Ashley Crick's Freestyle &
Tuesday 19th October
The air in Corowa this morning is very fresh. A cool and moderately strong southerly is blowing, providing a chill that reaches the bone. The best of the world's freestylists and skysurfers are sipping their morning coffees and talking competition. Around them the finishing touches are being made to world meet tent city.
There is a distinct contrast in many of the teams preparation strategies on the penultimate day prior to competition. There are those that are stretching in readiness for a 10 jump training day whilst others discuss how much fun they have had so far in Australia to old friends they haven't seen since the World Cup in Portugal last year.
There are 24 freestyle teams (13 male and 11 female) and 26 skysurfing teams (19 male and 6 female) registered for four tightly contested competitions. Most of the top teams from Portugal are here to defend or challenge the titles and there are a large number of teams making their debut to the world stage.
2pm sees the competitors meeting for both the freestyle and skysurfing events. The skysurfing meeting passes without much fuss but there are some heated discussions regarding interpretations of the rules at the freestyle discussion; interpretation of difficulty scores being the main concern of many competitors.
A hold on jumping due to the strong wind conditions leaves many teams little opportunity to accomplish their intended number of jumps but a single load at sunset allows only the most dedicated of freestylists (the ones who have not yet cracked open the beer) to cram one more jump in from 15000 ft and -18 degrees celcius temperatures.