By Amanda Lavis
In April 2023, after a lot of organising from the incomparable Brett Hyland of Queensland, 28 keen wingsuiters descended on Toogs for a full week of wingsuit coaching, progression and froth. Lured by some of the biggest names in the sport, the participants lucky enough to get a slot tried to get a grip on their fangirl-fanboy excesses and just be cool. With varying success.
Coming from Scandinavia/Europe we had Espen Fadnes, Amber Forte and Arvid Endler. Champions, innovators, and just awesome people. We also scored the mostly international Scotty Patterson, the soon-to-be-international Tomic Kluzniak and Luke Rogers (get ’em before they are gone) and the fastest wingsuiter on the planet, Tahi-Paul Munroe. What a line-up!
The camp structure was thoughtful and brought out the best in us. The consistency of the groups from day to day allowed friendships and skytrust to develop, maybe a few rivalries! The odd bit of slot-stealing and revenge burbling!
The fresh spirit of having a new coach each day kept it surprising and invigorating. I benefited so much from the different styles of all the coaches: flying styles, coaching styles, communication styles. Everyone was encouraging, and everyone had gold for me, including the other participants. I saw the local coaches soaking up some international gold, and everyone from low experience jumpers in the small suit group to documented champions in the big suit groups were frothing hard.
Combining groups to make up some bigways on the final day was an epic way to end. Add a week of glorious blue skies, helpful westerlies, friendly locals, dz cafe magnificence, a bunch of prizes donated by various sponsors, a parmi of such size it was incompatible with the human stomach, and a drop-zone koala, Toogs really turned it on for us. Lots of natural beauty which I particularly enjoyed while hiking home to the dz, dont ask!
I am still buzzing with the progression I made, and the progression I saw my friends making. Everyone is lifted up by events like this.
My thanks to the organisers, coaches, pilots, drop-zone staff, cafe staff, and sponsors. Special thanks to the Toogoolawah Skydivers Club who hosted us and laid on some 10packs as prizes for two particularly frothy winners. Bring on the next camp! And if you are an Aussie wingsuiter, get on it.
Don’t be put off by perceptions, no-one is so good that they cant benefit from this, and no-one with a crest is so inexperienced they cant jump in and progress up that spiral.
See you all next year!
Tahi clearly having a terrible time.
Espen is happy with my backflying
Espen getting his froth on
Luke Rogers is a happy man
Luke Rogers and Michelle Lu
Tomic looking mighty majestic 🙂