Skydive Spaceland SpaceBlog

News and thoughts about what's going on at Skydive Spaceland, our state-of-the-art skydiving facility near Houston, Texas.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Nationals day 5, Friday (10/16)

8:15 am: We've been on a cloud hold, but load 1 is on a call; here we go!

9 am: We've got some really fantastic photos from the last day or two coming up for you soon, stay tuned for that! In the meantime, it's a busy time here at Skydive Spaceland. Currently we've got four events jumping--vertical formation skydiving (two teams) and 8-way finishing up, plus the artistic events have begun (freefly open/advanced and freestyle). And the 16-way registration will be closing today at 11 a.m., with draw and jumping to commence after 8-way jumps complete. Six rounds for 16-way... competitors are hoping we can squeeze all that in today after 8-way, but that event may run into tomorrow. We'll keep you posted!

We've got 6 teams registered now for 16-way; you've got time, keep 'em coming! :-)

SPX8 shirt Deguello shirt

Skydive Spaceland says... Go home teams!

11:10 am: Looks like finished 16-way registration with 6 teams: Deguello 17 and Arizona Airspeed of course, plus Staff Infected, Havoc SPX, Rogue Knights, and Rain on Saturday (Noooo!!).

8-way open has another round on the board, and Airspeed's still on top after matching the Knights' 15. Paraclete gave up four points to them on that round; their 11 was matched by Perris Moxie and Spaceland BFE Elsinore. Dallas Rogue posted a 13. Deguello 9 has withdrawn to practice 16-way, finishing with a 7.63 average in the 8 rounds they jumped... see you soon in the 16-way standings!

...and Airspeed/Paraclete have gotten scores for round 8; they've both posted 19s, and the Knights have yet to be scored.

In 8-way intermediate, Perris Cobra Kai and Ranch Deliverance both got 7s in round 8; Deliverance is still 10 points back. We've got a close race for bronze between Dallas Fusion and JellO Slots; Fusion has a one-point advantage at the moment.

Freefly/freestyle judging is off to a slow start; we'll bring you those results as soon as we can.

In the meantime... photographic stylings by Craig O'Brien:

Golden Knight Landing 8-way at sunset

11:25 am: The Knights also scored a 19 in round 8; they're hanging right in there, but making up 5 points in two rounds to take gold over Airspeed is a tall order... Freefly scores are coming in, IsIs is out to a one-point lead in intermediate over the InLaws. In open, SoCal Converge is up 2.1 points on Nor Cal Revolt.

More photos, this time by Ori Kuper (mostly):

Freestyle, ow...
Arizona Arsenal Tshirt

1 pm: We're still going strong here at Spaceland, it's a gorgeous sunny day with a high of 79 (what a welcome change!).

Perris Cobra Kai wins 8-way intermediate! Ranch Deliverance takes silver, and there will be a jumpoff later for bronze between Dallas Fusion and JellO Slots! Stay tuned, and congrats to all for a great performance!

Open judging isn't complete yet, but the three leaders have been scored and Paraclete XP beat up on both the Knights and Airspeed with a solid 20 in round 10 (Airspeed scored a 19 and the Knights took a 17). It wasn't quite enough to pull them up out of third, though; they finished 2 points behind the Knights with a total of 187 (Knights 189), and it looks like Airspeed will take the event with a total of 196 points!

2 pm: MAJOR drama in the judging room earlier... An 8-way intermediate team's videographer effectively shut down a judging panel for about 15 minutes by diving off the top of the Otter to the right (after sitting on top) instead of exiting from the left-side camera step. There are a couple of issues with this, the first and foremost being the safety issue. If the videographer should strike the tail on exit, the worst-case scenario involves damage to the tail that compromises the aircraft's maneuverability enough to result in a crash.

Secondly, when you put an airplane between yourself and the team, you're guaranteed to lose sight of them, which could certainly compromise their score.

While there was some pretty capable flying on the part of the videographer in that his team was out of frame for only about a second or less, that counts for exactly nothing. Instead, the team received a zero and the DZO ejected the videographer from the drop zone for the rest of the event. Fun is fun, but putting safety issues in front of a panel of national and international judges at the United States Parachute Association Nationals is not smart.

Here's what chief judge Judy Celaya had to say about it on the scoresheet:


2:30 pm: And it's official, Arizona Airspeed takes home the gold in 8-way open, followed by the Golden Knights with a silver and Paraclete XP for bronze. Congratulations to the winners!!!!

We're still waiting on the jumpoff results for 8-way intermediate bronze, stay tuned...

Freefly open scoring hasn't progressed, but intermediate has round 2 judged and IsIs has widened their lead over SDH Outlaws to 2 points, with InLaws only 0.3 points back from Outlaws. (Crooks and straights, anyone? :-)

2:45 pm: Just heard that there is currently no feminine national record for most points in an 8-way skydive, likely because there is not yet a category for it... Hey Moxie, want to talk to the competition committee about that? That was a pretty sweet 15 points in round 4!

3:40 pm: Dallas Fusion bested JellO Slots by one point in the jumpoff to take the intermediate bronze medal! Great job guys, congratulations!!!!

4:30 pm: Awards presentation for VFS and 8-way will be at 7:30 pm. 10-way registration will close TONIGHT at 7 pm. Draw at 7:30 Scores are rolling in for freefly and freestyle; in freefly open, it's still SoCal Convergence by 6.9 points over Orlando XP. Nor Cal Revolt is in third by 2 points, and guest team Romance is only 0.10 point in fourth. Intermediate round 3 scores are rolling in; we'll catch up on that in a bit.

16-way round 1 is complete and round 2 scores are showing up; so far it's Airspeed with a strong lead, starting with their 11 in round 1 (nearest neighbor Golden Knights scored a 7, followed closely by Deguello's 6). Rain on Saturday was next with a 4. (Did you know that team originally was two teams--Rain on Saturday and Wind on Sunday? :) It looks like we'll get through three rounds of 16-way today.

In freestyle open, Team Flew Id is 0.9 points up on Dragons after one round's judging. Suicide Transition is 1.8 points back, with CSC Trinity chasing 1.1 points.

...we're up to three 10-way teams, let's keep it up!

5:55 pm: Two rounds into 16-way and Airspeed's still on top with a 23 after pulling a 12 in round 2, same as the Knights who are 4 points back. Deguello got a 9, and they're 4 more points back, followed by Rain on Saturday (that's just wrong) 5 points back.

In freefly intermediate, IsIs is broadening their lead over InLaws, but that last round was pretty close, they were only 0.1 points up. SDH Outlaws are just 0.2 points in third, no doubt hungry for that brighter silver...

VRW Advanced has had a bit of a changeup; remember that two of the three teams finished yesterday, but Elsinore VFS had people doing 8way as well... today they're rolling, they've taken the gold medal by 7 points over Gravity Rats (total score: 35)! Congratulations Elsinore VFS!! Proskydiving VFS picks up third place with a total score of 8.

And lastly, VRW Open is complete as well--no surprises there, Arizona Arsenal is still on top. Spaceland Vertical Force did not meet manifest calls after round 3, so they remain in third place behind SDC Standard XP.

Congratulations everyone!!

6:30 pm: Woohoo, Deguello just took off for round 4, looks like we're a little ahead of schedule! Round 3 is partly judged and it's still Airspeed on top; they scored a 10. Deguello and the Knights tied with 7s. More to follow!

Let's talk 10-way... I don't know if everyone is aware of this, but there's a judges' award for the team that entertains the judges the most after the scoring formation is built. Skydivers are so creative--show us your ideas and win a prize! :) (Boy, I sound like a carny... but it sure makes for great video to watch later over beverages!)

By the way, I hear some new formations are being proposed for the 10-way pool, and there's no reason you couldn't practice one or a few of them after scoring your time as there's no longer a rule against it! Or come up with your own, or whatever--have fun, that's what 10-way is all about!

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Thursday, October 15, 2009

Nationals Day 4, Thursday (10/15)

7:40 am: Good morning everyone! I hope you all had a great time partying it up last night after seeing some 4-way history being made!

Back to it... after a brief morning cloud delay, vertical formation skydiving load 1 is in the air. Team rosters coming soon along with photos from last night's awards ceremony, stand by!

8:05 am: I must be getting a little practice at this; team rosters for VFS open and advanced are done with the photos I have... I suppose it never hurts that there are only three teams registered for each division, more's the pity. With only three teams registered per division, only two medals will be awarded per division.

8:20 am: I think we neglected to mention the results of our favorite fun team name poll from a few days ago--here they are, Staff Infected (16-way) ran off with the vote at 58%, followed by the Amphibious Attack Tigers (4-way) at 17%. Thanks to everyone who voted!


Now here's a current interest poll: Let us know your feelings on this one!

9 am: 8-way roster pages are done (10 teams in open, 6 in intermediate); we'll add photos later on when the teams get their photos made.

9:30 am: VFS round 1 is judged for open and advanced, and 8-way teams are in the air. Elsinore VFS is out to an early 3-point lead in advanced with their 5 points in round 1, while SDC Standard XP and Arizona Arsenal are tied at 42 points after round 2 (wow!).

The VFS results pages are up and rolling, keep hitting the refresh button to see the latest scores!

10:45 am: Sorry for the delay folks... the 8-way draws are now posted and VFS scores are still rolling in! After round 3, our tie for the top in open is now broken--Arsenal topped Standard by one. Standard actually did one more point, but got busted back to one under with an incorrect inter and a video angle bust...

Bribing the chief judge? :)

Is this like bribing the chief judge? :)

10:55 am: We're just about caught up for the moment, VFS draws are posted and 8-way scores are starting to roll in. In Intermediate, round 1 is judged and it's Perris Cobra Kai out to an early lead with a 7, 2 points ahead of Ranch Deliverance and 5 points ahead of guest team Perris Blue Ice.

In Open, the only two teams judged so far, Deguello 9 and guest team Perris Stun, are tied at 7.

12:20 pm: ...this just in, Standard just blew out round 4 of VFS open with a 35! And so did Arsenal! So the latter is still one point in first. Looks like it's going to be a close race all the way to the wire.

In Advanced VFS, Elsinore VFS is still three points ahead of Gravity Rats despite being the only team without a round 4 score.

In 8-way open, Arizona Airspeed and the Golden Knights are tied at the top with 15s in round 1, with Paraclete 8 only one point back. In intermediate 8-way, Perris Cobra Kai has a 4-point lead over Ranch Deliverance after two rounds judged, and there's a three-way tie for third between guest team Perris Blue Ice, Jell-O Slots, and Dallas Fusion.

Photos coming soon... really!

1:50 pm: Round 2 is judged for all 8-way, and in intermediate Perris Cobra Kai is out in front by 4, with Ranch Deliverance 7 points ahead of Dallas Fusion. It's tight at the top of the open class; Airspeed is still on top; the Golden Knights and Paraclete 8 are tied one point back. Dallas Rogue is next with a 26 total after two rounds.

In VFS open, Arizona Arsenal picked up another point on SDC Standard XP; the point totals are 116/114/20. The third-place team, Spaceland Vertical Force, is two rounds behind on judging because at least one member is also competing in 8-way...

VFS advanced: After round 3, Elsinore VFS is 6 points up on Gravity Rats, with Proskydiving VFS in third.

Just found out that team 416, Voluntas (G), set a Danish national record with their 29 points in round 6 yesterday--congratulations, guys! Records all around! :)

2:35 pm: PHOTOS!!!!! (From yesterday and today)
Team landing
Skydive Chicago gloves
Danish national record holders Voluntas
Bribing the judges?? :-) Sunset skydive
Sunset breakoff
Perris Fury

3:21 pm: We're up to round 6 scores in VFS open, and it's starting to look like an even barfight! SDC Standard XP just picked up 3 points on Arizona Arsenal to lead by one. Spaceland Vertical Force is wayyy back, but they're also three rounds behind on scoring since at least one member is doing both VFS and 8-way.

In intermediate, Gravity Rats are now 5 points ahead of Elsinore VFS, but VFS is also three rounds behind on judging for the same reason as Force.

8-way open: Airspeed is still on top after round 3, but only by 2 points. Paraclete and the Knights are tied at 50.

8-way intermediate: Round 3 is in, round 4 is partly scored; Perris Cobra Kai is still on top after posting 8s in rounds 3 and 4, but their nearest neighbor Ranch Deliverance hasn't been scored for round 4 yet. Dallas Fusion is still in third, with Perris Blue Ice two points back.

More photos coming!

3:50 pm: I've heard a few comments about the judging going slowly, but it's not really just that. It's true that there are fewer judges here now than there were for 4-way, so they are running two panels instead of three--but even though we're running two events concurrently, there are only 22 teams jumping at the moment. That's only two-thirds of the number of teams jumping during 4-way in intermediate alone--so there are also quite a bit fewer skydives to score.

Enough about that, how about some photos of our 4-way award winners from last night?

Arizona Airspeed

Open Gold Medalists: Arizona Airspeed

Spaceland Force

Open Silver Medalists: Spaceland Force

Perris Fury

Open Bronze Medalists: Perris Fury

Advanced Gold Medalists: SDC Furies XP

Ranch Fallout

Advanced Silver Medalists: Ranch Fallout

Spaceland Havoc

Advanced Bronze Medalists: Spaceland Havoc

Intermediate Gold Medalists: VTSD

Carolina Ice

Intermediate Silver Medalists: Carolina Ice

Cross Keys NRG

Intermediate Bronze Medalists: Cross Keys NRG

4:15 pm: Yahoo, Airspeed just ripped a 27 in round 4 of 8-way open; let's see what Paraclete and the Knights can do with it...

Ranch Deliverance gave up one more point to Perris Cobra Kai, so they're 5 points back. Dallas Fusion is sitting 13 points from Deliverance; Perris Blue Ice is two points back, still in the hunt!

5:05 pm: It's getting hot in here... or at least in VFS Open... Arizona Arsenal returned the favor to SDC Standard XP, beating SDC's round 7 score of 20 with a 23 to take the lead by 2! Looks like we might try to finish up VFS tonight, and get through about round 6 of 8-way before sunset.

Scores are incomplete for 8-way open round 4, we're still waiting to see what the Golden Knights and Paraclete XP do with it. Dallas Rogue put up a 19 and Perris Moxie scored a solid 15. Nice job, girls!

SCHEDULE UPDATE: The 16-way briefing will be held tonight at 7 pm, but the draw will be held TOMORROW (Friday) after 8-way completes. Tonight's briefing will cover much of the same ground as the 4-way/8-way/VFS briefings, but if you haven't attended any of those, you need to be here tonight.

Registration check: Currently we have 4 16-way teams registered, but only 2 10-way teams... 10-WAY, GRRRRRR!!!! Come on, pick up a team and have some fun! Free coaching by the blogger if you can catch me outside the media room and not busy! :)

5:30 pm: Just heard Arsenal had a camera mal and rode the plane down for round 8, they're holding VFS open judging until they jump that round.

In 8-way open, the Knights posted a 23, putting them 6 points behind Airspeed. No word on Paraclete XP's score yet, stay tuned...

5:50 pm: In VFS Open, SDC Standard has put up a 13 in round 8 to finish the competition with a total of 163, average of 20.38. Nice scoring, guys! We're still waiting to get Arsenal's round 8 video in to see who comes out on top.

In the meantime, we have a couple more photos from last night...

Boyd family
Advanced bronze medalists Spaceland Havoc going to the stage Scott Elmer and Brett Thomas

6:15 pm: Still no round 8 score for Arsenal; the judges are working on 8-way. Note to competition videographers: There are a couple of things the judges really don't like to see that they've just been observing. #1: Date/time stamps on the footage--they an obscure grips especially if the video is far away. #2: Secondary (non-team) videographers getting in the frame of the team's videographer--it's distracting visually to the judges, plus the team's videographer often finds it quite difficult to keep from moving his/her head to glance at the secondary videographer when that person comes into their periphery.

In VFS open, Spaceland Vertical Force still has only 3 rounds on the board but they haven't withdrawn; it's far from a complete meet... in advanced, the Gravity Rats are currently on top with a total of 28, but Elsinore VFS also only has 3 rounds on the board.

In 8-way open, the Knights have scored a 23 in round 5, but Airspeed, Paraclete, Rogue, SPX8, and Spaceland BFE Elsinore have yet to be judged.

8-way intermediate: Five rounds are judged and Perris Cobra Kai is looking pretty solid with an 8-point lead over Ranch Deliverance. Dallas Fusion is securely in third, 12 points behind Deliverance, 2 ahead of (G) Perris Blue Ice, and 6 ahead of JellO Slots.

6:30 pm: Arizona Arsenal turns in a 20 in round 8 to open up an almost unbeatable lead in Vertical Formation Skydiving Open, 7 points ahead of SDC Standard XP, total lead of 9! (Spaceland Vertical Force hasn't completed competition)

7:00 pm: Well, the day is wrapping up and it's been an interesting one. 8-way judging is still going on, and after round 6 Perris Cobra Kai is still solidly on top of the intermediate class. Ranch Deliverance is 9 points back, and Dallas Fusion is sitting in the third spot 18 points down, 2 up on (G) Perris Blue Ice and 4 on JellO Slots.

8-way Open's round 5 is fully judged, and the Golden Knights ruled that one with a 23 (2 ahead of Airspeed and 1 up on Paraclete). It's not enough yet though; Airspeed is still 4 points up on the Knights with an even 100 point total, and 5 up on Paraclete. Home teams Deguello and SPX8 both posted 8s to end the day with 41 and 36 points, respectively.

Hey, I just saw a round 7 score pop up for SPX 8, a 9--stay tuned for more scores! By the way, OmniSkore! engineer Jan Meyer sent in a few notes to add to the Camscore vs. OmniSkore! post...

9:45 pm: 7 am show for 15-min. call for artistic events and intermediate 8-way tomorrow, 7:15 am show/15 min. for open 8-way. Round 6 of 8-way open was done a while ago (hey, the blogger gets a hang-out break occasionally!) and Airspeed's still on top after scoring a 19; the Knights tied that score and Paraclete was 1 back, so there is now a 6-point spread between first and third places. In four more rounds, anything can happen! See you bright and early for more 8-way!

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