Start of the CF World Sequential Record
By Henk Lunshof, Lake Wales, 13-11-2023
Photos by Wijnanda Van Wijngaarden-van der Vaart, Henk & Seele
Last Saturday, at the start of the event, about 80 CF members gathered at 7 a.m., as will happen every day next week, unless the weather forecast is very bad. On Monday morning, the last of the 136 participants will join us at the DZ, Jump Florida in Lake Wales, for the annual preparation for the next CF world record. We hope to establish that record next year.
The reunion of the participants was accompanied by the well-known common but sincere greetings. Even though some of us had already seen each other at the same drop zone three weeks ago. That was for a regular boogie where the base of this record attempt began training.
It was therefore very normal that the 9-way base immediately went up to jump again, while the “newbies” registered and prepared their gear for the specific slots that had been assigned in advance. So I first had to replace the mash slider of my parachute with a very narrow spider-slider, consisting of two criss-cross straps of 2 cm wide webbing that run from line group to line group to perform some kind of slider function during the opening. The goal of the spider is creating less resistance than the mash slider that we normally jump with. The extra speed that this creates is necessary in the “engine block” of the formation, of which I am a part. This group of jumpers are in the middle of the Big-way, as it goes to 64 and 81-way. The engine block contributes to a stable flying formation. Engineering big-way diamonds is all about creating the right aerodynamics to work for us.
In addition to the base training, Saturday and Sunday were a day of 16-ways that continued to jump together. On Sunday, the base was expanded from 16 to 25, during which the pilots could also get used to the procedures followed when flying formations. Simon, Ben, George, Matti, Pasi and Martin are part of the 16-way, Tomas and I joined for in the 25-way.
The 40 other Big-way sequential participants jumped with the talent pool on Saturday and Sunday. A great opportunity for knowledge transfer and making new friends. So this weekend was a nice meet-up to get back into the rhythm. And what we often take for granted is that great offer of nice Florida weather.
It is now Monday and we have used the morning for safety briefings and dirt dives of the 49-way. A reader familiar with CF will know that if we do this it is because of bad weather. We have a huge overcast sky and after lunch there will be broken skies and some rain. So the question remains which of the two will have the upper hand.
On the technical side of going big, we are well on schedule, the “split times” are getting better. Due to training the base in the past year, the 16-way has already been built more than a minute faster than the 2022 record jumps. The rest of the participants also used last year’s experience to train new techniques in the past season. The split times for the larger formations are therefore also interesting to compare.
We’ll have lunch soon and hope to fly the first 49-way this afternoon, with the first sunshine trying to break the clouds, I great you.