BSBD Andrei Ryndin – Russian CP Team

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BSBDcrop smCanopy pilot Andrei Ryndin, a member of the Russian Canopy Piloting team died Thursday July 24th, during a competition  jump at the Russian Canopy Piloting Championships in Aerograd Kolomna, Russia.  It was his 3rd jump of the day.
Andrei was an active and current skydiver. He was reported to be flying a Performance Designs Peregrine, a canopy made especially for competitive canopy pilots.

Canopy Piloting is an unforgiving sport where mistakes can result in serious injury or death.

Our sympathies to Andrei’s family and friends.

News Reports: (English)

Project Orange: Lord of the Strings intel

During our daily recon mission around DeLand, we came across a bit of Project Orange information to share with you. You have no doubt seen advertising for the event, but up until now, details have been a bit scarce. That is all about to change – with some freshly snatched intel straight from the desk of event organizer Albert Berchtold.  Someone really should tell him that “Buddy” is not a very secure password.

First, to bring you up to speed on what they have already shared:

Lord of the Strings is an elimination style competition, offering up $5,000 in prizes for hungry swoopers. There will be no tallying of scores – during each round you either win or lose. Competitors go head to head against each other, until there is only one still standing.
Draw for brackets will take place at Skydive City each night,  at the bar. After Joe Can’tMakeTheGates finds out he’ll be going head to head with Curt Bartholomew, Joe Gates  can get some liquid courage right there.  Watching the draw will likely be as fun as watching the competition itself.
Scores will be updated live, from the pond. Come competition time, you can watch the action on the internet.

The events may have names that sound pretty standard to experienced canopy pilots (speed, distance and zone accuracy, but from what we saw, they are anything but. Check back tomorrow (or maybe this afternoon) for more details.


Sun Path PK Open: Special Delivery

It’s not quite October yet, but we can detect a little crisp in the air and the daily high is no longer 98 F. At least not all the time.
So that must mean it’s getting closer to the Sun Path PK Open!
We’ve already talked about the pond and a bit about the organizing team, and a whole lot more information has been shared on the event Facebook page.

There will be a mix of traditional CP events (distance, speed and zone accuracy), but the organizers will also throw in some special events.
Below is a diagram of the zone accuracy course that will be used. For clarification purposes, we should mention that the blue part of the diagram represents the pond, and everything else is on dry land.


In early September 31 competitors had registered, featuring many of the top pilots from around the world:

1. Curt Bartholomew Team Alter Ego -USA
2. Tommy Dellibac Performance Designs Factory Team -USA
3. Billy Sharman Fazza Sky -UAE
4. Nicholas Batsch Team Alter Ego -USA
5. Ian Bobo Performance Designs Factory Team -USA
6. Greg Windmiller USAPT/SPP -USA
7. Cornelia Mihai Fazza Sky -UAE
8. Scott Harper AO/Adrenaline Obsession -USA
9. Ian Drennan Performance Designs Factory Team -USA
10. Patrick Kaye Fazza Sky -UAE
11. Peter Piotrowski -USA
12. Jessica Edgington Performance Designs Factory Team -USA
13. Johan Karlsson JPEG -SWE
14. Gage Galle Performance Designs Factory Team -USA
15. Erwin Tank Baatenburg de Jong JPEG -NL
16. Justin Judd ISM/Adrenaline Obsession -USA
17. Paul Rodriguez ISM/Adrenaline Obsession -USA
18. Sven Jseppi Skydive OBX -CAN
19. Rodney McCrory -IRE
20. David Billings Mile High Skydiving -USA
21. Ben Crooch -USA
22. Shane Schaffer FLUID WINGS 
23. Joe Ablen USAPT -USA
24. David Hawley AO/Adrenaline Obsession -USA
25. John Nolan CPTS -USA
26. Jeannie Bartholomew Team Alter Ego -USA
27. Art Schaffer Skydive Palatka -USA
28. Scott Kasmar South Carolina Skydiving -USA
29. Robbie Hill Level Zero Heroes -USA
30. Steven Singletary CPTS -USA
31. John Hawke CPTS -USA
32. Richard Servantes Mile High Skydiving -USA


Registration is available through the Sun Path store.

Sun Path PK Canopy Piloting Open: Part 2, The Players!

We left off last time, yearning for more, having read a little bit about the pond at Raeford Parachute Center. It has been getting nipped and tucked all year in order to look it’s best come October.  If you need a refresher, you can go back and read that post again. (Make sure to read the insightful comments below the post as well)
It takes more than a gorgeous pond to host a swoop meet. A metric ton of organization and planning is required to ensure everything goes off as smoothly as possible, and in this case a dream team has been assembled to take care of making it happen.

Photo by K Kassen

Photo by K Kassen

Director of Awesomeness (and the meet) is John Nolan.  John is an accomplished canopy pilot and knows well what a competitors like to see at a meet. John’s mission is to make sure this meet will be fun and challenging for the competitors,  offering more than the standard events in a predictable order. We will have that scoop for you later.  In addition, good chunks of prize money will be doled out along with early registration incentives.

Photo by K Kassen

Photo by K Kassen

Esteemed Director of Competition is Golden Knight Greg Windmiller.  Windmiller is an experienced competitor and tireless in his efforts giving back to the sport of Canopy Piloting. Greg knows his way around a pond from both above and below, and has been spotted setting up courses wearing nothing but ARMY issued short-shorts. The fact that this meet is being held in October will likely result in a few more articles of clothing, with the pond and its surroundings getting at least a PG-13 rating.


Photo by Cheryl Brown

Honorable Chief Judge Jolene Brzezinski (perhaps better known as JoJo B) is known for her compassionate demeanor when comforting a competitor that has just realized he (or she) missed the gates by about 3 zip codes.  Jo has been judging since 2010 and started her stint with the Florida Canopy Piloting Association. She went on to earn her National and FAI rating in CP judging. Jo served as Technical Director at the 2013 USPA CP Nationals and as a result can set up courses in her sleep. When not huddled over score sheets, JoJo can be spotted at first light in a 38 degree swoop pond wrestling course markers.

In addition to those 3 key players, a host of volunteers and helpers will be on hand to ensure a smooth and efficient operation.

Paraclete XP (located a stones throw from the dropzone) has graciously agreed to donate a sizable chunk of tunnel time, or 1 hr, 30 minutes and 15 minutes to 1st, 2nd, 3rd (respectively) in the following categories:

    • Overall  (all competitors will be ranked in Open)
    • Stock Canopies (non Peregrine/Petra)
    • Advanced/Amateur (FLCPA/CRCPL guidelines)

That is 5 hours of tunnel time up for grabs, IN ADDITION to the prize purse.  Competitors dragging their feet in registering (no points for that!) might want to get in gear to be eligible for additional 3 hours of time, that will be shared between judges and those competitors that register prior to September 1st, 2013.
Prize purse currently totals $8,000 (not counting registration money going towards prizes).  Event registration is $420, which includes all competition jumps and re-jumps.

If would like to keep up on the latest news, make sure to check out the event page on Facebook. Online registration for competitors is open via Sun Path. Click here to register.


Registration is open


Sun Path PK Canopy Piloting Open: The Pond!

There is a new kid in town, hosting events on the swooping circuit!


Ready to register? Click the picture.

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.