The opening ceremony commenced at 8.00 p.m. to packed stands and everyone was treated to a beautiful and spectacular ceremony. The speeches were kept short and welcomed all to the 3rd Dubai International Parachuting Championships and Gulf Cup. Graeme Windsor, IPC President thanked our hosts for such a large and valuable money meet giving many of our World Champions who are competing here a chance to display their skills and walk away with some prize money and help to ensure a excellent competition.
The breathtaking spectacle followed, with a visually exciting montage of film images of the desert, sky, sea in front of which acrobats and dancers preformed. This was followed by a parade of costumed preformers representing the Dubai historic dress and culture in recognition and celebration of the 40th Anniversary of Dubai Independence - which will be celebrated in full on Friday, 2nd December. We were then treated to a routine of dancing horses, horses lit up in Dubai colours and two with their riders, desert robed, with firworks on their backs, which lit up the stage.
Next came a film showing in a very graphic format the growth of Dubai over 40years to the spectacular country it is today - truly the "Pearl of the Gulf", and the ceremony ended with a night parachute display with all 3 jumpers landing in front of the royal stand - lit only by blue and green light belts; and the amazing firework display through which we were treated to an acrobatic flying display.
A truly appropriate opening ceremony to what we all expect to be an amazing competition.
Due to high winds this morning, tomorrow the plan is to complete the practice jumps for Accuracy (some completed today), and Formation Skydiving (also some of which were jumped today - but not judged due to the timing of the opening ceremony); and the practice jumps for all the Canopy Piloting and Canopy Formations competitors. It is an early start, with the first loads at 7.45 am.