As it happened, it was a great day for a skydive in the UK. The sunrise at Stanstead was spectacular.

Stanstead sunrise

At the piano keys waiting to take off, I saw that a lucky few had experienced an exciting landing. The skid mark was at 45 degrees to the centreline and crossed most of the runway.

Stanstead skids

Empuriabrava was recommended to me, but coaching with Pete Allum of Inner Rythm Coaching was an unexpected referral. Pete is an incredible skydiver, with over twenty five thousand jumps. If you don’t know, this is a stunning number: about 800 are required to instruct. Pete is clearly a world-class professional and I am privileged to be here for 5 days one-on-one coaching.

Two jumps today and both went well. First was a float exit, with slightly late timing, but I was aware of it, which was good. Starting to get the legs straight. Turns went ok and I followed Pete around the sky reasonably well. A good pull and a reasonable flight to land. Used a Navigator 220, which was quite lively, meeting the manufacturer’s blurb.

The second jump was another float exit: I pushed out too powerfully, hitting Pete. I crumpled as you might on the ground, then recovered to stable. We worked on body position for a while, then had three practices with me flying forward to engage on Pete’s wrists. Cool 🙂

I learned why early skydivers need a coach for formation work: Pete reminded me to check altitude at 6000 ft, on an agreed pull altitude of 5500. I’d been pretty aware up until then, but, amazingly, you do find that plummeting towards the ground becomes your second priority. I’ll be buying an audible altimeter in the next couple of days.

At 5500 feet, turned 180 degrees away and pulled on heading. Another good long ride down on this superb canopy, avoiding another jumper and flying a circuit to land ahead of him, nearly on the spot.

Really looking forward to tomorrow; planning up to five coached jumps and maybe some fun jumps too 😀

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