Redbull hangár

Redbull hangár

2011. június 16., csütörtök

Parachute World Cup series, 2011 Thalgau

Text. Gabriella, photos. Tamás Bánszki, Gabriella

I was in Thalgau last week with the Hungarian military parachute team, at the first event of this year’s Parachute World Cup series, where the boys match themselves against the other members of the international field. It was definitely an unforgettable experience!

By the time I’ve rolled in to Thalgau, Hungarian paratroopers not just arrived and put up their tents, but were doing training jumps to get used to the environment. There weren’t too many people beside them, most of the 170 competitors from 17 countries arrived just in the evening.

After I discovered the target zone (the paratroopers landed there) and the start zone (they climbed into the planes at that palce) evening falled. The boys went to sleep early as the real race weekend officially started next morning. I sit into a restaurant, where I ate the best Wiener Schnitzel and salad of my life. I also tasted the local apricot brandy (the so called Marillen Schnaps). I can feel the real fruit flavor in it, but it was far from the strength of the similar Hungarian short drink: palinka.

I joined the trainer, Istvan to the Friday morning briefing where the judges remind the participants to the most important rules, even how not to jump out from the plane. (Although Istvan is not the member of the national team this year, but was concerned, as he entered individually in a mixed team.) The launch of the new digital camera system was also mentioned, which would help the work of the judges in the future (if the test went well) in case of landing related competitor reclamations.

Morning briefing at the target

Nevertheless, that the forecast predicted rain showers for all day, we were lucky with the weather. There was real summertime on Friday and Saturday morning, but it was constantly raining from 2PM to next morning 8PM. But the clouds have completely disappeared till Sunday noon and the competition has finished in a glazing sunshine. Fortunately the heavy wind has avoid the event during the whole weekend.

The organizers made a small festival beside the tournament with beer and grill tents, and local rock band which entertained the public in the evenings.

Interesting experiment: latin dance to rock music
Local beauties - Danke für der Schnaps Mädchens! ;-)

But the competitors didn’t go wild with partying as they had to perform for 3 days. And although the World Cup event was sponsored by Red Bull, they couldn’t trust only the power of the energy drink before every jump. Even – as a Hungarian team member said – a cup of coffee can be risky sometimes as it not always affect properly.

I was circulating continually between the target and the start zone on every day with the shuttle buses to takes as many good videos and pics as I can. Sometimes it was good to sit down at the airfield and watch the planes’ take offs and landings, filled up with the kerosene scent J

I was lucky to get on board to times and took the following videos of the Italian and the Hungarian team.


Take off from outside:

And on board:

Photo and video of the 2 Italian Belluno Paracentro team:

I admit, it wasn’t a wise idea to turn left the camera… Sorry guys. But at least the group photo is excellent J
Otherwise, the strange scene at the end of this video is because our pilot, Hans found a unique way to close the plane’s door: made a loop J It surprised me, but was amazing! J

It’s incredible, how strong plane is the PC-6. They work all day and stopped only when they were refilled with fuel.  (The pilots changed each other after 2 hours on every plane.)

And of course I won’t miss out the gist of the event from my report: the sport results. The Hungarians were fifth in team at the half of the competition, but took over the Czechs and Spanishes and finished third. As for the individual ranking, Tamás Varga were standing on the first place with the local Christian Auswöger till the penultimate round, but finally got the bronze medal.

Hungarian accuracy landing style study:

Though I felt, that the excitement were growing in everybody as the end of the race got closer and closer, but it think that the biggest Pressure was on Tamás Varga on the last day. But it was good to see, that even how well balanced they were, and how good was the relationship among all the competitors.
The biggest lesson of the weekend for me was, that training much is the most important to get the podium places, but the direction of the wind on every level of landing also has a big role. Even, it is also counts in the individual performance, what they eat for breakfast, when only 1 centimeter departs 2 competitors in the standings close he end. And of course a lot depends on concentration.

At the competitors' parade
Detailed final results can be find here:

Acknowledgements and congratulations

First of all, I would like to thank the Hungarian team, that they shared their great company and the unforgettable experiences with me.
Then, the two incredibly kind and enthusiastic ladies from the local tourism office, Frau Schoosleitner and Frau Dunajtschik to find a nice accommodation for me close to the target zone in a very short time and provide me with very useful information regarding the event. I can recommend them with all my heart if you need help to find a free room in tha region. Their contacts details are:,
Congratulations to the local HSV Red Bull Salzburg Fallschirmsport parachute club for the excellent organizing. No doubts that all the needs of the competitors, the spectators and even the journalists- like me were maximally fulfilled.
Beside them, all the soldiers from the Austrian Army made a great job too to provide the smooth operation of the ground and flight vehicles.

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