The British Competitions Skydiving team NFTO (Not For The Ordinary) are delighted to win the Female 4-Way category at the Skydiving World Championships in Eloy, Arizona last week. The team overcame tough competition from the second and third placed teams of France and USA respectively, with NFTO scoring an average of 20 formations per skydive. The last time the UK Won a World Championship in any Skydiving discipline was in 2008, so this is a tremendous achievement by the team.
This is a dream which has taken thousands of jumps, many years of hard work learning our discipline and the tenacity to believe we could do it. During the season, we had been doing mock competitions using the formations drawn in the various national championships of our competitors. From this, we knew NFTO were competitive and stood a real chance of winning. But it was not until round one arrived, that the plan came together and we skydived at our very best. Round after round, we focussed and gave it our 100% effort.
NFTO has completed over 500 jumps together this year as well as many hours practising in a wind tunnel to simulate freefall. This was achieved in addition to full time jobs in various areas including the military, NHS and air sports. It has taken enormous sacrifices in terms of personal finance, time away from loved ones, and the utmost dedication to achieving our goals. We thank all of you have been supporting us over the years, NFTO is far more than just the five of us.
If you want to take a look at skydives we actually did, you can visit Skyleague and see all 10 rounds.
July was a fun month to train with a visit to Paranodon Fallschirmsport Illertissen in Germany. It is fair to say that we have never been treated so well at a new dropzone and if you get the chance go train there! There were lots of jumps (of course), daily treats every morning, lots of super friendly faces and a great Saturday evening birthday BBQ to celebrate long time competitor Spiele's 40th year in skydiving. We also got to hang out with 4-way national open team, Airbus who are being coached by our wonderful Andy Grauwels. The month was rounded off with another training session iFLY Baskingstoke. This is definetly the tunnel to train at!
One of the reasons we love iFLY is that they have a range of tunnels around the UK and they're expanding! Aside from their tunnels in Milton Keynes and Manchester, they are soon to open iFLY London at The O2.
We've been training in quite a few places recently, but we think skies above Devon at Skydive Buzz Dunkeswell have to be the once of the prettiest so far this year. Thank you everyone there who made us feel welcome. Not long now until British National championships in August, and the World Championships in Ariona in October.
We have some exciting news for you all! We’re delighted to announce we are now sponsored by iFLY Indoor Skydiving for the upcoming seasons. We've been spending plenty of time in iFLY Basingstoke and we can confirm, it is a fantastic tunnel and setup. It's just what we need to work on our skills and the quality of the air in the flight chamber is really good. It's time to make you proud iFLY!
It's time to migrate back to Spain and get some more Twin Otter training at Skydive Empuriabrava. Back in 2018 we did a whole season there and it is great to be back. With each passing camp, we learn a bit more and fix lots of bugs. And thanks to our coach Andy Grauels for being super sub whilst our camera Simon was away at work. He add's an unusual perspective of being able to coach and fly camera at the same time! The question is - was he filming us or watching us during each jump?
We are training out absolute hardest this season, spending all our free time and money to aim for world gold. We've just finished our second training camp of 2022 at Skydive Dubai. We did 99 team training jumps this year already. This year we have a new coach in the form of current world champion Andy Grauels. He's recently left Hayabusa to concentrate on a new coaching career. We thank Roy our previous coach for all his hard work!
Such a fun weekend competing at the Indoor Nationals at iFLY wind tunnel in Basingstoke. Very happy to be going home with the Bronze medal and more competition experience after our very brief training in this configuration with our lovely supersub Julia (whilst Sian was away with work) and seeing so many friends compete. The past two years have been hard with not being able to train properly and it finally feels like we can give team training a proper push and see what we can achieve.
It's official - Cath is back! After 2 years ninja-ing the front piece, the fabulous Julia Swallow has moved into the alternate slot, swapping with Cath Curtis who is officially back in the main line-up, having last competed with us in 2018. We can’t wait to see where this world championships journey takes us!
Wow. What a competition. British National Champions again! But not without an incredible fight with our dearest friends and rivals Chimera, with a draw after 10 rounds, a draw after the jump-off and then a count back to the highest points. That has to be the closest competition we've had. There were some nerve-wracking moments as the scores came in for the final round, but what an amazing atmosphere at Skydive Hibaldstow. We want to give a huge thanks to our generous sponsors, loved ones and to our coach Roy Janssen.
We're back for our 7th season training, competing and having a lot of fun together! We've made another lineup change, so its good to get the 2020-2021 lineup back together again! We had a fab first day in 14 months with us all together.
And it's a wrap after a rather short and restricted training season! We only managed 5 training jumps (due to huge COVID restrictions) and we are pleased to say that we managed to take home the gold from the British Unofficial Nationals. This year, British Skydiving decided not to hold the competition (the first time we think ever!), so thanks to Skydive Hibaldstow for an incredibly smooth operation even with restrictions due to COVID. As Jules couldn't travel from Portugal for the event, super sub Ian "Milko" Hodgkinson joined us for the meet in style.
After a great battle with France, we secured female gold and a 26.7 average which is an excellent start for our first competition with the 2020 lineup ( Julia and Vana had to dash home to see their children, so Sian and Anna did the podium honours this time!). We can’t wait for the in door national champs in April.
We sadly bid a fond farewell to Kate Lindsley who is stepping down after a superb two seasons, but we have gained the one and only Julia Swallow for 2020! Julia is a multliple time National Champion and former world female champion, and her experience will be an asset to the team!
The atmosphere at the competition was electric as always with world-class events and it was great to make new friends and see other teams go on to do great things. Special note goes to our fellow female 4way Team Alola who attended their first world meet and did a great job. We walk away from the event with great memories, some more bling and lots of improvement on what was a very tough draw.
A fun little side story is what happened on the day after the World Cup finished. Larry Hill the owner of Skydive Arizona decided to put on an impromptu 10-way Speed scrambles competition and 9 teams registered. The idea was a 3 round meet from 3 different aircraft – Twin Otter, Skyvan and DC3. Our very own Simon and Anna, in fact, took the gold and a share of the 3000$ first prize pot! And Vana took the bronze.
So thanks, no really, thanks to all our sponsors, supporters, friends, family and of course our coach Roy Janssen. The NFTO team are more than 5 skydivers, we are an larger collective of amazing people all working together for excellence in the world of formation skydiving!
Here's the video of what happened