I guess I could almost call Skydive Pullout at Ravenna in Italy my home Drop Zone..
I don't jump there much now BUT it is where I did my A.F.F (Accelerated Free Fall) skydiving course and it is also where I competed in my first Wingsuit Competition in 2014.
Here is a short article I wrote for 90 Percent Magazine about the competition..
After a few more days in the Brento region I decided to make the 6 hour drive up to Lauterbrunnen in Switzerland to catch up with some friends. I had heard the weather was pretty good and I really wanted some more repetition to have my exit starting arc dialed in before I got to some new exits.
Lauterbrunnen is definitely the place for repetition.. It's like a base jumper's wonderland, massive cliffs, safe landing areas and cable car access to lots of exit points. It's not uncommon for people to get over 8 jumps in a day, more if you're a fast packer and you'll always bump into someone you know when you get there.
I was catching up with Thor from Sweden. Thor is a beast of a man, well over 6 foot tall but with such a pleasant nature, he has spent a lot of time living year round in the region and has opened up countless new exits in the area. He's a great guy to know and a solid jumper that has his head screwed on well.
We spent a few days jumping from High Nose before driving out of the Valley for some different jumps that were all new to me, I always watch friend's footage of new lines and spend some time to learn the terrain with the aid of google earth and topography maps when possible. It's important to know what you're doing and what your options are. Technology has come a long way and the information is there for the taking, there just isn't any excuses now for not being prepared.
After 8 days in Switzerland it is time for me to head back to Italy for the National Championships, my plan is to get there a few days early to get back into Skydiving mode and get some training jumps in. I'm looking forward to some more Italian Hospitality!
I'm back in Italy now and loving life!
I've spent a lot of time living in Italy over the past 10 years while I was working on Super Yachts and it is still one of my favorite countries.. The people are so friendly and I'm a sucker for great coffee.
I managed to squeeze in a couple of days back at Brento to get current again and I was truly impressed with how awesome the Freak 2 is to base jump , the starts are epic and it's such a comfy suit with a super easy reach for the pilot chute.
I'm just back at Brento now after finishing the Performance Camp at Skydive Pullout, Ravenna.
The focus of the camp was to delve deeper into the theoretical side of Wingsuiting and improve knowledge on aerodynamics and strategies to make the largest possible gains, I jumped with each Pilot twice as well, so they could have footage of their configuration for different tasks of the competition. I feel like there was some great progression with my 8 students during the camp and I'm looking forward to see how they all perform at the Italian National Championships coming up soon. There could be some big upsets!