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Here Come the Girls - to the Mondial Dubai 2012

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When the idea of a FS Female 4-way category was first tried as a World Cup event in Evora 14 years ago it was to encourage women in the sport - over the years there has been limited entry at First Category Events, although we have been treated to some spectacular performances and competition between teams.

However, it has obviously worked!  13 Female 4-Way teams in Dubai and one all female 8-way.  But female entry is not limited to Formation Skydiving;  the traditional discipline of  Accuracy Landings brings us  16 female teams and it is very encouraging to see female teams from countries participating in a First Category event for the first time, like Thailand and Morocco, who are obviously encouraging female participation in their own countries.

Artistic Events have always had wonderful female performers and that tradition continues, with 12 freestyle teams, 10 of which have a female performer, we also have 22 freefly teams of which 8 have female free flyers on the team.

Even that male bastion of Canopy Formations is showing cracks; of the 23 teams in 2-way sequential, 5 have girls on them, and the French have an all girl team (token male camera-flyer).  The only discipline that so far eludes us is Canopy Piloting, with 134 competitors and 3 females - but it is a start.

“How do the dynamics of eight chicks training together work out? “Brilliant, as women are used to working as a team, nurturing the best out of everyone rather than lesley gale portrait copy
anyone trying to be the best” …
says Lesley Gale the Brit Chicks Team Leader, “8-way is more about precision than power, so that works for the team .. and our size is a big advantage, as we fit so well in the Bodyflight (16 feet diameter) tunnel. We can fly all but two of the 22 blocks in there …..”


Estherand Esther Reynolds, on the GB Accuracy Team



“1988 was a particularly special year for me because as the National Accuracy Champion, having beaten the men as well, I was selected to jump into the Opening Ceremony of the Seoul Olympics with an international team of National Champions. We trained alongside the mainly-American “Sky god” rings team from massive Chinook helicopters. That was amazing, one of my most memorable jumps…..the roar of the crowd!   
I’ve been to every world championship since 1982 except for China. Dubai will be my 16th World Championships where I will be representing Great Britain.  For about the last 5 world Championships I have been the only British girl competing which does make it hard to continue. I don’t really understand why the other girls stop completely – I guess life gets in the way…….”. 

 

and  Frederique Roeloffzen - van der Hilst Karrewij - one ofthe few CP ladies says:

In The Netherlands I'm the only girl who competes on Canopy Piloting competitions. Unfortunately there are no other girls trying or daring to start swooping. I try to convince girls that they also can make high speed landings....... next plan after the Mondial is to try to organize a Chick-Canopy-Course Event.
Frederique Roeloffzen - van der Hilst Karrewij copy

Sometimes it's tough to compete with all these testosterone guys, but at the end, I want to play around with the big boys and become a big girl. I took me some time to show the guys I'm not a one-day-fly. Even I'm not the best, I will become better and better and beat a lot of the big guys!


At the moment the girls form about one third of the athlete base - the total statistics will be presented on this web site once the Mondial has been declared officially open.

 

Susan Dixon - 3 days to go!




Here come the girls  - 

 

When the idea of a Female 4-way category was first tried as a World Cup event in Evora 14 years ago it was to encourage women in the sport - over the years there has been limited entry at First Category Events, although we have been treated to some spectacular performances and competition between teams.

 

However, it has obviously worked!  13 Female 4-Way teams in Dubai and one all female 8-way.  But female entry is not limited to Formation Skydiving;  the traditional discipline of  Accuracy Landings brings us  16 female teams and it is very encouraging to see female teams from countries participating for the first time like Thailand and Morocco, who are obviously encouraging female participation in their own countries.

 

Artistic Events have always had wonderful female performers and that tradition continues, with 12 Freestyle teams, 10 of which have a female performer, we also have 22 Freefly teams of which 8 have female free flyers on the team.

Even that male bastion of Canopy Formations is showing cracks, of the 23 teams in 2-way sequential, 5 have girls on them, and the French have an all girl team (token male camera-flyer).  The only discipline that so far eludes us is Canopy Piloting, with 135 competitors and 2 females - it is a start who knows how many girls will be attracted to this discipline over the next 14 years.

There are many interesting stories from the girls, and these will be featured on the Delegation pages during the Mondial : just a couple of quotes to wet your appetite

How do the dynamics of eight chicks training together work out? “Brilliant, as women are used to working as a team, nurturing the best out of everyone rather than anyone trying to be the best” … says Lesley Gale team leader for the “Brit Chicks” “8-way is more about precision than power, so that works for the team .. and our size is a big advantage, as we fit so well in the Bodyflight (16 feet diameter) tunnel. We can fly all but two of the 22 blocks in there…”

and from Ester Reynolds, Accuracy jumper from the GB team:

1988 was a particularly special year for me because as the National Accuracy Champion, having beaten the men as well, I was selected to jump into the Opening Ceremony of the Seoul Olympics with an international team of National Champions. We trained alongside the mainly-American “Sky god” rings team from massive Chinook helicopters. That was amazing, one of my most memorable jumps…..the roar of the crowd!

 

I’ve been to every world championship since 1982 except for China. This will be my 16th World Championships where I have representing Great Britain.   For about the last 5 world Championships I have been the only British girl competing which does make it hard to continue. I don’t really understand why the other girls stop completely – I guess life gets in the way……..