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Freefall Style and Accuracy Landing (Para-Ski)
By Tim Mace

     Paraski winch training

Paraski landing

Left to right: Oliver, Vinca,
Tim, Nicolaos

Left to right: Tim, Vinca,
Oliver, Nicolaos

It is almost time for the Para-Ski World championships. Of the planned team, Jasper Williams had to pull out quite early due to injury, and Vinca Cox came in, using Jasper’s Da Vinci 282. Then late in the day, Paul Marcellin had to pull out for work reasons, and Oliver Nöthen stepped up at very short notice to take his place, using Paul’s Para-Foil 282. So the team for the 12th World Para-Ski Championships in Donnersbachwald, Austria is Tim Mace, Nicolaos Karagiannakis, Vinca Cox and Oliver Nöthen. This is the first time that South Africa has ever fielded a full team. There are 17 teams from 12 nations, there’s 2m of snow, and two 5 place B3 Squirrel turbine helicopters – should be great fun.

The team has been training hard, approximately 50 jumps so far this year, and progress has been outstanding. Rustenburg Skydiving Club have been really supportive, always had the accuracy system out and ready when we arrived, gave us a very good team rate for accuracy, and have been very accommodating with the different run-ins and altitudes. So, many thanks to Ralph, Liz and all the staff at Rustenburg, your support is greatly appreciated.

Nicolaos, Vinca and Oliver have really progressed, and it is very refreshing to see people keen to have a go at something new. As with anything in skydiving, accuracy is more difficult than it looks and they have had great fun learning A-line spiral dives and 3 angle approaches, doing real spotting, getting used to flat packing and roll packing, dealing with the unpredictable openings of accuracy canopies, and getting specially modified accuracy shoes (and drinking a lot of French champagne – its an accuracy thing!) Loads of respect to them for giving this discipline a go.

Juan Carlos Perez, the Argentine national accuracy champion, is living in South Africa for the next year and has been training with us every weekend. He knows a lot, and is a superb accuracy jumper. We have been learning a lot from him.

We are leaving on Friday, 27th February, for 10 days ski race training at the world meet site and then a further two days accuracy training onto the mountain from a helicopter before the meet starts on 11 March. The jumping in para-ski is a bit different from what you may have seen at nationals. The pad in para-ski accuracy is on the side of a hill, at least 25 degrees slope. That makes for some very interesting approaches, usually across the slope, which is also usually cross wind. Great fun, and should be a challenge for the newcomers. You can see details of this world championships and pictures of previous events at where they will also be uploading pictures and results of this years championships as they become available.

The scoring pad has been ordered and will be here in time for nationals. This is the electronic scoring system with new 2cm target, and a score screen visible to spectators. We have positioned the 6m circular inflatable landing pad at Rustenburg Skydiving Club, so anyone wanting to give accuracy a try please contact Tim Mace