CF Camp Senegal

This page will hopefully be filled with nice shots and the story about our training's camp in Senegal from February 06 - 19 2001.

Planned months before we finally managed to set a period of 2 weeks in which the whole team could train together. We choose Senegal because of many different reasons. The main thing will be the weather and secondly being away from our own dropzone. We assume that we, for a change, can train without the standard disturbances on our regular dropzone due to all our involvement's.

Saly, a small town 1 hour south of Dakar, the capital city of Senegal, will be our home for 2 weeks. This site has been chosen by a French dropzone operator for many years to overcome the 4 winter months. In January the French National team and this year for the first time the Dutch National team CF will use the DZ for it's year's first training's camp, both in preparation for the upcoming World Championships CF in Spain June 2001.

Because of a big delay in Milano Malpensa of 4 hours we arrived at 04.00 h. at night at our Hotel. A short sleep and up to de DZ. The well known Turbo Mingo (Pilatus Porter) was already waiting for us. The organization had decided to start after their lunch break so we had some time to explore the local habitat, Saly an African touristy town on the coast filled with French visitors.

Follow this link to a short video of Hotel Blue Africa.

Palmtrees on "our" beach. If it's too hot! The beach in front of the hotel.

The pix above give an impression about the view from the hotel, it has a very nice beach. The water is about 50 mtr. from our rooms. The rooms are not high standard but the special African/Tropical atmosphere are not too bad. Nice cold showers will help us to wake up quickly.
We made a plan with the manager OJB for the amount of jumps. We hope to make about 100 jumps this training's camp, which means roughly 10 jumps a day. To accomplish this we brought two of our friends that will pack our canopies in return of a nice time in Senegal. Uul & Inge at breakfast. The BIRD.

The first three days went fast, no time to update this page. A slow but steady start of the jumps; 5, 8 and 9. Although we aim for 10 it's very difficult to get this here. The tropical temperature is for some of us a bigger handicap than expected. The other reason is the strong wind in the morning, when it's not so hot yet. For us the wind is fine, we even prefer it because of the nice landings, but it's way to strong for the other jumpers which are mainly students. For the organization it's too expensive to send up the (turbine) plane for just 5 people to 7.000 ft. We've to find a compromise.

Pushing the plane. Making some dust.

The big bird has to be pushed to the start of the runway every morning and after lunch. Startup and take off from there, with these temperatures they don't heat up the engine. Take off is always to the east and the landing the opposite no matter the direction and speed of the wind, resulting in extreme short cycle times. This would be impossible in Holland.

Our equipment hosts more sand after a few days than we've sand on our beaches. The white cells and our jumpsuits are tan colored. Eric our cameramen is complaining that he gets a sandstorm in his eyes after we open our parachutes. The canopies here won't last very long, that's for sure.

To update this page I've to use my mobile phone that's connected to the laptop by Infra Red. The connection is limited to only 9600 baud. That's the reason that I mostly only upload the thumbnails. The enlarged pix will be uploaded when I have a faster connection. The connection by modem to Dakar is so bad that it's cheaper to use the mobile.
Overloaded? French style lunch. Uul & Inge getting wet.

Today the wind was even too strong for us. Time to relax. We enjoyed the typical French style lunch, as usual. John still doesn't like the fish but what can you expect from a butcher. He can expect some more fish the coming days, that's for sure if you're in a hotel on the beach.

The sea was tempting but like yesterday still pretty cold. I think about 19° C, but always better than at home. The weather is here every day the same. Strong winds in the morning and very hot (± 38° C) in the afternoon.

Don't get scared!

On the left you see a big change. It took some time but now I've an original "coupe du Senegal". I hope it will last until I'm back at the office so I can scare some of my colleagues. Not only nice girls (Claudia) have the guts to make such a big step.

After the big break due to the wind we continued jumping but had to stop again for 1½ hour because the plane had to leave for Dakar to bring an unfortunate Frenchman to the nearest hospital because he probably broke his leg on landing.

Building a hotel. Making some dust again.

We're half way the training period and can conclude that we're on schedule. I've added a chart to keep track of our progress. The coming days we'll probably take a (half) day off for sightseeing. We don't need time to relax because we do that every day (wind!).

Will be daily updated!

I've corrected the estimated afternoon temperature from 33 to 38° C, the temp. shown on the meter of the plane. We're slowly getting used to it. For our packers Uul & Inge it's pretty hot but swimming in the sea during the lunch break cool them down enough, they say.

The technical progress of the jumps are not satisfactory enough. After every jump we watch the video once and subsequently twice in slow motion. Yesterday we had an evaluation and we agreed to change the system. We all know the technical details but are not able to put them in practice. Henny has the best rotations and most off them are according the book. This will be taken as example for the others. From now on we will start working in steps. We see that all actions are too much, too much left toggle (oike), too much right toggle (boike), too much front riser, too late breaks. Therefore the first step is to only focus on the exit, what we call the "oike, boike". This is the name we adapted from our Russian coach Denis who unfortunately couldn't be here because he didn't get a visa because in Senegal you don't need a visa. Without a visa he was not allowed to leave the country.
Pushing again. Take off.
Cotton. Kees preparing the water melon. Manni getting water from the 15 mtr. deep well.
Our spare canopy still looks fresh. Henny

Today (Wednesday February 14 2001) the wind started pretty early so we decided to visit Saly again. Like normal tourists we walked along the beach and all local shops. Not a bad way to wait until the wind calms down.
Cooling down. Untill February 14. Buying fruit.
The jumps are getting better. Jan and John slowly get the right rhythm. Still the rotations are too long but we're heading towards technical better rotations. Kees can't get the correct positions in his rotations. He's still struggling with the "oike-boike" and needs a break trough. This morning we finally had 2 jumps with 18 points again. The only previous time we made 18 was at the last Nationals, which was a new National record. We're heading the 19 we still hope to make before the end of this camp. Kees and his hobby!?
The locals by night.
After the last jump of the day we always have a case of beer, bought by somebody who has a reason to. This time the turn was on Inge who made her first cutaway. She used her reserve because her main parachute opened in a twist which she couldn't clear fast enough. A correct procedure which gave her a "cool" feeling. It's trustful to know that your reaction in these circumstances is like you've learned. Luckily the main and freebag was returned by locals so the reserve could be re-packed.

De-breefing. Another Coupe. Packing reserves again.
Untill February 15. Yesterday we spoke about all our reserve rides. Wrong! Everytime you do that very soon after there will be a new incident. This time Kees and Henny had to land their reserves after a serious wrap with Jan. The chutes had to be re-packed and this limited the jumps for today to just 6.

Henny got a new design "Coupe du Senegal" and tomorrow we've planned a day off to Dakar.

Fish market. Guns of Navarrone. Pantalon de National.

Dakar was not very special for the most of us. The excursion to the island Góree was interesting though, especially the history concerning the distribution of the slaves from Africa to the America's. The canons used for the film "Guns of Navarrone" were still present. The Kashba is like in all big tropical cities, crowdy, chaotic and dirty.

The past 2 days we made 3 ways without John. He has injured his shoulder on the downwind landing when Henny and Kees had a reserve ride. We all landed out near the freebags and canopies and therefore didn't notice that the wind had turned 180° within 2 minutes. For Jan the 3-ways were his breakthrough to get the right rotations.

Untill February 17.
Heading the scheduled 100 jumps, 86 in total and 2 more days of jumping to go.

© Parashoot Productions (Henny Wiggers)