Cloud Dancer
Space Games #7
article by Stefania Martinengo


The following material is written by Stefania Martinengo and is posted here with her permission. This material has been edited.

Here we go with a report on what happened at Space Games # 7 which were held from November 5 until November 13, 1999!

Before I even discuss the Races, I want to congratulate the Atmosphere Dolphins who realized, on the 7th November, 3 points as a 10-way !! A 5-way flower in the center with 5 outside stingers into a 10 way round into a 10 way line (S). Nice clean Flying! The participants were Olav Zipser, Mike Swanson, Steve Utter, Filippo Fabbi, John Matthew, Rook Nelson, Mike Ortiz, Alaska John, Rob Romey, Max Cohn. At this edition of the Space Games, there were plenty of excellent flyers, all Atmosphere Dolphins and competitors in the Races, on hand to do some nice big ways and semi big ways. We just didn't have enough time to actually do all the jumps we wanted to...

Articles and photos on this Space Games Event will most likely be pubblished in different skydiving magazines in the January issue. Check it out !

Freefly Indy 500

34 Competitors, from 8 different countries around the World (USA, Italy, UK, Venezuela, Brazil, Germany, Finland, South Africa) was the biggest turnout ever! Races were tight and super fast. A big improvement compared to past Space Games events was the high level of precision in the flying. Very exciting. Colon Berry, winner of the last Freefly Indy 500 at Skydive Chicago this past July, proved himself again by getting all the way to the finals without a loss. He sent competitors including favorites such as Olav, SteveO, and Alaska John to the looser bracket. Olav, on the other hand, was even more determined now to meet Colon again in the finals. He worked his way trough the Loser bracket competing in very tight races with highly precise and technical flyers such as Rook Nelson, John Matthwes, Mike Ortiz in the quarter finals and Alaska John in the semifinals. He, then, had to beat Colon twice in a double final. Both very tight and superfast.

1st place: Olav Zipser - $3,000
2nd place: Colon Berry - $1,500
3rd place: Alaska John - $750
4th place: Mike Ortiz, Steve Utter
5th place: Filippo Fabbi, John Matthew
6th place: Mike Swanson, Rob Romey, Mago Tannino, Rook Nelson
7th place: Davide Zanni, Larry Kerschenbaum, Ed Mace, Janine Hill, Kunsta Hietaneu, Bruce Graybill
8th place : Kevin Sabarese, Max Cohn, Riccardo Giandoso, Russ Wylie, Ace Buhr, Stefania Martinengo, John Shoffner, Deven Cruson
9th place : Dave Padyjasek, John Skinner, Tim Wardensky, Tony Morral, Pablo Jimenez, Joe Josephs, Jim Oreilly
** Tony Urgallo and Francisco Neri retired themelves from the Game in the first round for personal reasons.

Competitors can keep collecting Flipper Points, also, at the next Space Games event from January 28 to February 6, 2000 at Skydive America Palm Beach, Florida. The 16 competitors for each Race with the highest number of Flipper Points will be invited to the Space Games Championships in March 2000 again held at Skydive America Palm Beach with more prize money than any of the previous Space Games events.

Atmosphere Dolphin Challenge

32 Competitors entered the event. Also, at this race, the skill level grew very rapidly compared to the previous events. Many of the races ended up in a tie and competitors had to go and re-race to determine the winner. Sometimes competitors found it difficult to determine the winner by themselves and the final decision was left to the ball masters.

All is a sign that races are now so close and tight that we have to come up with even more precise and defined rules for the next Space Games event asking the racers to demonstrate more and more precision and technical flying!

The winner of this Atmosphere Dolphin Challenge is John Matthews, who distinguished himself by getting into the final without any loss. He also had one of the most difficult brackets, meeting from the first round and sending to the loser bracket competitors of high value such as Rook Nelson, Alaska John, Steve Otter, Mike Ortiz and Mike Swanson. Second place went to Olav Zipser who lost his way in the winner bracket against Mike Ortiz but met him again in the loser bracket. After a re-race due to a tie, he finally made his way through. Olav on his way to the final also stopped from advancing to the pool position competitors such as Mike Swanson, one of the favorites at these games and is well known for his backloops which don't move an inch...Steve Utter is very fast and Alaska John is super clean, precise and fast flyer who placed in a nice 3rd place.

1st place: John Matthews - $3,000
2nd place: Olav Zipser - $1,500
3rd place: Alaska John - 750
4th place: Steve Utter, Riccardo Giandoso, Mike Ortiz
5th place: Bruce Graybil, John Shoffner, Jim O Reilly, Mike Swanson
6th place: Mago Tannino, Ed Mace, Filippo Fabbi, Kunsta Hietaneu, Kevin Sabarese, Max Cohn
7th place : Larry Kerschenbaum, John Skinner, Janine Hill, Pablo Jimenez, Dave Padyjasek, Russ Wylie, Stefania Martinengo
8th place : Deven Cruson, Tony Morral, Ace Bhur, Joe Josephs, Rob Romey, Davide Zanni, Rook Nelson
** Colon Berry and Tim Wardensky retired themselves from the game before the beginning of the first round.

Bermuda Triangle Tracking Race

18 Competitors participated. This one had been very much enjoyed by the racers. It is a very fun race where you can experiment and push to the limit your flying skills. Here, the decision on who the winner is is entirely left to competitors themselves. We don't have any video available. Basically, the one who is the furthest at opening time (not lower then 3000 ft.) is the winner. Netherless, we had no real discussion and everything went smoothly till the finals. The big difference though is that this one on one Race is based on a single elimination system and not a double elimination like the Indy and the AD Challenge

1st place: Olav Zipser - $500
2nd place: Jhon Shoffner - $300
3rd place: Rook Nelson - $150
4th place: Jim O Reilly, Janine Hill, Dave Padyjasek
5th place: Filippo Fabbi, Kevin Sabarese, Steve Utter, Mike Swanson, Kunsta Hietaneu
6th place: Deven Cruson, Riccardo Giandoso, Roger Nelson, Ace Bhur, Mago Tannino, Bruce Graybill, Stefania Martinengo

3-WAY Freefly Open

Teams could do as many jumps as they wanted from the November 5 to the 12th. Because of the tight schedule of the Races, they ended up doing only a few jumps per team and most of them in the first 2 days or the last day of the Space Games week. They had to choose their best Compulsory and their best Freeround to give to the judges. In the Free Round teams were judged on Camera Work (judge: Tim Koranda), Technical Skills (judges: Andrew Staich and Kenny Cosgrove) and Artistic impression (judges: Chad a musician and Sara a painter). For the Compulsory Round Teams had to perform a sequence of 7 basic moves in a specific order and repeat them over and over within 45 seconds.

The best teams in compulsory scored between 18 and 17 points in the 45 seconds. Not bad!!!

In the Free Round, 'Flyboyz' (Mike Ortiz, Eli Thompson, Fritz Pfnur) distinguished themselves with a superior work in Camera Work, Technical skill, and Artistic Impression. More traditional freeflying but highly technical, absolutely tight and clean team flying as a piece with a very nice fast rhythm and artistic Choreography. They ended up on second place less then a point behind because of their compulsory round, where a miscommunication on how to perform the order of the moves occurred. Unluckily, they where passing by only for 1 day and didn't have a chance to try their compulsory again..hope to see their beautiful flying at the Space Games again!!

First place overall but second in the Free Round went to Freefly Circus Team (Olav Zipser, Stefania Martinengo, Filippo Fabbi) with a Skydancing routine which scored high in artistic, technical and camerawork. Nice flow and rhythm and team flying as a piece with some drastic speed changing and unique moves.

3rd place went to team SKY (Rook Nelson, Olav Zipser, Mago) who just threw together a team for fun only. They did 3 competition jumps and impressed everyone with their highly difficult Freeround where they had extreme speed changes went from belly flying to headdown to belly flying to headdown and so on smoothly and with no effort, including fast and technical transitions and grips.

4th Place overall went to Team Lambsbread (Filippo Fabbi, Mike Swanson, Alaska John). They also showed big speed changes and distinguished themselves with very nice team tracking at full speed with in between synchronized transitions, which really reminded us of dolphins playing in a sky background.

5th place went to Team Aerial Evolution (Alaska John, Joe Josephs and John Skinner). They showed a nice flowing routine and well presented from the video view and some technical passages, scoring pretty high in the artistic impression but not as high in the compulsory round as other top teams.

Every single team had something very nice and impressive to show. For example, team Z-Tribe (Colon Berry, John Matthews, Rob Romey) which showed some nice technical passages and a nice new move: a vertical compress half cartwheel. Team (Max Cohn, Filippo Fabbi, Mago) was also more of a throw together team. They showed that they could fly about any position and speed in a nice flowing routine: drastic speed changing from headdown to belly to headdown, traditional Freeflying, standup flying with docks and tracking. Not too bad for no much training together! Team BIA (Filippo Fabbi, Bruce Garybill and Ace Bhur) after a nice 2 way cartwheel exit also distinguished themselves for some nice technical passages. To be definitively noticed also is team Apogee (Janine Hill, John Shoffner, Ace Bhur) with a very nice clean flowing routine and nice team presentation. Very pleasant to watch. Girls the way... Max Cohn and Kevin Sabarese from the Ranch put together their flying qualities with the Italian Riccardo Giandoso to team up as: An Italian in the Ranch. Team www.Cyberjester with Jim Oreilly, Deven Cruson and Russ Wylie/Kunsta show an interesting Free round where they fly next to the ball without moving an inch for the entire jump. You cannot avoid laughing at this funny jump (they are known for their Clowneries) and admire at the same time the precision flying next to the spaceball !

Well, I have to say the 3 Way Freefly Open was very impressive with excellent flying from everyone. We are definitively looking forward to the next event to see what teams will come up with...

1st place: Freefly Circus - $4,500
2nd place: Flyboyz - $1,800 plus $540 for the best Free Round
3rd place: SKY - $900

Most Aerodynamical Flyer

This one was more on the experimental side. We had a prize for the fastest person in relation to the body weight calculated on the average speed, the slowest again in relation to the body weight (average speed), and then a prize for the flyer who had the biggest range between the fastest speed and the slowest speed in relation of the body weight. This Race was planned in the last moment. Larsen & Brusgaard, who have one of their representatives working at Skydive America, made it possible by giving us the courtesy of their ProTRACK units and JUMPTRACK computer program to measure the speeds. This time, we placed the unit on the ankle.

Fastest: Olav Zipser - $250
253.72 mph average, weight: 166.5 (max speed 275 mph)
Slowest: Rob Sterling - $250
105.82 mph average, weight: 232 (slowest speed 93.55 mph)
Biggest Range: Olav Zipser - $250
weight 166.5, avg fast 253.72, max fast 275
avg slow 96.16, max slow 89.37 mph

For your interest, I give you all the other results as well. They are not in order of placement. The weight was measured with the rig on.

Roberto Franceschetti:
weight: 255
avg fast 260.78, max fast 290
avg slow 136.13, max slow 129.22

Colon Berry:
weight: 160.5
avg fast 237.96, max fast 291
avg slow 98.55, max slow 91.26

Kevin Sabarese:
weight: 145.5
avg fast 218.61, max fast 241
avg slow 104.52, max slow 97.81

Joe Jospehs:
weight: 202.5
avg fast 226.7, max fast 233

Ed Mace:
weight 181.5
avg fast 275.34, max fast 295
weight 183
avg slow 114.01,max slow 109.8

Larry Kerschenbaum:
weight 215
avg fast 220.37, max fast 241

Rook Nelson:
weight 179
avg fast 204, max fast 224
avg slow 103.63, max slow 94.52

Mike Swanson:
weight 167.5
avg fast 231.14, max fast 251
weight 165.5
avg slow 100.44, max slow 93.25

Bruce Graybill:
weight 178
avg fast 214.4, max fast 233
avg slow 108.38, max slow 101.86

Riccardo Giandoso:
weight 150.5
avg fast 219.46, max fast 254
avg slow 101.19, max slow 93.71

Dave Padyjasek:
weight 224
avg fast 211.9, max fast 222

Filippo Fabbi:
weight 168.5
avg fast 200.52, max fast 226
avg slow 101.19, max slow 93.71

Stefania Martinengo:
weight 137
avg slow 100.58, max slow 93.55

Rob Sterling:
weight 232
avg fast 251.98, max fast 271
avg slow 105.82, max slow 93.55

Kunsta Hietaneu:
weight 205.5
avg slow 100.34, max slow 96.59

Rob Romey:
weight 200.5
avg fast 194.84, max fast 252

Janine Hill:
weight 187.5
avg fast 206.29, max fast 220
weight 186.5
avg slow 107.57, max slow 99.93

I, also, want to thank very strongly:
--the Sponsors who made the prize money possible: A1 Internet, Skydive America, and The 1St School of Modern Skyflying.
--the Ball Masters and Pylons without whom we could not possibly have any Race at all. Most of them kept on helping out even when tired and exhausted from a full day of jumping and racing, maybe sometimes to the advantage of the other racers who didn't give their availability at all and ended up little more fresh...
--Jen, the Meet Coordinator, for her excellent job in organizing everyone and her nice smile
--Tim Koranda, Andrew Staich, and Brian from Speedcurve for the ground shooting and interviews with the competitors
--The Judges for the 3 Way Freefly Open: Tim Koranda for CameraWork, Kenny Cosgrove and Andrew Staich for Technical, Chad a musician and Sara a painter for Artistic
--Olav Zipser, the Meet Director, for organizing and coming up with the idea of the Space Games
--Morten and Ulla and Bruce from Larsen & Brusgaard for helping running the 'Most Aerodynamical Freeflyer'
--Steve Utter and Ace Buhr for shooting Pics!
--All the outside video camera flyers
--Everyone else who I din't mention including the manifest girls and the Pilots!!!

Thanks and sorry for the English socks!!! See you at next Space Games event!!!

Cloud Dancer