Team Bodyflight Storm, the current British Formation Skydiving Team has just returned from their first training camp in Perris Valley, California since winning the British Nationals last August. They managed 120 jumps in what can only be described as arctic conditions!!
Claire Scott –“In the winter we are used to training within the confinement of the Bodyflight Wind Tunnel which is indoors and so is nice and warm. In California you get both extremes, in the summer it can often get too hot. In the winter temperatures often struggle above 0°C and so at 12,000 feet, you are faced with temperatures as low as minus 25°C!”
Hannah Betts “Your hands are the most affected which can make it difficult to take good grips during the skydives. Also because you are exerting yourself physically, your helmet visor often steams up making visibility very difficult!”
Despite the extreme temperatures, the team had a very successful training camp. Since being selected as the new British Skydiving Team to represent Great Britain at this years World Championships in France, the team took a couple of months break before resuming their training in the Bodyflight Wind Tunnel in November. So this camp was the first time they were able to get their knees into the breeze and put into practice their recent learning’s gained in the wind tunnel.
The team are currently in a training phase where they are working on speed drills. They are trying to take their current average speed and increase it by flying much more dynamically and employing more explosive moves during the skydives. Despite taking a break after the British Nationals in August, the team were still hard at work in the gym so as to further increase their strength to allow them to be stronger in the sky and well prepared for this speed training phase.
The team have also had to become better prepared mentally in terms of visualising the skydives. The reason for this is that they are now training from a Porter (aircraft to be used at the World championships in France). Traditionally the team have always trained from planes with a left hand door however the Porter has a right hand door. This has meant that their skydives appear “mirrored” which is akin to writing with your right hand for years and then changing to write with your left hand! Luckily the hours trained in the Bodyflight Wind Tunnel have helped the team to build in the new muscle memory quickly before their first camp in Perris.
It was not all hard work though and team did manage to include some festive spirit into one of their last training jumps – see photos!!
The team now just have 3 weeks back in the UK where they will be training in the tunnel before they go back out to Perris mid January for their training camp.
The first competition which will allow the team to assess their progress so far, will be at the Bodyflight World Challenge to be held 29th – 30th March. Watch this space for further updates on the team!