sa 60th anniversary
caravan camp & state meet

Written by Sandy Nieuwenhoven

Photos by Zack Rosser, Bryce Sellick, Cameron Puttee, Marcee Hammond, Kosta Andrellos & Richard Timperon

Location // Adelaide Skydiving, Lowerlight   Date // Oct 16-24 2021

We don’t get a lot of turbine time in South Australia, so when Phil Onis agreed to send a Caravan over to Lower Light, the buzz started. Yours truly assisted by one awesome husband, Al Gray, and DZ regular, Ronnie Mulani, set to planning the event, covering as many disciplines as possible. 

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We started contacting coaches and had a great line up planned with angles drawcard Andrew Keir. Alas COVID-19 put a damper on our angles plans so local guru, Vinnie Jarvis, stepped up to fill some big shoes. Did he do it justice? Hell yeah!

 

We had a massive line up of other local coaches including myself, but due to a family emergency I was stuck over in Victoria battling with SA Health to cross the border in time for the event. Unfortunately, that didn’t happen, so I watched the event I had put so much work into from afar and turned my attention to judging the State Meet that I was supposed to be competing in with my 4-Way team ‘Bruise Brothers’. I made the best of it and created my own private campervan boogie in Traralgon. I actually got home for the State Meet but was stuck in quarantine. Spending two days remote judging with Gail Bradley and Anna Ye was a great distraction; we laughed a lot and made a really good team.

Coaching lineup

Vince Jarvis // Angles

Zack Rosser & Niall Saunders // Canopy Flocking

Skye Kalms // Starcrests

Pete Anderson // 8 ways

BruiseBrothers (Cullen Habel, Thomas Waterhouse, Zac Rivett) // 4ways & B-Rels

Travis Naughton & Gary Scheepens // Wingsuiting

Marcus Priem // Freefly

Martin Letch // CRW

Richard Timperon // Parabatics

camera pool

Zack Rosser, Marcee Hammond, Bryce Sellick, 

Kosta Andrellos, Richard Timperon, Cameron Puttee

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For the SA jumpers, Saturday the 16th October finally arrived, with the eager jumpers quickly filling up the slots. 

 

Wednesday was a weather day, the opportunity was not lost, with coaches delivering high value seminars:

Cullen Habel: The Sport of Formation Skydiving – 2-Way Novice, 4-Way Blast, A, AA, AAA, 8-Way.   

Vince Jarvis: Angle Flying – exits, body position, no fly zones, leading and navigation, break away.   

Zack Rosser: Canopy Flying – decision making, off DZ landings, canopy wraps and entanglements, skyhook explanation. 

Stephen Bell: Gear maintenance

As this was the 60th anniversary of skydiving in South Australia we also got media coverage from Channel 9 news, The Advertiser newspaper and Nova 919 radio station for Graham Barrington’s return to skydiving. 

 

The week was finished off with the SA State Meet, the following disciplines competed:

2 x 4-Way FS teams

1 x 8-Way FS team

3 x 2-Way FS teams

1 x 2-Way CRW team

1 x 2-Way VFS team

3 x WS Performance

3 x Speed

It was the first time Speed had been run in South Australia. The speed competitors decided to score the competition at Round 1 as one person had a Flysight file error and the other had a malfunction on his equipment. 

 

All judging was done remotely by myself as Chief Judge plus Gail Bradley and Anna Ye. Assistance with setting up Skyderby for wingsuiting and speed was provided by Neil Fergie and Barrie Bremner respectively. 

 

I’ll let those who were actually there tell their stories of the event:

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Katie fluin says...

“Great efforts from Skye Kalms getting the Star Crest organised. Skye’s quote deciding to call her load one day due to weather because “it’s as choppy as dicks out there…” did make me question her dating situation! Cullen Habel was fantastic with magic 4-Way tutoring and just being a great help around the place. Vinnie really was ‘Vinnie Vinstar’ with his coaching and enthusiasm. A special shout out to him for deciding that anyone who made the Channel 9 News (even in the background) owed a carton, as it made the viewing super fun. Unfortunately for Vinnie he was one of the first needed to ring the bell! 

 

One of the stars was Zack Rosser; always happy, willing to jump on loads, provide advice and be positive. His photos were just stunning; so many people have photos which I am sure will go straight to the pool room. 

 

Small but significant positives were people checking each other’s gear, pulling up individuals when there were safety concerns and setting a high standard to ensure accidents did not happen. 

There was the DZ incorrigible energy burst who goes by the name of Ronnie; always up to mischief, but went to great efforts to nurture everyone by cooking for the whole DZ a wonderful curry night for his birthday. 

There were friends and family who did tandems: Lana in manifest; Lee McCormick’s wife Jacqui and son Obie; the caterers; 15-year-old Rachel Feltham  who has been working manifest for the past year while she waits until she is old enough for AFF, did her fourth tandem. 

Gary Scheepens got current and revalidated his Tandem Instructor rating and the paper-rock-scissors competition to see who would be the first to go on the front with him saw so many willing volunteers. Skye Taylor got back in the air after a long break with five jumps on her first day. Two students finished their AFF (Abe Van Wyk and Malte Fruhling); watching Malte run back to the hangar in jubilation gave me tingles of delight.  

What makes skydiving is all the little things that come together to create something huge. People like Dinger, who pretend to be grumpy, but is the first to pack my rig when I am having troubles with my openings, and does so with enthusiasm; the people such as Daniel Wilcox, who lend a jumpsuit when I need one, and do not care when I come back after ploughing through the crop and it’s a mess with dust; it is the people who volunteer to drive the pilot to the airport; people who do not own dogs but are picking up their poop; Marcus Priem and Rhys Savage fixing the broken toilet; the Chief Instructor who is always doing every odd job and task needing to be done; Marcus for getting everyone out of bed each morning with “tie a yellow ribbon around the old oak tree” on repeat… (I never want to hear that song again!) It’s the honest people who realise manifest has made a mistake in their favour and own up to this and get it rectified; likewise it’s the people who take the time to thank manifest and buy them a drink; it’s the naked skydives, the people wearing tutu’s and going for horny gorillas all making people have fun and adding frivolity; the people who help pack rigs to get others in the air; or give up their slot for someone who needed to jump more than them; the pilots being flexible and putting up with random requests from skydivers, skydivers not always being ready on time, or even on the right plane!  

Al was like a puppy missing Sandy, going from getting excited when she got her exemption to a forlorn look when they turned her away at the border. This was very sweet and highly evident she was missed, not only by Al, but by everybody, as Sandy’s name was thrown around the DZ like ping pong. Everyone was appreciative and very sore she wasn’t there.”  

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Skye kalm says...

“It’s amazing to see the progression of skydiving in SA within the last few years. I remember it being a struggle to find six or seven competent flat flyers who could help on a Star Crest. Now here we are turning 3- and 4-point 8-Ways. It makes me proud to see how far our State has come.”

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Vince Jarvis says...

“It was a huge success. With angle flying becoming increasingly popular, we were able to keep formations in the air for seven days. For the already well-established flyers, we worked on multi layered stack ups, transitions and picking up grips in steep carving turns. For the new angle flyers, we worked on stable exits, body controls, break off, no fly zones and general safety. On the weather hold, we jumped into the classroom for a seminar, a visual diagram on all things angles flying. All participants were hungry and excited for future events.”

Zack Rosser says...

“To be invited to be a part of the coaching line up at this year’s SA State Meet Boogie was super exciting – we had three days, 14,000ft of air time and a bunch of super keen participants looking at sharing the sky with their nylon. I had the amazing support of good friend and canopy coach, Niall Saunders, to be able to split the groups so we could start small and progress to combining both groups. The progression was evident within the first few jumps which gave a lot of excitement to what could be achievable over the three days. Big static jumps, fly bys, smoke jumps and lots more! We were unfortunate to receive some unjumpable weather on the last day but this gave us a good opportunity to gather all participants at the boogie and run some seminars and talk about decision making under canopy and off DZ landings.

 

Massive thanks to Adelaide Skydiving for having me along, NZ Aerosports for giving me the wings to keep the F*#% YEAH moments going, and the APF Fi Fund, SASPC and SAPC for their continued support in sports development.”

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Ronnie mulani says...

How was the boogie? Awesome.

How were the froth levels? Well I should thank the people for crossing beer lines every day and cheers to the beer police, aka Vinchenzo, for his concept - it meant we had lots of free beers.

How were the coaches? Can't complain, I don't think any coach left a blind spot for us to miss.

Who am I thankful for? Coaches, organisers, sponsors, manifest, skydivers, Sydney Skydivers, pilots, Dublin General Store and the list just doesn't end. Thanks everyone for making it happen and yes, that means you too, Sandy.

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stats

Total registered participants: 90

Total loads: 109

Total slots: 1,471

AFF/B-Rels: 33

Cutaways: 1

slots funded

Angles // 33

Formation Skydiving // 27

Flocking // 22

Freefly // 14

Wingsuit // 11

Achievements

Starcrests

Likim Wong, Beau Chapman, Sab Noivo, Yuma More (Jonathan Sandoval), Joseph Doubtfire

Milestones

1,000 Skydives // Alex Hanka, Stephen Bell (Dinger)

700 Skydives // Zac Rivett

100 skydives // Glen Dingwall, Pete Locke

50 Skydives // Dillon Pitman

HU Freefly Crest // Yuma More (Jonathan Sandoval), Igli Jahollari

AFF // Abe Van Wyk, Malte Fruhling

B-Rels // Tony Mumford, Holly Plumridge

First Flight Course // Ronnie Mulani, Niall Saunders

Made the Channel 9 news

Vinnie Jarvis, Al Gray, Marcus Priem, Aidan Matthews, Shane Strudwick 

Turbine Rating // Sebastian Walker-Magee, Al Gray