Dubai International Swoop League (DISL) returns for its final meet of the season on March 26 at Skydive Dubai Desert Campus, and after some surprise upsets at the last fixture, it could come down to a photo-finish in the race to the podium.
The DISL, now in its third season, has firmly established itself as one of the world’s premier canopy piloting competitions. Pro and advanced competitors are judged on carving speed, distance, and zone accuracy, and will complete two rounds in each discipline. The DISL is also unique in its approach as it incorporates a beginner category, where competitors score by landing on a variety of targets.
The top three pro competitors will take home USD 1,500, USD 1,000, and USD 500 dollars for first, second, and third respectively. Advanced and beginner categories will battle it out for jump packages and other various prizes. So not only can a novice compete and learn from some of the most talented canopy pilots in the world, they also have a chance to add a few more items to their skydive collection.
Register for this meet at http://www.skydivedubai.ae/disl/dislhome.html. An AED 600 registration fee is payable to manifest on the day and includes 6 rounds, DISL t-shirt and food.
After an outstanding display at the last DISL event, Mohammed Baker claimed top honours. Mohammed, known locally as ‘Mo’, is currently the fastest man under canopy holding the world speed record at 2.019 seconds, so it was no surprise when he topped the tables in both speed rounds, but repeating the same feat in zone accuracy ensured he remained in pole position throughout the day.
The real battle was fought between second and third where New Zealand’s Rhys Kempen saw off the challenge of seasoned pro’s, such as DISL No.1 champion Pablo Hernandez and Abdulbari Qubaisi, to take silver, while Cornelia Mihai representing the UAE claimed bronze. The margins were narrow. Only 3.252 points of the 600 on offer separated fourth from third, and there was even less distance (2.674 points) between second and third. The competition was so close that David ‘Junior’ Ludvik, who placed fifth overall, was within clear striking distance of Mohammed Baker, who finished less than 30 points in front.
The Advanced Category
The advanced category was no less exciting as competitors leap-frogged one another through each round. Pablo Rua was the most consistent of the day, and taking full-advantage of his good form he attained a maximum 100 in his second round of speed and another in zone accuracy to secure the number one spot, his first top-three finish in DISL. Nicolas Scalabrino chased him all the way, but a misjudged approach in zone accuracy relegated him to silver.
Things weren’t so smooth for many of the other competitors however. Ireland’s Kevin McEnerney took an early dip in the pond on his first run of the day, taking only 3 of the 100 points on offer. Throwing caution to the variable winds, he came back in round 2 to score the maximum. In distance, another century and a run in the mid-90’s saw him climb back up the table to battle it out with Rafael Schwaiger for the final position on the podium. An uncustomary slip-up in the first round of speed, the penultimate run of the day, cost Schwaiger two places, allowing Allen Hodge to move to fourth, his highest finish to date, and McEnerney to claim third.
The Beginner Category
The DISL also includes a beginner category consisting of 5 target rounds and one round of canopy-kiting. A bullseye, Rubik’s cube, and pyramid are scaled from 0, the best score, to 5. Landing outside the target results in a score of 8, and failing to stand-up the landing results in an additional two points. For the canopy kiting round, competitors must land before the designated line and then navigate a course while keeping the canopy inflated. More details of the beginner course can found at http://www.skydivedubai.ae/disl/dislbeginnerscourse.html.
The conditions made landing on the target difficult as the wind changed direction at will, resulting in a couple of fast downwind approaches. Bader Al Khamees secured first, scoring on all three targets. A good start by Oli Noelle and Mohamed Taboubi resulted in some tense final rounds as Noelle eked in front in round 4, only to be caught again in round 5. A perfect score for both in round 6 resulted in the two sharing the remaining honours.
The final DISL meet of the year on March 26 will see them battle it out all over again for the overall DISL season crown. Pablo Rua will be looking to replicate his consistency through the rounds in the advanced category, and if his rivals can eliminate some errors, there are plenty who can challenge him.
A first meet win by Pablo Hernandez means that ‘Mo’ Baker will have to be at the top of his game if he is to keep the throne and top the overall season standings in the pro category. Rhys Kempen will be looking to build on his success last time out, while some more renowned sponsored athletes will be putting on the pressure and biting at his heels.
- 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. Details on Skydive Dubai Contact Us page.
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).
The Desert Campus is part of a fun filled complex that includes an onsite hotel, Inflight Dubai and Skyhub Dubai.