To set the 1st official Greek National record with participants from every skydiving club in the country in the middle of a pandemic, could seem a difficult task, but on Friday October 2nd 2020, it finally happened!
Skydiving in Greece is not as popular as in most European countries, where a 14-way formation may sound “too easy” to accomplish. The fact that for many years small Cessnas were the biggest planes you could jump out of, and the slow progression of flyers, didn’t help on the direction of setting any National record.
Organization and logistics
For the last 6-7 years, a bigger plane, more jumps per year, better flying skills and more time to practice, made it possible.
As always, the organizing of a National Record attempt, especially for the very first time, is the most difficult task. Aerial photographer Ioannis Vlachiotis had the idea, and after many months of preparation, managed to gather skydivers from all over the country, set the formation “number and shape”, and make it happen.
The choice of the location of the attempt fell on Skydive Athens, the only DZ in Greece with a Cessna C-208 Caravan and able to climb up to 14,000ft.
The First attempt
Despite the fact that there were no preparation-practice jumps, that the jumpers had never jumped all together before, and a couple of minor mistakes during the exit, the formation was completed right from the 1st jump!
Waiting official approval from the FAI judges (Mike Pennock – Netherlands, Randy Connell – USA, Tamara Vorst – Netherlands, Rogier Carper – Netherlands) was full of … agony!
… but it didn’t take long. The 1st Greek FS skydiving record was a fact!! History had been made!
Why Not Go Bigger?
And what a better way to continue the day than…breaking your own record?? A bigger formation (15-way this time) was prepared and already known to the judges, so all they have to do was to …fly the darn thing!
Good psychology makes a huge difference, especially in such jumps.
After the successful first one, everybody was stress-free, and the new formation was completed again as fast as the 1st one! Watching the video made sure that all grips were visible but it was up to judges to decide.
And they did! 15-way is the official Greek biggest formation skydiving record! Maybe it doesn’t sound very impressive to the skydiving world but it’s a start!
A women’s FS record and perhaps an sequential FS one will be our next goal, but we have to finish the beers first!
Congratulations to All Invoived
Many thanks to all the judges for their help before and during the attempt, Hellenic Aeronautical & Airsports Federation, Skydive Athens and Anastasis Sideris for the hospitality, Nikos Pavlidis for sharing knowledge and experience during the ground preparation, our French pilot Sebastien Caline, our ground control, all the packers, and DK rental house for covering the event saving lots of GBs of ground video for next generations to remember.
As a camera flyer I just wish for more images in the Greek sky like these in the future!
Record participants: Apostolopoulou Kalliopi, Biskas Apostolos, Kalatzis Spiridon, Karpouzas Nikolaos, Kaμbourova Maria, Livanos Konstantinos, Mikroulis Alexandros, Pavlidis Nikolaos, Pithamitsis Ioannis, Ptochos Christos, Saldinger Mario, Seferlis Christos, Sideris Anastasios, Sourlis Dimitrios, Zougri Adamantia.
Organizer & Camera flyer/Photographer: Ioannis Vlachiotis
Organizer Ioannis tells the story in video…