Monday 20 October
The webmaster walked out of the hotel this morning to find wet stuff falling from the sky, we are on a weather hold here but the forecast is for clearing skies. I know it to be true, because the chief pilot said so! So I'm going to whip out this here camera and take a walkabout....
...okay, now to the inbox...some more feedback on the tunnel training topic. A reader points out these minutes from USPA'S July BOD meeting:
So, there you have it. I'm pretty sure someone brought this all up at the competitors' briefing, while I was in here formatting team pages.
The weather looks like it's starting to break up...wait, it's sprinkling again...no wait, here comes the sun...what is this, Florida? ... ;-)
...I was up VERY LATE last night making those steaming videos (here and here and here and here) for you guys, so I better be seeing something in the inbox besides all those Viagra pitches... no thanks, I already got some Vicodin...
...during this little weather hold, and last night while making those steaming videos, I had a better look at Airspeed's round 5. I don't agree with the score; the video was flat after exit, and they got scored "- J 0" for the first three formations. I just don't understand how the second scoring formation can be a "J" and the third a "0." I think we need to get rid of the "J" concept altogether. If it's the team's responsibility to show all the scoring formations and inters to the judges, what difference does the camera angle make? The judges can either see it or they can't, and a video angle can hide a grip whether it's 5 degrees off vertical or 90 degrees off vertical. You can see it or you can't. Why separate the blame with "J" and "0"? To make the problem worse, you'll see some judges pushing a J and some a 0 and you wind up with a score that doesn't collate, even though all the judges can't see the formation or inter. My bottom line: Where exactly does a "J" turn into a "0"? Is it a certain amount of time after the exit, or is it a certain angle off of vertical? I say, we get rid of the J and have nothing but penalties, with the penalty being nothing more than the team not getting credit for the formation (with no additional penalty applied). My two cents. Anyone else?
Yes, please do send Amy a thank you! You rock too!
Okay, back outside with the camera we go...
Some feedback on the Js & Os discussion:
Well, that's great news if we're set to get rid of that pesky "J" once and for all! Time will tell...
[T1 inserts: say what?!? 2004? What new rules?? Does the IPC FS Subcommittee have something in the works I'm not aware of? Anyone with any info on this please let me know]
But first, one more from the inbox:
We just *CAN'T* get enough feedback like that! Thank you!
Hey, I hear planes taking off...
...getting back to the J & O discussion, I was talking to one of the competitors about just making all penalties to where the teams just wouldn't get credit for the formation in question, to which the issue was brought up "what would you do if a team decided to skip an inter or formation because it would be faster and incur less penalty to skip it?" to which my reply is, just stop scoring until the team does the correct formation. So if you were to skip a formation or inter, your scoring would just stop right there. Also, eliminating the J and just having the 0 with no additional penalty would free judges up more to "call it like you see it." More on this later...
[T1 inserts: this situation is already covered by the "Omitted formation", which shows as an "X" in the score sheet, and results in the loss of an additional point. One step at a time -- let's just get rid of the J first! -T1]
...alas, more from the inbox, where -- like this weather -- the sun does not always shine:
*sigh*. We get this every year. Will it help to point out that Style & Accuracy doesn't even begin until THURSDAY? Can you at least wait until we are actually ignoring the classics before you trash us for it? Please pretty please? Where's my pain pills...
[T1 adds: what's this person's problem with red-headed step children?!
I feel compelled to defend our Gap coverage (the world meet the above whiner is referring to). One of the main reasons we're able to provide near-real-time coverage of the FS, CF and Artistic events is because we provide the judging systems for those events -- OmniSkore for FS/CF and Pegasus for AE. So we have hip-pocket tools like NetPost and PegPost that listen on the OmniSkore/Pegasus LAN and create web page files each time a score is created. I have immediate access to all of the results.
The style & accuracy events are not judged with my tools. Accuracy results are managed by hand, and another company's system was used for judging style in Gap. Those results might as well have been on the other side of the planet. The organizer had taken the primary task of posting coverage and results at www.mondial03.com, and I could have gone there to get results (eventually), but why bother cutting and pasting someone else's coverage?
Back to you, T2 ... /T1-out]
A question from the gallery:
Uhm, I assume you're talking about World Meet women's teams? I would agree with it, but I don't believe in a separate women's event in formation skydiving, unless you completely separate the sexes, like in the NBA and tennis...
...more from the gallery (which is one bright side of bad weather):
Okay, your wish is my command (I'm such a sucker)...
...okay, another quick email:
Okay, but if I add Shiraz to my Vicodin, there may not be any more tidbits today! ;-)
Another email from the gallery:
Okay, it's obvious now that Omniskore does indeed rock, and it's pretty official that wind tunnels are strictly verboten during competition, and pretty much everyone I've talked to agrees that the "J" needs to be tossed in the can.
What? More email? Well okay then:
Indeed, I am guilty of not talking enough about other teams, and I really wish I had time to mingle among them and get the inside talk. I do say it sure is interesting to watch Dan BC and Jack Jefferies competing, and neither one of them is on Airspeed! Also, I need to emphasize, we are more than happy to publish tidbits from competitors who read these pages - send them to us! We are also actively looking for an AE competitor to write some bits in that department, anyone? Anyone? Bueller? Where's Boel when we need her...
[T1 sits in again ...
For those of you who haven't figured it out yet, my loyal sidekick and OmniWebmaster, T2, is the primary author of these 'Bits -- I toss something in now and then when I catch him away from his keyboard. So if you have specific feedback on Tidbits content or corrections, please e-mail them to him with cc to me (so I can crack the whip when necessary).
Did someone have another comment about whether there should be an all-female FS category in addition to the open/"Co-ed" variety? My response: Any development that increases the number of women in our sport in general, and at competitions in particular, has my unqualified support! I understand the arguments on both sides, but we need the extra participation and media attention that comes with having the female category, and that's enough for me ... T1 out]
Any replies from the gallery? I might come up with one later. Right now, someone just saw a sliver of blue sky and we're on a 15 minute call again...
...and Airspeed Vertical is up first for the Big Three, and they're off to the races, their hauling some butt here, moving with a purpose, is that freeze frame in time? 21, or 22? Come on, post it...they're going to watch it again...and again...and it's...wow, three judges pushed a button for the 22nd scoring formation, but one of them was an I, so it's a 21, how about them oranges...that was a sweet looking skydive...
...okay, here's an email reply from the J/0 dissent above:
Okay, Majik up now for round 7...they are having a tough time getting a start on it...another false start...another one...here we go now...nice jump, is their 21st in time? They're going to scrutinize that one too...it seems they didn't have quite a good start as Airspeed, but picked up the pace near the end...yes, it's a 21, posted...okay, now GK Gold is up...a couple of minor glitches in there, a 19 if it stands...and it does, and BAM we got a tie between Majik and GK Gold with three jumps left! GK Gold looked sharp but for a couple of bipole > bipoles that didn't seem quite as snappy...
...it sounds like they are going to jump round 8 for the Open class and release everyone else after their round 7 score has been posted...
Well, that was an exciting end to a long day of mostly watching the clouds go by. I just took the liberty of reviewing the bust on GKG, and I think the judges made the right call. The Knights might have had a frame or two of separation -- maybe -- but sure didn't show it to the judges, as is their job. It was very close.
Folks, I thank you all for the (mostly) great email, and I'm wont to stay and make some steaming videos for you, but that will have to wait until tomorrow as T1 and I are ducking out for a much-needed meal of dead raw fish and rice wine. Thank you very much for watching and see you tomorrow for a (hopefully) a great finish to this 4-way!
T2 & T1