Thursday 7 October

Ladies and gentlemen, skydivers, everyone, may I have your attention. Quiet in the back please. Thank you. I have something special for you this morning. Drum roll, please. Okay. Everybody sit tight.

First, some random thoughts on the passing scene.

  • I have come to the conclusion that LA drivers (I know, we're not in LA, but the point is still valid), because they spend so much time going no where, go as fast as they possibly can, whenever they can. And there are no cops to stop them. If you speed through Smalltown, Florida, you will get pulled over, and Smalltown has a balanced budget. In LA, the cops are doing other things than enforcing traffic, and it's anarchy on the roads.
  • I try to say nothing but nice things here, but I will digress for a moment, at the expense of my friends in the judges' room. They did a pretty decent job in 4-way. But yesterday, by some of their own admissions, they were mind-bendingly, sand-poundingly, Hellen Keller-could-have-done-better awful. Okay, maybe not that bad, and no one is really complaining, but it was not the best of days in there. No I will not give examples. Moving on.
  • The 4-way awards banquet last night was excellent. Photos coming.
  • Is that drum still rolling? Keep it going while I duck out for some coffee. Trust me, it will be worth the wait...
  • ...okay, I'm back, is the drum still rolling? Good.
  • In previous nationals, the competitors and spectators kept track of the standings by watching a big board that was updated by hand after each round. Here, they put a computer and big monitor out next to the DZTV and they show the results pages from this web site. Need an updated board? Hit refresh. Done.
  • I've had several email requests asking to sort the AE results in order of final standings just like we do the FS events. Short answer: Sorry, no. The AE results tables were done by hand because Omniskore was not used to judge them. If someone else wants to email me sorted results tables for the AE events I'll be more than happy to post them. UPDATE - I adjusted the tables, they are now sorted like the FS tables.
  • Keep the drum rolling, I'll be back shortly to open the curtain. 8-way is starting at 0800.

Okay everybody, I present to you from the lens of the man himself, nationals photographs by the amazing Michael McGowan. Stop the annoying drum roll now please. I hear airplanes taking off now. Let's see what's in the inbox...spam...more spam...still more spam...

K-CHINK. That was the sound of the bar going up every so slightly HERE and HERE and HERE (new Omniskore eye candy). 8-way round 7 is being judged...

...the Golden Knights round 7 is up...they draw a round of applause from the DZTV gallery and post a 21, if it's is...and Airspeed answers with a 22, and ups their lead to 3 points...there is now a 41-point spread between 2nd and 4th place in 8-way Open, with Perris Vengeance tucked safely in the middle...

8-Way round 8 is almost done...the Knights got a 13, Airspeed has a tentative 15...I have the promised FS 4-way awards photos coming up next...Airspeed gets a 15, their lead is up to five now.

FS 4-way Awards - Photos by Michael McGowan

Lunch time!

I just pulled Graham (Majik camera flyer extraordinaire) Harding to the side to see if I could pull some Majik post-season plans out of him. No dice. Attempted bribery. No dice...

...every time I look at the wind tunnel here I think I'm looking at the movie set for Men in Black and the top of it is going to fly off with a big bug in it...

Photo by Lori Thomas...this 8-way draw looks slower than cold molasses...almost done with round 9 now...the Knights have already posted a 15, Airspeed does a 16...check out that race going on in Intermediate: 60 to 59 to 58. That one is going down to the wire!

...more numbers fun...after 9 rounds of 8-way, the first place team in Intermediate has fewer points (60) than the last place team in Open (63)...the plan is to judge the top three teams last again...16-way draw and briefing is tonight...the Astros are ahead of the Braves 2 zip...

Photo by Lori Thomas1545
The internet has been down for over an hour and we haven't been able to post any updates. I'm typing this but I can't save it until they fix it...I'm speaking into a microphone that is unplugged...they are judging the Intermediate last two teams...okay, I'll keep talking into this dead microphone for posterity...teams 701 and 705 are in a jump-off for 2nd and 3rd, and congratulations goes to team 711 Tornado, they locked up the gold with a solid round 10...

...a half hour later and we're STILL down...

Photo by Lori Thomas...and we're back up! It's almost 1630 and we have yet to judge the jump-off or the top 3 teams in Open.

It appears they are going to finish judging at sunset...about to the bar...

I see 5 16-way teams so far. The Golden Knights have teamed up with Majik and a few others, and Airspeed has joined up with Dan BC's group.

Two more 8-way steaming videos have been posted on the main page. Still waiting to judge the rest of 8-way. Jumping has finished for the day.

While we're waiting for the 8-way judging to finish, I want to take a moment to thank all of you who have emailed your thanks and support for this coverage of the USPA 2004 Nationals. I'm sorry if I haven't replied to some, there have been a great many. Thank you, we really appreciate all the support.

Photo by Lori Thomas1900
Tapes finally rolling...they are finishing 8-way Open first, then they're going to do the Intermediate jump-off...Vengeance scores a 15, nice jump...Golden Knights follow with a 17...Airspeed now...nice jump, spank it and put a diaper on it, it's done, another gold medal for the boys and girl from Arizona. Nice job, especially on such short rest coming back from winning in Croatia. They started a little rocky but found their groove and put on a show. Congratulations! Now the jump-off round...Touch'N'Go8 posts an 8, a good jump...I like the way they did the cats: build a donut with cat grips, then drop one grip and key it quick - MP8 needs a 8 to win the silver (they will win a tie-break based on best overall round)...WOW number 8 is right on the timeline! Let's see what the judges's a 7, 8 was just out, all the judges had them at 7, and Touch'N'Go8 wins the silver.

I had previously posted here a short rant that I have removed pending a better sampling of what the competitors thought about the delayed judging...there may have been some who read those words as critical of how the DZ is hosting the meet, and that was not my intent, as the DZ is doing an outstanding job. The delayed judging last night may have been a bump in the road, but it was no more than that, and a bump or two doesn't make for a bad meet. After all, nobody's perfect.


Ted "T1" Wagner, Chief Engineer | Tim "T2" Wagner, Webmaster