Making a BALLOON JUMP!
Everybody should answer the calling at least once to jump from a balloon...
In mid-August, the Mission Impossible series of skydiving events landed at DZ Moorsele, one of Skydive Flanders dropzones in the west of Belgium. Once again, Martial Ferré and Marco Arrigo challenged the participants to build very complex formations, joined for the occasion by organizers Paul Hofstee and Luc Vereecken.
The team consisted mostly of experienced skydivers, as necessary for this style of invitational event. Still, there was room to allow upcoming talent to join the group, giving them the opportunity to learn and shine.
The event saw groups of 33-ways from 7 countries jumping out of 2 planes, where the two Supervans of PCV showed fast climb times and thus a quick turn-around. This way the group could make the best of the variable weather.
The weather forecast was poor, yet ultimately we received more than our share of sunshine, and we jumped most of the days. The friendly atmosphere, food catering, and the DZ bar with Belgian beers made up for the time spend cloud-watching.
Eager to make the best of the weather, Martial immediately started off with a complex design, which didn't work quite as expected. The organizers quickly realized that we first needed to build up the team, and some more accessible dives showed that the group was strong and able to perform.
After that, the first day saw some nice completions of ever-increasing complexity, and with six jumps under our belt we could finally relax for an evening among friends.
The weather on the second day was not the best. We did get a jump in early in the morning, with a nice photo finish, but the rest of the day was lost to clouds and rain. Not to be deterred, the group moved to the nearby Icemountain windtunnel, for some nice 6-way flying.
The third day started off with low clouds, but in the afternoon the weather improved and we were finally able to fly the formation that we had been briefing for the past two days. As difficult as it was, we were able to build and transition to the second point in only two tries.
Near the end of the day, as we were geared up for another jump, one of the planes refused to play along, forcing us to change plans and go to single-plane jumps. As we were running out of daylight, we quickly briefed a 16way competition dive. The teams did good dives, and after inventing several new judging metrics in a hilarious video judging session, both teams were declared victorious.
The last day was a bit less spectacular, with low clouds and wind forcing us to stay on solid ground. The time was used to socialize, exchange videos and photos, and set dates to join forces again for more mayhem. While weather didn't allow for very many jumps, we can still look back on a successful event with many cool formations successfully built.