Skydive Spaceland SpaceBlog

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

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Nationals Day 3, Wednesday (10/14)

7:50 am: Well, at least it's not raining... but it is foggy. No loads have flown yet, but we're hoping to get in the air soon!

Foggy morning

8:15 am: We're still on the ground, but I've just been handed the last team photo... thanks everyone! Spaceland Blue: Your official team photo is just fine, but this one is much more fun:

Spaceland Blue

Spaceland Blue

And did you know we posted some more great photos late last night? Check out yesterday's post for that.

8:30 am: Still waiting... in the meantime, much of the hot discussion at the DZ centers around who will set a world record in round 6 (draw: A-N-H-P-O). Funny, most people seem to take it as a given that someone will make skydiving history today!

So let's talk about records. The current 4-way world record is 44 points in time (35 seconds), set jointly by Black Cat Team and Russian Team Extreme in 2006. (If two teams get the same record-setting score in the same round, they both are listed as world record holders.) There was one dive with more points--47 in time by DeLand Fire at a Florida Skydiving League Shamrock Showdown in 2006 (draw: F-M-P-O-E)--but Fédération Aéronautique Internationale judges were not present at that meet to certify the record, so it's not recognized by the FAI as an official one. Note that two of those DeLand Fire members are on Spaceland Force, but any of the top open teams are capable of some record-busting skydiving with this round!

Lastly but not leastly, Spaceland Blue has a good shot at setting a second world record today--that of most points in 4-way by an all-female team (current record: 30 points by Team Airkix in 2005).

Go teams, let's see some new records! :)

8:40 am: And we're on a call, stay tuned!!

8:55 am: This just in, I've just been told that the local news issued a mosquito alert for Southeast Texas this morning, and based on the number of skeeters I've been killing after multiple insect repellent showers per day, that's a legit alert... If you're not here yet, BRING BUG SPRAY!

10 am: Scores are rolling in; that CamScore system is letting the judges work VERY quickly. I believe they were through judging yesterday just about half an hour after the last load landed.

Advanced round 5 is fully judged; Ranch Fallout, SDC Furies XP, and Cross Keys Aerodyne all posted 14s. Havoc's 13 set them in second, one point back from Fallout, and the Furies are chasing Havoc by 3. Only 6 points separate the top four teams at the moment.

Tim Wagner noted that he was watching the most amazing aerial display earlier, before we started jumping--there were millions of mosquitoes being chased by thousands of dragonflies, who in turn were being hunted by hundreds of birds swooping and diving all around... My bet is we'll see even better aerial displays in round 6!

11 am: Open scores are going up, and everyone's buzzing about round 6... guess what, meet management feels so strongly that there's going to be at least one new world record that they're planning to briefly shut down jump operations so everyone can watch the top few open teams' judging video and see it for themselves!

Open scores are almost all in for round 5; Airspeed took a 28, now they're leading Force by 6. Force and Fury both scored 24s and are still 2 points apart.

Lots of intermediate teams have round 6 scores posted; VTSD won that one with a 15 and they're now leading Carolina Ice by 11. Ice put up a nice 14, NRG and Mamba scored 12s, and (G) CSC Pareto Optimal had a little trouble and dropped out of that third-place tie with a 9.

Spaceland Force scored an outstanding 45 points to claim a brand-spanking new world record 4-way skydive! Chief Judge Judy Celaya already had the paperwork prepped just in case; this one will go on the books very soon! CONGRATULATIONS FORCE!

More record setting probably comes best from our Twitter stream:


Congratulations to all our new record holders!!!

12:45 pm: OK folks, we've got your eye candy ready--video of the new world record claimed by Force!! (13.7 MB)

Spaceland Force

New world record claimers Spaceland Force

2:40 pm: We're up to load 40 on a call, going strong! In intermediate, lots of round 7 scores are posted; so far Kaliedoscope has the top score with an 11.

Advanced round 6 is fully judged--SDC Furies XP's 23 put them easily on top of that round, but Ranch Fallout's 21 keeps them on top of the pile. Havoc's 18 didn't get them any closer to the top, but it does keep them pretty comfortably in the bronze slot at least for now; Cross Keys Aerodyne is currently 6 points behind them.

In Open... you already know about Spaceland Force's stellar performance in round 6; unfortunately for them, they're still 5 points back from Arizona Airspeed. Perris Fury is 4 points behind, and the Golden Knights Gold are 6 points behind Fury.

It appears there was some confusion over the women's 4-way national records claimed earlier. Here's the deal: It appears that there is no official national women's 4-way record on the books, so whatever score SDC Furies XP or Spaceland Blue could rack up would be a record if/when certified. Since there were plenty of judges here to approve records--why not grab another national record? As one judge put it: Four records, 40 minutes, not bad! (Women's national record performance of 23 points by Furies, superseded by Blue's 26, plus Force's national record performance for the 45 points, plus their claimed world record performance for the same dive)

3:10 pm: Looks like VTSD posted the top intermediate score again in round 7 (14), they're pretty solidly in first with a 13-point lead over Carolina Ice. Open and advanced scores are rolling in for round 7 as well, stay tuned and stand by for photos...

4:20 pm: We're up to load 52 and the judging is going very quickly, as usual. Perris Fury topped Force and Airspeed's 21s in round 7 with a 22, but they're still three points behind Force, who's 5 points behind Airspeed. What a great meet for all of these teams, they've all got averages north of 25...

Advanced round 7 is done too, and check this out, the Furies posted a round-leading 14, 3 points over Fallout's 11, to take the lead back from Fallout by a point! Havoc is 5 points back after scoring a 10.

No surprises yet in intermediate; all of round 7 and most of the round 8 scores are in. VTSD won round 7 with a 14 and their total is a point ahead of Carolina Ice's even though their round 8 hasn't been scored yet (and Ice scored a 12 in rd. 8). Cross Keys NRG is 7 points behind Carolina Ice.


Everyone watching the claimed world record round by Spaceland Force
Spaceland Force interview with Scott Smith
Local TV interview with Spaceland Force
Golden Knights Gold Golden Knights Gold

4:40 pm: Update on intermediate: VTSD posted a 10, three points behind round leaders Spaceland Mamba and Air Force Groove. Those two are tied for fourth, five points out of bronze territory.

Open and advanced round 8 scores are starting to roll in, stay tuned for more!

5:35 pm: Round 8 is done for open and advanced... In advanced, things are pretty exciting! The Furies picked up two more points on Fallout with a 12; they now lead by 3. Coming from behind (third to first) like that is tough--nice job, girls! Havoc is 4 points behind Fallout, and CK Aerodyne is 4 more back.

In open, Airspeed rocked a 21, picking up another point on Force and two on Fury. Ten points separate the three teams; Force is 6 back from Airspeed and Fury is 4 behind Force...

Intermediate round 9 scores are rolling in, stay tuned!

5:50 pm: We're getting on to sunset and Otter 73 is on a 15-minute call. It'll be tight, but it sounds like we've got a shot at completing 4-way today... cross your fingers!

By the way, did you happen to catch the split-screen video capability from CamScore this afternoon? If you were here or watching the live feed online, you might have noticed a split screen with Airspeed and Force racing for the top score in round 6. We know how that turned out... but how cool is that! They tried a 3-way split with Fury in the mix as well; the videos didn't play quite so smoothly with that, but that's another cool trick!

7:10 pm: Busy afternoon! It was a photo finish, but all 10 rounds of 4-way have been completed (jumped). Barring any rejumps or jumpoffs, we're good to go! Judging proceeds at a fast pace and things are heating up in intermediate for the silver slot. Cross Keys NRG looked like a lock for bronze, but they had a hard time in round 9, posting a 6 while VTSD, Carolina Ice, and Spaceland Mamba all put up 12s. That brings Mamba within one point of the hardware! VTSD is still looking like a lock for gold with an 11-point lead over Carolina Ice.

Advanced is still a tight race; after round 9, the Furies are hanging on to a 3-point lead over Fallout after putting up a 12 (Fallout, CK Aerodyne, and DiZturbia all put up 12s also). Havoc scored a 10, losing 2 to Aerodyne, which leaves Aerodyne only two points out of the medals going into round 10.

Open: Airspeed, Force, and Fury all scored 23s in round 9, bringing us into round 10 with 6 points between gold and silver and 4 between silver and bronze. The Golden Knights Gold are 12 points out of the medals going into round 10.

It's getting exciting; stick around for the final report!

7:20 pm: The VFS draw and briefing will happen in 10 minutes. The awards program for 4-way is scheduled for 8 pm, and the 8-way draw and briefing will happen after that.

8:50 pm: And it's official!

Open Class:

  • Gold: Arizona Airspeed, 251 points, 25.1 average
  • Silver: Spaceland Force, 244 points, 24.4 average
  • Bronze: Perris Fury, 243 points, 24.3 average

Advanced Class:

  • Gold: SDC Furies XP, 131 points, 13.1 average
  • Silver: Ranch Fallout, 129, 12.9 average
  • Bronze: Spaceland Havoc, 121 points, 12.1 average

Intermediate Class:

  • Gold: VTSD, 131 points, 13.1 average
  • Silver: Carolina Ice, 115 points, 11.5 average
  • Bronze: Cross Keys NRG, 102 points, 10.2 average

Congratulations everyone, great skydiving in the face of some serious weather adversity and delays. Great job keeping it together!

Photos coming later, somebody bring the blogger a beverage... :-)

9:20 pm: Schedule for tomorrow: VFS has a 7 a.m. call for a 7:15 takeoff, and 8-way has a 9 a.m. call for a 9:15 a.m. takeoff (intermediate will be jumping first, then open).

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