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Summerfest 2004 and Rantoul 2004 The perfect timing in 2004 for Summerfest and Rantoul enabled especially foreign skydivers to pay the expensive airfare to the boogies just once for two major events: Summerfest at Skydive Chicago and the former Quincy-Boogie at Rantoul. Here are my (journalist´s) impressions of the two events:

Summerfest 2004 Perfect jumps (freefly and RW) in a family like environment are the characteristics for me of the Skydive Chicago Boogie. Just choose the size of group you want to be in, your favorite organizer, plane (mostly Twin Otters and Skyvans) and have fun up in the air. Dropzone rules for landings are quite safety concerned and that is good. Shaded packing area in the large hangar, clean restrooms and the best food available on a dropzone (especially the "Helga special salad") freshly prepared adds up on my scale. Quiet and shaded tent areas even for small tents make foreigners feel welcomed. And of course meeting all the nice skydiving friends from all over the country every year. Looking forward to seeing you guys and girls next year again!
Points to improve: What I miss are educational seminars in the evening. There are enough world class skydivers present of every discipline to share their knowledge with others.

Rantoul 2004 Bad (in this case stormy and unbelievable cold) weather is not within the responsibility of a boogie organizer. So making only 7 jumps in 5 days (about one each morning before the weather turned really bad) was not the fault of organization. But getting told at the entrance that tents are not allowed at the regular camping site is kind of arrogant. There is just no way to put a trailer on a 747.

And being told by a non-skydiver at registration on which arm you have to wear your plastic wristband for a week of skydiving tops the "not allowed on a campsite"-arrogance. Considering safety it makes more sense to welcome thinking and self deciding humans to a big boogie than to treat skydivers as dogs on a leash.

What was even worse was the complete mess in the ladies showers and bathrooms. They had not been cleaned even once within the whole week. And with all the nice ladies vomiting their food after eating and the mass of long lost hairs and other things that do not belong in public spread everywhere this place turned out to be the dirtiest shower/bathroom I saw in my whole skydiving career. Just disgusting.

It is not the civilization I miss in Rantoul – I enjoy staying in my small but clean tent for weeks when skydiving. But setting reality in relation to the boogie fee and other things you have to pay for, and to the proud words the organizer characterizes the boogie himself, there is (to say it with my British friends) "a slight gap".

The good points of Rantoul: Gary Peek and his LO staff are doing a fantastic job every year and the skydiving friends from all over the world you are sure to meet let you forget the environment. I have jumped the jet (727) years ago and jumping off the other specialty planes does not get me excited any more. Regular planes waiting for skydivers are the same as in Skydive Chicago. Besides the King Air which I consider a very nice plane as a pilot but completely off topic as a jump plane. Especially when there are other jumpships available.

Very nice was also the PD-staff in informing about new products and having gear available for test jumps. Thank you Kolla for the T-shirts!

Also the evening seminars are worth going to Rantoul. If you find out who talks when and where in reality (not as written in the published schedule) and if you are so eager to listen to the worlds best skydivers like the Captain from Arizona Airspeed that you forget all participants are sitting for hours on the cold floor of an ugly hallway in a desolate building.

Another year, another chance.
Last Updated on Saturday, 17 April 2010 09:21
 

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