Sixth World POPS meet March 2002

The Sixth World POPS championships were held at Matamata, New Zealand fropm the 1st March to the 8th March 2002. Over 170 jumpers were registered with a futher 50 non-jumpers. Countries represented were, UK, USA, Canada, Germany, Switzerland, Denmark, Australia, Ecuador and, of course, New Zealand.

On the first day of the meet, a Catalina flew in. This fifty three year old amphibian was a slow old lady, but took twenty jumpers or observers at a time to a few thousand feet. Jumpers exited via the open pod on the rear observation deck. Looking back at the following jumpers leaving the plane as is slowly flew away was a magnificent sight.
That evening, the entire meet was invited by the local Maori village to enter their Marae, or meeting ground. We received the traditional challenges, and Tom Thomas( NZ Top Pop), and John Crowhurst (World Top Pop) responded on our behalf. Following the challenges, everybody in turn shook hands and rubbed noses with the entire village, from the elders to the smallest children.

We then entered their dining hall and were feasted with a Hangi. THis is a meal of meat vegetables and and fruits which were baked in a pit of hot rocks covered in leaves and damp sacks. It was delicious, and was accompanied by Maori entertainment from the children of the local schools. They were so enthusiastic and skillful that the evening went by very quickly.

During the next few days, we had CRW and accuracy competitions. The Flying Jellytips from NZ won the CRW, and Jeff Chandler did his usual and brought back the accuracy gold for the UK. This was followed by three rounds of 4-way scrambles, national four way and a speed nine from the Pilatus Porter. New Zealand also took the honours in the national 4-way.

On Friday we had a fun jump day at Lake Taupo - one of the largest volcanic calderas in the world. It started by jumping in from a DC3, then doing additional DC3 and MI8 jumps, and finally flying "home" in the DC3 to jump back into Matamata (do you set your alti, Ditter, Cypress up or down 1200 ft?). THe view over Lake Taupo from altitude and under canopy was spectacular. On one of the MI8 jumps, a new New Zealand POPS formation record of 14 was established. Jim from Australia was reminiscing that the last time he had jumped a DC3 was in Cyprus in 1944 - that was before I was born (just)!

During the week ballon rides and jumps were available, and most jumpers got back tothe DZ too! Finally the HIt'n'Rock was competed for on slightly wet grass with zero winds - this led to some spectacular landings, but the winner, Peter Schmid of Switzerland, also had a spectacular time of 5.18 seconds.

Théo Fritschy, world Top Pop #4 On Saturday, we had a closing banquet at the Matamata race course, where competition prizes, and awards were made. Among them was a certificate of thanks from the British Pops to the Kiwi Pops fro a most excellent meet.

Most important to the POPs was the proposal and acceptance by Theo Fritschy of the role or World Top Pop from now until the next meet in 2004 in Switzerland.

I would like to extend our thanks once again to the Kiwi POps, to Skydive Waikato, and to the Matamata Gliding club for the organsation and facilities, and not least for the great weather.

Full results and awards

CRW

1st Place Pete Barnett NZ Amazing Flying Jelly Tips
Graeme Bull NZ
Andy Sanders NZ
Dene Richardson NZ

2nd Place Charlie Reynolds NZ Popsicles
Ken Ralston NZ
Dave Collier NZ
Ken Kelly NZ

3rd Place Brian Edgerton AUS Pretenders
Marty Pandelus AUS
Ian Robertson AUS
Peter Hannaford AUS

4 Way Scrambles

=1st Place Pat Moorehead USA Whats the Point
Cynthia Barnard NZ 9 points
Mike McAuley USA
Brian Edgerton AUS

=1st Place Rob Gillard NZ The 5th Grip
Geoff Gordon AUS 9 points
Ian Robertson AUS
Jeff Chandler UK

3rd Place Bashia Zelonka USA B Gs
Mike Dyer AUS 7 points
Tim Achenbach USA
Ted Rose USA

Accuracy

1st Place Jeff Chandler UK 0.29
2nd Place Mike Dyer AUS 0.41
3rd Place Barry McAuley CAN 0.49

International 4 Way Rel

1st Place Parre de la Varis NZ Classic Hits Tony Moore NZ
Phil Crofskey NZ
Craig James NZ

2nd Place John McGoldrick CAN Canucks
Bernard Nater CAN
Jim Pearson CAN
John Davies CAN

3rd Place Mike Nestor USA US 1
Sky Huminsky USA
Terry Ross USA
Ray Kuemmel USA

8 Way Speed Star

1st Place John McGoldrick Canada NACU
Lindsay Lorraine AUS
Harvey Hutchinson NZ
Ian Robertson AUS
Robert Gillard NZ
James Pearson USA
Dave Collier NZ
Tama Ruawai NZ

2nd Place Eric Pemberton NZ New Ecuador
Graeme Templeton NZ
Hank Spijkerbosch NZ
Edgar Navarez Ecuador
John Gill NZ
Ron Leech NZ
Marty Lloyd NZ
Mai Fitzsimmons NZ

3rd Place Alan White AUS ANZACS and Co
Ray Keummel USA
Cynthia Barnard NZ
Russell Ravenscroft AUS
John Hewitt NZ
Ralph Gardner NZ
Eric Meachem AUS
Hank Spijkerbosch NZ

Hit and Rock

1st Place Peter Schmid Switzerland 5.18s
2nd Place Terry Ross USA 5.69s
3rd Place Greg Fitzpatrick NZ 6.92s

Personality Plate

Steve McCurley (NZ POPs - DZ Host)

Judges

Steve McCurley
Hazel Ibbs
Ron Dionne
Peter Best 87 yrs old (has attended every POPs meet)

Longest distance travelled

Peter Schmid Switzerland 10, 050 miles (in straight line)

Oldest jumper

Jim Brierley AUS 77 years
born 20/09/24

Youngest jumper

Mick de Boni AUS 40 years
40th birthday Jan-02

Hard luck incident

Graeme Gillard NZ broken hip

Oldest groupie

Hattie Best UK 80 yrs old & still attending meets!

1980 Bernie Shaw Sheepskin Jacket award

Ross Stockings AUS (TOP POP) Friendship
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