‘Fly Wild’ is the first formation skydiving team to come out of Northern Ireland in many years, and on August 4th they won the Rookie level of the Hibaldstow Cup.
This competition is a pre-nationals meet where competitors can win discounted entry rates for the UK National Skydiving Championships being held from August 23rd-26th at Skydive Hibaldstow, Lincolnshire.
The team got together in October 2012 and is made up of four skydivers from the Wild Geese Parachute Centre in Garvagh. They are Nadine Bibby, Graham Wallace, Dave Scott and Rudy McClenaghan, and are coached by Gordon Hodgkinson from the Irish Parachute Centre, who is a six-time world record holding skydiver with 2000+ skydives. A training programme was set out leading up to the competitions. Unfortunately the Northern Ireland weather didn’t play ball on several of the organised training days and the team only managed a total of 22 training jumps prior to the their first competition.
The competition involved exiting the plane at 10500ft and scoring as many points as possible in 35 seconds before having to deploy the parachute. A point is scored by completing a pre-drawn shape (in skydiving terms this is known as a random) and at Rookie level three randoms are selected per round and have to be completed as many times as possible in the time period. For the Hibaldstow Cup there were six rounds and ‘Fly Wild’ led from the start. The final score was 72 points over six rounds giving an impressive average of 12 points/round. The teams’ focus is now on winning the UK Nationals at the end of the month and bringing gold back to Northern Ireland and the Wild Geese. They would like to thank Dave and Maggie Penny, owners of the Wild Geese Skydiving Centre for their generous sponsorship and support throughout the year.