Accuracy Landing and Sport Accuracy 2023

Last updated 09 Jan 2024

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The 2023 Australian Accuracy Landing and Sport Accuracy Skydiving Championships took place at Rainbow Beach in the Autumn of 2023. Mike Dyer rounds up what went down at this brilliant event, courtesy of Gold Rush Skydivers.

Australian Skydiving Championships: Accuracy Landing and Sport Accuracy 2023

After an incredible event for the South Queensland Parachute Council State Championships in late 2022, Gold Rush Skydivers put on another brilliant event in April 2023, with Kristan Fischer at the controls...literally. Over 7 days he flew more than 150 loads in the R44, with over 30 very excited and happy skydivers, competitors and fun jumpers at both sites.

Kristan Fischer, Gold Rush Skydivers DZ Owner, Event Display Organiser, Pilot and Manifest

The first sign that this was not your ordinary skydiving competition was spotted when we drove into Gympie. There was a huge billboard advertising the event. The local Council supported it in many ways, putting on breakfasts for jumpers and supporters at the site (for free on the first morning), and providing funding for free jumps (yes, free!) on Friday and Monday for early registered competitors.

The Council has been working with Kristan for some time, doing a huge amount of marketing, advertising, organising radio interviews and even chartering a second helicopter to conduct some aerial filming. The Mayor has got behind Gold Rush, which is a sports-only drop zone at this stage with very exciting potential.

Rainbow Beach Billboard

The Training Camp

The training camp took place over the first 3 days of the event, at the Gympie Aerodrome. The windy conditions didn't seem to worry the sport jumpers, although the precision jumpers found it a little more difficult. Jason from the Council was there the entire time, showing tremendous support for the event.

The weather gurus forecast moderate winds and more co-operative tides as the week progressed and surprisingly, the forecast was mostly accurate. There were a few small deviations in the end, but these only made the experience more unique.

Day 1: Friday

The first day was actually blown out for competition purposes, but the winds remained under limits for anyone who had their Display Rating for the beach. With no shortage of passengers, the R44 buzzed most of the day. It was certainly helped at 10:20am when Kristen made an announcement that the Mayor was putting money on the table for free jumps for the afternoon.

Fun Jumpers by Gympie Regional Council

Day 2: Saturday

Saturday dawned and all hands were on deck early to help with the set up. At 8am it was skids up and it hummed. With 8 competition teams, supplemented by some fun jumpers and a slick refuel protocol, sunset saw the Sport Accuracy event completed (a total of 5 jumps) and the Accuracy Landing event at the half way mark (also 5 rounds).

Kristan flew 49 loads and managed to fit in a few dignitaries for a view from the air: the local Mayor, Glen Hartwig, and his wife, our APF CEO at the time of the event, Richard McCooey and his son Freddie, skydiving legend Kenny Hills and some others. The Mayoral couple hadn't flown in a helicopter over Rainbow Beach and were blown away with the experience during the 6 minute flight, with the small nimble helicopter proving to be a little bit different to flying in a fixed-wing at altitude.

Accuracy Landing Tuffet by Gympie Regional Council

Day 3: Sunday

Sunday we got a sleep-in, with skids up at 9am. Initially the winds were a little skittery, coming from the South West, but they settled down to be directly off the ocean for the last few rounds, just as the tide advanced! Quite an incentive not to overshoot when the waves are lapping at the far side of the landing tuffet! Fun jumps were done by many which helped keep the R44 in the air, while the 9 competitors in Accuracy Landing packed as quickly as they could.

The Accuracy Landing event was completed just after high tide and we were all away by mid-afternoon. A medal ceremony was held on the headland at sunset and then off for dinner at several of the fine local eating houses.

ACCURACY LANDING - OPEN 1 Tibor Glesk 2 Graeme Windsor 3 Krasimir Bankov SPORT ACCURACY BLAST 1 Ben Dixon 2 Russel Blacklock 3 Seth Gilson SPORT ACCURACY - OPEN 1 Ben Dixon 2 Kallan Fitzclarence 3 Shaun Hagan

Post-Competition: Monday

Monday was even easier as there was no tuffet to set up, and jumpers were yet again treated to free jumps, courtesy of the Gympie Council. It was a different challenge as the winds were stronger upstairs from the West, though still relatively low on the beach, but with the tide higher and earlier. The ground crew discovered around 60 Witches Hats in the Council Container and the landing area was very clear for all, including the public. About 10 Loads were completed with everyone relishing the opportunity, but all good things have to come to an end, and the end of this event saw a lot of happy people heading home.

Thank You's

The Gympie Regional Council: For their fantastic contributions in so many ways.

Judges: Big thanks to Chief Judge Sandy Nieuwenhoven, ably assisted by Ray Williams, Craig Bennet & Jan Nejedly. They made a great team.

Meet Director: Tibor Glesk, who was also setting up, competing and coaching whenever he could.

DZSO: Shaun Hagan. Competing and working in tandem with Kristan and the team to ensure safe conduct.

Volunteers: Julia Rozman (scoring), Chanel Gilson (AMD reset and video), Chris Windsor (air observing and wind monitoring).

South Queensland Parachute Council: Subsidising SQPC members and promotion.

Sponsors: Thanks to all the sponsors who supported this event and made it even more enjoyable: Gympie Regional Council, Gold Rush Skydivers, FLOW Rigging, APF, Cookie, Sports Equipment, Fluid Wings, Mirage Systems, Airtec, Cypres, Performance Designs

The Competitors: Thanks to each and every one of you for being there, pitching in and making it the great event that it was.


Accuracy Landing Results

Sport Accuracy Landing Blast Results

Sport Accuracy Landing Open Results

About The Author

Mike Dyer has been a "Parachutist over Phorty" member for many years, being part of the Australian 42-Way POPs Record, as well as the Australian 130-Way Record. Mike took a Bronze medal home from the World Parachuting Championship in Czechoslovakia in 1982. He's been a regular fixture on the National Style and Accuracy Team for decades. Also a keen wingsuiter, there's not much he won't have a go at. Whether leading the pack, or quietly working behind the scenes, Mike puts a huge amount back into the sport. He has been a stalwart of our sports volunteer administration cohort for many, many years. Mike will celebrate 50 years as a sport skydiver a little later this year. 

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[Photo Sources: Gympie Regional Council, Australian Parachute Federation]