The final day of the competition was a bit stressful to say the least! The start of the day way Very windy, so we all spent the morning afternoon, and almost the evening staring out the window at the flags blowing up high and the trees blowing down below.
Sapphire Showdown Finals - Ellen Brennan
The final day of the competition was a bit stressful to say the least! The start of the day way Very windy, so we all spent the morning afternoon, and almost the evening staring out the window at the flags blowing up high and the trees blowing down below. But right around 1800 it was starting to look a Little better. So basically it went from really crappy conditions to just crappy conditions. Even though the conditions weren’t great, some people decided that they felt comfortable jumping- mostly fun jumpers.
Amongst the 60 or so jumpers in Istanbul, around 40 of them were competing; the other 20 were fun jumpers. About 10 of the jumpers went off, and then they called a meeting with the competitors to decide if we wanted to jump or not… it was a unanimous No. So the new plan was to wait 45 minutes, hope that the conditions improve and try to squeeze a competition round in, in the last hour of our jumping permit. Forty-five minutes pass, and still no one was super keen on competing.
Here are the competition rules in situations like this one: When the conditions are borderline, they will open the competition and leave it up to the competitors if they want to jump. If at least half of the competitors jump (in this case 17) then the round counts. If the round counts, all the people who jumped get the points added to the total ProBASE World Cup score- with these points you are ranked for the overall competitions, and there is typically a Very nice reward. If you don’t jump, you get zero points, and that can really hurt you if you want to be competitive in the over-all scoring. On that note- if you jump in bad-for-you conditions, that could also hurt you as well ;)
With 30 minutes left of jumping time, 9 competitors have already jumped. I walked down to the landing area to feel it out, and yes, it was still fairly windy, but in the landing area it felt OK for Me to jump. So I went to the top of the building, all geared up, while 15 competitors looked at me in shock. I explained the wind conditions I felt in the landing, and it was enough to encourage a few more people to gear up. Now there was about 7-8 more jumpers geared up considering to compete. If we all jump- the round counts. There would not be any more time for the others to compete, and they would all get zero points. I take the ladder up to the roof to feel the conditions… I lean over the edge, spit to check the wind, and holy crap its Windy. Even though I have seen about 30 people jump and all land safely, in my opinion they got lucky.
The remaining competitors are completely divided. 5 or 6 would jump, 5 or so would absolutely not jump, and the other 5 are undecided. 15 minutes left to go, and everyone is trying to convince the others that their opinion is right. (The rule is- if you have to ask yourself, “Is it safe to jump?” the answer is no.) We all know this, but its very interesting to see what happens with the heard mentality. People do things they wouldn’t normally do because they have seen others do it and survive. After 10 minutes of debating, we have all sufficiently exhausted the amount of time it would take us to jump, leaving us with the easy, and relieving choice to not jump.
At the end of the week, our first competition round was also the final round. But that’s how these things go in weather dependent sports, and I don’t think anyone was upset about it. It was a great boogie, with great people, well organized, and no one got hurt!
Congratulations to the winners!!!
2. Sebastian Einicke
3. Jay Moletzky