The world meet has been an exceptional experience so. The journey here was an adventure. Flew thru Frankfort, Zegreb (with Joel) to Dubrovnik; picked up by car and driven thru Croatia, Bosnia-Herzegovina, traveling on narrow mountainous roads and finally arriving in Niksic, Montenegro.
The Niksic DZ is really so very beautiful, surrounded by moutains. For the world meet it is lined with numerous army tents semi-circling a very official landing area equipped with tuffet, electonic parapad and wind metre set-up. The airport is new and was completed on the day of our arrival to revive aerosports and tourism. A small hangar/office is the only building.
Practice week was mostly winded out but we did make 6 skydives from a Huey helicopter. (Folks, go and eat your hearts out!) The airlift finally arrived and it included 4 Pilatus Porters from Slovenia & Austria, an AN-2, a Cessna 182 (registration E7-SEX) & a Queenair from Serbia.
The opening ceremonies were absolutely awesome. Well coreographed; included short speeches, an air show, fireworks and all the teams marched onto the stage and concluded with a paradrop of all countries. The people of Montenegro have put their hearts into the organization of this championship.
The competitors of 28 teams are from countries around the world with the largest contingents from the USA, Russia, France and a very young group from China (17 includes 5 men competitors, 5 women, coaches, leaders, translators). A single competitor from Sweden. Had dinner with the Chinese team a few days ago. Their Head of Delegation and I communicated through their translator. He was on the Bronze winning Chinese CRW Rotation Team of the early 1980′s.
When the sun is shining, the weather is HOT, HOT, HOT, in the high 30′s C.
The team jumpsuits that Nina made are perfect and the team members love them. Thank you, Nina!
We did 3 rounds of accuracy yesterday. Challenging conditions range from low winds with bumpy thermals to high uppers with lower but gusty surface winds. Unfortunately we all have had some sizeable landing scores except for John McCarthy who is hanging in there with a 4cm. total. Frequent delays due to high winds. We have been getting up at 5am for breakfast.
Scott and John are gearing up for their 1st style jump as this email is being typed.
Barb Davies has been doing an excellent job as team leader and head of delegation. So glad she is here.
The Montenegroese are all very tall (6 feet and up) and handsome/beautiful. From the comments heard, all the team members are in lust/love? The locals have an endearing Saturday night ritual; the women dress up in their finest and sexiest outfits (with high heels that make them look even taller) and walk down the downtown street in small groups.
The men, in their scuffy T-shirts and jeans, sit on the sidewalk and admire the women as they go by.
The Hotel Onogost is plain but is home to all the competitors for 2 weeks.
It is surrounded by cheap fruitstands and really cheap beer stores. The Aussies, Germans, Finns, Brits, Italians, Slovenians, Austrians, Dutch, Croatians, Czechs, Ukraine, Serbs, Poles, Danes, Hungarians, Bulgarians, Romanians, Swiss and others are all here. Like a big family reunion in many ways.
Signing off for now.
Regards from Montenegro,
Joe Chow, Canadian Parachute team