Redbull hangár

Redbull hangár

2018. április 14., szombat

Parachute season opening

Text: Gabriella Gulyás, photos: Kapos DropZone

It was a long ago when I wrote about the world beater Hungarian Military Parachute Team last time, but I try to make up for this omission. Not just because I miss their company, but this year will be special for the team, so will pay a special attention to them – so do the whole Hungarian media most probably.

The first reason is, that Hungarian military parachuting celebrates its 100th anniversary in 2018 and the military parachute world championship will be held in Szolnok, Hungary this summer, so there are great expectations about them and of course about themselves regarding the race results. That’s why they started the preparation as soon as it was possible. The weather has butted in, so they could start the training camp at Kaposújlak on the 19th of March instead of the first week of it. It was still cold that time and their accommodation wasn’t properly heated, but proving their intrepidity, they didn’t want more delay, so they jumped, even they had to wear cap. But it’s nothing for a real soldier, as the coach, Captain Tamás Bánszki said. It’s true, I experienced, that although the weather often tries to make their life complicated, it doesn’t bother them at all. They jump in rubber boots if necessary and are not frightened when they wake up on a rubber mattress floating out from their tent. (It happened at an Austrian competition.)

Dressing up in the cold weather - Szabolcs Gál, Gábor Hirschler, Tamás Varga, Tamás Bánszki

It’s the first year when Tamás is the coach, his teammates asked him to do this job. As he said, it’s just a formal role, he helps the others in the communication between each other and with the leadership. It is not necessary to be tough with the team members, as they have been competing together for several years, even the two juniors. As for the physical preparation, everybody sets his own training plan for himself, which means running and cycling mostly. But it’s compulsory for everyone to comply the physical test before the season. Neither István Asztalos is an exception, who was the coach for many years, is the doyen of the team – and a proud grandfather in his private life. I guess, that the foreign competitors wouldn’t mind if he retired, because it’s not enough, that the Hungarians beat the field regularly, but István often precipitated the fellow sportsmen from the podium, even in the last few years. It seems, that they have to wait for it for a while. I think he will become similar to Gyuri Mészárovics the parachute legend (five-time Hungarian champion over of his 10.000th jump) who is 73, but has the vitality of a 30 year old man. He trained together with the team last week at Kaposújlak.

Gyuri Mészárovics is arriving onto the target

They could try out the brand new parachutes and jump 9 altogether on their second training camp week. Unfortunately two days were spent with hopeless waiting at the airport due to the heavy wind. The new parachutes are the same brand, type, size and even their colour is not different. It’s the Parafoil 2000 which is very popular worldwide, despite the fact, that it was developed in ’78. This new equipment is an advantage, as it doesn’t let through the air as the old ones, but the team need to get used to and test it. This type is for five year or 1,000 usage approximately.

As for this year’s race schedule, they are going to enter the civilian parachute world championship in Bulgaria and the parachute word cup series similarly to the past years, beside the military parachute world championship. Although it will be an expectedly tough year for them, they didn’t change their preparation routine, continue the training camp on 16th April at Kaposújlak and will resettle to Szolnok in May to get used to the home track thinking of the world championship. They got the golden medal at this competition (from the host Russian team) two years ago and finished third last year. Obviously everybody expects a podium place from them and six of the eight team members serve at Szolnok, so it’s a big psychic stress for them.

But August is far away, they concentrate on the preparation in Spring and we try to report about it hereafter.

Thanks for the photos to Kapos DropZone!