The philosophy of Swoop Challenge is to take parachuting to the people. The action packed and intense parachuting meets the urban and cultural settings of a vibrant big city in a unique blend of culture and extreme sports in beautiful settings in Denmark's capital. The best athlete after the two rounds will be crowned Swoop Challenge CPH Invitational 2015 champion and will receive a USD 7,500 first prize. Second and third place finishers will receive $5,000 and $2,500 respectively. Innovation of the sportThe Swoop Challenge CPH Invitational 2015 consists of six days of parachuting: A training camp and qualification, a grand air show in the Copenhagen Harbour and the competition day on the Copenhagen Lakes with more than 50,000 spectators watching. The professionalisation of the sport, the brand new competition format and the idea of having parachuting in urban areas has never been seen anywhere in the world. “We’re turning everything upside down and bringing extreme sport into the hearts of cities where people can experience it right in front of their own doors rather than out in the middle of nowhere where it usually takes place. We like playing with the contrast of extreme sports within a cultural and historic city while really focusing on the live experience for both spectators and viewers alike," co-founder George Blythe says. Image by Anders Bruun LarsenIn 2013 he and co-founder Michael Kattrup Lassen came up with the idea to parachute in the middle of major cities, where people naturally are. In August last year with the help from a lot of friends they showcased the sport and had 14 athletes doing one display jump each to test what was possible. The outcome by far exceeded the expectations of the duo and they partnered up with other experienced persons in the parachuting and event world to pull off the next step of their plan: The first professional freestyle competition ever to be held in the center of major cities. "We know from last years pilot project, where we held a display with 14 jumpers, that parachuting in the heart of cities was very interesting. Back then we had no idea what was going to happen, but 20,000 spectators turned up at Peblinge Lake with both national tv stations, DR and TV 2, covering the event. This success gave us the drive to follow our dream of developing a full-blown competition in the middle of cities where the world’s best athletes would be brought to town. We now have some the world’s best that are very excited about the idea of Copenhagen and we’re really looking forward to presenting them to the thousands of spectators at Peblinge Lake Saturday June 13," George Blythe says. Best extreme sports athletes in the worldAthletes from 11 countries are coming to Denmark and among the are multiple world champions and top athletes of the sport. They visit Herning and Copenhagen to take part in a competition of the highest international level and in a format none of them have seen before. Image by Aleksander Horup"One of my favorite disciplines in swooping is freestyle, and I love being able to swoop in very unique places. The opportunity to swoop in downtown Copenhagen in front of more than 50,000 spectators is awesome and something like this has never happened before. Swooping in a major city is a big dream and I am glad to be a part of such an amazing event," says American Curt Bartholomew, the defending swoop world champion from 2014 and 2012 and the 2013 World Games and World Cup champion. The 20 athletes will be attending a training camp and qualifying in Herning at Dropzone Denmark where they will compete for one of the 16 spots in the Swoop Finals in Copenhagen. Athletes from 13 countries are competing: Abdulbari Qubeisi, United Arab Emirates, 4,600 jumps Billy Sharman, South Africa, 8,642 jumps Chris Stewart, New Zealand, 5,100 jumps Christian Webber, Denmark, 2,800 jumps Cornelia Mihai, Romania, 7,000 jumps Curt Bartholomew, USA, 6,900 jumps David 'Junior' Ludvik, USA, 14,500 jumps Gage Galle, USA, 8,000 jumps Jeannie Bartholomew, USA, 3,000 jumps Kenneth Gajda, Denmark, 11,000+ jumps Kristian Moxnes, Norway, 8,000 jumps Leigh McCormack, Australia, 4,830 jumps Martin Reynolds, England, 5,500 jumps Micah Couch, USA, 10,000 jumps Nicholas Batsch, USA, 7,250 jumps Noah Bahnson, USA, 10,000+ jumps Patrick Kaye, USA, 15,000 jumps Petter Mazzetta, Sweden, 7,500 jumps Tukes Iwamoto, Japan, 10,000 jumps Support from official DenmarkBoth the City of Copenhagen and Sport Event Denmark are supporting the event and look forward to see this brand new initiative: "This is the first time a professional freestyle parachuting event takes place in the heart of a major city, and Copenhagen is the perfect venue with the lakes as the iconic backdrop. The setup is creative and unique in a way we haven't seen before and it correlates perfect with Copenhagen's image as a both historic and cultural capital and an urban and innovative city. When it comes to Swoop Challenge, Copenhagen shows that this is a city that loves sports events in the heart of the city," says Carl Christian Ebbesen, Mayor of Culture and Leisure in the City of Copenhagen. The city supports Swoop Challenge financially. "In Denmark we organize a wide range of international sporting events on land and water, and with Swoop Challenge now also from the air over Herning and Copenhagen. The Swoop Finals in Copenhagen will be the first, professional freestyle parachuting competition ever held in the heart of a major city, and Copenhagen will once again be showcased as an event destination of the highest international standard," says Lars Lundov, CEO of Sport Event Denmark, the national sporting event organization that works to attract major international sport events to Denmark and who supports Swoop Challenge financially. PROGRAM FOR SIX DAYS OF INTENSE PARACHUTING June 8-13 2015:Swoop Qualifying Monday to Wednesday June 8th to 10th, Dropzone Denmark, Herning: Training camp Monday and Tuesday and qualification Wednesday for 20 athletes. The top-16 in the qualifying rounds will attend the Swoop Finals in Copenhagen. Swoop Night Lights Friday June 12th, Nordre Toldbod, Copenhagen Harbour: Spectacular airshow over Copenhagen in front of Toldboden and CPH City & Port Development's headquarters. From 18.00-20.00 (6-8pm). Swoop Finals Saturday, June 13th, Peblinge Lake Two rounds of competition at Peblinge Lake in front of Kaffesalonen’s platform, where the total score after two rounds decides the winner of the Swoop Challenge title. From 13.00-18.00 (1-6pm) For The Whuffos - How Swooping WorksThe participants jump out of helicopters in 1.500 meters/5000f and deploy their parachutes shortly after, as the focus is on the actual flight in the parachute, not the free fall aspect. The small and aggressive parachutes, called canopies, enable the athletes to fly fast towards the ground. When arriving above the course, the swooper dives the canopy towards the lake's surface to reach speeds of almost 150km/h and prior to contacting the water the swooper levels out the flight. The last stage of swooping consists of freestyle tricks on the water with high speeds before landing on a platform right in front of the spectators. 22 tricks currently exist and can be combined into different combos. There will be two rounds and five international judges will score each jump based on the turn towards the water, the actual freestyle swoop and the landing.
  23. All Imagery by Raymond AdamsWhat: Fitz Boogie 2015 Where: 168 Paulk Park Rd. Fitzgerald,Ga 31750 When: March 19th - 22nd Why: Great People, Great Vibe, Great Skydives The St. Patrick’s Day Celebration Boogie is one of the few stand alone, off DZ, events left. It was born from the original idea Chris Spence had for a backyard boogie, originally held in Bolingbroke,Ga for several years on New Year’s and July 4th. Spence had access to a private airstrip across from his house and would bring in a Cessna 182 for the small events. After a day of jumping there would be food, a bonfire and the occasional adult beverage. After several years, the event grew too popular to continue at the house. A new location was sought out and RoamingDZ was born. The event was held once in Perry,Ga. before the idea for the St. Patrick’s Day Celebration Boogie came along shortly followed by the connection to the Dublin,Ga. location. The event thrived for many years in Dublin with attendance growing to over 350 by the third year. That same year the line-up of aircraft included two Casa's, a Caravan, a Pac-750, an Alouette helicopter and a Hot Air Balloon. Tragedy struck the 4th year of the event when a canopy collision claimed the lives of Bob Holler and Danny Page. The decision was made to relocate the event after this tragedy as local politics made it impossible to enjoy the boogie as in previous years. If not for the support of many of Spence’s skydiving friends this would have been the end of the event. The St. Patrick’s Day Celebration Boogie was held the following year in St.Marys,Ga and stands as the only event Spence has ever held on an active DZ. Which brings us to the current location in Fitzgerald, GA. Suggested by a friend while driving around Georgia looking for a new location, Spence went to check out what was said to be the perfect place to have a boogie; and sure enough, it was. The boogie venue boarders the east side of the Fitzgerald Municipal Airport and their 3000ft turf runway that doubles as the landing area for the skydivers. The area, known as Paulk Park, which includes a reception building that houses registration for the event, as well as check-in for the tandems and a full kitchen to keep all the jumpers well fueled. There are 25 full hookup RV slots as well as plenty of room for camping, on site showers, a washer and dryer, and a 10 acre swoop pond. A large 40x80 packing tent is set up as well as private group/packing tents. Pre Boogie starts on Monday the 16th this year with early arrivals and a fun laid back atmosphere through the setup. You can choose from cooking out with friends, hanging out around the campfires or heading to town for some good eats. We'll have a list of the best places to try. The official start of the boogie is Thursday morning, but with this year’s response we might be able to get a few loads in the air on Wednesday. The boogie generally starts out kind of mild as people begin to arrive as they can, with Friday night bringing a huge influx. By Saturday morning registration is typically well over 200 and I highly expect it to approach 300 this year. Over the years the event has acted as a meeting place for members of Dropzone.com, and there is currently a thread in the forums where users who plan to attend this year's event can place their name. Currently, there are more than 20 site members who plan to attend the 12th Annual St. Patrick's Day Celebration Boogie What's in store for this year?So far the aircraft line-up includes: the Twin Otter from Skydive Atlanta, the Beech 99 from Skydive the Farm (this may to turn into an Otter), a JetRanger helicopter and a Hot Air Balloon. It's possible a third aircraft will be added. We generally have organizers for most disciplines, and if you can't find an "organizer" I guarantee you can find someone to jump with because that's the kind of jumpers that come to Fitz. Nightly bonfires are an annual tradition. Thursday night tends to be pretty laid back. Friday night features Robby Rob and friends on the mic for entertainment, kind of an open mic/bonfire sing along. Saturday night will have a live band, St. Patrick’s themed party costumes, the ever famous/infamous Stupid Human Skydiver Tricks and a manufacturers sponsored fund raising raffle. Thanks goes out to the following manufacturers for providing raffle donations: Aerodyne - $1,300 off a complete system Chuting Star - to be announced, plus swag Square1 - Gift Certificate and swag Para-Gear - 2x $25 Gift certificates, plus Swag Bevsuits - 25% off a Bevsuit Compass & Crow Studios - $100 & $75 Gift Certificates! Cookie - 50% off a G3 helmet voucher iFly - Voucher for tunnel time good at any location Peregrine Manuf. - $250 of upgrades / options on a new Glide UPT - 2x 30% off base, 15% off options certificates Sunrise Manufacturing - 2x 50% off Base price on a Wings Mountain Khakis - to be announced. Proceeds will be going to a breast cancer organization, yet to be determined. More information can be found at http://FitzBoogie.com/
  24. admin

    WindGames 2015 Results

    Image from Windoor Facebook PageThis weekend saw the second large indoor skydiving competition of the year kick off, with the 2015 WindGames. The event which ran from the 23rd to 24th of January, was held at the Windoor tunnel, located at Empuriabrava. There were over 30 teams from around the world participating in the competition, which spanned across three primary disciplines: VFS, 4-Way FS and 2-Way Dynamic. VFS Finals The VFS finals had a bit of controversy when a few teams protested their earlier round scores, which indicated that due to the lack of an overhead camera, certain grips weren't visible for the judges. This resulted in a few of the teams providing their own video footage to the judges in an attempt to get their earlier round points adjusted. At the end of the final round, Avalon Realfly Sion stood just 2 points ahead of their rivals, Windoor Full speed. Through rounds 1 to 8, the two teams had never been further than 2 points away from each other at the end of any round. FS 4-Way Open Finals What was likely the most anticipated event of the competition, the FS 4-Way Open Finals had the audience keenly watching as the favorites, Team Hayabusa went against Airspeed for the top spot in the competition, albeit that Hayabusa had almost certainly clinched a win by the 9th round, when they sat 8 points ahead of Airspeed, thanks to a couple of 4 point leads in rounds 6 and 7. 2-Way Dynamic Finals The 2-Way Dynamic division is a fast growing style of indoor skydiving, in fact there were over fifteen teams registered for the 2015 WindGames 2WD event. 2WD is definitely exciting, as speeds can often come within a fraction of a second of one another, as we saw with this event at the WindGames 2015. Team Dynamight went up against the Hurricane Factory Team for third place, but Hurricane Factory Team managed to edge the bronze medal by just 0.3 seconds, with a final time of 72.5 seconds. At the end of the event team Windoor Smooth Criminals from France, managed to edge out fellow Frenchmen Les Touristos by 0.9 of a second.
  25. All Imagery By Konwent Photography After completing 3 rounds of Zone Accuracy, 2 rounds of Speed-Distance, 2 rounds of Distance and 2 rounds of Speed - all swoopers were ready to relax. Out of 59 CP competitors only 22 decided to take part in Freestyle competition on the very last day of 5th DIPC in Dubai. In one of the previous bulletins an important change was announced. Last year every competitor could decide for himself to participate in CP Freestyle or not. This year only the first 30 competitors of overall were supposed to be allowed to compete. “Supposed to” - because apparently this limitation has been cancelled 1h before the first round when only 10 approved competitors showed up. That’s why all CP competitors were finally allowed to compete. All day long were able to watch 22 swoopers doing NacNacs, Kowboys, Flips, Lazy Boys, Supermen and many other tricks. We’ve also asked Bjoern Korth, Event Judge of Canopy Piloting about the reason of new limitations. “The majority of swoopers focus on Distance, Speed and Accuracy in their training. For safety reasons we didn’t want to allow all swoopers to participate." - “The majority of swoopers focus on Distance, Speed and Accuracy in their training. For safety reasons we didn’t want to allow all swoopers to participate. Some of them might never done freestyle before. Competition is not the best place to start.” - says Bjoern - “Freestyle is also difficult to judge, it was not judged often before. Of course we have guidelines from FAI, but it’s still something new.” But looking at those who took part in these additional 3 rounds, they all seem to be happy about the jumps they’ve made. Even if not swooped perfectly, they were doing some really cool stuff with the pond just as it was their playground. We all hope that next year more competitors will take part in this spectacular show. - Well, I think that people don’t want to get hurt on the last day of the competition. Many of them leave Dubai tomorrow and the wet rig weights way more - laughs Marat Leiras from Skydive Dubai Team - Freestyle is great, lots of fun, everybody is relaxed and can explore this beautiful swoop pond. I try to use my imagination, free my mind and soul. During World Air Games 2013 organizers tried to combine Freestyle with “regular” Distance, Speed and Accuracy and it was really great. Something fresh and new in the sport. The last day of 5th DIPCBelieve it or not, but during CP Freestyle the audience was much more active and numerous than during any other swooping discipline. Hundreds of people were giving big applause for every trick that ended up in the water and even bigger for spectacular maneuvers finished smoothly on the ground. - It’s really cool, I hope that next year I will be able to watch it again! It’s a new style of swooping, exciting and probably very dangerous - says Lydia watching the show. - I had to decide between Accuracy landings on the Beach DZ and Freestyle Swooping here - says a man with a Kazahstan T-shirt - but it was worth staying close to the swoop pond. As the CP Freestyle rules are difficult to follow for most of the audience, Regan Tetlow (Media Presenter of DIPC) and Greg Windmiller (USA National Team) explained every trick and the guidelines that competitors should follow. But not only the trick itself matters. Judges asses everything: setup, trick accuracy, landing and how long the trick was held on the pond. Final results are impacted by all those factors. - DIPC is doing great job for parachuting and skydiving in general. They really try to keep CP close to the public. Everything is organized so great, that it could be a kind of “benchmark” for all other parachuting event organizers - says Greg Windmiller. Bye bye, Dubai2014 DIPC took 8 long days. The variety of all skydiving disciplines, colorful surroundings, airshows, extreme sport itself - made the event great for professional and amateur photographers. HIPA organized the contest holding one of the highest money prize in the world ($7000 for 1st place, $25000 in all awards). - "It’s a great event for us, photographers" - Juan Mayer, Skydive Dubai photographer - "I don’t have many chances to see the Jumeirah Palm from other angles than usual, but when jumping on the Beach DZ I could really rediscover its beauty." The submission is already closed so we all look forward to see the results. Just before the Closing Ceremony a 50-way formation was jumped. Skydivers created “43” number to celebrate 43rd National Day of UAE. After spectacular airshows of Al Fursan, Zoltan Team and Parabatix - all medals have been given to the heros of the event. France, Russia and USA (and other) anthems were played many times during this evening. And this is how 5th DIPC became history. Current results can be found at both Omniskore's and EAF's websites Marta Molińska is a 28 year old skydiver, event organizer, PR specialist, journalist. She currently lives in Poland, running social media and event management for her domestic Dropzone Sky Camp. She fell in love with skydiving 2 years ago, and has over 600 jumps. She smiles a lot (like it was her trade mark).