|DJan (in purple) with Arizona Airspeed December 2004|
In 2004, I won a raffle jump, which I had entered every day, year after year. The winner of the raffle would get the chance to jump with the best skydivers in the world, Arizona Airspeed. I always thought that if I won, I would give my slot to any of my friends who would appreciate it more than me (since I was never a competitive jumper). But when I actually won, nobody could have torn that skydive away from me, I really looked forward to it! This surprised me as much as anybody.
We rode up in the Twin Otter together, just the five of us (with the cameraman) in a plane that usually holds 23 skydivers. They thanked me for my continued support of their endeavors and then we lined up in the door and exited.
It was some of the best fun I've ever had. We made 26 different formations in the sky (called points) before it was time to separate and open our chutes. They were throwing me from one place in the sky to another, and I couldn't believe how fast we would transition from one move to the next. If I were there this year, I would definitely be buying more raffle tickets!
|After the jump|
When I look at these pictures, I can remember the views from under my canopy, the smell of the air, and the people who became as close as family. I would see the same skydivers year after year, from all over the world, and I'd go back home tired, but refreshed and renewed. I still miss the Holiday boogie at Eloy, Arizona.