By Holly Kilham
It was the first serious Indoor Skydiving competition in Australia and the real buzz started in the facility on Friday, with many of the competitors booking training time, coming in to register and setting their speed in the evening. It was great to see so many teams flying in from all over Australia to take part.
We opened the doors at 8am on Saturday and competitors and spectators started to flood in! By 10am the viewing gallery was packed for the welcome speech and the handing out of the draw. Teams scrambled to get their draw as quickly as possible and soon found their own space to dirt dive, with the Rookie 4-way teams speeding through their practice as they were first up and had the least time to prepare.
Tunnel Tastic were the first team to fly, a team made up of 3 kids under 14 and player coach Alan from team Impulse. They had a killer of a first round and scored 15 points putting them straight into second place in the 4-way Rookie. It was awesome to see so many non-skydivers in the Rookie category, in fact every single team had at least 1 non jumper in their team and it was great to see the seasoned jumpers taking these guys under their wings and passing on their knowledge and tricks of the trade. Team Airvolution was made up totally of kids under 12 and although they didn’t win a medal they gave it a great shot against the adults. Style points go to team WindX who had dance routines planned for each round to remember the moves! Team En4orce took the gold with Wookie Power climbing into second and knocking Tunnel Tastic into third.
4-way Inter was up next led by Taipan Defence, they were the second defence team in this category as the ADPA had also entered a team to battle it out. 4-way Inter was our biggest category with 12 teams, we followed the IBA ‘A’ category rule, but looking at the number of teams in the 4-way, I think we can do Rookie, A, AA and AAA next year! Eminence took the lead from round 1, holding onto this until the end. Both Mariska and Natisha from Eminence have put in lots of training hours over the last few months and it really paid off for them. It was a close battle for third with Megasaurus Rex pipping Taipan Defence into the medal position in the last round.
We tried to split the competition up, so that each competitor had the maximum amount of time between rounds as some competitors were flying in 3 different teams and some across Formation and Freefly. A special mention to the super talented Kate Vaughan, claiming a silver medal in the 4-way Open and the 2-way VFS (Inter) despite busting a whole bunch of moves in the VFS round 1! Miniature team, PakuPaku took out the Gold in the Inter VFS, we’d love to see more of you giving this category a go next year. Remember it’s only head-up, so if you’ve entered the Scrambles before, you’re good enough to give the competition a shot.
Brad and Sonnica of Twisted took the gold in the 2-way VFS open, but it was a close battle with just a few points difference in each round. Brad and Sonnica also showed us a dynamic demo during the welcome. Dynamic is something we’d love to add to future competitions, we are getting a set of dynamic lights installed and will have some dynamic camps throughout the year. With the Gold Coast tunnel on board, you’ll have double the chances of getting in the big windy tube!
We then ran into the 4-way Open, with a massive 7 teams registering. This was way beyond our expectations for this category. It was fantastic to see some old school jumpers getting back into the scene and popping in a team for this event. Rotor In led from round 1 with such a close battle between second and third that I was not allowed to read out the results (even though they were online!) until both videos of the last round were shown. In the end Finger Physics took the silver from Giddy Up! by just 2 points.
Onto the artistic where brothers Shea and Richie came to show off the new skills they had been learning over the past year as team Full Tilt. Instructors Mike and Johnny put together a winning synchronised routine with some dynamic moves chucked in. 10 year old Amy Watson paired up with instructor Matt Boag to form the third team in this category. As Amy can sit-fly at the same speed Boagsy flies on his belly the two performed a unique routine together. Team’s best watch out, because next year she’s going to be carving around on her head!
Next on the run sheet was the kids freestyle. Nine youngster’s who’d been attending our weekly Junior iFLYER club showed us their best moves! Tiny 5 year old Carrissa got the biggest cheer and amazed the crowd with her skills, despite being up all night sick, she still said she wanted to compete – what a trooper! We had some belly carving, some flips off the walls, some crazy spins and some true freestyle moves. Shane wowed the crowd with his head down carving and Jordan showed us an interesting routine with lots of different tricks included. Jordan led from round 1 and held onto it, receiving a Cookie helmet and a shiny gold medal for his hard work.
We also did a demo 8-way event. No prizes, just glory, but Troy and Russ rounded up a bunch of local jumpers for team ‘Will it Blend’, as we’d planned the schedule minute by minute we couldn’t have any more scratch 8-way teams on the day, but next year we will save a few minutes to slot your last minute 8-way scratch teams in! Troy and Russ have run a few 8-way events here, so if you are keen to get involved, get in touch.
The last battle was the 4-way VFS, where new team Concentrate took the lead over favourites Focus in round 1, the battle continued right up to the last round, where cheers were heard from the team Focus camp, taking the gold by 3 points!
During the competition we sold tickets for the raffle for Jonas. I’m sure most of you have heard about Jonas and his accident in 2014. All the staff at iFLY donated their staff flying and training time towards a massive 6 hour prize pot and staff member Amber co-ordinated everything, flying 1107 numbered balls in the wind tunnel and picking three winning balls, like a giant lottery machine! This raised over $11,000 for Jonas which will help him buy a modified car. Thank you to Amber and everyone who purchased a ticket. It turns out the big lottery machine was a huge hit with the kids, providing them with the evening’s entertainment!
The poor judges had a mammoth task ahead and were judging non stop. While they judged we partied! We turned the tunnel on huck-jam style for anyone who wanted to jump in, kids, flat flyers and freeflyers all getting involved. We also turned up the music, turned off the lights and danced until the results were announced. A big shout out to the judges Lindy, Cole, Jenni and Andrew who judged for 13 hours straight! A huge thank you to everyone who came and gave it a shot and all the staff here at iFLY for their hard work and dedication. I can’t thanks Alex enough for organising a brilliant event, Alex – you rock! And lastly, I must apologise to the cleaner for the mess we left him on Sunday morning!
Next year: bigger, better and I’ll brief the cleaner! See you there!
Artistic Free Fly winners:
Bronze: Wind Catchers
Silver: Full tilt
2 way VFS Open Winners:
Silver- Simply B
2 way VFS Inter winners:
Bronze: Team Josie
Silver: 50 shades of awesome
Gold: Paku paku
4 way VFS open winners:
4 way FS Inter winners:
Bronze: Megasaurus Rex
Silver: Team Ptera
4 way FS Open winners:
Bronze: Giddy up!
Silver: Finger Physics
Gold: Rotor In
4 way FS Rookie winners:
Bronze: Tunnel Tastic
Silver: Wookie Power
Gold: Team En4orce
8 way FS Open winners:
Gold: Will It Blend
Kids Free style winners:
Bronze: Shane Onis
Silver: Amy Watson
Gold: Jordan Bassett Smith