30 Aug 2018

Day 4 - Thunderstorms Forecast

Thursday 30th August 2018

All the results will be published immediately approved by the Chief Judge on this link :  WWFC 2018

Watch the daily broadcasts live from Prostejov 10.00 :  14.00 :  18.00 on  Facebook : jump-tandem/dropzone prostejov

Wheels off again at 7.30 this morning.  A decision was made yesterday to change the jump order to the reverse order of placings and the competitors were very happy that their request had been listened to and acted on.   Lenka is the voice of the DZ with her calls for each load as she runs the manifest for this competition.  Today we hope to complete the last round of Performance, i.e. all three tasks, a total of 12 aircraft loads and the last round of Acrobatic Flying, one load - but thunderstorms are forecast for this afternoon - at the moment we have perfect blue skies, low winds and hazy clouds.

Electronic Manifest Board

Electronic Manifest Board

The competition is interesting with around 4 points between each of the top 4 Performance flyers and the top three places are held by competitors from three different nations - USA, Norway and Russia.  Meanwhile Russia 1 has established an almost unassailable lead over the USA who have had a tight competition with Russia 2 throught the Acrobatic Flying competition as we face the final round, weather permitting, later today.

Team tents - in the hangar

Competitors Tents (in the Hangar)

9.30 - An anouncement from the Meet Director : As from the start of the next task the exit altitude for the complete task (4 loads) will be 10.000 feet due to high clouds - the performance window remains the same : 3,000 - 2,000 mtrs.

10.10 - Lenka gave a 15 minute call for load number 5, which is the start of the next task - Distance - and will be conducted from the lower exit altitude - modified to comply with the rule to between 10,000 and 10,500 feet.  Meanwhile I had a chance to talk with two of the Austrian team : Johannes Grasser and Richard Schweighofer as I was curious to learn how yet another pair of brothers compete together in one of our skydiving disciplines (we have brothers who compete in Formation Skydiving both French and Canadian - another pair in Canopy Piloting, Italian and now in Wingsuit Flying, Austrian).  Unlike the other brothers the Schweighofer's do not come from a skydiving family - but as they explained to me they are from a small village in Austria which has a skydiving centre there and so many of their friends are/became skydivers.   They developed an interest in Wingsuit Flying during their skydiving experience and decided to compete in their first competition at this World Championships having moved on from their villaqe dropzone to Prostejov which entails a 3 1/2 hour drive from their home.   I think they have been on a very steep learning curve over the last few days.  Overall they have enjoyed it although they find the rules very hard as have many of the competitors this week both experienced and new. 

Johannes and Philipp (Austria)

Johannes Grasser and Richard Schweighofer

There are a lot of 'unsung heroes' who work hard to make the running of any World Championships a success - none less than the girls who work the bar in  the club house serving drinks and food from first thing in the morning until last thing at night every day - always with a smile.  Thank you to Pavla and Ivet for their work here:

Pavla and Ivet

12.15 as the aircraft was on its way down to collect the last load of the Speed task the cometition was put on standby due to the cloud bank rapidly approaching the dropzone.  It was obvious that it would not be possible for all 16 to jump and complete the task.  So now we wait to see if the weather improves.

Meanwhile everyone made their way to the catering tent and the young man who has served up excellent lunches each day.

Lunch tent Serving lunch

13.15   The lower clouds cleared and a big hole appeared and lift 8 of the day was called but with six jumpers left to fly the decision was made to bring the aircraft down due to clouds.  With the hope that it would be possible to complete the task today those who had not jumped and the five Acrobatic Flying teams were put on standby whilst the rest were released for the day.    15.00 we started the Competitors Meeting - to be held at all First Category Events - and a long and productive discussion was held re the rule changes and the impact they had had on this competition - particularly with regard to 'lanes'.    Obviously there has been a lot of discussion between competitors, judges and the committee during this competition and Michael Cooper on behalf of the committee presented the proposed changes and thinking behind them to open the discussion. 

The only definate change was the removal of rule 3.5.4 which had not been used during the competition and was proven unnecessary.  The main discussion centered on aircraft exit, lane entry, maintenance of lane discipline, and lane violation penalties giving the committee a very good concencensus of opinion to work on over the coming months before the Plenary in January 2019.

As we left the meeting at 15.00 we had the first clap of thunder and rain - but this passed quite quickly but the clouds have yet to lift sufficiently to put the aircraft up.  At 17.40 Peter, from the Horizontal Wind Tunnel in Sweden announced he was to present a video presentation in the hangar.

17.58   No sign of improvement in the weather so everyone is released until 7.15 tomorrow morning with wheels off at 7.30 and a good weather forecast for the morning.  We were then treated to a short Video Presentation and Talk from Peter from the horizontal wingsuit tunnel in Sweden.