Thursday 25 October

Good morning webcampers! The webmaster has arisen to a full mailbox, several of which actually did not offer Viagra, mortgage rates, online casinos, free vacations, porno, or debt management.

I've received several responses to the IPC dive pool proposal -- too long to post here in full -- but the consensus so far is that competitors don't seem to mind a smaller dive pool, but as one writer put it, "If they reduce the competition to seven rounds, that's like traveling to Paris for a gourmet meal and having them take away half the entrée and the desert." Another reader chips in "Seven rounds? I don't want less, I want more. 12, 15, or 20 rounds." 

Chris Rimple has set up a discussion group for freestyle competitors and judges and other interested parties. Click on the link then "join  this group" and follow the directions.

Today we finish up Freefly, Freestyle, Skysurf, and Canopy Formations, and 16-way starts up bright and early...

...I have learned that there are some updates coming on the Style & Accuracy final standings. Apparently one of the Women's Accuracy medal winners was not eligible to compete, having already participated in another country's nationals...

Ten rounds - Ten rounds - Ten rounds

During the NSL Regional Playoffs, the Intermediate teams finally had the chance to compete over ten rounds, and I know everyone on our team LOVED it. (Six rounds are appropriate for the regular season meets for the Skydiving Leagues, as the intent is to finish a meet in one day, especially in regions like the Southwest, where teams have to travel from CA to AZ or vice-versa ... but Regionals for the NSL and Nationals should be different.) I believe if you polled other Intermediate teams around the country they'd likely agree.

Ten rounds allow for more of a race, test of stamina, team determination & focus, and the opportunity to re-group and charge hard after a bad round or two. How many Open/Advanced competitions have we seen over the years, that start off looking one way, and then end up with a neck & neck horse race over the last 2-3 rounds? Or perhaps a team that didn't expect to medal, clawing its way into third place by round 8?

I'm all for helping our sport become more "spectator-friendly" - but absolutely NOT at the expense of what the competitors want ... nor at the expense of the created atmosphere of competition & challenge that keeps us all hungry to keep travelling to meets, jumping often, paying meet fees, buying new gear, hiring coaches and training hard. But perhaps there's more to these proposed changes than I understand. Either way, our focus should FIRST be toward supporting the companies, products and individuals who make their living in skydiving.

Toward that end, with the growth in Intermediate teams in the various Skydiving Leagues, I would also like to see the Intermediate competition for Nationals consist of ten rounds. Four more rounds of competition would have meant 800 more paid skydives to the host DZ for Nationals - and Larry Hill certainly proved he can keep the planes rolling smoothly. Our team will be traveling to Nationals in Chicago next year, just as many teams traveled to AZ this year. I doubt you'd find any Intermediate team that wouldn't support a ten round meet, vs. a one day competition.

Weather permitting, this competitor wants ten rounds over two days for the big meets; for Open/Advanced/Intermediate. Don't minimize the dive pool. If changes are appropriate - fine - replace instead of remove.

Barbara Harding - Arizona Synergy

Of the responses for dive pool/rounds feedback I have received, I thought this one to the right from Barbara Harding fairly (and eloquently) describes how most, if not all, competitors feel about it the issue. Thanks Barbara, we appreciate your input.

We have five 16-way teams entered today, and I look for the usual battle between the Golden Knights & Co. (Magical Golden Knights Matrix) and Airspeed & Co. (Airspeed Blue). Deguello and Tabula Rasa will be fighting for the third medal position; the fifth team, Odyssey 16, is competing as a guest team. Yours truly is the alternate for Deguello, many of whom I've known since my Spaceland days (the original Spaceland at Houston Gulf Airport).

And the 16-way battle begins: MGKM had a very nice round one score of 11, but AB had a much quicker first point and got a 13 for the early lead. My Deguello team busted a 6 to a 4 ;-(

Over in Freefly,  Alhegelan/Curtis/Strauss is in a very tight race with Nelson/Ortiz/Swanson, I promise I'll have scores updated as soon as I can, they are judging round six now. THIS JUST IN- the webmaster is now jumping with Deguello; someone has a wrist injury from landing. I'll be ducking in here between jumps to keep the scores coming. On to the plane!

Oh, it feels good to be in the air again. Now if we can get Deguello through the rest of this meet without any more injuries or busts!

And it is, indeed, another beautiful day in Arizona, perfect skydiving weather. If the competitors had their way (yeah, right!) they'd want the nationals here EVERY year.

No rest for the weary - off for round three...but first I just posted the latest Freefly, Freestyle & Skysurf scores, check'em out...

....just down from round 3, that's much better, nice skydive. Okay, I just got handed some new Rimple 3D Bits, and BONUS, Mom's cooking fried chicken for Deguello. Final Freefly results just posted, and Omar's team Arizona Freeflight took the gold after a great competition with Skydive Chicago STL Freefly. That was a CLOSE competition, 66.8 to 66.3 final totals. What's that? Another 15 minute call, time to go skydive again...

...and what a wonderful skydive it was! Looks like MGKM and AZB are having a good battle out front, one point separation with two jumps to go. This next jump should be a fast one too.

Check out ladies and germs, there's a new world record in 16-way -- Airspeed Blue smoked a 19 on round five! Wow! On the way up for round 6 now, which won't be close to a record...

Wow, what a day this turned out to be for me. I was planning on cheering for Deguello from the DZTV room while writing bits, instead I do five rounds and we win a bronze medal. What a great bunch of guys, too. I've known Jack for many years and he is a great leader. Now if I can get out of bed in the morning with this sore back, I'll be doing good.

And how about that 19 that Airspeed Blue did on round 5? All you out there in cyber land check out the main page here in a week or so, I should have that jump up on the web. Wow wow wow wow wow.

Sorry for the lack of photos today, but it was leave that out or not post the scores.... long last, the FINAL FINAL Style & Accuracy results have been updated and posted. There was much cornfusion about guests this and what goes where that, it's all be resolved and posted.

Several readers have asked me about the Women's Accuracy thing. From what I have heard, Mery Rose had competed in the Brazilian Nationals (I don't know when) and that made here ineligible for the bronze medal she had already been awarded here (they had to take it back from her and she was not very happy).

10-way Speed tomorrow! Roger Nelson & Co. is here, Carl Daugherty & Co. is here, along with 7 other teams. It's going to be a good one. See you there/here!

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