Freestyle - The first World Championships starts
9.00 6 July 2018
The Judges' Conference before they move to the pond for the practice jumps for Freestyle. Briefed by Nina Engel as to who will be judging in which group, i.e. Technical or Performance. Each group will consist of 3 judges, 2 scoring to count and the 3rd preparing to rotate. The other roles were also allocated (whistle, collating scores, relaying to the scorer). They also then reminded themselves about the moves; what to look for and what to expect. By 9.30 briefing over they all moved to the Pond ready for practice jumps to start. 9.50 and the 15 minute call is given for load 1.
Meanwhile the FAI Controller and Jury meet with the Organiser and Meet Director to verify all is satisfactorily in place and the go-ahead can be given for the 'official' start of the 1st FAI World Canopy Piloting Freestyle Championships.
11.15 and the Competitors briefing started. Bjorn, our Meet Director, welcomed everyone to the Freestyle World Championships by stating that as all but one competitor had not been at his briefing earlier in the week at the start of the other championships he would only cover those changes. The area over the spectator stands is a NO FLY Safety Zone and this would be monitored closely - the Judges would be sited in front of the stands so that they will be presenting to the Judges and the spectators. Please clear the course as quickly as possible and leave the pond area by the marked lane in front of the stands : and following a suggestion from a competitor - wave to the audience - they will love it! The weather forecast for the morning was good but with the wind rising steadily and then picking up from noon on. So the first wheels off would be at 06.00 hrs (as in the bulletin) breakfast at the hotel at 04.30 hrs with shuttles starting at 05.00 hrs. There would only be one PAC aircraft, so the second aircaft would be the Cessna but everyone would be rotated, so the same load but not necessarily the same aircraft so check the manifest. Each round would consist of 1, 2, 3 loads in the PAC with the 4th in the Cessna. Regarding the wind limits, of course it will be monitored and if it goes over the limit affecting your jump (according to the rules) you will be offered a re-jump, but you have the choice to accept it or not.
Marylou, our Chief Judge also welcomed everyone to the 1st Freestyle World Championships and commented on the party we can expect once it is all over - so much beer will flow! With 57 competitors, 7 Judges, Chief Judge and Event Judge - a lot of people owing beers. She then introduced Nina Engel, the Event Judge. Nina thanked everyone for their Drama Sheets and asked them to let her know any changes they wished to make as soon as possible. She reminded everyone that Judges are normal people and to think how they would feel if changes were thrust on them at the last minute. Both she and the judging panel wanted to give each competitor the best scores possible and to do that they also needed to prepare. Her aim was for them all to work together. Ian Bobo reminded the briefing to present clean, nice moves and if added together not to try for too much.
A suggestion was made from the floor, that appreciating they should clear the course as quickly as possible, would it be possible to increase the altitude, if they were not going to reduce the number from 5 a pass, to allow for more time between flights. Bjorn undertook to speak to the organiser and come back to competitors with an answer. The meeting then split up as each load of 5 was called - from a random draw made by the Meet dDrector and Chief Judge - to fix the jump order of each pass.
Competitors then continued to make practice jumps and the Judges continued with their training conference and discussion of the drama sheets that had been presented, what to expect and/or to look for.
At 17.00 people were leaving the Drop Zone to prepare for an early night and a very early start in the morning.