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We Tasted Paradise!

Amazing Portuguese sunsets&nbsp;&mdash;&nbsp;by <a href='https://skydivemag.smallteaser.com/user/jasper' class='captionLink'>Jasper van der Meer</a>
Amazing Portuguese sunsets — by Jasper van der Meer

We tasted Paradise… and we want more!!

In the first week of November we tried out a new event-setup for ToraTora and for Europe, a large skill camp with a super high coach/participant ratio of 1:4. We chose the most exotic location Europe has to offer: Skydive Algarve in south Portugal. And just to jinx it, we called it Paradise.

Paradise Lost

What do you expect when you venture into Paradise for a week? Sandy beaches, delicious food, exquisite wines, beautiful people, superfast airplanes to jump from, eternal sunshine? Well it was almost all there. The first half of the week it rained in paradise… Who would have thought that? The locals afterwards told us that those wet days broke the records in Portugal for as long as they could remember…

The rain left a mark on the DZ: Julian Barthel leaves a mark on the rain!&nbsp;&mdash;&nbsp;by <a href='https://skydivemag.smallteaser.com/user/jasper' class='captionLink'>Jasper van der Meer</a>
The rain left a mark on the DZ: Julian Barthel leaves a mark on the rain! — by Jasper van der Meer

Paradise Found

Luckily the skies cleared towards the end of the week and we got to see what Skydive Algarve can really be. The dropzone management showed us an amazing willingness and effort to help us out, and flew in an extra plane and pilot to pump up the jump rhythm even more. As Skydive Algarve was recently bought by the Swallow family, who also own Skydive Spain and Skydive Hibaldstow, the third plane was of course a third G92 Turbine Dornier, like the other two; a dual engine plane with a huge door which has you up to 14,000 ft before you even take your helmet off.

Skydive Algarve is surely one of our new favourite destinations

With 3 Dorniers on site, taking off at 8am and running non-stop till sunset, we got most of our 30 jumps in before the end of the event. Saved… and we entered the Promised Land!

Double trace manoeuvres with a beautiful view&nbsp;&mdash;&nbsp;by <a href='https://skydivemag.smallteaser.com/user/jasper' class='captionLink'>Jasper van der Meer</a>
Double trace manoeuvres with a beautiful view — by Jasper van der Meer

What made it so good?

So now that we’ve tasted paradise, this is what we can say about it. I was really impressed with two things:

1, The location

What a place this is! What a beautiful coastline, both from the sky and from the beach. Such friendly people, so many cool activities to do around the area. Combined with a dropzone that runs mega-fast planes, has a huge landing area, does beachjumps whenever the weather allows it and is run by professional and very kind staff, this is surely one of our new favourite destinations.

Small group coaching: great efficiency&nbsp;&mdash;&nbsp;by <a href='https://skydivemag.smallteaser.com/user/jasper' class='captionLink'>Jasper van der Meer</a>
Small group coaching: great efficiency — by Jasper van der Meer

2, The coaching setup

What happens when you put 20 awesome coaches together, and let them work with 80 eager students is just amazing. Every coach gets to jump with 4 students, and can decide if they stay together or split up in 2 two-ways or even 1-on-1 coaching – all depending on the student's level. This way everyone gets super-personalised coaching. Every couple of days, the coaches are switched so all students get a taste of different teaching styles.

There was a lot of 1-on-1 coaching during the week
There was a lot of 1-on-1 coaching during the week

Coaches

Will Penny
Rob Heron
Inka Tiitto
Marius Sotberg
Julian Barthel
Bart Hooijen
Hedda Andersen
Efraim Folgerts
Philipp Tamegger
Maarten Bennie Bénard
Ewan Cowie
Bjørnar Knutsen
Johannes Berfors
Kim Törnwall
Pascal Gauchot
James Turgis
Marie Sjodin
Matti Miilumäki
Sergey Aleseevich
Adam Dare
Jasper van der Meer

Returning to Paradise

We’ve seen so many happy faces and so much enthusiasm, that the question if we want to continue this event next year, is hardly a question. I can not stop imagining what this event would look and feel like when we get a week full of sunshine!

We’ve tasted Paradise and we want more. 

Oh yeah, almost forgot: we got to celebrate Kim Törnwall’s birthday, which was a really great experience for all of us.

This is how small group coaching in Portugal looks.

Tracking lessons over the beach&nbsp;&mdash;&nbsp;by <a href='https://skydivemag.smallteaser.com/user/jasper' class='captionLink'>Jasper van der Meer</a>
Tracking lessons over the beach — by Jasper van der Meer
Adam Dare pushing one of the advanced groups to their limits&nbsp;&mdash;&nbsp;by <a href='https://skydivemag.smallteaser.com/user/jasper' class='captionLink'>Jasper van der Meer</a>
Adam Dare pushing one of the advanced groups to their limits — by Jasper van der Meer
Kim Törnwall swooping the ditch on his birthday&nbsp;&mdash;&nbsp;by <a href='https://skydivemag.smallteaser.com/user/jasper' class='captionLink'>Jasper van der Meer</a>
Kim Törnwall swooping the ditch on his birthday — by Jasper van der Meer
100 happy skydivers found Paradise!&nbsp;&mdash;&nbsp;by <a href='https://skydivemag.smallteaser.com/user/jasper' class='captionLink'>Jasper van der Meer</a>
100 happy skydivers found Paradise! — by Jasper van der Meer

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