Organising a vertical UK headdown record is no easy job. For a start, the working time compared to formation skydiving is around a third less. There are also less skydivers capable of building such a formation and last year, Hibaldstow sponsored team the Bad Lieutenant’s managed to organise a fantastic 22-way.
A number of training weekends had been organised in the run up to this weekend and a pool of around 40 freeflyers came together. Some spent the Wednesday to Friday of the week getting some last minutre training in.
The weather forecast was not great for the weekend, so the organisers decided to go straight for the record. It took the whole of the Saturday to make 3 formation loads and it was on the 3rd load of the day, that the team broke the previous record of 22 at the end of working time, setting the standard to 28-way. Well done to everyone involved.
The BLT’s decided to up the ante on Sunday by going for a 38-way. Again the weather was intermittent and only 1 formation load made it off the runway. The dive went reasonably well, with only a few people off their grips. Sunday night was party night in celebration of Dan Parker’s 30th birthday and the DZ partied into the early hours.
By Monday morning, a few freeflyers were lost due to other commitments. The weather was better and everyone was gunning for another formation record with the 3 Dorniers. Jump after jump, they came close, often with only 1 grip out. Alas after 4 attempts, the record could not be broken and remained at 28.
Elsewhere, Simon Cathrine’s Fly hard event battled against the weather trying to complete complex 40-way formations. Skydives often started simple, but by the third point, often very volatile and delicate formations were in place.
As usual, Simon’s relaxed attitude provided a great feeling during briefs and debriefs, and coupled with the always efficient manifest, jumpers seemed pleased with the meet. Weather was not kind to the event and much like the freefly, the groups went on regular cloud holds.The skydives that did happen however were very successful jumps.
FS images courtesy of Dave Butterell.
Great events all around. See you next year where things will be bigger and even better!