The mud is already making its imprint on the packing mat, while wet shoes and canopies are hung up to dry. The action has begun over the pond at Skydive Dubai Desert Campus, as preparations get underway for Saturday’s Dubai International Swoop League (DISL) competition.
After an unusually turbulent weather week in Dubai, the competitors and teams are packing in the training jumps at the Desert Campus. The predicted high-winds and smatterings of rain haven’t materialised, and with light winds and sunny skies forecast for Saturday, it now seems to be going according to plan (touch wood).
A quick scan of the manifest board reveals a host of the world’s best canopy pilots. Alter Ego’s Nick Batsch has spent the better part of the week coaching between the Palm and the Desert Campus, and three-time world VFS gold medallist, Julien Guiho of France, accompanied by French Canopy Piloting teammates Guillaume Bernier, and Cedric Velga Rios, seem to be on every second load.
The Skydive Dubai Swoop Team is also taking the opportunity to make final tweaks while the weather is good, and with current DISL champion and world record holder for carving speed Mohammed ‘Mo’ Baker in good form, it will be tough overtake him. His preparation is like the man himself, understated. “I take care of the body” he says, “muscles play a lot with the brain.”
Cornelia Mihai, also a world record holder for female distance and a bronze medallist at the last meet, is her usual relaxed self, while teammate Abdulbari Qubaisi, a pilot that can often be heard before he is seen, has topped the charts on a number of occasions in zone accuracy. Between the three of them they’ll be tough to beat.
The surprise silver at the last meet came from Skydive Dubai instructor and pro category newcomer Rhys Kempen representing New Zealand. Skydive Dubai will be hoping to repeat its podium sweep on Saturday, but with challengers from around the globe, they’ll have to fly with pin-point precision to do so.
Ryan Dudderidge is hoping to make a similar impact this time round in the advanced category. A student of pro competitor Nick Batsch, he is looking to put in a good performance as he competes for the first time at DISL. “I don’t really have any expectations” he comments, “it’s my first competition, so if I can hit the gates every time and get six scores I’ll be happy.” “I’m working on a new turn,” he continues, “probably not the best idea a couple of days out, but we’ll see!”
The final meet of the Dubai International Swoop League is looking to be one of the most contested events yet, and it’s not too late to get your name on the list. Registration is still open for beginner, advanced, and pro categories until Friday at 4pm.
Watch now last season’s last meet and then meet us at the swoop pond to cheer on the athletes with free admission.
- About Skydive Dubai Desert Campus
The Desert Campus is located just before exit 47 to Margham on the E66; which is also called locally the Dubai – Al Ain Rd. The drop zone is located approx. 35 minutes from DXB Airport and 40 minutes from the DWC Airport. Download and use the KOI App to book a ride to and from the drop zone and receive 20% off. Click here to discover all the details.
Our facilities include two air-conditioned buildings with large cushioned packing areas. While beautiful desert dunes surround the drop zone, our landing area is covered with grass. Our facilities also include: gear and wingsuit rental, rigging loft, packers, merchandise store, team rental rooms, recreation room, and a cafeteria (local currency only).
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