Bigway Banquet of Many Courses

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Putting the sky family back together in Klatovy …

Amazing exit frame with the sun, the clouds – what a sport!
By Bruno Brokken

For most of us it had been almost a year since we saw our big-way family – and a tough year for everyone at that. ‘Back to Klatovy’ was a reunion like no other, transferring us from a nightmare scenario to a paradise of dreams.

What do families do when they get back together? They gorge on sumptuous food, lovingly prepared and served up in style. And gorge we did…


Our celebration banquet was a smorgasborg of different dishes – large and small, homely and exotic, salty and sweet. The feast was cooked up by masterchefs Patrick Passe and Milko, and impeccably served with minimal fuss and a lightness of touch. Refreshments were delivered by toastmasters Bruno Brokken and Tomasz Burza (‘Storm’), who brewed the perfect spirit time after time; video served after each course and mouth-watering stills posted later.

We all love outfacing slots 🙂
Photo by Tomasz Burza

The Group

Every day featured a different tasting menu, with groups of varying sizes under either our English or French Master of Ceremonies. The original plan had been two 40-way groups but DTC (Due To Covid) numbers had reduced and the roster changed many times. We were 58 in total; seating (dive) plans varied between the entire group, and 16. We had jumpers from France, UK, Belgium, the Netherlands, Germany, Hungary, Austria, Switzerland, Romania, Slovakia, Sweden, Spain, Italy and Poland. Sadly DTC, some whole nations could not attend, we missed our Ukrainian and Russian friends (though it was great to see Vera). Many people had jumped through quarantine and testing hoops to be there while others had driven many miles where normally they would have flown. 

Playing with satellites
Photo by Bruno Brokken

Skydive Pink Klatovy

If you have never jumped at Skydive Pink Klatovy it’s one to add to your bucket list. Very family/partner-friendly, it has a swimming pool, grassy areas, playground, café/restaurant, pizza van, burger stall and a huge red Big Top, giving the DZ a festival feel. There are trailers and onsite accommodation to suit all budgets and sizes of groups, or you can hook up your own van/pitch your tent and use their ample washing facilities. Pink Klatovy is only open for a few weeks a year, as its brightly coloured Skyvans and expert formation pilots are in great demand around Europe for boogies and events.  (If you want to know the secret of Klatovy’s badass pilots keep an eye out for a forthcoming article.) The closest international airport is at Prague, a ‘must-see’ architectural and cultural treasure. 

Warm-up with Milko

Saturday 8 August 2020 was a warm-up day, with Milko creatively organising a mixed group of 32-38 – some arriving early for our event, some from the prior event squeezing out an extra day, and some very happy lurkers. 

Sequential training
Photo by Bruno Brokken

Back To Klatovy – Sunday

On Sunday ‘Back to Klatovy’ began for real, with two groups, one of 28 and one of 30. The entire load had been split into 4 groups of 14/15, and these rotated throughout the event, so that everyone got to jump with both organisers and different people and on loads of all sorts of sizes.


Monday we continued with 28-30 ways, rotating the bodies, and the skydives stepping up in complexity. We ended the day with a beautiful 58-way, which built smoothly and was held joyously for several seconds. That was our one chance at joining the whole group, as the third Skyvan was only overnighting between events. With a handful of people not having jumped at all this year and most of us with under 20 jumps I think we were mostly surprised that the standard was so good, right from the beginning.  Like riding a bike and all that. 

The cherry on top of the icing of our cake – the 58-way formation
Photo by Bruno Brokken


Gorgeous sunny weather had so far been the norm but led to some thundery clouds setting in on Tuesday, not ideal for big-way. So, after a morning wake-up 40-way, we split into 3 groups of 18-20, under Patrick, Milko & Siân, for a mini competition of 2 rounds. Milko’s team were victorious, though he did have an advantage, having written the hieroglyphics [dive sheet] he could understand what the scribbles were supposed to signify.

Playing with stairsteps – the shape more important than the grips
Photo by Bruno Brokken

And finally

On the final Wednesday we alternated between Milko or Patrick, 20-way or 40-way, and in the company of different friends in our sky family.  Some jumps were about points, some about movement, some where the shape was important, some were built for complexity. Everyone could choose trail or lead, floater or diver, close or far from the base. After such a long skydiving famine we needed to sample every possible delight – and we reveled in it. None of us knew how much we needed this event until it happened, it was a breath of fresh air. For me personally I’d mostly stayed in lockdown after it officially ended, and it would have been easy to stay at home, the path of least resistance. But I felt a deep joy to reconnect with our close community, an inner happiness, a sense of belonging and being at home again. Isolation potentially protects against a deadly virus – but at some point we have to start living again, or there is little point to being alive.

“Slot flying” no contact formations are FUN 🙂
Photo by Tomasz Burza

Sequential Gang

For many years the renowned Sequential Games organisation operated as a triad, with Patrick, Milko and Dieter Kirsch leading a large, ever-changing group of high-level formation skydivers. Last year there was a split and Dieter is now running his own events. So Patrick figured his group needed a new name and Facebook page – The ‘Sequential Gang’ was born, with events run by the dynamic duo of Patrick and Milko. You can like the Facebook page here to keep up to date, there are many events being planned. 

Just a taste of our sequential extravaganza

Video by Bruno Brokken
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Meet: Lesley Gale

Lesley has been in love with skydiving for 35 years. She is a multiple world and national record holder and a coach on 20 successful record events worldwide. She has over 100 competition medals spanning more than 25 years and has been on the British 8-way National team at World events. She started Skydive Mag to spread knowledge, information and passion about our amazing sport.
Lesley is delighted to be sponsored by Performance Designs, Sun Path, Cypres, Cookie, Symbiosis suits and Larsen & Brusgaard

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