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Atmonauti World Championship
By Marco Ciocca

I travelled to Italy in August to participate at the Atmonauti World Championships in FZ Marche (where our SA 8-way team trained just a week before), as well as the 2008 Para Show just south of Rome with live television coverage - which saw the participation of many of the world team members (more than 40) as well as international competitors from various skydiving nations who are actively pursuing Atmonauti but who are not presently on the Top Patrol World Team.


On the negative side...
I missed out on the new linked world record of 13 (up from 9). I was on the 10 and 11-ways, which initially broke the record, but lost my opportunity on the 13-way as I had to close the formation from below and linked the 13-way in a difficult slot just as it broke down into a 10-way.

On the positive side...
I qualified for the ARW2 (2-way) with a scratch team (with Davide D’Alessandro), we turned the highest total of points of the competition but had points deducted for doing one round’s blocks clockwise (misunderstood the drawings), which lost us first position by a single point. We placed second which is still really respectable! I represented South Africa on the multinational team. The discipline and competition looks like it may be FAI approved by next year.

I was invited to join an attempt to fly a linked 6-way star (5 was best to date), where each person other than the top navigator flies on their side to build a circular formation similar to a 6-way head down albeit at an angle. We managed the formation on our second attempt, and it was an honour to be a part of this small milestone in Atmonauti formation skydiving.

To end off I was invited to participate at the 5 day air show in Rome with the Top Patrol world team covered daily on national Italian television. It was truly an honour to represent South Africa on the team and to be a part of the festivities and especially to be an integral part of the organised smoke jumps/air show (please see picture attached).

Marco Tiezzi of Atmonauti is visiting South Africa again in December (at the AFFC boogie), where we have plans to organise an Atmo Nationals and Continental/World Record attempts once again. This will also be an opportunity to train our FAI Judges.