Skysisters 1, 2005
The Wonderful Women of Skysisters 2005
SS1 Information Materials
About Skysisters 1
Susie Mc, Organiser:
"It seems my dedication to the cause was not alone. Seminar presenters were eager to spread their love as were the world class team of load organisers. US Freefly greats, Melissa Nelson and Amy Chmelecki, formed their female freefly team “Sugar Gliderz” a few years ago with an objective to promote and support female freeflying across their nation. It’s now gone global. These girls, who usually command up to $250 USD a day for their coaching prowess, refused payment for Skysisters. As did Atmonauti leader, Gi Borgnis of Italy. It was important for her to teach the skills and promote the safety of Atmonauti to the new generation. She certainly did what she set out to achieve, and so much more. The extensive briefing and debriefing of these three ladies was impressive, and I hope that this attitude washes off on our Aussie coaches and load organisers. Everybody had a lot to learn from these girls, and being so gorgeous and talented the ladies commanded a lot of attention and respect with ease.
Isobel Wheeler, our spirited Aussie freefly and swoopin'’ gal, was in high demand and was kept flat out coaching. She took the Aussie freefly girls under her wing and set a record preparation regime for a few. Not all of us made it to the record, but the learning curve was priceless and the experience exceptional. When not coaching Issy squeezed in as many fun jumps as she possibly could, her too taking advantage of the incredible coaches and jumping opportunities. The cheeky grin permanently on her face pretty much said it all. She impressed Melissa and Amy so much that they declared the “Asses for Issy” fundraiser night in an effort to help Issy travel to their upcoming female Vertical World Record attempt in September. She’s so there, thanks to 1600 big ones raised in a few quick hours of cross dressing, nude flare runs and margarita madness!
Our talented Aussie formation skydiving load organisers, Fiona McEachern, Julie Nichol and Lisa Perdichizzi, were kept very busy throughout the entire 9 days, the proof of their calibre in the successful dives, the many formation loads, the number of records set and in the big smiles on all of the faces. These 3 ladies are to be commended for their skills and knowledge but mostly for their huge effort, wonderful attitudes and dedication to the cause.
The handpicked Skysisters video production team led by Elad was incredibly impressive and collectively (video pool, ground video and editing) produced the highest quality, most exciting day tape ever seen at an Aussie boogie. Coombsey gave us a good taste of what it was like to spend some time inside his head, his unique sense of humour giving no end of entertainment and certain degree of shock value.
There is not enough space nor appropriate words to express to readers how meaningful, powerful and out-and-out wonderful the Skysisters experience was for everyone. I’ve been told that I don’t realise what I have done... maybe, maybe not. I can say that the social experiment of putting 100+ skydiving girls together was only positive.
The organisation that went into making Skysisters a success was monolithic. The key was teamwork. The 40+ infrastructure encompassing load organisers and coaches, pilots and planes, dzso, aerial and ground camera, video production, manifest, packers and riggers, judges, seminar presenters, refuellers, caterers, entertainment, bar staff, office workers, bus drivers, gofers and volunteers ran like a well-oiled machine. My sincere thanks go to each and everyone, no matter how big or small your contributions were. The daily registration of $30 may have been baulked at in the beginning, but I am sure those attending found it to be terrific value. Skysisters would not be a success without the sisters themselves. My message to you all is that you absolutely rock! Keep jumping, keep smiling and I hope to see you all again at Skysisters 2007, where plans are already underway to build a 60-way.
Skysisters was dedicated to all of our departed Sisters, especially Pauline Richards. Pauline would have been incredibly supportive of this event, offering Skysurf coaching to beginners and helping with media and sponsorships etc. without doubt, my right hand gal. On the morning of the records, the majority of the girls were on the landing area with jumpsuits on and dirtdiving the 47-way record attempt. The sky was splattered with fluffy little clouds which were passing along with the 10 knots of breeze. A significantly different cloud came along and passed directly overhead, in the shape of a perfect horseshoe. Many of us were speechless, with hearts pounding, knowing that it was Pauline’s way of wishing us luck. It has blown me out moreso since as I reflect on the near perfect weather and safety record plus all the National records set."
By DJ Richie:
From my first steps on the DZ I knew we were in for a special boogie. As we pulled up at Toogoolawah, a solid bassline kicked into life, literally beating out a welcome for me. As I staggered shell-shocked and jet lagged into the blazing winter sun the multiple hugs started. I was hugged, kissed, cheered and generally woman-handled for a good 10 minutes. Wow, what a welcome, bring on the boogie!
It was more of a home coming than a gig, the vibe was electric and I was so keen to get my decks set up and plugged into the wicked system that was still pumping top tunes out across the DZ. Of course life ain’t that simple, I had connection problems. No problems at the ‘sisters though. Within minutes a cable was being soldered for me and it immediately dawned on me just what a slick operation this was - a 7-man camera team, video technicians and friendly and able fixers of every kind, all dedicated to the success of the boogie. Personally I was touched by how much care and support was available. Usually at a boogie, everyone is to stressed, tired or just can’t be bothered to put themselves out.
I knew the boogie was going to be special, I just had no idea of how special. It’s not that I could put my finger on any one thing that made it that way because the ‘things’ just kept coming. It seemed that reality had been suspended for a little while, that all you had to do to be part of this wicked community was to give something ie. your best, your knowledge or your support. The load organisers were working magic with the girls, sharing knowledge and skills both formally and informally. J.C Colclasure, who was so taken with the vibe, was like a man possessed, on a mission. He must have debriefed 40 or more individual landings one afternoon, all with the same brilliant smile and attitude, it was infectious.
The fact that all the local artists and band members did tandems before they went on stage and that the sound system was swapped for tandem jumps, was superb. I loved that you trusted me with the tunes. Consequently I set up my sounds quite early each day and set a gentle tempo, building up to some funky jazz and soul and some nights fully going off. Herman did a storming job by the pool each afternoon, each day made more special by the addition of Ash Crick, myself and local didgeridoo artist, Matt James, with impromptu jamming sessions. Large groups oversaw all the poolside musical meanderings. The evenings came thick and fast, bands, parties, fires, nakedness (in a fashion that I have never witnessed anywhere else in the world), dancing and general mayhem. No fighting or arguments, no tossy drunken men on the dance floor, just lots of wicked dancing females - I was in seventh heaven! Live mixes for the day video and special custom edits mixed down by Matt added a touch of uniqueness.
Meanwhile, I was undergoing my own personal revelations. It was because I was surrounded by lots of incredibly supportive women and feeding off their vibe, that I began to address my own fears of skydiving, mainly that I am extremely scared of flying. I had a really bad experience when I was younger (plane dropped 600ft, mayhem, loads of people hurt, controlled landing, the works), one that I couldn’t rationalise away. So every time I approached a plane, I would be on the verge of hysteria, with a clear and certain dread that I was going to die at any moment. But I really wanted to skydive. . . Thanks to some timely and spot-on support from Amy, Missy & Ben, punctuated with some truly horrible stories of plane mishaps and rounded off with a beautiful freefly tandem load, I am so over the plane rubbish that my wife Anna and myself are booked into Lapalisse, France for our AFF courses in September! Next time we are at Ramblers, we’ll see you in the air!
Naughty Sisters by Gigliola Borgnis "G"
I probably jumped with 60 different people. Many girls that were there to participate in the RW record came and tried Atmonauti fly on the first days of the boogie and so did the freefly girls. In a few navigations they started to fly in formation and to take some docks. Many flights were made with a full load in formation. At night the girls were sharing their impression and experience, creating a very friendly atmosphere and a united community of flat and free flyers.
Few attempts were made and we set a nice 5-way line which is the actual Atmonauti Girl World Record! Congratulations Cecilia Morton, Susie McEvoy, Issy Wheeler and ??.
While the progression and the confidence was built through the week, is was possible to make a nice sunset navigation with two Caravans in formation with a 26-way Atmonauti. This was very exciting for many girls to be on their first formation load and for the beautiful scenery of sunset on one side and a clear light moon on the other. Another great flight, also on a sunset dive, was the “Southern Cross” formation, a multilayer formation with some of the expert Ozzy atmonauts.
One of the outstanding navigations made was for sure Rocket Rod’s 500 jump, where for the occasion we made an Atmonauti rodeo on top of Rocket flying his wingsuit with an Atmonauti formation linked as a line… excellent job of Rod to make a good exit and to keep a good angle for the Atmonauti around.
So I’m happy I had the chance to come to Australia, enjoy your way of living, meet many friendly people, share with you the knowledge about angle flying and see the enthusiasm and quick progression of everybody. I’m sure many of you will be the ambassadors of this new technique when you will be back to your own drop zone… converting to the real FLY.
Female FS Record by Fiona McEachern & Julie Nichol
A new Australian record of 47 female skydivers all linked in formation was set in Toogoolawah on 21st April 2005.
The record was part of nine days of skydiving at Skysisters, which was organised by Susie McEvoy to focus on females in our sport. The boogie also included many seminars on general issues and those most of interest to females.
There were 140 registered participants of many interests such as Freeflying, Birdman “ladybird” jumps, Atmonauti, and of course, Formation Skydiving.
Those interested in being part of the FS record started on the Saturday and did some very nice workup jumps with Lisa Perdichizzi and Fiona McEachern. Julie Nichol arrived to complete the load organisation and join the fun on Tuesday. Each day, more jumpers arrived. We began formatted loads, exiting out of two aircraft early in the week with jumps as small as 12 ways. Other groups exited behind and also formatted with half of each group out of each plane. This was invaluable in accustoming the jumpers as to just how close and exactly where they could expect the other aircraft to be, and to get the pilots used to our requirements. By the end of the week, we had to ask the pilots to create more separation as they were too close!!
On Wednesday night, all the load organisers put their heads together to assign slots and aircraft to individual jumpers and 3 hours later, emerged with a 47 way skydive, ready to be jumped. Julie provided the formation, based loosely on the 357 way world record and the Bali 100 way, with weedwackers attached to a 6 way base. We launched the base from the lead aircraft with a couple of floaters and the rest of the floaters were in the two chase aircraft. The first three attempts were close with the third attempt only having 3 people out. Minor adjustments were made to the line up, but none to personnel, and on the fourth attempt, at the end of the first day, we made the new record. A fantastic effort!
Unfortunately we didn’t get to make it a 50 way because clouds rolled in the next day and then the following day, a few of the women had to depart.
We were really impressed by everyone’s dedication, effort and skills. What a week!
- The last record was a 40 way, set in 1997. 10 of those record holders were on the new record.
- Every State was represented except Tasmania.
- 11 did not hold Australian citizenship, which is ok seeing as you can have 25% foreign participants.
- Karen McEvoy came out of retirement at the start of the week to be part of the record. One of the girls only had 112 jumps on the actual record jump and another did her starcrest 3 weeks before the beginning of the week and had 128 jumps.
- 15 of the girls were over 40 and went on to do a 16 way POPS female record on the 23rd.
Australian Skydiving Records
Australian Female 6-Way Vertical
|Amy Chmelecki, USA||Isobel Wheeler, Aus|
|Deb McEvoy, Aus||Rebecca Scott, Aus|
|Erica Tadokoro, Aus||Shona Lloyd, Aus|
|Camera: Ian Goebel|
Australian Female POPs 16-Way Formation Skydive
|Cheryl Robertson, Aus||Jenny Neubauer, Aus|
|Christine Collins, Aus||Julie Nichol, Aus|
|Debby Marshall, Aus||Karen McEvoy, Aus|
|Elaine Cox, Aus||Kim Hardwick, Aus|
|Fiona McEachern, Aus||Kim Hedley, Aus|
|Ginger Kuhllman, USA||Lynette Warn, NZ|
|Heather Little, Aus||Maybritt Prahl, Aus|
|Janine Hayes, Aus||Suzanne Bourke, Aus|
Australian Female 47-Way Formation Skydive
|Amelia, WA||Julie Nichol, VIC|
|Amy von Novak, USA||Karen McEvoy, QLD|
|Angela Hiesler, QLD||Kate Wills, NZ|
|Annika Cronert, QLD/Sweden||Katie Fluin, SA|
|Caitlin Collin, VIC||Kim Hardwick, ACT|
|Carley Young, VIC||Kim Hedley, NT|
|Cassandra Dale, QLD||Kim Williamson, VIC|
|Cheri Bullen, QLD||Krishna Strickland, WA|
|Cheryl Robertson, WA||Leigh Ainsworth, NZ|
|Chris Collins, NT||Lisa McDonald, SA|
|Cindi Hemmila, NSW||Lisa Perdichizzi, WA|
|Clare Ringland, NSW||Lynette Warn, NZ|
|Debby Marshall, VIC||Marlies Friese, QLD/NZ|
|Deborah Sanderson, QLD||Maybritt Prahl, NSW|
|Dianne Campbell, QLD||Naomi Ross, SA|
|Donna Turner, QLD/NZ||Peta Holmes, WA|
|Elaine Cox, NSW||Prue Beams, VIC/NZ|
|Elise Rogers, QLD||Sally Baker, VIC|
|Elly Kirkman, NSW||Sonja Bruss, QLD/Germany|
|Fiona McEacharn, NSW||Susie McEvoy, QLD|
|Heather Little, WA||Suzanne Bourke, QLD|
|Janine Hayes, VIC||Torill Andersen, WA/Norway|
|Jodie Ball, WA||Tracey Sgroi, QLD|
|Yukari Hashimoto, Japan|
|Camera: Archie Jamieson, Ready and Wayne McLachlan|