Packing for Liuzhou, China

The Mad-City Ski Team is traveling to Liuzhou, China to compete in the Sino-American Waterski Competition. The trip is from October 9-16, 2010. There are 18 people traveling in total. Team members are: Dan Wang, Gary Pickney, Cyndi Pickney, Karli Pickney, Sara Tubbs, Olivia Jahn, Sarah Jahn, Mike Nowicki, John Ager, Sandy Ager, Brea Imse, Danielle Zink, Dan Benz, Arik Lebda, Adam Schaller, Jeff Taschwer, Gabbi Taschwer, and Matt Heilman.

Getting ready to leave for 8 days for an international water ski competition is no small task. Preparations have been underway for a couple months now. The team was selected and then the planning began. Dan and Gary have been working non-stop on all the trip details – travel itineraries, act orders, flight details, equipment, baggage, costumes, money, team clothing, gifts for our hosts, and much, much more. You wouldn’t believe how many details there are to figure out. Figuring out how to get all of our equipment to China was a huge task in and of itself. We have to take the following to China with us:

  • 7 pair of Jumpers
  • 6 White ballet skis
  • 4 swivel skis
  • 4 flip turn skis
  • 4 step off skis
  • 4 pair of shoes skis
  • clown skis
  • 2 pair of pyramid boards (fortunately we get to borrow some of the Chinese wide boards so we don’t have to take 6 pair)
  • 1 sky ski
  • 1 wakeboard
  • Too many ropes to list (pyramid, one act show, ballet, jump, etc., etc.,)
  • 4 doubles harnesses
  • 7 jump helmets
  • 9 wetsuits
  • 9 blue/silver undershirts
  • 6 blue unitards
  • 6 swivel line costumes

We packed 18 waterski bags full. Most of these were large 3 event bags, with a couple of one event bags sprinkled in. Each person traveling is going to check one bag of ski equipment and on bag of their own luggage. I imagine it’s going to be quite a spectacle at the airport, all of us in our matching USA warm-ups with bags and bags of equipment.

We had a great practice on Sunday, September 26. We practiced at Janesville’s show site and got a lot of good work done. We plan to do the usual show acts (jump, swivel, ballet, 4 tier), but we also plan to do lots of tandem stuff (pyramid, jump, barefoot, doubles, backbreaker), one act show, and some cool montage stuff (shoe ski gainers, wakeboard, sky ski, etc.). The jumping should be fantastic, with some quad heli’s, double gainers, gainer-flip-gainer, and more. It was a bit cold at practice (56 degrees), but we skied for 2 hours straight and had only 5 falls the whole night. Hopefully that’s a sign of good things to come for the competition in China.

Pics to come of our equipment packing and our practice.

Our travel itinerary is as follows:

  • Saturday 10/9
    • Board Coach Bus at Stoughton Rd. park ‘n ride at 3:00 to drive to Ohare Airport.
    • Flight leaves Ohare at 9:25 p.m. It’s a direct flight to Beijing, China. It’s a 13 hour flight and China is 13 hours ahead. We arrive on Sunday night at 11:55. We basically lose Sunday. It disappears.
  • Sunday 10/10
    • Dan Wang’s Birthday spent on a plane for 13 hours!!
    • Arrive in Beijing at 11:55 p.m. and hopefully get to a hotel sometime to get some sleep
  • Monday 10/11
    • Fly from Beijing to Liuzhou.
    • Practice in the evening
  • Tuesday 10/12
    • Practice in the morning
    • Opening Ceremonies (this is supposed to be pretty big)
    • First Competition (the competitions there are head to head….you don’t ski an entire show, but we ski on act at a time…..we ski an act, then they do, then we do, then they do, etc. Then it’s judged and scores are announced. There are awards for box score type things and best skiers.
  • Wednesday 10/13
    • Two competitions on this day
  • Thursday 10/14
    • Sightseeing in Liuzhou
    • Fly to Beijing
  • Friday 10/15
    • Sightseeing in Beijing
  • Saturday 10/16
    • Fly home (we leave at 7:55 a.m and arrive in Chicago at 7:25 a.m the same day. Crazy!! We get home before we left!)

That’s it in a nutshell. I’m hoping to have internet access and be able to update this blog every couple days with a recap and photographs of the trip. Enjoy!

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