18 April 2019
Written by: Izzy Squires - Team member, iFLY Amazingstoke
Well, where do I start? I am unbelievably happy with the result of UK Nationals. Our team won a bronze medal after 4 rounds of flying. To achieve this result as a brand new team in our first competition together, is something we are all extremely proud of.
As all four of us work at iFLY Basingstoke, one of the busiest tunnels in the world. To prepare for the competition, we went to the tunnel at 7am every Thursday morning for 40-60 minutes of training.
Forming a new 4-way dynamic team was never going to be easy, but we were lucky enough to have our trainer Zac as number 1. Zac knows the dynamic lines so well he could fly them with his eyes closed, and he passed this knowledge down through the team. I was flyer number 2, which means I had to be right on Zac’s tail. Harry was behind me as flyer number 3, leading the way for the second half of the group. Lewis followed at the end as flyer number 4, flying fast to create the space for the team to start the next line.
We usually started our morning training with a coffee and a brief around 6:45, always taking it in turns to buy coffees from Costa. We probably wouldn’t have been able to function at that time in the morning without them! We’d start by writing down lines from the intermediate dive pool, a snake, followed by a vertical, finishing with a mixer. We would prepare up to 5 of these to practise in one training session. Briefing never took too long, as all of us were very eager to get in the tunnel and start flying.
On the day of the competition, we were all awake before 6am and buzzing with excitement. I picked up Zac, Lewis, Harry and Eoin (one of our wonderful receptionists and our biggest supporter) from iFLY and we made our way straight to Bedford. You could feel the excitement in the air as we made our way to the venue. Once there we were greeted by all of our friends and fellow competitors. The atmosphere was wonderful and we couldn’t wait to get started. We received the draw for the dive pool at around 9am, we sat around the table talking through the routine, whilst eating the oranges Zac had brought for everyone, in his words “to make sure we get our vitamins”.
The team were a bit apprehensive about flying in the Twinwoods adventure tunnel as it is slightly shorter, wider and less powerful than our home tunnel. When the time for the first round came, we were all feeling the tension, but by the time the team were out of the tunnel after round 1, the adrenaline had kicked in. Everyone supporting us could see how excited we were, on the live feed.
We were very pleased with how we flew in all of our rounds, with our 3rd round being the best. By the time the competition was finished we were all completely over the moon, and we hadn’t even heard the results. To find out iFLY Amazingstoke had made it onto podium with 3rd place had us grinning from ear to ear. On the car journey home, we couldn’t stop talking about the day. Looking back through the live feed and seeing all of the comments and motivation from our friends and family made us feel really proud.
I can speak for all of us when I say that we are unbelievably grateful for the amount of support we received throughout our training and the competition. Now, we can’t wait to do it all over again.