World skydiving guru to attend Women’s Day first

Olav Zipser – the father of the fluid, acrobatic and artistic style of skydiving known as FreeFly – will be on hand when a group of  South Africans attempt the country’s first ever all-women’s hybrid skydiving display at this year’s Ranch Skydiving Boogie and Symposium.

The Boogie will take place at – and in the skies above – the Protea Hotel Ranch Resort, 25 km south of Polokwane, from the 9th (National Women’s Day) to the 12th of August.

“Olav is a skydiving guru with more than 20,000 jumps to his name, and his coming to the event is an incredible opportunity for South African skydivers,” said Boogie organiser Mike Rumble.  

“I’m amped to hear what he has to say about his latest mission.

“He wants to be the first person to skydive from the Karman Line – 100 km above the earth’s surface – and then FreeFly back to Earth in a specially developed supersonic spacesuit. 

“But his FreeFly Astronaut Project isn’t a stunt – it’s a serious research mission to improve our ability to descend safely from the edges of space.  

Mr. Rumble said that Mr. Zipser (a German national who skydives professionally around the world) has been practicing FreeFly for 25 years.

“He’s got two things on his agenda for his extended visit toSouth Africa: he’s coming to teach and coach our sports skydivers – and he’s coming as a rhino ambassador.

“After the Boogie, he’ll be  be attending three Skydive For Rhinos events.” 

Skydive for Rhinos is an African Conservation Trust project to raise R10 million for tactical support for the fight against rhino poaching.

In ‘hybrid’ skydiving – during which large numbers of skydivers jump simultaneously – some of the jumpers join hands in formation while flying in the traditional ‘belly-to-earth’ position, whilst others – the FreeFlyers – weave in and around them, and fly above and below them.

“We’re hoping to have at least sixteen women in the air for the hybrid attempt, and Olav’s input is going to be invaluable during their practices,” said Mr. Rumble.

The Ranch Skydiving Boogie and Symposium isSouth Africa’s largest sports skydiving get-together. This year’s event will include skydiving – of course – as well as lectures and presentations by experts and adventurers.

“But it’s not just for people who know the sport. There’d be a lot less trouble in the world if everyone just stepped out of their airplanes and flew, and the Boogie is there to introduce you to skydiving if you want to try it out.

“Last year we took 78 people on introductory tandem skydives, and on Women’s Day we trained Miss Limpopo, Kholofelo Madiba, to skydive. After that, we were wondering how we were going to top that kind of success – but I think this year’s hybrid will definitely do that.”

Entry to the Boogie is free, although there will be charges for some individual items on the agenda (such as tandem skydiving and entry to the function on Saturday evening – at which Olav Zipser will be the guest speaker).

Guests wishing to spend more than one day at the Boogie are advised to book their accommodation at the Protea Hotel Ranch Resort as soon as possible.

More information:

The Ranch SkyDiving Boogie and Symposium 2012 on Facebook:  

Protea Hotel Ranch Resort:  

Accommodation reservations: (use the reference: “Ranch SkyDiving Boogie”) 

Tandem skydiving bookings  / 078 029 4803 

The FreeFly Astronaut Project and on Facebook:  

Event organiser Mike Rumble / 082 926 3591

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