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
Follow this link to a short video of 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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!).
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.
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.
|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
|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.
|| 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.
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
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.
Heading the scheduled 100 jumps, 86 in total
and 2 more days of jumping to go.