The first speed skydiving competition of the year and our man Max not only brings us home the GOLD but he achieves a new personal best speed of 523.94kmh. The competition which was part of the International Speed Skydiving Association’s World Series, was held in the beautiful old town of Fano on Italy’s Adriatic Coast.
Max gives us his first hand account….,
My competition performance had a shaky start, with my first two rounds scoring zero as the pair of barometric speed measuring devices (SMDs) read too far apart from each other to provide an accurate reading. This called an out-of-bounds or OB jump and is my fault as although I was falling fast, I wasn’t stable. Not good and it causes me some worry as out of the eight rounds of competition, the score comes from your best five rounds. With only three scores to throw away I’ve already lost two and I haven’t even got a score on the board. That puts me in last place, so I needed to step up a gear. In round three I recorded a speed of 500.64 kmh and BOOM! I’m back in the game.
The next three rounds give me speeds of 523.94 (a new personal best), 493.64 and 488.89 kmh. Six rounds completed on the first day, two more to go and I’m comfortably clear at the top of the leader board. It’s party night at the drop zone bar with great pasta and lots of fine Italian red wine, but I have to take it easy as if I OB on my final two rounds I could lose it all.
Thunderstorms overnight and Sunday dawns a little cloudy and cooler than the day before but soon clearing and we’re jumping. I record 487.07 and a 506.31 kmh on rounds 7 and 8, which secure me first place with a cumulative total on my best 5 rounds of 2513.42 kmh, or an average of 502.68 kmh. As well as a gold medal I walk away with a cool glass trophy and a crate of excellent Italian craft beer (they’re not just good at making wine you know) and the celebrations begin. Everyone is in great spirits as it’s not just me who’s a winner as the Italians have a new champion and there are new national records set by the Portuguese and Greek competitors too.
What a great competition, good vibes and new friends and despite my inauspicious start I had some great jumps, matching my performance at last years World Championships. This was my secondary goal for the comp, not just to win but also to confirm I haven’t slipped back over the winter off-season, so I’m doubly pleased. Next up is the second meet of the World Series next month in Illertissen, Germany. This promises to be a different ball game as at least 8 of the top ten speed skydivers are expected to be there, including the current British Champion and National Record holder as well as the current World Champion. I’ve got my work cut out…
Imagery from the ISSA