Spring Fling

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How to make the cut!

To make the cut for this event has taken a lot of hard work, commitment and training over the past 18 months. How did I do it?

Jumps were 60-ways from a Skyvan and 2 Twin Otters from the Skydive Perris fleet
Photo by Luciano Bacque

Bigway Training

My bigway jumping began at the end of 2017 when Doug Forth came to Australia and I had 180 jumps, having done nothing more than 10-ways and although I didn’t make the cut for the Australian sequential record then, I was determined to improve and make it on the next one.

Then, in September 2018 when Larry Henderson came over I did. Listening to advice from many coaches, I did two Supercharge camps in the tunnel  to work on my personal flying skills, got myself onto a 4-way team and jumped on as many starcrest and formation camps that I could. Coming over from Australia to participate in preparation for the Aussie Bigway Record, I couldn’t have been in a better place to train with phenomenal coaches and prepare for Spring Fling. I was super excited to be included in this event that built seven amazing 60-way formations this year.

Doug Forth, P3 coach, by Luciano Bacque

The Event

Now I am no stranger to be baptised by Perris dust, instant wind direction changes, downwinders, dust devils, you name it, but you know when I arrive to “sunny California” I expect there to be sunshine not to be bundled up in hoodies and freezing my ass off! Despite having these challenges, Spring Fling still continued on and made the most of what we could but Day 1 was sadly not the day.

Funky formation, by Craig O’Brien

Bringing over 60 individuals from 12 countries, I definitely was in awe of the talent that I was going to be jumping with and doing Spring Fling at Perris truly offers what an event is about. It is not a camp, you have earned your spot and are expected to perform. This was definitely a shift in mindset as it challenges you to remain calm and be confident with your flying skills.

More cats than a cattery! By Luciano Bacque

Day 2 we finally managed to get up for a jump, with conditions not suitable for the planned 60 way jump, we went with the short brief of lets build 7 way star with two cats building off the base. This is all well good with 21 people right? Except for when you have miscalculated and poor jumper #22 is looking for a slot that doesn’t exist! Especially with Dan giving you a look that says just get the hell on! Coming down brought a lot of laughs in the debrief.

Point 1, by Luciano Bacque

Day 3 – finally a 7 jump day….Woohoo!

What a phenomenal day of multiple sequential jumps, zippers, loops, fragile formations of diamonds and lines upon lines of cats! How do they come up with these ideas? To build an intricate formation is one thing, to build it not only well but fly it well is another and congratulations to the Spring Fling flyers for delivering on this.

The Break by Luciano Bacque

What a sight it is to be smiling across a formation at your friends, old and new, even when things don’t always go to plan. If you ever jump with me you’ll know I love smiling and geeking across the formation, and I absolutely loved the moment of just waiting for Doug to respond to my endless smiles and eventually give the key for the next point. The feeling of success when you complete a sequential is awesome, even better is tracking away in groups with smiles and holding hands sometimes, this really finishes the jump with style.

Almost Point 2 by Luciano Bacque

Thank you to Skydive Perris and the team (staff and pilots) for hosting this event, the P3 coaches Dan, Kate, Doug, and Larry – you guys are awesome, to the fantastic camera flyers Craig O’Brien, George Katsoulis and Luciano Bacque for making us look awesome, and thanks to L&B for providing an Ares alti for the event raffle prize.

Organizer Dan BC, by Luciano Bacque
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Meet: Kristina Hicks

Trained high school science teacher, she quit her fulltime position to pursue her goals in skydiving. After 3 years in the sport Kristina has 480 jumps, is a BRel coach, achieved 3 Australian National Records (including the recent 130-way record), Bronze at Indoor nationals 2018, Gold at Australian Nationals 2019 in 4way A and silver in female speed, and was part of the winning team in the recent Texxas 20way challenge.

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