The eight B.A.S.E Jump Extreme World Championships started this morning (Friday) at the Gran Hotel Bali in La Cala – but unfortunately, due to weather conditions, didn´t quite go to schedule. 34 competitors are taking part this year – all men, but only 9 managed to get a jump before Alain Dony, the technical organizer called a halt.
I spoke to the technical organiser - Alain Dony and he told me that they started bright and early at 7:15am but by 7:40am he deemed it too windy and dangerous.He is stuck in a catch 22 - go ahead but if someone hurts themselves by being blown off course, as has happened over the last 2 years, he is immediately condemed yet when he halts it all the competitors moan! But he did say that they would attempt to continue from around 4:30pm in the afternoon to try and complete the qualifying rounds.
However, at 6.46pm it was still rather breezy and Alain was constantly testing the wind speed as all the competitors were getting very itchy feet. I must say that the platform did not entice me one bit, wavering in the wind!
The plan is for a very early start on Saturday morning – by which I was told 6am early! Apparently it should be very calm at that time of the morning – hopefully the heats will be able to finish, then the semi finals need to go ahead. So if you can´t sleep you know where to go - me, think I´ll give the early session a miss this time.
The competitors are judged on a number of criteria including the opening angle, the accuracy of landing and security throughout the jump – they are scored points against each. But one of the most important is the actual opening of the parachute. To obtain maximum points it needs to be pulled between 1.5 – 2 seconds after jumping – any longer than 3 and you are disqualified!
The competitors have come from many different countries including Brasil, Turkey, America and many European countries. I hope for them that having travelled so far they do get the chance to have a go – Alain told me that many are eying up the gleaming “M” building from the top of the Bali….. so if you are out late watch out overhead!!! Weather permitting there will be demonstration jumps from 4pm until the award presentation at 6:30pm on Saturday.