There is a new kid in town, hosting events on the swooping circuit!
Well known container manufacturer Sun Path Products, Inc (makers of the Javelin) will be hosting a canopy piloting competition at Raeford Parachuting Center (RPC), in Raeford, NC October 11-13th, 2013.
To help with logistics and setup, Sun Path has recruited the insights and expertise of the peeps behind the Canopy Piloting Training Series (CPTS). As it draws closer, more competition specific information will be shared on the CPTS page.
The pond at RPC has undergone a massive facelift in the recent months to better accommodate canopy pilots for both training and competition. Well over 200 tall pine trees have been removed in order to reduce mechanical turbulence over the course and to increase the size of main and alternate landing areas. Thick pea gravel was added to one side of the pond and covers the entire zone accuracy landing area. Long term goal is to do the same on the other side of the pond to allow for the same setup should the winds turn. Training course markers for Speed, Distance and Zone Accuracy are set up in the pond at all times. All canopy pilots are welcome to come and train the event of their choice at any time.
Raeford pilots have carried out independent studies and found out that not only can they bring 5 jumpers to 4500′ in 2 min 30 seconds, but they can make a profit doing it! Hop ‘n Pop tickets are $16.00 and the plane will fly with only 5 Hop ‘n Poppers manifested for the load. Canopy pilots training also have the option of being picked up at the pond, eliminating the need to make the trek back to the regular boarding area.
The dropzone is in the process of re-drilling the freshwater well, which will be used to fill the pond. Once everything is set up an irrigation system will be installed allowing the growth of lush landing areas near the pond. A shade structure on a concrete pad is currently being built near the pond to accommodate training swoopers. The shade shack will be used for packing, video debrief, coaching and taking a break from the sun. Power outlets will be available to ensure swoopers can charge up their GoPros & gadgets, ensuring a steady supply of chow footage to the world.
It’s quite clear that Raeford Parachute Center is absolutely serious about catering to canopy pilots, with no plans of joining the ranks of dropzones that have dug a pond, only to fill it back in or hand it over to the mosquitos.
Next weeks update will bring you information on competition events and as an added bonus, we will reveal the names of the Director of Awesomeness, Esteemed Director of Competition and Honorable Chief Judge. To keep you on the edge of your seat, I will divulge that this dream team does not consist of the usual suspects – fresh winds are blowing.