Tuesday 21 October
No water falling from the skies this morning, the stars were shining when we left the hotel, and the hangar looks like a yoga convention. 4-way Intermediate is on a 15-minute call. Let's see what's in the inbox...do I really want to know...
...more Viagra than I can shake a stick at, how to make the stick bigger and go faster, something to shake a stick at, stick it all in the trash bin...otherwise there's a pile of questions in the mail I'll try to get to later, but quickly the most important question(s): where to find the schedule of events to what's going on. That would be over at http://nationals.com. We don't publish a schedule here because we have no control over it and it could change at any minute, so we concentrate on what's happened and what's happening. What's going to happen? Haven't a clue...now, I'm going to keep the webcam off for a while and try to post a few more steaming videos, so check back in a while...
...allrighty, I got some more steaming movies posted, sorry I can't meet everyone's request for specific teams as it's not easy capturing them when they're running three different judging stations while I got one VCR and a mixer...
There's quite a bit of email to get to later, for now I'm too busy running DZTV. But a quick note, the vast majority of feedback says to ditch the J (read yesterdays bits if you don't know what I'm talking about).
...speaking of very good, sometime tonight or tomorrow or Thursday I am going to announce the winners of the 2003 Totally Unofficial Omniskore Most Excellent Videographer awards, one for each of the categories. Judging criteria will include consistency of exits, steepness, tightness, image stability, overall judgeability, and most importantly, how much they bribe the judge (me)...
...sniff sniff...I SMELL KRISPY KREME DONUTS...I am trying to get the webcam up again, but it is not cooperating, and I don't have to time work on it...
...I love this email:
Tee hee, where's the camera...I'm sorry folks, I can't seem to kick start the webcam and I don't know why it won't work...we're motoring on through round 9 here at 1030, and I'm hoping that we have a nice pause before judging the top finishers in each class...
We are into judging round 10 now, there will be a pause before judging the finals, so stay tuned here shortly...to answer a couple of emails on the same topic, I'd love to write more about the Advanced and Intermediate matchups, but 1) I just don't have the time and 2) I've asked for help from the competitors and got no takers...
...THE WEBCAM IS UP! A sudden realization that just maybe my IP address had changed on my PC, and it had, so I had to adjust the HTTP port forwarding on the router, so now it's getting through....
OKAY LISTEN UP they are judging all the open teams through round 10 EXCEPT FOR MAJIK, GOLDEN KNIGHTS GOLD, AND AIRSPEED VERTICAL, they will judge their rounds 9 and 10 as a big finale[emphasis now removed]. That's the scoop, I just got 20+ emails demanding to know what's going on, so there it is. I expect they'll be judging those rounds pretty soon. Stay tuned here and I'll keep you posted!
1200 NOON O'CLOCK
Status report - round 9 is finished jumping, as is most of round 10.
Okay, here we go with Airspeed Vertical round 9...nice start...a nice jump, 18 right on the freeze frame...a couple of those vertical transitions were borderline to me...let's see how they call it...they're watching it a third time now...and it is 18 clean! GK Gold now...nice...18 as well, they were a notch faster than Airspeed, let's see how they score it...they got a nice round of applause from the gallery, it was a sweet jump...and it's a 19, not 18, official and clean! Majik now...looking good...a 19 too! They keep a 2 point lead if it's clean, and it looked so to me...damn sweet vertical moves they got...and another big round of applause as the 19 is made official, so Majik takes the lead into the final round! A look at the draw on round 10, and it's not the kind of jump that's easy to make up any ground on. I think the Knights are going to need a miracle jump or Majik will have to make a mistake for the lead to change on the final jump...
Somebody just accused me of bias, so let me set the record straight. I am rooting for the U.S. Army Majik Airspeed, but I'm secretly hoping the Florida Marlins pull it out of their hat...meanwhile, in the Intermediate class, it looks like Windline Lightning has just nailed down a solid gold medal, congratulations! They finished with a 12.4 average, which is NOTHING to sneeze at...they are followed by O2 Project and Cross Keys Vision, congrats all...
...okay folks, here's round 10! AZ Airspeed Vertical up first...very solid...a 19! Pretty good score for such a slow draw...looks like they had a slightly slow start with a very solid finish...it's posted now, a 19. GK Gold now...easy on that refresh button...here we go...nice bunyips, but it's a 17...still a good score for that round! Still waiting for judges to confirm...yes, it's a 17 clean...okay, now Majik! They need a 15 to tie, a 16 to win...here we go...it's a steady one...17! If it's clean, Joey's finally going to a world meet! Waiting for the judges...there it is! CONGRATULATIONS DELAND MAJIK! You're going to Croatia! It's on the webcam, check it out!
Before I get any slaps for singling out Joey, for those of you who don't know, he's been on a very long line of outstanding teams that always seemed to be on the verge of winning the big one. But a bad jump here, a tough break there, has always kept him out of the Big Show. So no slight on Doug & Solly & Gary -- just an especially big congrats from me (and those like me) to Joey for finally get that opportunity!
In the Advanced Class, Spaceland Inferno jumped steady the entire meet and finished with a gold medal and a 14.7 average, not too shabby at all. There was an exciting finish for the silver, as Elsinore Adrenaline edged Warp Factor by a single point on round 10 to take it. Congrats to all!
A quick note about Nationals videos. These ladies -- Annie and daughters Rosalyn and Olivia of Airzone Xtreme -- are producing the video(s) and the drop zone -- Skydive Florida -- will be selling them. I will have more details as the become available. Why am I not making them this year? I only have ONE LOUSY EXCUSE and I'm sticking to it...
[T1 tosses something in here]
First, if you haven't met T2's "lousy excuse", you should -- there ain't a thing lousy about him, not even his dirty britches!
I had the pleasure of being in the hangar during the final 4-Way Open judging. That is an experience I will never tire of -- the chill that goes up and down the spine and the euphoria one can't help but share with the winners, knowing they're having a feeling at that moment that they would put in a bottle and keep forever if they could. Oh, and another reason T2 really was singling out Joey -- they jumped together in northern California in the late 1980s. Hollister, I believe it was.
Having said that ... DeLand Majik has some serious work ahead of them, and I hope they'll pursue their task with the enthusiasm, energy and desire it's going to take to win in Croatia next year. Here's a quote from France's Mondial03.com coverage of the world meet in Gap a few weeks ago, after their 4-Way team's final round:
Now, ignoring for the moment the absolute flailing that OmniSkore would receive if we ever said anything like that about any American team at any competition (much less a world meet where we were the official web site, ostensibly providing complete and unbiased coverage, winkwinknudgenudge), the current world champions averaged 22.9, and would have broken 23 had they not been popped on the block 12 interpretation in round 1. That, folks, is some serious 4-Way skydiving. Majik will need to add two points to their current average, plus of course whatever France will be adding to theirs, just to be competitive in Croatia. Knowing these guys, I believe they're up to the challenge. So, stay out of their way when they're training, give them the good parking spaces and the best seats at the sushi bar and all the support you can muster. They are the new U.S. Team and they have a sword to bring home!
[End T1 toss]
Okay, I'm working on a few more steaming videos.