The first call for 8-way is in fifteen minutes, and the webmaster is busy
making all the team pages...looks like a good turnout for 8-way...
hours later, most of the 8-way team pages & photos are posted and we're
almost done with round one...
This is the most interesting 8-way nationals event in many years (dare I
say ever?). There are basically four premium teams here in legitimate
contention for a gold medal: Arizona Airspeed 8, the U.S. Army Golden
Knights, DeLand Majik, and Arizona Vengeance. I have brought the question up
to a member of each team: If
win 8-way, will you represent the USA at the World Meet next year? Their
answers were, in the order mentioned above, that's the plan, absolutely,
very probably, and hell yes. And in round one here this morning, their
scores were 16, 14, 14, and 14. This is indeed going to be very interesting.
If Airspeed 8 wins, it will flip the traditional model of a military 8-way
team and a civilian 4-way team representing the USA at a world meet.
Wouldn't that be a hoot!
Thank you all for the wonderful emails, we appreciate it. To the two of
you out there still using an earlier version of Netscape, I apologize for
the ugliness of these pages. To the other two who yanked my chain for using
frames pages, I have two things to say: 1) this nationals coverage already
consists of over 400 files and 2) PLPLPLPLPLPLPLPLEWY ON YOUY for not being
here to help ;-)
Round two of 8-way under way, my old Deguello buddies from Texas look
really good as usual, but they're not going to touch Airspeed's 20 on the
second jump...ooh, I think Airspeed got away with one on that second set of
pods, but they get a clean 20 posted...the most important score from
yesterday: Houston Texans 19, Dallas Cowboys, 10, teeheehee...
Vern Corrects and Clarifies Yesterday's Bit of 8-way History:
"1998 Airspeed beat the Knights in 8-way but had no intention of giving up
8-way at the World meet in 99. Knights beat Airspeed at 99 nationals( can't
remember if it was before or after the World Meet). Airspeed then won the
2000 US team selection in both events but offered to let the Knights take
8-way. It was then that the commander declined and not in 98 as mentioned in
- CW2 Vern Miller
(Vern was a member of the Golden Knights 8-way teams in
question - T2)
Thanks Vern! Great to hear from you! I also
heard from another former teammate, Carey Mills, currently flying combat
missions in secret places.
Editorial: Golden Knights are True Champions
Most of the emails circulating through my mail boxes about the 4-way
Open results were overwhelmingly positive, but there were several that
made my head spin. There are apparently quite a few skydivers out there
who are not particularly fond of the Army Parachute Team, for reasons
that range along the lines of "They're spending my tax money to beat
civilian teams" and "We can't compete with the resources of the
military" and "they're not from normal drop zones and they don't
represent normal skydivers" and so on.
Yes, your tax dollars support the Army Parachute Team
(funny it is that when the government spends money on good things it's
just some federal dollars, but if it's bad it's suddenly "our" tax
dollars being wasted). Well, where do you think Airspeed or Majik get
their money from? You! When you pay for a new XXX brand canopy and YYY
brand container, don't you know a chunk of that money is going to
sponsor teams? Aren't you aware that when you pay to jump at Skydive
Arizona or DeLand, you're also paying for Airspeed and Majik? The
military has a long history of supporting athletic teams. Why not
skydiving? We should welcome this investment of our money with open
It would be one thing if the Army team were a group of
perennial losers; then even I -- especially I -- would be complaining
about the waste of tax money. But the APT has a long history of
excellence and giving back to the sport that goes well beyond the tax
dollars spent. They have won numerous world meets for the USA that would
in all likelihood have been lost to foreign (government sponsored!)
teams. And they are not just military, they are us. They go
around to different drop zones, they coach many teams, and they freely
share their knowledge and videos. Team captain John Hoover is a long
time contributor to Skydiving Magazine. Teammate Eric Heinsheimer was a
long time Perris competitor before joining the team. These are skydivers
like you and me, and I think I speak for the vast majority of skydivers
when I say I am proud to have them represent our sport and country at
the next world championships.
Of course, most of you already know all that, but I
wanted to say it anyway. (Full disclosure: I was a member of the team
from 1991 to 1996 and I fully enjoyed spending your tax dollars, at
least those few I could get my grubby paws on.) - Tim Wagner
Sorry, I got distracted for a while there, after two rounds
of 8-way it looks like Airspeed 8 wants to nail this one down early. They
look really sharp in the early going...
...round 3 Open is a
trip to watch: for four straight formations, not a single team member makes
so much as a 45 degree turn (zipper flake > open facing diamond > arrowhead
> long diamond)...Airspeed just tore it up for a 23...
Sorry for the delay, but now I can officially report that those
delightful looking chicken quesadillas that I've seen coming out of the
kitchen are indeed as yummy as they look. We are into round 4 now, and
Airspeed just busted a star near the end of working time. Or are they just
trying to keep it interesting? We'll see what the Knights do...here they
are, trailing by 7 after 3 rounds...this is a tough skydive to go fast
on...looking good though, it's a 17, and that cuts Airspeed's lead down to
4...wow, Dan BC and his Arizona Vengeance team have been doing some really
nice skydiving, they just matched Airspeed's raw score of 16 for the
Need a video fix?
One of the replies to my GK editorial includes this comment:
"The main difference is that we do not choose to pay tax, but we do
choose where to spend our dollars...If I decide that I want to give Skydive
DeLand some of my dollars in return for the use of their excellent
facilities, that is my choice. I understand that the price I pay to
jump is loaded to include a cost of Majik sponsorship etc. But I
realize this when I pay it. In a sense, I am consenting to this
sponsorship by accepting the product offered by Skydive DeLand at their
price." Yes, this is very true, and it is an excellent point. But part
of my point is that once our money is in the hands of the government,
there's no telling where it's going to be wasted, and I for one am glad it's
wasted on a *terrible* thing like an excellent skydiving team on not a
*wonderful* thing like the farm subsidies that makes it so much more costly
to feed my family. ;-)
We are finishing up the judging on round 6, and 8-way will be complete
through round 7 by the end of the day.
I don't know if I've
mentioned it yet, but it sure is nice having a full time fast internet
connection here, and it's not just in here -- Roger has the whole DZ wired
up with a T1 line and wireless access. It is really cool.
More feedback on my GK editorial:
"It is up to everybody as a individual to judge if one's good enough to
join the force. And everybody can join the force. Nobody is forced NOT
to join it. So we - for example in Switzerland, like in the USA - we did
join the military and ended up to jump for the military using their
recources in the way we were supposed to. It is the same in the US.
Everybody is invited if he or her is tough enough to walk the path in the
Army and join the Golden Knights. Comments like "they use our money" is not
quite right because the person writing this has the similar right.
Also if you like, join the Army or Navy and try to get on the GK, everybody
is invited at this time."
- Team Switzerland Endeavour
Yeah, if you can't beat 'em,
Well, it is looking more and more like it will be
Airspeed 8 taking the gold, they have an 8 point lead after 6 rounds and
their skydiving looks simply superb. The close race is between Majik and
Vengeance for the bronze.
OUCH y'know, the worst possible
time to get busted is on the last scoring formation in working time, and the
Knights did just that on round 7, their 15 gets popped down to a 13.
...hmmm...at the last world meet, only three teams had averages higher than
15...we have four of them here right now...okay, that's a wrap for the day,
see you here tomorrow!
Chief Engineer "T1" Ted Wagner |
Webmaster "T2" Tim Wagner