Free Event Tidbits

By Chris "Kermit" Rimple
Freestylist, Team Nitro

In an effort to reach the "meet minimums" for Freeflying, the Nationals organizers have decided to finish 4 rounds of Freeflying before starting Skysurfing and Freestyle. As a result, Skysurfing has been delayed today until around 2pm, with Freestyle to follow when Skysurfing has completed 2 rounds.

The Freeflying teams in the Open Division have displayed a wide variety of skills in the early rounds, with an exceptionally tight race developing between Arizona Freeflight and Skydive Chicago STL for the top spot, while the Flyboyz are following in a close 3rd. The battle is equally interesting between 4th and 5th place, and either team could quickly move into a medal position if any mistakes are made by the leaders.

The judges are doing a great job of keeping up with the jumping pace, and most teams are having an opportunity not only to see their scores from the previous round before making their next jump, but also to see their rounds scored "live" after landing.

Skysurfer Scott Smith resolved his videographer difficulties by recruiting a replacement teammate. He'll be jumping with Craig Amrine, who is also my videographer for Freestyle. Craig's been making some jumps in the past few months with the Arizona Skysurf team, so he's not new to filming surf, and Scott should give the AZ Skysurf team some tight competition.

In another interesting limitation, ex-Flyboyz member Mike Ortiz is not competing in Freestyle because the rules don't allow him to participate in three events, and he's already competing in Freeflying and in Women's Freestyle (as a videographer). Since Mike's also a USPA National Director, you can be sure that rule will be reviewed sometime following the Nationals.

Because Freeflying will have met their minimums today, Freefly teams have been released until 12pm Wednesday 24Oct01. The morning jumps will continue with Skysurfing and Freestyle, until their minimums have been met.

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