is one of the most popular dates of the European Summer, and deservedly so. The highly experienced Tora Tora team apply their collective wisdom to run things at the right pace and on a manageable scale, supported by the friendly and helpful staff of Skydive Bovec itself. Arranged as well as they are, the experiences available here are a huge asset to the organisers. And they make Bovec what is surely an unmissable location on the map. Joel Strickland stopped by with the CYPRES roadtour 2019, and he wants to share his experience with you:
The Adventure Boogie is now in it’s third year. It carries the kind of red-hot popularity that sells out the event in thirty minutes. The Tora Tora team has sensibly kept the available slots the same year-on-year, limiting the number to 120. In such a position, the temptation to grow in line with demand must be powerful. The townspeople of Bovec are used to tourists, and the area displays the material good fortune tourism brings. But planes make noise, skydivers can often be a rowdy bunch and relationships with residents are best when well tended and respected.
Coming at it from the North takes you briefly into both: Austria and Italy. Winding up and then down through the Alps on tiny roads that make your brakes smell hot. And also your brain anxious about all the tourists on big, rented BMW adventure bikes, because they like to take the hairpins as close to the centre of the road as possible. Your GPS tells you that the dropzone is close, so you instinctively look up to the sky for the “almost-there feeling” of spotting some parachutes. Yet there is still only mountains.
is a place for sporty tourists. With a big focus on little boats for the many and varied rivers and rapids. The dropzone is neat and pretty big. And the use of two Pilatus PC-6 Porters for the event aid the management of medium-sized shenanigans in the sky. They allow everyone to communicate in the plane and giving tracking groups and all other skydivers the agency to stay pointing safely in the right direction. Yet the mountains here remain close enough for all safety briefings to include crucial reminders about taking the proper care when spotting and moving in freefall. The nearest peaks on the North side of the valley are around 6000ft. So they are providing the rare treat of being lower than peripheral terrain while still in freefall. Under the tree line, the forest declines almost all the way to the landing area. This of course means that your position relative to the dropzone changes your real-world altitude to the ground directly below. There is plenty of space, but if you do find yourself out of position here, you might get in trouble with your CYPRES activation settings. So plan accordingly!
than just the skyjumps! With many options for daily activities ranging from kayaking to climbing to canyoning. But it is the unique aerial offerings that fill up the quickest. Mountain swooping for all levels lets people get up early in the morning for detailed briefings and arrangement into guided groups, based on experience and wing loading. Load after load disappears into the giant scenery, until vehicles begin to return people home. And they all are stunned by what they have just experienced and hungry for much, much more.
Innhopps happen regularly throughout the week. They utilise a variety regular spots in the region to deposit skydivers upon an unsuspecting landscape, sometimes a quiet field, sometimes a glittering party. Again the briefings are thorough. This is a unique event in a place where the correct information is incredibly valuable. It is very positive to hear so many people engage with how the circumstances of jumping here effects their decisions and actions – readily discussing if and how and why to offset their altimeters and CYPRES units, and if and how and why to raise their activation height for general use.
This Summer, Airtec is collaborating with brainy Australians Dekunu to learn more about and develop the way skydivers gather and use information. The Dekunu smart altimeter does an increasing number of things with every software update and is attracting a lot of attention of people of every level and experience. With six devices for people to test out and then receive a data dump demonstration in the CYPRES tent later, the feedback was positive, with people keen to share their findings among the particular circumstances this event has to offer.