TGIFriday 9 September

Walked out of the hotel room about 20 minutes ago, looked up, and for the first time this week I saw clouds, solid and low. The weather forecast is for it to clear up and be sunny and cooler. First call is supposed to be 8:00... am truly humbled...about a dozen emails similar to the last one I scanned before heading for breakfast:

Tim - ignore all those complainers!! We're all so fortunate to have access to your great contributions!! Yesterday was another thriller. Thank you again for your exciting reporting - can't wait for another great day today. And keep the "getting coffee and powering up" comments coming - puts it all in perspective and makes me feel almost as though I'm there.

Thanks! I really and truly appreciate the feedback and hope you enjoy the rest of the show. June Bug just handed me the 16-way team list and said the weather is supposed to clear up between 9:00 and 10:00. Slop slop hack hack...

Photo by Michael McGowanWhat's Your Berke Number?
Last knight I was - heh, is that muscle memory or what? - last night I was talking with Eric Harper and I posited that a fun skydiving game would be Six Degrees of Skydiving Separation, with Jack Berke in the role of Kevin Bacon (if you don't know what I'm referring to, see here). Jack, of course, is the long time leader (captain? general?) of Deguello, the Texas-based team that has been at every nationals since USPA adopted 20-way (now 16-way) as a nationals event. I trace my own roots to Jack and TeXXas 20-way competitions before I joined the army in 1987. Jack's Degeullo team this year has at least three other members from the original team: Mary Ellen Weber, Jerry Elkind, and Tom Jenkins. I bet there are many, many skydivers out there with very low Berke numbers. What's your Berke number?

16-way team pages are up, of course no photos will be there for a while...Canopy Piloting results may be found here...

...a completely shameless use if this public space to say HAPPY BIRTHDAY to my daughter Reagan, she is one year old today. Happy birthday sweetheart! I miss you! (to see both of the offspring, clickenzee HERE).

Yes yes yes, there are lots of you out there with a Berke number of 1. I'd like to hear from someone who was on that team from Skydive Orange that had a member that used to jump with that team from The Ranch that had a girl that was on that team from DeLand that had a guy who used to jump with that team from Skydance that had one of the old Gumbies okay you get the idea. Anyone out there with a Berke number of 5 or 6?

Ducking outside for a weather check...I see a sucker hole to the south...looks like it will be clearing up soon...I'm trying to find out who is making the Nationals video this year, and as soon as I have the answer I'll post it on the main page....

All the photos on this page from here down are by Michael McGowan.

Blue skies and 15-minute calls have arrived...'s Friday, and if 10-way completes tomorrow as scheduled I will be going home early Sunday morning. If I have not put up any final results for any events by then just email me a reminder.

I want to take a minute to thank you all for the great support and wonderful feedback. Thank you judges, and thank you Skydive Perris for taking good care of us, thank you Kurt for your truly selfless work on the NSL, and thank you USPA for quietly but effectively doing all the right things that keep our sport moving forward.

The 16-way draw has been posted on the main page. Rounds 3 and 5 look like the fastest ones, but I don't see a world record falling today...if you haven't been doing so, check out the daily photos at

A little delay getting the 1st round dubs in, starting 16-way judging may as well is up, jumping as a guest team, and will the judges see that wrong grip at the end...yes, well the girls did anyway...Deguello up next, and oh they were having a good jump until a line got hooked on a leg on a hip > hop and they settle with a comes Majikal Knights on Fire, they have a terrible exit, a Keystone Cops first point, followed by a hurry-up score of Airspeed, the masters of the 16-way exit, they nail this one and post a solid 10 to take the early lead...that MKF jump should make the blooper reel for sure, and they'll be the first to say so...after me, of course...I think they are very lucky to trail by only three after that, Airspeed had a fast first point but they were a bit sloppier than MKF in turning the points...

Round 2...Vengeance Express draws a chuckle from the judges as a member lances the first point in two and the camera flyer claps in front of the lens...YAY, may as well just got their 4th point inside the freeze frame...that's my favorite camera helmet to the right, beautiful RW&B by the Deguello camera they are for round 2...SWEET skydive guys, that was a nice 9 points on the board for you...MKF now...another poor exit followed by another hurry-up, this time a score of 10 busted to a 9...check that, it's an 11 busted to a 10...Airspeed now, a nice exit but one guy goes low on it, but they recover quickly for an 11, well check me again, they were busted to a 10, and the lead stays the same after the 2nd round... if MK on F can work the kinks out on the exit, they could put some heat on Airspeed...

Round three, this should be fun...may as well a.k.a. maw starts us out with a 4...VEX gets a 5 on their jump...Deguello up next, a lost jumper makes for a slow first point and they will settle for a 9 on this one...what say you, MKonF? Here we go...ewe...soup sandwich...liver & onion pizza...peas & carrots smoothie...judges are going to have to chew on this one for a while, and it don't taste very good...okay, it's a 12 popped down to a 10...Okay Airspeed, show us how it's they go, very nice exit, looking good, looking okay, now it's their turn for the soup sandwich near the end so let's see what the judges spit out this time...this skydive looks fast on paper, but there are some difficult traffic issues...Airspeed has 16 no 17 in time, but how many are busts...the judges are watching it for a 4th time now, and I've watched the score go from 15 to 12, which is about what I counted...Airspeed, you guys owe the judges beer for putting them through this...and it's posted now, a 17 popped down to a 12. 5 busts. Phew. ;-) so half way through 16-way Airspeed has a 5 point's how the judges ruled on Airspeed's round 3:

Scoring Summary - Round 3
         1  2  3  4  5  6  7  8  9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17   TOT
Charlie  -  -  -  -  -  -  0  -  -  -  0  -  -  -  0  -  -    14
Judy     -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  0  0  -  -  -  0  0  -    13
Christy  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  0  0  I  -  -  0  0       11
Barb     -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  0  0  I  -  -  0  0  -    12
Rina     -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  0  0  I  -  -  0  0  0    11
Result   -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  0  0  I  -  -  0  0  -    12

No no no, I'm not getting on Airspeed's case, just having a little fun with 16-way...

An email pops in:

Hey Tim: Make us all a little more happier and upload some 16 and 10 way videos. They're fun to watch. Great job!!!! keep it that way!!!! next stop for DZTV is the world cup?

As always, your wish is my command. Of course, no 10-way videos until tomorrow. Steaming 16-way videos are posted on the main page. And yes, OmniSkore will be at the World Cup, but alas, I will not be there during the week. I'm trying to talk my Dad and others to fill in these pages for me.

Hey, round 4 is up...nice job maw! Another 4 points on the board for you...VEX now...well hey guys, a 1 is better than a goose egg, eh? A three busted down to a one. Hey, don't try to sneak anything by these judges today...Okay here comes MKofF...looks like a 10 busted to a 9...and it is...hey look, I just won the DE LOTTO NETHERLANDS INTERNATIONAL LOTTERY PROMOGRAMS  for the 6th time this comes Deguello, looking mighty fine, they put another 9 on the board and they are the only team skydiving clean right now...Here's Airspeed now...more Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde skydiving, an 11 dropped to a 9...they are solidly in first place, but it hasn't been very pretty...

Round six is taking off and I can hear a beer calling my we go with round 5...hey, will one of the two viewers still awake out there please bring me a cup for this wine? NICE jump maw, a 6 up for you! I heard someone outside say "world record" about this round, but I don't know about that...I just heard the last comp load get a 10-minute call...VEX now up and they get a 5 ouched down to a's Deguello, GO TEXAS oops how'd that come out...looking good, and they are into double digits with a 10, nice jump! Here's MKofF...another sub par know the old adage about if you don't have something nice to say about something? Well that jump rendered me about speechless ;-) ...judges are still working on it....and it's a 9 brought down (I'm tired of busted, okay?) to a 6....and how about this, after five rounds Deguello is tied with's Airspeed...nice it...could it be...not a world record...but hey...IT'S A CLEAN 16! Okay then. Airspeed has a lock on the gold medal, but we have a showdown for the silver between MKofF and Deguello...

An email:

Thanks, for posting the video, you're doing a great job as always. Question, look at round 3, did Airspeed build any of the Spiders correctly. In the 2nd point watch the guy in the lower right of the screen, he docks on the 2-way not on the tail of the diamond. Just curious.

Indeed, a review of the tape shows that points 2 and 6 -- double spiders -- were missed by the judges (who are otherwise doing a fabulous job). So that 12 should have been a 10, but it won't make any difference in the end, they would still have a 13-point lead and could probably sit out round 6 and still win...

OKAY THEN. On with round 6! First up, maw...looks like a 4 spot...and it's posted, nice jump...VEX steps up next...a 5...and now Deguello up to the batter's box...a little slow out the door, but picking up 11! What say you judges...this is a hard jump to judge...this is going to be a major pickup for Deguello if they capture the silver's on the board, and 11! Wow. Here comes MKofF...this is way fun...omigosh it's dark and hard to see the video...not a good exit...and it's not going to be enough! A 9! Deguello is going to win the silver medal! How about that team from Texas! What a finish for 16-way! Deguello overcomes a 4-point deficit on the last two jumps to overtake Majikal Knights on Fire...holy cow...MKofF's jump was officially a 7...we are having a little delay because the OmniSkore system got so excited for Deguello that it locked up and they have to reboot the system ;-)...congratulations Deguello, that was a well-earned medal...and finally Airspeed is up to close it out, they score a solid 14 to win the gold by a margin of 18. This one was definitely one for the books. That's all for tonight, see you for 10-way tomorrow!

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