11 till 13 October, written by Henk Lunshof
On Friday 11 October the CF World Team presented their special skills during the Air Sports Show, which was held in celebration of the seventieth anniversary of the People’s Republic of China. We built the 16-way in a record time and it was complete by 6.500 ft (1.981 m). This gave pilot Francois suitable time and altitude to fly the formation, to the delight of the enthusiastic audience. Thanks to Francois’ smooth piloting, the crowd was able to see the curving formation from all sides. The vibe on the ground got more intense when the smoke pots were fired at 2.500 ft (762 m) and the crowd was ecstatic when the formation ‘burst’ half a minute later. The welcome on landing and departing the landing area was overwhelming, and was a clear indication of the excellent work the CFS team had performed.
The afternoon show was changed a bit. The 9-way diamond was replaced with a ‘flag snake’ consisting of the flags from the eight countries of the visiting team members, and the flag of China to make nine. A flag snake is a row of parachutes flying behind each other till landing. The leader flies in front, and the rest follow, each behind and above the other. So, the show consisted of a single pass at 5.000 ft (1.524 m), dropping a 4-way diamond with stinger, a 2-way downplane and a 2-way canopy war. The nine jumpers of the flag snake then exited two minutes later on their own jump run.
The audience did not know where to look. While the downplane came down, Chris and Kenny chased each other in the canopy war and the 5-way lit their smoke. And, if that was not enough to watch, there was also the flag snake making its way down led by the Chinese flag. Again, the cheering of the crowd was amazing and rewarding. It was a really spectacular show, which even we as performers enjoyed immensely.
Unfortunately, for the Saturday and Sunday we could only perform our low altitude show, and on the Saturday morning the exit height was limited to 2.500ft (762 meters). However, the crowd still loved the displays. They also enjoyed our forays into the crowd. This was a nice way of getting in the thick of the people, passing out CFS World Team flyers and exchanging a lot of energy with little children pushed toward us by their parents, high school students fluently speaking English and those from an older generation. What a great experience for us all.
Photos & Video of the show of the CFS Team
Gustavo Cabana from Argentina & Bruno Broken from Belgium
Behind the scenes,
To organize and perform a display closely followed by a record attempt, requires a lot of work prior to both events. A good deal of this complex organization has rested on Chris Gay’s shoulders, thank you, Chris. Team members had their own logistic puzzle to solve; in preparation for the event in China each of us had to organize a bigger main canopy, while in Perris we would be using our own for the world record attempt. For me, the pieces fell together thanks to the ECF network; Herman Slot and George Buitendijk took my L143 to the CF Camp in Denmark the end of September, which was organized by Magnus Kaizer, and switched it with for Pasi his L160 (thanks Pasi, we will switch again in Perris).
In all, the three-day air display was a success in that it promoted skydiving in general and CF in particular. Thank you CFS World Team, Chris Gay for all the organization and Kimmel Wu and Amy Wei for being wonderful hosts.