ISSA World Series Final Round – Dunkeswell, Devon

The summer continues and we have good weather for the ISSA World Series final round in Devon. Sixteen competitors from as far afield as Russia are attending. Most of the usual suspects are here as well as some new faces too.

Straight out of the starting blocks Stefanor Celoria from Italy propels himself into the lead with a speed of 547kmh, a new PB, Italian national record and the latest member of the 500 club! The four other competitors are relatively closely matched and include Henrik Raimer from Sweden, Mike Lovemore (UK), Matt Byrne (UK) and our own skydive instructor Max Hurd.

All competitors are logging jumps between 444kmh and 478kmh, but as the competition progresses there are a couple of jumps in the high 400s creeping in as the competitors settle into their stride. This starts to spread the group out a little now and Max Hurd is starting to get left behind as a few of his jumps drop below 440kmh. Max manages to pull it back a little with a healthy 494kmh in round six but Matt throws a 528kmh on the board, which puts him close to Stefano, who is having trouble maintaining his early promise.

Round 7 sees Matt set a new PB, as well as a new British national record with an astounding 565kmh. This beats the existing record by GoSkydive’s Max of 559kmh, held since last year’s National Championships. Well done Matt! As expected, this puts him firmly in the lead, and nothing much changes in the final round despite Henrik’s attempts to catch Stefano.

On the podium Matt takes the glory, with Stefano in second and Henrik in third, leaving Max trailing in fourth. As it’s the final round of the World Series the winner of the ISSA Sword is also announced. Henrik takes that one home and Max Hurd comes a close second with Mike Lovemore in third. All credit to Henrik, his performance has been solid and consistent all year and it pays off, a well-deserved win.

ISSA World Series

Max was last year’s winner of the World Series and has worked with Mike to remount the sword on a plaque with lots of brass so it now looks very impressive. Max said “It was a pleasure to present it to this Henrik, who now has it until I try to take it off him next year!”

 

We’ve got eight weeks until the Nationals and twelve to the World Championships so it’s time to settle down, get some quality training jumps in and see if Max can pull his speeds back up into the 500s again…

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Our very own instructor Max has been away as the ISSA World Series in Italy.

This round is number three in the series of four that make the ISSA World Series held this year at Skydive Fano on the Adriatic coast. It’s not a big dropzone but they’re busy, running an 18-place Cessna 208 Caravan pretty much nonstop all weekend. They also have a lovely café serving good Italian food, a swimming pool and as well as always offering a warm welcome they have a close relationship with a craft brewery (Birra Viola) which is exceptionally good. It’s always nice to be in Italy!

3rd Event ISSA World Series 2018, Fano Italy

 

Max arrived a couple of days earlier and hooked up with his Swedish speed skydiving buddy, Henrik Raimer. They got a few training jumps in at two other dropzones near Ravenna to the North before heading down to Fano on the Friday, official practice day before the competition. A few more practice jumps before rain stopped play. Boy did it rain! Full-on, torrential, bucketing-it-down type of rain that soaked you to the skin just looking at it, let alone venturing outside. No problem though for Max, who had ten jumps over the last few days and was feeling good.

Saturday the competition starts, Max was doing ok, mainly posting speeds around 470kmh. Max was swapping 2nd & 3rd places with Marco Hepp (Germany) throughout the day, but Henrik is pulling ahead with several jumps in the high 490’s and even one over 500kmh. This is good for him as it’s an improvement in his form but frustrating for Max as he hopes to be putting some 500’s on the scoreboard too. Pretty consistent, with only one poor jump.

The Italians are also holding their national speed skydiving competition concurrently and Stefano Celoria is doing well, with Carmine Della Corte and Maschia Ferri (the only female in the competition in 2nd & 3rd respectively. Simone Bonfanti, who joined the 500 Club at the last competition, is having a terrible time, as most of his jumps are too unstable to be measured and he’s scoring zeroes.

The end of the day leaves the competitors with seven rounds completed, Henrik in first with a healthy margin, followed by Marco and Max in third, but only by a whisker. See the full ISSA World Series 2018 3rd event results here.

Max comes home with a Bronze medal in the end. Max said it wasn’t a ‘fast’ competition with only one 500kmh+ jump but a little disappointing for him. Not his worst performance, but also so some way off his best too. The next event is the final round in the series in just two weeks time. Good luck Max!

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