Some of the Speeders — by Rob Lloyd
The Speed Skydiving Nationals had a significant rule change this year relating to a penalty system called the Out of Bounds (OB) rules. Speed skydiving is measured with two L&B ProTracks worn on the lateral straps of your rig. Previously, if they measured more than 30K Km/hr apart, you lost your score for that round and it was noted as an OB. The problem was that many jumpers were getting OBs and therefore were being put off the sport.
However after much deliberation, a new rule was brought in to increase the OB range to a variance of 60 Km/hr. If your score were to be between 30 and 60 Km/hr, your average would only be penalised by the amount above the 30 km/hr difference. The main competition sees a score of 6 rounds whereby the best 3 are averaged out and from here, competitors for the semi-finals and finals are selected. With that in mind, the number of OB’s reduced from 15 to only 2 making for a much more inclusive competition.
Going into round 1 Mikey Lovemore showed how much training he had put in this season by scoring an impressive 477 Km/hr average on his first jump over Skydive Hibaldstow. Jason Bird also did a fantastic jump which turned out to be his high score of the meet with an average of 453.63.
There were quite a few new competitors to the scene this year – Rai Ahmed (known for her 4way on UK Ladies team NFTO), Sebastiaan Mulder, Craig Hicks and James Parker. Of this group, James deserved the highest praise for having a little over 200 jumps at the beginning of the season when he started and for also taking the bronze with a credible 422.33 Km/hr. Last year’s winner, Jason Bird took the silver this year only a little faster than 2014, with an average of 424.80 Km/hr.
Medalists James Parker (3rd), Mikey Lovemore (1st) & Jason Bird (2nd) — by Rob Lloyd
Credit must also go to Max Hurd who having competed since 2013 has steadily been increasing his averages. He in fact, did 2 personal Bests (PBs) including a 401.36 Km/hr and finished 4th.
If a ‘man of the match’ could be given, it would go to Mikey, who was fastest in every round and also set an amazing new British record of 490.12 Km/hr (at the time of writing he has also just gone over 500 Km/hr at the World Cup in Teuge!). Well done to Mikey on what is a well-deserved gold medal and many thanks to Larsen & Brusgaard for supporting the world of Speed Skydiving again.