WAG Granada 2001

The II World Air Games, the biggest sports event this year, can be seen as the Olympic Games of all air sports. All around Spain all air sports have their own separate competition but under the same umbrella WAG 2001. For more information look at www.wag2001.org The first WAG in 1997 was held in Turkey and was a big success for the air sports. Hopefully this second edition will be even better.

This page will only conduct the parachuting part containing the following disciplines with Dutch participants:
Accuracy and Classic Style
Formation Skydiving 4 way (Team Dutch Fource)
Formation Skydiving 8 way (Team Dutch Flight)
Freestyle Female(Team Rotterdam and Teuge)
Freestyle Male (Team Rotterdam)
Freefly (Team The Airpushers)
Skysurf (Team CocoSurf)
Canopy Formation (Team CF Teuge)

The schedule for the competition is set in general but we don't know yet what the dividing over the days for the disciplines will be. Because of the weather it's most likely that due to the turbulence when the weather gets hot Accuracy and Canopy Formation will start (very) early in the morning. During training we could only jump between 06.30 and 09.00 in the morning, than the military helicopters have to fly. At 12.00 the freefall disciplines start but also finish early due to organizational reasons.

Talking about the organization. Like in Turkey (1997) they were definitely not ready when we arrived. We expected some "manana" situations because of the southern atmosphere but it was worse. Hopefully they will find the right rhythm before the competition starts tomorrow.

The weather is great, clear blue skies, ± 35° Celsius and a soft breeze In the background we have a nice view at the mountains (Sierra Nevada) which still hold some snow. Martin and Sacha who are visiting the competition site were up there yesterday when the Paragliders (208 competitors) started for their last training round. It was 8 ° at about 3.400 mtr. altitude. The Paragliders had to fly to Malaga and back which I estimate to a distance of twice ± 200 km.

Monday June 25, 20001:

Our daily schedule for the CF team:
05:15 Wake-up call by the hotel system
- Shower, breakfast
06:00 Bus departure to DZ Armilla
06:15 Arrival at DZ
06:45 First competition lift (at sunrise)
13:00 End of CF
18:00 Supporting the other disciplines or most go swimming
19:00 Dinner
21:30 Bed time!?
All in all a very busy schedule. As said CF and Accuracy have no other choice than starting early.
It took some days but here is some new info. Saturday all disciplines made their last official training's round finished with the shortest opening ceremony I've ever attended. Without all those long speeches this is a perfect start of the competition for all competitors but I think it won't help us to bring the sport to the public. There was no media at all so I'm afraid that there won't be any news in the newspapers or even local TV.
Now the competition has been started the (mainly) French staff is trying to run it as smoothly as possible. Running all disciplines after another or sometimes side by side is a though task. So far I think they have to be complemented especially taking the circumstances in mind. Of course most competitors won't agree but knowing what they're doing I won't be in their place.

The Wagner family (here on site) is running their omniskore system including the website with results. Therefor I won't post our scores here but link to theirs. The fastest and most complete overview:

Making snowballs at the Sierra Nevada. The military dropzone. A huge runway and the two seperate landing areas. Most of the Dutch participants (in the by Tommy Hilfiger sponsored cloths. It's impossible to get them all on one photo.
On site impressions. Every discipline is unfortunately located in a different hotel. With over 1000 people there's no other way so we've to talk with old friends in between the jumps. In the evening everybody is tired and goes back to his or her own hotel.
Our first rotation of the competition. Bruno Brokken filming us for the event video. The round indication.
First round; 4 way in 34 sec. (4 sec. lost) followed by 17 formations in 90 sec. Because of the lost 4 sec. only 16 in working time. Unfortunately our score was only 14. The judges busted us for one rotation which costs us 2 points. Reason was the topman leaving the formation before the bottom man has docked. This rotation was indeed pretty tricky but slow-motion showed that the grip was there. The rules don't allow the judges to judge in slow-motion They look twice in normal speed and the teams have to show the grips. If teams get faster it'll be more difficult to judge. Busting such a rotation and no slow-motion means grips have to be long enough so the judges can see it.
Second round: The organization had planned to do CF to maximum noon or 13.00 h. due to the expected turbulence. We had to make our jump at 13.30. They send us to 9.000 ft. instead of 8.000 ft. because they expected turbulence. And that's what we got, really a lot of turbulence. All teams got the same circumstances but the organization didn't strike this complete round. The rules say clearly that if you jump you get a score. On the other hand we went up with an incredible slow Twin Otter, only climbing 400 ft./min. which made it impossible to feel the turbulence on the way up. Despite the conditions we ended up with 16 points. Most other teams were more effected by the difficult situations.

Our original goal was a third place. Because Roel took Kees his slot about 3 months before this competition this goal seemed not be realistic anymore. But now after 2 rounds we're not scoring bad and the other teams also didn't have much progress since last year. It looks like we've to fight again with the Americans. So far we have a shared 3rd place again but the Swedish and Australian teams are strong too. It will be an interesting competition.
In both disciplines the worst round doesn't count, called a throwaway. Hopefully this 14 point round will be the one. In that case we won't have another bad round.
Plenty of (hot) water. About every day a full truck load. View from the mainbuilding. From the window of our teamroom we can just see a piece of snow on top of the Sierra Nevada.

First round; Besides the training's round the first 4-way team jump together. Our focus is on Rotation so we didn't train this discipline. A 3 point score is than not bad for us.
Second round: Even better, 4 points. We slowly start getting used to the other canopies (Lightning's) and of course each other.
Third round: Also 4 points. Because some formations were to difficult for us to build at once we choose to build an inter formation from which we easily could switch to the compulsory formation. We did that twice of which one even within working time. So actually we made 5 formation within time.
Fourth round: Very difficult formations and a tricky block (a compulsory inter to the second formation). The third point was just out of time and the fourth (the block) was very quickly. It didn't help, just 2 points. Again hopefully this one will be the throwaway round.

Tuesday June 26, 20001:

Early in the morning we did another 2 rounds of Rotation. We had a bad day with bad luck and bad jumps. This proved that we're not consistent enough due to a lack of training with these team members. As said before we've a new team member. Our individual rotations are not really bad but the formation is still not flying consistent

Third round; 4 way in time but camera man to far away to see the first point. Besides some really fast rotations there were also some really slow ones. This kept the rotations to 17 but also this jump the judges busted one rotation giving a disappointing score of just 14. Again the bust was questionable. We can judge it on slow-motion and see the point is definitely present.
Fourth round; 4 way very quickly followed by 18 rotations in 90,1 sec. Unfortunately our cameraman Eric had a real bad opening with several line twists, long enough to miss the first couple of rotations. The judges couldn't see the first rotations but still started to count from number 3. Again we were busted back from 17 to 15. With these 2 scores we probably lost the change on the bronze medal.
Tommy Hilfiger cothing, with special thanks to Frank Boon! The rest of the day we spend very effectively. First we made many team photo's with all of our different sets of team clothing from Tommy Hilfiger in front of the Spanish Casa's. These photo's will be added to the page "Sponsored by Tommy Hilfiger". The complete CF delegation, including reserve and teammanager.

After dinner we analyzed the video's of the jumps we did the past few days. We know were the problem areas are and we know that we must be able to make jumps with 17's and 18's. Watching the video makes us more aware of our personal focus pointsand tasks. If we want to beat the Americans and stay ahead of the Swedes we have to make better jumps.

Wednesday June 27, 20001:

Again we had to wake up very early. At about 08.00 h. we made round 5 of sequential.

Fifth round; A jump with 2 blocks, for the insiders 11 - 4 (Gaff to Boomerang and Step-Stack to Two Step. Although the first one is a pretty difficult block the jump went surprisingly well. After the landing we had a great feeling. Everybody had the idea we'd made a tremendous jump. And the feeling was right.

6 points: A new National record in CF 4 way sequential!!!!

The Airpushers, pushing themselves to a higher ranking. It'll be long to wait for the party in the evening. We can't party too heavily because we've to jump again tomorrow morning. In the meantime I support the others teams. This time a special greeting from the vertical disciplines. The Airpushers on the left and Cocosurf on the right.
Pipi and Marjolein (Freestyle Female) are finished. Only the first 8 will continue in the finals. They both did a good job in this competition but lost many points in the compulsory rounds. The free rounds were much better but not enough to raise in the ranking.
Team Cocosurf.

The team room.  Very clean and  organized. View from the team room. The Casa's during one of the frequent weather holds (too much wind). Marjolien hurt her toe when having a high speed landing. The toe will be dark blue tomorrow.

Thursday June 28, 20001:

Almost unbelievable but we made 3 jumps this morning. 1 sequential and 2 rotation.

Sixth round; Stack, Stack-Stack and Stepstack. The stacks are always difficult to fly because the shoulders have to be above the canopies. The block Stack-Stack went fine so ended up with a solid 5 points.

Fifth round; The past jumps we did sequential and therefore this first rotation jump did go smoothly, some really slow rotations. Only 16 points.
Sixth round; The first approach of Roel to dock the first formation was to quick. He docked to high so Jan couldn't catch. Luckily I could see that from the top and did not leave for my rotation when Roel gave a GO. His second dock was fine and we had a jump without big errors. Probably a clear 17. The judges looked to our jump several times and decided that we got a bust on the first formation. We weren't able to have a chat with them but we think they couldn't see what happened there (again the cameraman was pretty far away). The rules clearly states that the time starts at the first grip. There was no grip so a wrong interpretation of the rules.

I'm always in favor of making a clean jump including clearly showing the judges what they have to see. Therefor I'm very disappointed that we got so many busts on the competition jumps here. Most (if all) we definitely didn't deserve.

There's also good news. The Russians made a new world record in Rotation by making 22 points in time (90 sec.).

22 points: A new World record in CF 4 rotation for Russia!!!!

Friday June 29, 20001:

Seventh round; We didn't came further than building the second formation (inverted Tee). Jan docked on the Stack but couldn't keep it flying until Roel could dock. His canopy wrapped twice around John's leg, closing all cells. He was able to twist back so John could open up the canopy again but John's leg was still wrapped in the end cell. He managed to lift the canopy (and Jan's weight) with his other foot to clear the mesh on his other foot. Than the time was over so we separated. Just one point.

Seventh round; Jan had an off-heading opening again but Roel was quick so the quad was build within the 30 sec. The rhythm was still not there and we were busted back by 2 points from 16 to 14 due to a wrong dock (and key) of John.

We're now to far behind the Americans to catch up. They've the bronze for sure. The Aussies are 3 point behind us which leaves us no other option than making at least 14 (and they max. 17) on the last round tomorrow.

Saturday June 30, 20001:

Last competition day. Just 2 more jumps to complete both events. For sequential an average jump with an average score of 4. For rotation almost 17 so again 16. With this score the fourth place is a fact.

In the evening the price giving would take place during a dinner party. This was the most unorganized situation I've ever attended. The winning teams had to hold up their own National Flag. I won't continue with all other issues. I simply was a mess.

The next day we drove back to Sevilla and flew home. Up to the next meet. 2002 in Porto Santos Portugal the World Cup and European Championships. The year after in 2003 in Gap France the Mondials.

Refueling the planes. German 8-way baording the plane. One of the Casa's.

CU @ the next event.

© Parashoot Productions (Henny Wiggers)