A last early morning start for the last rounds on the last day of competition. It was a beautiful morning with the sun rising through the skyscraper backdrop to this amazing DZ. First lifts were the finals of the Accuracy competition. With several tied places this was an exciting finish. We then moved into the first round of Canopy Piloting Freestyle. Although there were rounds outstanding for Distance and Speed, the Meet Director decided that although Freestyle was a demonstration event there was prize money allocated to the winners, and so the organisers wanted a result. The plan was, weather and time permitting, to complete two rounds of Freestyle and one round of Distance. To accommodate this the scheduled stop whilst the Speedboat race in the Marina was filmed (using the helicopters), was cancelled. The race still took place and could be watched from the edge of the DZ, but most people chose to watch the Freestyle.
The morning started with very light winds which increased steadily as the sun got higher. For the second round of Freestyle it was decided to run this as a third round, i.e. free choice of manoeuvre. The combination of an increasing cross wind and complexities of moves tried meant we had many a dramatic finish in the pond. Meanwhile between the freestyle rounds, and sometimes between loads the accuracy competition continued with jump offs for the tied places. Unfortunately, in the end there was insufficient time left before the air show to complete a round of Distance, and so the competition was declared over.
The planned air-show started with the Display Team of the UAE Air Force which was both beautiful and exciting; that was followed by the totally amazing show by Zoltan Aerobatic Demonstration – even though we had benefited from his show during the week, it still took your breath away with the precision and inches perfect performance.
A combined free fall team then built a 40 formation in the sky to celebrate the 40 years of independence of the UAE, followed by the Canopy Formation jumpers attempt at an UAE large canopy formation record. An appropriate way to end an International Parachuting Championship and Gulf Cup.
There then followed a well organised and thanks to Regan the “voice” of the Championships, clearly understood, Prize Giving ceremony and a closing banquet on a transformed DZ. Attended by one of the Princes, all the dignitaries were there, including John Grubbstrom, FAI President, who made a very good speech of thanks to Dubai for this competition and looked forward to next year and the Mondial. Also attending was Jean-Marc Badan, Secretary General of the FAI, Graeme Windsor, President of IPC.
Thank you Dubai – we are all excited at the thought of returning next year for the Mondial, and seeing the completion of the work on the Drop Zone.