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SSA Canopy Formation Skills Camp : 27 February - 1 March 2009, Rustenburg
By Helge Harms C1719

This Canopy Formation camp was complete with all the critical ingredients: Sunrise loads, weather holds, little stacks, big stacks, kites, downplanes, CReW puppies, CReW dawgs, a hairy mal, followed by a safe landing, outlandings, long walks back to the dz and of course Karaoke.

It started with a drive, through rain and traffic, out to Rustenburg Skydiving Club on Friday evening. On arrival the students got a warm welcome, a cold beer and the relevant briefings, courtesy of Andre le Roux. At 05h30 on Saturday morning we were all kitted up and raring to go, but the clouds closed in, in a matter of minutes. However, spirits remained high and it wasn't long before the weather lifted and we decided to give it a go. Some awesome jumping ensued for most of the day. Paul and Liz made their 1st Canopy Formation jumps and did an awesome job at that! Charles and Rhett got some additional experience on some larger stacks and Johan and Ricky were welcomed back after taking a break from CF and had a stack of fun! Tilman and Helge built their first 5-way kite with Sharky, Nico and André and duly bought beers!

L-R: Charles Barnhoorn, Ricci Bucceri, Tilman Harms, Andre le Roux, Helge Harms, Sharky Annandale

Sunday morning started bright and early with another 06h00 load which actually got wheels up on schedule. To the amusement of the old CReW dawgs, Tilman and Helge learnt that imperfect body position on exit from a speedy run-in will be punished with a swift slap from your risers. Rhett achieved his Cat 2 in CF! Liz masterfully handled a PC-in-tow and Andre had a great time chasing the toys. Tilman, Helge and Sharky decided to pop in at the local prison and hitch a ride back to the dz. The camp was beautifully rounded off with Charles, Andre, Helge, Tilman, Sharky and Ricky flying a 6-way stack, built by 6000 feet, from an exit altitude of 8000 feet.

All in all it was a great and successful camp. The beginners got introduced to CF and progressed, the intermediates gained valuable experience and the coaches had a great time imparting their wisdom.

Great thanks go out to our coaches Andre, Sharky and Nico (you guys make these camps possible!), Liz for running the tight admin that she does and also to Ralph and his team at Rustenburg Skydiving Club for hosting this event - the experience was freakin' incredible, mate!

Hope to see some more of you at our next SSA CF camp. Open high, break low!