BASE Year End Review
Last year really had it all!
Ekstremsportveko is one of the biggest Xtreme Sports festivals in the world and is held in Norway every year. Imagine a giant playground with all the badass-est, coolest, hottest athletes on the planet doing flips ‘n’ shit for an eight-day period, and you’ve pretty much got the idea!
This year was the 17th edition of Ekstremsportveko and the unexpected blue skies and sunshine made it an out-of-this-world experience for the Extreme sports lover. Convinced yet!?
Ejksrosportveko is a foundation owned by Skydive Voss, Voss Rafting Club, Voss Paragliding and Hangliding Clubs. The festival is held over midsummer annually and is split into four parts: Earth, Air, Water and Fire.
Earth includes MTB downhill, climbing, longboarding, MTB/BMX Dirt jump, biketrial and skateboarding. Air has Skydiving, BASE, windtunnel, paragliding and hangliding. The Water events are kayaking, big air, freeride and rafting. And the Fire section encompasses nightly bands and entertainment, VossaTri and the Honourable Citizen of Voss competitor - which basically encourages you to participate in as many sports as you can over the week in order to win the prize pack! Did someone say FUN!?
The week begins with an Opening Show next to the festival tent at Presegardslandet in central Voss. It’s right on the waterfront, and skydivers, paragliders, hangliders and speedfliers jump in or perform demonstrations to impress the crowd (we won’t mention the crowd foot-drag by one of the canopy pilots). This year 94-year-old Bjarne Stavenes set the record for the oldest tandem in Norway.
The skydiving part of the festival is a boogie at Skydive Voss, and the organizer lineup was pretty awesomesauce. The Joyriders owned the day-tape with their pink-parka streamer jumps, KaiKai and Micah from Team Maktoum represented for Skydive Dubai and Derek Cox was on site to help aspiring freefliers jump like rockstars. Jason Peters even made a cameo appearance as a boogie participant. Wink. Jill Grantham and Petter Stensvold held up the fort for the beginners and Marco Arrigo and Patrick Passe had the bellyfliers spinning points and formations like you wouldn’t believe. Not to mention the amazing camera-flying from Funny Farm’s own Roger Mulckey.
This year NZ Aerosports (yours truly!) had Icarus and Daedalus demos on site, and Aerodyne had gear for demo too. Makumba from Skydive Voss officially opened his home-made pizza oven at the dropzone and gave everyone happy little tastebuds the whole week long with his amazing pizzas! Beer was free-flowing (though pricey) and everybody had a ton of VekoFun. There’s something for everyone, whether you want to spectate, participate, or recover from the night before!
Thanks to one of the main event sponsors One Call Mobile and the mayor of Voss Bjorn Magne Bryn (ok, he’s not ACTUALLY the mayor…), there is also a canopy piloting demo team that performs stunts for the day tape. This year Team One Call was made up of Bjorn, Nick Batsch, Chris Stewart, Chris Brook and Barton Hardie. Their job is to wow the crowd with demos, cool-as-shit skydiving tricks, breaktaking mountain-flying and death-defying stunts. Last year TJ Landgren and Katie Hansen landed in a Mustang. This year Nick Batsch landed on a snowmobile on a glacier, the team did a Mr Bill flyby, and performed the first ever skydiving/BASE crossover XRW jumps.
The BASE-jumping show at Gudvangen had to be delayed for a day until Saturday due to weather, but holy Batman was it worth the wait! The highlight? A world first where Team One Call jumped from a helicopter and flew their Petras down the valley to fly an XRW surf dock on Jhonny Florez! Woooooooo!
Voss Vind is right down the road from Skydive Voss, and the crack pipe (as I fondly call it) is a huge draw for skydivers and the public during Veko. With amazing coaches like Petter Jonsson, Dave Reader, Martin Kristensen and Norwegian Team Berserk floating around during the event, it won’t disappoint! If you haven’t seen a dynamic competition before, the Ekstremsportveko D2W comp draws in some amazing flyers and is worth the watch. This year first place went to Voss Ventus, second place to The Skywalkers and third and fourth to the Joyriders. They have an intermediate section too, so if you can just fly the pool, get in there and give it a go!
Best of all the sports and amazing stunts performed at Veko 2014!
So if you find yourself once again a nomadic skydiver or BASE jumper in Europe 2015 living out of a backpack with your rig and jandals (NZ-speak for sandals or thongs), Veko is a must-see event. Jump all day, check out some of the crazy-cool sports (or give ‘em a go!) and party all night at the festival tent. It’s not the type of boogie where you aim to do 10 jumps a day, but you are guaranteed to have a phat time and meet lots of beautiful cool people. Pencil it into your calendar now, start saving your spare cash in a swear-jar, and I’ll see you there!
Ekstremsportveko video from 26.6.2014