Patron: His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales
For dates and venues for this year's BPA British Open Nationals, please see our Nationals page. The FS, Artistics and Speed Nationals are being held in August at Skydive Hibadlstow who have their own competitions website skydivingchampionships.com We're proud to boast the biggest 4-way Formation Skydiving Nationals in the world. Registration for this event - and others! - is open now.
The BPA Office in Leicester pictured taking delivery of a girder. It will hold up the ceiling of the ground floor multi-functional meeting room that has been carved out of the former office space - the offices are moving upstairs. It's part of a complete refurb of BPA's freehold premises to make a digital hub to serve members more efficiently and effectively for the next 25 years and beyond. BPA staff continue to occupy the building as the works take place in phases, whilst BPA meetings are temporarily relocated to a nearby venue. Work is scheduled to take 19 weeks and is due for completion in the autumn.
Graham Spicer (pictured inset), one of the BPA Archivists and Chair of the BPA IT Strategy Group, writes: "On Sunday 12 June 2016, as part of HM The Queen’s 90th Birthday celebrations, I had the good fortune to attend The Patron’s Lunch in the Mall and represent the BPA as part of the RAeC delegation. This was essentially a gigantic picnic, comprising some 10,000 people, who represented many of the organisations, including RAeC, of which Her Majesty is Patron. Click on red 'more' button to continue...
Unfortunately, the weather was fickle on the day, which made al fresco dining a challenge, but years of peering vainly at the sky waiting for the rain to stop at the DZ stood me in good stead. The rain was persistent until lunch time but the big drips coming off the trees whilst queuing for security were worse. Tickets became increasingly soggy, after being inspected several times, and many were deemed invalid at the final hurdle when they wouldn’t scan, or in some cases disintegrated entirely, but the organisers resolved this without any fuss. The crowd was soaked from the outset, despite the issue of rain ponchos, but everyone was good humoured and patient. “Well, that’s the end of this suit”, said someone.
A passing London Bobby made me laugh whilst queuing to get through security with the rain dripping off the end of my nose. He said ‘You should all be singing’ as he went past. Unfortunately, umbrellas were forbidden, so we couldn’t do the old routine involving puddles and a lamp post. It wasn’t a propitious day for blazer, tie and shiny shoes but by gad sir we’re British and one can’t let standards slip due to a little rain! Absolutely not. I envied the guests who had heeded the forecast and capitulated with boots, jeans and fleeces a little but then the sun came out and we were glad we were respectably attired, albeit a little mud spattered, when HRH Prince Harry decided to stop and talk to our table.
The much-vaunted M&S hampers were actually rather good. I’d feared the worst after all the hype but they didn’t disappoint and contained a delightful mix of contents for both lunch and afternoon tea. After the formality of Trooping the Colour the previous day we didn’t have the Massed Bands of the Household Division but there were plenty of other bands, both military and civilian, as well as dancers, roller-skaters, a large model of the former Royal Yacht Britannia on wheels and, for reasons known only to the organisers, a pig riding a tricycle. There was complimentary tea and ice-cream all day with the latter being surprisingly popular. So much so that the Wall’s vending points had to be replenished with Magnums every hour to prevent civil unrest!
Members of the Royal Family took a lot of time to speak to individuals in some depth, rather than just shake as many hands as possible, and HRH the Duke of Cambridge received a diplomatically worded invitation to speed up as his grandmother was patiently waiting to board the ‘Queenmobile’ to have a go. When Her Majesty arrived, attired in a rather striking shade of pink, she appeared to be enjoying herself immensely and the genuine affection displayed by the crowd was a joy to observe. This was a very historic but quintessentially British day, with queuing, inclement weather, humour, patriotism, unfeasibly large amounts of ice cream consumed in the pouring rain and, dare one say it, a little Blitz spirit mixed in equal quantities. Just like a rainy day at the BPA Nationals, really."
Please complete our really quick survey HERE What does skydiving and parachuting mean to you? And what are BPA's mission and values? There is a lot of change happening in our sport and in BPA. We need views from members, which will help BPA to develop going forward and deliver what members need. So please complete the membership survey - it will take less time than a gear check!
The BPA Wingsuit Nationals 2016 for both Performance and Acrobatics are being hosted by Skydive Netheravon in Wiltshire from 27-30 May. The event is recognised as one of the PPC World Series events for 2016 and is an Open competition to all nationalities. For further information and registration, please see the event's Facebook page.
Congratulations to Mikey Lovemore (pictured) who set 3 new UK records in rounds 3,4 & 5 - 508.07kph, 521kph and 531.9kph at the 2nd Tim Mace Memorial Cup in Speed Skydiving - ISSA World Series in Germany on 6 May 2016. Now he's the 2nd fastest speed skydiver. This was the fastest-ever competition and the first time the top three have had a meet result average >500kph. Congratulations too to Max Hurd (448.9kph finishing 11th) and James Parker (447.64kph finishing 9th), both personal bests. And well done to Lucy Westgarth, fastest female/fastest junior.
It's here - the BPA Competitions Season 2016! Check out the dates and locations, entry form and rules for the BPA UK Skydiving League/BPA Grand Prix and the BPA British Open National Championships across the disciplines.
If you are a full BPA Member who has not yet renewed for the year 1 April 2016 to 31 March 2017, please check whether you may be eligible to renew online. The subscription rate is 2.9% down on last year. If you have ratings (that need to be signed off), live outside the UK/Channel Islands/BFPO, or are otherwise not eligible to renew online, a renewal form can be downloaded (enter 101 in the forms search box). You can fax or post your completed form to us.
The first BPA UK Skydiving League FS 4-way competition of the year is on the weekend of 7-8 May at Skydive Langar. Come join in the fun!
Congratulations to those of our BPA members who have been awarded The Royal Aero Club of the United Kingdom Trust ‘Flying for Youth’ Bursaries to help them to achieve their goals in sport parachuting. Well done to you all. 2016 sees the largest number RAeCT of bursaries ever awarded – 50. And half of them have gone to Parachuting! Click on the red ‘more’ button for a list of BPA members who are bursary awardees.
Cara Felicity Pritchard (President's Scholar)
Lucy Austins (Peter Cruddas Foundation Scholarship)
Lucas Bishop - Army Parachute Association
Emma Reynolds - Skydive Headcorn
Alabama Shanker - Army Parachute Association
Orla Donnelly - Skydive Wild Geese
Morgan Holland, UK Parachuting - Sibson
Henry Simmons - Peterlee Parachute Club
Peiying Lauren Jiang - Headcorn
Emily Thornton – SkydiveBuzz. Dunkeswell
Laura Sidhom - Skydive Northwest
Kieran Hogan - Peterlee
Lucy Marriott - Skydive Langar
Will Howes - Headcorn
Shelby Collins – SkydiveBuzz, Dunkeswell
Joanna Fitch - Skydive Northwest
Jordan Dickinson - Skydive Northwest
Ellie Marshall - Skydive Langar
Jon Hancox – SkydiveBuzz, Dunkeswell
Levi Hamill - Skydive Wild Geese
Sam Carter - UK Parachuting
Edward Cracknell - Skydive Langar
Kel Spittle - Skydive Langar
Dan Guest – Skydive Buzz, Dunkeswell
Eve Mason - Skydive Langar.
Updated 17 May 2012