VR Proximity flight!
Feel like you're really flying down Tianmen Moutain
After 10 long hours of waiting in stormy weather, the DZ finally sprang into action, like pressing ‘Play’ on a video. Teams were suddenly dirtdiving on a windswept creeper pad still awash with rain. In literally five minutes from the first call, teams were kitted up and walking out to the G92s, props spurted into life. The excitement in the air was palpable. A last chance to make something of the day - which we did!
The winds were strong but not overly gusty, and Meet Director Noel made the great safety call to jump AAA 4-way and VFS teams only, they have more experience and generally faster canopies. This meant the AA, A and Rookie teams were stood down and could start drinking - which they did! It made for a fantastic atmosphere in the bar as these teams came to life while watching the judging of the AAA teams, with the addition of long-craved alcohol. The result was like the crowd in a pantomime theatre, with ooohs, aaahs and applause at missed grips, busts, recoveries and just-outta-times.
Two rounds of AAA and VFS were completed between 6 and 8pm. Bingo! The first round was where we would really see where the teams were at. It could scarcely have been more exciting! It seemed only logical that Satori would be out a significant way in front as they were last year, and having done 350 more training jumps. But here for a rematch were the same four teams behind them. How would the cookie crumble? Well nothing bigger than a Rizla paper separated them! Satori indeed won the round with 17 – and behind them 4Mula, Vision 99, Eclipse and NFTO all scored an identical 15. Well, sit up people at home, we are in for a treat with this battle!
Round 2… what would be the story? Of the four rivals, Eclipse had a well-controlled but going-for-it round and scored a 17, to much applause from the audience and Satori, who recognised the achievement. NFTO, with much higher jump numbers individually but not so many together as a team, scored a 16. Vision, seeming a tad more in the groove than their first jump, grooved their way to a sweet 17. Satori reminded everyone whose meet it is with a commanding 20. 4Mula last to go showed tremendous form, starting almost in slow mo and built up the pace through a very sweet dive indeed, making an 18 to well-deserved appreciation from the crowd. And that concluded round 2…
It’s clear where the gold belongs but anything could happen in Satori's wake! Three 4-way belly categories are still to begin their Nationals. In VFS, Omni 99 were incredible, putting an 11 on the board for round 1 and showing super skills. QFX and Excite 96 seem evenly matched on 5 and 4 respectively, while AD;DC had a disastrous round scoring zero as they never recovered from a bad start.