She Flocks Supports Female Wingsuiters
By Marie Clark
USPA data shows that female skydivers are roughly 13 percent of total membership, and the percentage who fly wingsuits is probably even lower. With a vision to grow both female participation and female leadership opportunities within wingsuiting, Marie Clark and Jessica Maviano created the She Flocks event so women could fly, learn, share and meet others who share a passion for the discipline. Skydive Perris in California hosted the December 5-8 event that featured Katie Hansen, Roberta Mancino and Val Sobol, as well as Clark and Maviano, as organizers for the group. Despite a gloomy forecast, the event brought together 33 wingsuiting women from around the globe!
Fortunately, the clouds parted for the event, and the five load organizers immediately got busy taking participants up. The favorable organizer-to-participant ratio allowed small-group jumps that accommodated varying experience levels and goals. From dynamic movement to transition work to proximity flying and slot drills, the jumpers had the opportunity to learn a little bit of everything and advance their flying in a safe, fun environment.
When the weather was not favorable, ground seminars based on questions that participants submitted opened discussion on a variety of topics. The expert organizers hosted seminars such as Leadership vs. Coaching, Organizing and Leading for Success and Safety, Including Newer Jumpers, FlySight Gear and Data for Performance Flying, and Group Diveflows and Strategies. The ladies also had the opportunity to experience a line-twist simulator during a session on line-twist causes and safety.
To wrap up the 4-day event, the organizers brought the group together for a team dinner at Skydive Perris’ Bombshelter Bar and Grill that included all the typical drop zone festivities, as well as a massive vendor raffle including prizes from event sponsors Arcus Flight, Cookie Helmets, Guayakí Yerba Mate, Larsen & Brusgaard, Lightning Flight, Merit, NZ Aerosports, Phoenix Fly, Ride 100%, Square One, Tentera Coffee, Tony Suits, United Parachute Technologies and Velocity Sports Equipment. Gold-tier sponsors Skydive Perris, Squirrel Wingsuits and the Women’s Skydiving Network provided immense support throughout the event.
She Flocks was rad, educational, inviting, fun, inclusive and significant. Despite a gloomy forecast, the event was everything the organizers hoped it would be and so much more. More information on She Flocks and the 2020 event is available on the She Flocks page on Facebook.
Marie Clark | D-37393