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Did You Know...

... that Ocean Kaktus had some 8-way fun in Russia?

Ocean Kaktus in 8-way action
posted Jul 16th, 2009 - The Russian team Kaktus Hunter has been covered by the NSL News already several times this year. A recent 8-way video, provided by Ocean 5 videographer Fyodor Mozgovoy, directed the NSL News attention back to Russia and to the young Russian 4-way shooting stars.

Fyodor Mozgovoy told the NSL News that Ocean 5 and Kaktus Hunter train at the same dropzone in Kolomna. Their team rooms are next to each other, and the team members are good friends. Thus, during their training camps in Kolomna they decide to make an 8-way jump here and there by the end of the day.

The featured 8-way video was the 6th jump with this Ocean Kaktus line-up. Fyodor Mozgovoy added that half of the team members have very little 8-way experience, if some at all. Ocean 5 member Viktor Gorbunkov, one of the Russian 8-way veterans, engineers and coaches Ocean Kaktus when they make their 8-way fun jumps.

Ladybirds with Kaktus Hunter member Anna Panasyuk
Kaktus Hunter will compete at the FAI World Cup 2009, while Ocean 5 has not committed to the event yet.

However, there is a good chance that Skylight Barkli and Black Cat may travel to the Czech Republic at the end of August. The Russian Nationals 2009 earlier in August will probably have an impact on the decision which Russian teams will compete at the World Cup.

The NSL News was interested where Kaktus Hunter's team name originated from, and Ekaterina Kharitonova provided the insights.

Saguaro Kaktus
The team name comes actually from Kaktus Hunter's very first 4-way camp with Airspeed. The team had brought along some friends for the camp, and one of them consistently had a problem getting back to the landing area. On one of the jumps, the same person landed once again off in the desert, and Todd Hawkins, his coach, was looking for him walking back to the packing area. He was all in dust, and he turned to Ekaterina Kharitonova and her team mates and said:

"I don't get what is he doing in the desert all the time? Is he a kaktus hunter?"

Ekaterina Kharitonova said that this sounded just right for her team. She and Egor Gusev used to travel to Arizona frequently, and Anna Panasyuk and Andrei Kharitonov like Eloy, as well. Eventually, they all thought that "Kaktus Hunter" might be a symbolic team name reminding them of the place they like to be and jump at. She added that it would also remind them of all the great coaching they had with Airspeed members.

Ekaterina Kharitonova and Anna Panasyuk waiting for action at the World Challenge 2009
Finally, the team members also felt that they all have some kaktus feature in their caracters, as Ekaterina Kharitonova explained:

"We are fun and sharp and very determined. You know, those Saguaro kaktuses grow for hundreds of years, and that's what the team is about."

The other Russian top teams will be in big trouble if Kaktus Hunter follows through and stays in the 4-way business that long.

The team has already shown the determination that Ekaterina Kharitonova was talking about, and the scores have been going up consistently. Russian Nationals 2009 and World Cup 2009 are next on the Kaktus Hunter agenda.

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