Above: From front: Susanne Huber, Amanda Elkin and Christine Hart excitedly complete a sit-train.
Photos by Mark Kirschenbaum/Hypoxic.
Chicagoland Skydiving Center in Rochelle, Illinois, hosted Soaring SISters, a Sisters in Skydiving event, from June 16-18. Affectionately called “Julie and Amanda’s SIS Event” (after Julie Kleinwort and Amanda Elkin, who have co-organized it with creativity and flair for the past five years), the three-day boogie was packed with coaching and shenanigans, including a costume party with the theme “wings.”
The event started Friday afternoon, as soon as the ladies could finish up their work days and make it to the DZ. With more than enough sunlight to get the first jumps of the event in, the load organizers began taking up groups. A dinner of pizza and (What else?) wings rounded out the night.
Saturday was a glorious full day of jumping that started with “load onesie,” the traditional first load on which participants wear onesie pajamas. That led to load two-sie, where the onesie-clad jumpers built a belly speed star. During the day, new jumpers racked up tons of firsts, including newbie Abby Smat, who made her first hybrid, first hoop jump and first head-jam exit. Local supermarket Hy-Vee catered Saturday night’s dinner and the attendees—many wearing spectacular winged outfits—enjoyed food, drinks, the day’s videos, karaoke and dancing late into the night.
SIS participants show off their wings.
Aerial photographer Mark Kirschenbaum caught all the action both in the air and on the ground, and he also cheerfully helped out wherever needed. He watched landings, oversaw pack jobs, supplied video debriefs to help with freefall and tracking skills, supported the load-organizing team and supplied content to social media. He even filled in as a hanger on a hybrid (with his camera wings on) to make the jump a success.
Prizes donated by Advanced Aerospace Designs, Aerodyne Research, Alti-2, Ascend Parachute Services, Compass & Crow, Cookie Helmets, Deem Flywear, Flight-1, Fluid Wings, Icarus World, KMRS Products, Larsen & Brusgaard, Ouragan Suits, Peregrine Manufacturing, SSK Industries, Sun Path Products, Tonfly, TonySuits, Velocity Sports Equipment and Vertical Suits meant that everyone went home feeling like a winner. The boogie-goers also scored lots of swag from Performance Designs and United Parachute Technologies.
The year is the last that Elkin (a new mom) and Kleinwort (who moved from the area) will be organizing this event, although both will continue to be active in skydiving. As the pair take over the world in an explosion of glitter and greatness, they are looking to pass the SIS torch to the next passionate event coordinator. Their SIS shoes will be hard to fill.
Chazi Rutz | D-28539