Friday, September 24

Yes, JJ is here!7:00 a.m.
Good morning cyber campers! The weather looks okay this morning, we're starting up with 8-way and 10-way. GK8 round 7 is's not their best's a 21, and their lead goes to 1 point after 7 rounds.

The power of the web...the first couple of years we did this, we had to beg teams to get a photo for the they come knocking on the door, "can we get our picture taken now?"

Deguello is doing 8-way this yearFor those of you who haven't seen it, there are online videos of Airspeed's world record jump at yesterday's tidbits page. Click on the PREVIOUS DAY link at the bottom of this page to check it out. Be warned they take a long time to download.

Airspeed8 just did round 8, a clean 19 points. Oh, a little bird name Chris the Meet Director just said in my ear that the Knights will be doing 10-way speed. Bravo!

OKAY EVERYBODY LISTEN UP. I'm going to explain this ONE MORE TIME. If a team has at least one person who is NOT a citizen of the United States of America, then that team is INELIGIBLE to win a medal, and they compete as a GUEST team. There are other rules more specific than this, but that's the gist of it. Guest teams are listed in the results tables but they do not count in the medal standings. One team, Warp Factor 8, was listed as a guest team until after the event was completed, then their paperwork was finally squared away and they were changed to eligible status. Now, moving on with 10-way speed...

...ooh, the Knights really hosed round 1. One guy went zinging past it. 25.39 seconds, you're gonna have to pick up the pace soldiers!

I'm gonna say it again, I think this 10-way event is underrated. It looks like a blast. Skydiving the good old fashioned way. Wow, Roger's team just did a 12.65 on round 3. Fastest jump of the event so far.

I heard last night that on Airspeed's record 39 on round 6, they had a major meltdown just after working time. Heard they built a "cattabundy" for the 41st point and the wheels came off. 

Perris Passion 8I've got to tip my hat to the Perris Passion 8 ladies. They could have competed in the Intermediate class and run away with a gold medal, but they are in the Open class and the only teams ahead of them are the two best in the world: the Knights and Airspeed. We're going to miss you next year girls!

9:30 a.m.
We're doing 4-way now, Airspeed just did a 24 on round 7, which smokes the rest of the field on that round so far. And I got 2 more e-mails about guest teams saying "but this person and that person aren't US citizens..." so here's the details, straight from the SCM:

"To compete at a Nationals Championships, competitors must be a US citizen OR (1) hold a permanent resident visa OR (2) hold a US immigration/Naturalization ID card OR (3) hold a labor certification toward the permanent resident visa."

Sorry I didn't make things that clear from the gitgo. Now stop bugging me! ;-)

Judges at workI have received a lot of requests for a schedule as to what is going to be happening when. Well, from what I've been able to piece together, there isn't a schedule, but we will be starting 16-way shortly. But 4-way round 8 first, Airspeed has padded their lead some more with a 23 and they are looking really sharp.

1:00 p.m.
And we're finally starting the 16-way event, and Knights FX outscored Deguello 10 to 7 in round 1 for the early lead. Airspeed is not doing 16-way, so it's going to be up to Deguello to challenge for the top spot.

Lebanon F8Meanwhile, 4-way Advanced has now closed out round 8, and Frost has carved out a 3-point lead over Euphoric and Z-Spot with 2 jumps left to go. This race is far from done; either one of the latter teams is capable of putting some good numbers up, so look for this event to have an exciting finish.

I just got e-mail instructions to kiss each of the Passion 8 girls for a former teammate. So I take a quick trip around the DZ and they are GONE for the day! THEY GOT THE DROP ON ME! They can't get away, I'm gonna get 'em tomorrow!

The hard working judge staff for 1999. Not pictured is Judy Celaya, who had to leave yesterday, 
something about a real job.

I'm not sure if I've mentioned it before, but this on-line coverage would not be possible but for the fact that Andy Grimwade donated up a couple of phone lines for us to use. Please, if you can, take the time to thank him at Thanks! Also did I say, if you like this coverage of the nationals, you're going to LOVE what we have in store for the World Meet

Hmm...after four official rounds of 10-way, Roger's team has a 0.97 second lead over Carl's team. Hmm...

And the question for the day:
> All of the judges there have now seen a lot of different
> jumpsuit/gripper/glove colors and combination.  For future
> reference, which colors are showing best on video and are the easiest to
> judge, especially in terms of showing separation?

And a fine question it is! The answer is simple. By far the easiest team to judge at this meet, or any other in recent years, is the Golden Knights. They wear solid black jumpsuits and rigs (except for some gold on the containers) with white gloves. The effect is that it makes it far easier for the judges to pick out the grips and separation. If a team tries to use the reverse method -- white jumpsuits and black gloves -- the gloves tend to get lost in busy backgrounds and the white tends to bleed on video. The worst thing to wear is bright colorful jumpsuits with dark gloves. Bright colors bleed on video and make for difficult judging. 

Tedro's comment on the above Timbit: actually, the Golden Knights are not the easiest team to judge at this meet -- but if their video was steeper and deeper, they might be.  In 8-Way, I have found Airspeed to be an easier team to judge at this meet because of better video performance, though their jumpsuit colors -- while well chosen -- are not quite as easy on the eyes as the Knights'.

I have to give the overall judgability award to the DeLand Norgies.  In fact, it's a no-brainer.  Their first point out the door is always There & Square, and during the skydive the video is so steep and deep you can hardly tell which side of the formation he's shooting from.  My hat off to their videographer and to their team; they've made the judges' job a lot easier.

Tim's comment on Tedro's above response to Tim's tidbit: This is a good illustration of how important the performance of the videographer is for the judges' evaluation of the teams' performance. It is lost on many teams who expect the judges to magically see everything that happens in freefall. Many a team have come knocking on the judges' door here with tape in hand wanting to know "what's wrong with our jump?" Probably nothing we say, except we can't see what you're doing, and thus you don't get credit for it.

For those of you wondering if the Knights have done 8-way round 8 yet, no, they are doing 10- and 16-way right now. Things are touch and go with clouds right now, so it's kind of a break in the action...

...and, the camera bug is still biting the Knights, this time along with FX. On round 2 of 16-way the camera flyer landed on the team on exit and filmed the whole jump from WAY low. Conditional rejump. So they are a round behind everyone else again. Ouch...the judges just gave team 109 a zero on round 2 for illegally using a large floater bar on one of the Otters, a floater bar that has been banned from use in the competition because the other planes don't have one.

William H. OttleyOnce upon a time, an old man by the name of William H. Ottley bought a couple of Wilkinson swords and gave them to competition formation skydiving as perpetual trophies for world championships, one for 4-way and one for 8-way. The 4-way sword has been sitting in Eloy since 1995, while the 8-way sword has been in the USA since the beginning, and Fort Bragg since 1987. Next month, Airspeed goes to Corowa Australia to attempt to bring them both to Eloy. 

5:30 p.m.
Moving on with 16-way again, the Knights FX are running away with it after three rounds, while Deguello and Sebastian STI are duking it out for 2nd and 3rd. Depend on Pink Panties is taking zeros doing fun jumps as a 15-way, apparently one of them had to leave or got hurt. We will only be doing 16-way the rest of the day so if you're hanging out for 8-way, it isn't happening tonight.

"No Dad, I think it's THIS button..."Okay, 16-way is now complete through round 4, which means minimums have been made in all events. Knights FX has lapped the field with a 10.3 average and can probably win not even doing the last two rounds. Start time tomorrow is 0700 with 4-way Open and Advanced. Oh, thanks for the beer. Good night!

p.s. Thank you all who sent e-mail, we read 'em all and it's much appreciated!