Despite only being 2 weeks before the World Cup of Canopy Piloting in Canada, the Pink Open saw a huge turnout this year with almost 70 competitors from 15 different countries. This can be attested to a beautiful dropzone run by some awesome people. Every year the Pink Open is one of the biggest and best international Canopy Piloting Open competitions of the year. It’s a great platform for new up-and-coming and also the most seasoned of pilots to sharpen their skills in the Czech countryside. This year was no different, the competition was run extremely smooth and finished in only two days.
Curt and Jeannie of Team Alter Ego showed up a week early to coach the youngest members of the Danish Swoop Project. They could be seen every morning bright and early with Jeannie leading her “morning jam” stretching and warm up session with the project. As the days went on, a few other competitors outside of the Project joined in for the warm up. The Danes made great progress adjusting to the Alter Ego Project style of swooping and soon began making big strides in their performance. Curt and Jeannie trained alongside them during the camp to get adjusted to their new Sun Path Products Javelin containers. Curt was doing R&D with a few pieces from the factory and felt very comfortable in the new rig. Jeannie adapted quickly and was throwing down some great distance runs. Short and long term goals were set, and end of the day reviews kept everyone on track and pushing hard. There were also a lot of laughs and great times during the training camp.
Moving into the competition Curt and Jeannie continued coaching the Danish Swoop Project during the comp with strategy and small adjustments from round to round. The comp was started off by two rounds of Zone Accuracy. The first round was very light winds, with some great scores being set. The Danes got some great scores on the board, and Curt and Jeannie stayed nice and consistent in their new containers. The second round of Zone Acc saw the winds picking up into a downwind. Curt landed in a nice consistent zone 6, like the first round and almost every training jump during the camp. Jeannie came in a little hot and had a rough landing shutting the canopy down. When she touched down her weight belt shift up into her ribs while she was planting her feet to stop her forward momentum, breaking her ribs. She caught her breath and got on the plane for the next jump, toughing out a rough injury.
The competition then continued with speed. The organizers got all three rounds of speed cranked out that same day during a strong headwind. The Danish Swoop Project guys and gals continued to impress with their progress and put scores up on the board. Jeannie had some of her smoothest and most consistent speed runs, even with the injury. After a rough first round, Curt continued to have some trouble with speed. Things just weren’t clicking and the World Champ did not look like himself during the three speed rounds. He pushed through doing what he could and still managed a 2nd Place Speed finish while maintaining some damage limitation in the overall points.
The next day saw yet another “morning jam” and some determined faces from all the competitors. Distance was up on deck for the morning. Winds were light and variable and slightly downwind at times. Conditions were somewhat tough, figuring out setups was tricky as it changed from jump to jump. As the heat continued to build mid-day, there was a lot of turbulence to deal with as well. The heat itself was another factor competitors had to deal with. It was very hot and dry the entire week and it put a toll on the competitors. Wearing them out and making concentration difficult. Curt kicked off the distance round with the farthest run of 144 meters, putting his new Javelin through the paces. Jeannie had a few good runs and she adapted as well. The Danes continued to put scores up, some have personal bests and getting more scoring runs than ever before. Curt made a mistake on the second round of distance, rolling out low but managing to make the most of it. Rolling into the third round, Jeannie had a personal best distance run of 116 meters on her Valkyrie 67 while pushing through the pain. Her ribs made it difficult to control the canopy during her turn so it was an impressive swoop to watch. Curt also had one of his best distance runs putting up an impressive 152 meters in almost zero wind, around 15 meters farther than the nearest competitor. During distance a battle for the top step of the overalls was raging. Curt and Cornelia trading points and vying for the overall victory. Curt came out of Distance with another 1st Place podium for the event, only 5 points ahead of Cornelia for the event, and 25 for the Overall.
The last round of the competition was Zone Accuracy. It was run in a high head wind, showing some great scores among the top contenders, while making it difficult for some of the newer swoopers. Curt showed his experience in meet management and threw down a well flown 91 on the course to keep the Victory in his pocket, while also securing 1st Place in Zone Accuracy.
A fun round was then setup with 500 Euros on the line for a home run derby style swoop. It was carving distance with narrowing gates. It was an interesting course and everyone had a lot of fun flying such a unique course. Cornelia came out on top for the round, closely followed by Curt and Junior from the Dubai team.
Everyone was extremely happy from the Danish Swoop Project with their progress and competition results. There was some highs and lows, some awesome flights and a few light crashes. Everyone walked away having had a fun week swooping hard, and knew what to work on for the next one. Curt started off his relationship with his Javelin nicely with 3 Golds and a Silver, and Jeannie did the same with some personal bests and her smoothest flying in the speed event. The two of them would like to thank Sun Path Products for their amazing support. Congrats to Cornelia and Pat for their podium finishes, and all of the other competitors for their great flying. A huge thank you goes out to Liquidsky, Performance Designs, Larsen and Brusgaard, Vigil, and Hypoxic for everything.
After the competition Skydive Pink put on a barbeque for the competitors. The party then moved into Klatovy later in the evening, with the competitors blowing off some much needed steam. Thanks to Skydive Pink and all of the staff there for putting together such an amazing event. Also to all of the judges for standing out in blazing heat, without them these comps would not be possible! See all of you again next year!
Photos By: Woflgang Lienbacher https://www.facebook.com/lienbacherphoto
and Ladislav Lala