Wednesday 7 September

0700
Just after 4-way came to its dramatic conclusion last night, my internet connection went down and as I write this it is still down. 8-way on tap for today and tomorrow. Meanwhile, here are some more shots by Chris Burket from last night:

Photos by
Chris Burket

Checking the mailbox now...wow...lots of people up late last night for the excitement!

0830
The remaining 4-Way Intermediate jumps are being judged and 8-way is in the air. The 8-way draws have been posted on the home page. Cool beans: 8-way Open round 3 is all randoms, as is round 10 of Intermediate.

I just took a casual stroll around the creeping and boarding areas, trying to get a feel for who is expecting to do what in 8-way. The Knights have done one training camp as a team, and I assume Airspeed has done several. I think it will be a battle between those two for gold and silver, and there are several others with a legitimate shot at the bronze: Paraclete, Deguello, Dallas Thunder, and Perris Vengeance.

Airspeed just posted a 17 on round one and they looked very good, a clean jump. Paraclete is a team out of NC and features five former world champion Golden Knights, they post a score of 9, was a 10 before a separation bust. Wow - Perris Vengeance looked real solid and they put up a 11. OOH Deguello just missed a 10 on their jump...

1030
No one seems to know why the Knights round one hasn't been judged...still working on getting team photos...okay, now the Knights are up, and they look sharp out the door, and if it's clean they have a 17 too...put it in the bank, we have a tie after one round, this is going to be awesome, and Chris just handed me the team photos...

...round 2 Open, Airspeed looked absolutely MAHVELOUS and danced their way to a 23...makes my mouth water wondering what they might do on round 3 with nothing but randoms...that was a very nice jump...team photos are up now...be forewarned, if you ask for a hi-res original, they are 2.5 MB in size...GK round 2 now, they looked like they were going to match Airspeed performance until a late glitch left them with a 21

1230
The Knights just posted a 26 on round 3, nice jump. Can't wait to see what Airspeed does with it...here they are...well, Airspeed didn't do so hot on round 3, they had a couple of slow builds out the door and posted a 25...

Well, it looks like round 3 shook up the race for the bronze as Vengeance and Paraclete dominated with 16s.

Looking back through previous nationals, the last time the Knights won 8-way was 1999, and Airspeed has won every year since then. If Airspeed does not win 8-way here, it will be the first time in their history that they didn't win a nationals' gold in either 4-way or 8-way.

The Knights very nearly won 4-way yesterday. One of these two teams is going to go home without a gold medal, and that will break a Golden Knight/Airspeed streak going back to...anyone?

Going back to 1994, Airspeed has won either 4-way, 8-way or both.

NW Express is leading the Intermediate event and just showed off an innovative method of doing open accordian > stairstep using staged piece turns. Pretty neat...

1400
Half way through round four. Airspeed just posted a spotless 22. Paraclete shined with a 15. I had no idea 8-way would be so entertaining this year. And peeking into the 10- and 16-way registrations, it looks like the Knights are joining up with some Magik types for 16-way, and Jack Jefferies will be joining Airspeed for both events. Knights are up now...they stumbled badly early on a compressed accordian and then kicked on the after-burners and wound up with...a 21 after the busted accordian. They look like they are as fast as Airspeed right now, but Airspeed is skydiving smoother and cleaner, and they have a 2-point lead after 4 rounds...

BOO. Helloooooooooo! ECHO ECHO ECHO ECHO ECHO. Sure is quiet in here...no email in like four hours...There is a 4-way awards banquet tonight...

...and a short while later some notes trickle in, like this one:

It seam as if the Southeast has no representation. I know Paraclete is from NC but thatís a long way from Florida.

Is there no 8-way in Deland, Sebastian or Z-hills?

Thanks again for great coverage. I almost broke my keyboard hitting refresh last night waiting to hear what happened in the jump off.

I hope someone is buying you a nice bottle of wine for your hard work!

I would say that if this meet were in Florida, there would be 1) some Florida 8-way teams and 2) a lot more rain. As far as wine goes, look for the guy wearing the Omniskore shirt at the banquet tonight ;-)

I'm not sure why it is, but Florida does seem to send out mostly 4-way teams, while Texas & Deguello like to think bigger.

Ah, just when I'm about to take a break and stretch my legs, someone hands me a CD full of pond swoop photos. Copy edit crop paste etc etc etc...

...that will have to wait...Airspeed's round 5 is up now...another fine show by Eloy's Boys (and girl), a 19, wagga wagga wows...Paraclete follows with another good jump, a 14...okay, now the Knights are up...OOH their 19 was just out, let's see how the judges rule...that was pretty sloppy yet sloppy fast...judges viewing a third time now...it's an 18, and Airspeed ups their lead to 3.

1600
Round 7 is in progress, no west for the reary...sorry, let me clarify, round 7 is in the air and round six is being judged...so much for powdering my face before the banquet ;-)...

SPECIAL BONUS POND SWOOP PHOTO PAGE!

1700
Airspeed is up for round 6...yet another good effort...a 17...Airspeed has the look of a team on a mission...really nice frisbee > frisbees...

...a reader doth write:

Phugoid 8 is from Z hills. That was in FL the last time I was there?

Still is, to be sure. And they are skydiving well. How many practice jumps do they have together?

Minutes later, another reader chimes in:

Tim - I'm in Washington, DC, rooting wildly for Airspeed, and your reporting should win awards!!! Wow - talk about being on the edge of my chair! Whew!! Thank you so much for making it so much fun to follow for those of us who can't be there!!

Now those are words to keep me going! Thanks! Anyone want to see steaming videos?

Our Phugoid writer reports that they don't have any practice jumps together. So not to belittle the team at all, I think that while they are an 8-way team and they are from Florida, they are not an 8-way team from Florida (Aflac duck quack here). ;-)

DOH - while I was quacking, the Knights posted a drive-by 16, the replay looked good. But with four rounds remaining, they trail Airspeed by 4...

Our Phugoid correspondent opines

Steaming? As in hot or angry? <evil grin> Gotta love spell check when you are using a real word !!!!

Long-time Tidbits readers would tell her "Tim does that every year." ;-)

Another Phugoid reader chips in:

Z-hills kids only do 8-way at the Turkey Meets! ;-) Unless Phugoid 8 did some practice jumps out in Perris, they had 0 practice jumps together. Pretty darn good for a pick-up 8-way team! And yes, streaming videos please! With sugar on top!

Yes, Phugoid is doing very well for a team with no practice jumps together. They are currently ahead of at least two other practiced teams in the standings. Nothing to quack at, for sure...

1730
Round 6 is almost in the can and half of 7 is judged, just starting the Open teams...steaming videos have been posted at the main page...

1745 - Ladies and germs, I'm going to duck out and clean up before the banquet, so if you're up late on the East coast, please know there will be no more web updates for at least an hour. Thank you.

1845
I'm back. A quick email:

What? No coverage of Intermediate 4-way, advanced 4-way, or intermediate 8-way either (on top of non-existent AE and CF)? What is this? The unofficial web site for only the open class 4-way and 8-way web site? This is ridiculous. Recognize your prejudices and find someone else to fill in the (huge) gaps.

If you think this is rough, you should see what I get from the AE and CF crowd. Sorry I can't please everybody! (Been searching for help for years). On to the banquet!

2030 Wrap-Up
Very nice banquet. Highlight of the awards was the Meritorious Achievement Medal (I think that's what USPA called it) to Michael McGowan. He gave the quote of the meet receiving the medal, speaking to all the competitors: "Without you, my viewfinder is empty." Congratulations to you Michael, your contributions to the sport are beyond a medal. You are truly unique. Thank you from all of us!

As for the e-mailer three  paragraphs above, I can only hope you understand how much work it is just to put the scoring results, photos, eye candy, and team  pages on the internet -- and that's not what I am here for. I run DZTV. I am a one man show and 98% of my audience wants to hear about the top teams. Everything else is, as we say at my work, time and materials.

But don't get me wrong - I love all competitors, I love this sport, and I love being here for you all. Thank you for being here.

Good night, see you tomorrow.

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