8-way Block 5
The secrets of 8-way Block 5, by World Champion Martial Ferré
“Draw up a plan and immediately forget it“
That is how you could title the overture of this huge birthday party – on the occasion of the 25th anniversary of the most successful activation device of all time. The event was originally intended to take place from June 1-5 in Bad Lippspringe. With rainfall more reminiscent to April than summer, the overall choice of venue proved to be the unpredicted party-crasher. Due to some previous accidents, the dropzone of RAPA Skydive Bad Lippspringe shut down all skydive activities from Friday May 27th at 3:30pm on. Preparations for the event were already in full swing.
On Saturday, May 28th, the decision was made to relocate the boogie to Soest. The immediate and professional support of the entire staff of Skydive Soest, especially Evelyn and Norbert Meyer, made this short-notice change of location possible. By the start of the boogie on June 1st it looked as if it was never planned differently. There were approximately 150 skydivers from Germany, Ireland, England, Israel, France, Spain, Italy, Poland, Belgium, Russia and the US registered for the 5-day celebration.
Airtec had the pleasure to send 14 load organizers: Rolf Brombach, Dieter Kirsch, Ally Milne, Rob Kendall, plus 4-way World Champions Hayabusa NMP Pch Dennis Praet, Danny Jacobs and Jeroen Nollet. Dominic Leser and Christian Wagner from Team NON-Standard; David Nimmo and Raphaël Coudray of the Fly Warriors; Peter Ingenhaag and Holger Sass from Team AtomiX and Regan Tetlow. Norman Kent (US), Andrey Veselov (RUS) and Joel Strickland (UK) caught the event during freefall with their cameras.
Two Dorniers and a Supervan stood ready to lift all participants quickly and without hesitation into the air – as far as the changing weather would allow it. Friday was better, but Saturday and Sunday finally set the air on fire. Next to freefly and formation jumps, the CYPRES Demo Team and the Tigers, the British Freefall Parachute Display Team enriched the event with flag and demo jumps.
The Italian skydive model, Roberta Mancino, gave the event not only a bit of glamour with her presence, but together with Norman Kent and Helmut Cloth, they presented the Wing Suit CYPRES (WSC), a new generation of AAD technology (details and more information in an upcoming edition). Lucky raffle winners were presented with 7 Cookie helmets, personally customizable pull-ups and three golden CYPRES units. The event was brightened up by a large number of exhibitors on site, live music by Robert Carl Blank and free beer. Airtec staff was present at all times and used the opportunity to discuss with jumpers directly and share first-hand information.
The highlight of the boogie came Saturday with 60 loads, a dummy drop and round canopy-reserve live activation with the autonomous CYPRES Static Line System, Fly-ins from 4 different DZ locations (Hildesheim, Itzehoe, Marl, Westerwald) and the last load which held back a surprise for Helmut Cloth; a man-made ‘25’ on the landing area received him with applause. This eventful day was finished off by fireworks and a live-band playing for more than 200 participants who gathered around an open fire for music and dancing.
After partying until the early morning hours, Sunday continued with more and more jumps, accompanied by perfect weather conditions. In conclusion, it was a dignified party to honor a pioneering product that rose up from nowhere a quarter of a century ago to not only fulfil skydiver needs with reliability, but to always keep up its high quality standards to ensure user safety.
Further photos at the websites of Norman Kent and Andrey Veselov