Speed is nothing without control, and for that reason, Jumptown in Orange, Massachusetts, hosted its annual Tracktoberfest event to help jumpers build group tracking and angle-flying skills and improve safety. Tracking organizers Chris Belli, Colin Rooney and Casey Tylek ran the October 18-21 event, which featured classroom instruction, coach-led dives and video debriefings for jumpers of all skill levels.
New and experienced jumpers learned about planning and navigating tracking jumps, proper exit techniques and how to safely lead and organize a movement group. Jumpers then joined a group and made several skydives with one of the organizers. The organizers emphasized safety using lessons from past incidents to help grow the knowledge base and skill levels of New England-area skydivers.
The organizers welcomed jumpers of all skill levels and body types, including many larger jumpers who flew with Belli, the resident “dense boy.” Several of Belli’s students remarked how excited they were to finally be able to stay with a tracking group and not sink out. Jumpers who wished to try angle flying paired up with lead organizer Rooney, who eagerly taught them how to go steeper and faster, both on their backs and on their bellies, using techniques and teaching methods he learned at Fly4Life camps.
After a dismal-weather first day filled with classroom sessions, the skies opened up and participants made a whole host of jumps. By the end of the event, the organizers led 20 tracking and angle jumps, culminating in a mostly successful 21-way speedstar. The event was a big success and the organizers are planning to host another the first full weekend of October 2019.
Casey Tylek | C-44407
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