OmniSkore Coverage - World Parachuting Championships, Corowa, Australia

Tidbits (Timbits + Tedbits)

Thursday, October 21 -

Competition day one is here! Opening ceremonies coming up later this morning. Based on the practice jumps we saw yesterday, there will indeed be a great shootout for the Ottley Swords as Airspeed battles Maubeuge and Russia in 4- and 8-way respectively.

Please don't be shy about sending me e-mail and letting me know any mistakes, broken links etc. Apparently there are a few people who can't load these pages and I don't know why. I have an old 486 running IE3 and Netscape 4 sitting next to me here, and it loads the pages just fine in both. By the way, the Webcam will not have good performance from here. We have more than a dozen computers sharing a single 24k dial-up connection and bandwidth is a very tight commodity. Expect maybe one frame every 10 seconds or so at best.

The weather is cool, beautiful and sunny. The organizer has finished erecting the team tents in a large U-shape in the landing area and the delegations are making themselves at home. HEY USA - send your e-mail to me and I'll print it out for the boys. They will love your support!

The 8-way practice jump was Snowflake > Inout > Bipole Donuts, Springbok, Tees > Donuts. USA scored a 26, Russia a 25, and France did not jump.

Team USA

Team USA pauses for a photo prior to the opening ceremonies.
Click on the image for a larger one in a new window.

Opening ceremonies are under way and I just got back from a walkabout with my camera:

76 trombones are not leading the parade!

USA 8 dirt dives round 1

The crowd watches as...

...the delegations line up.

Texas crop dusters and.... Australian SUV.

The "Crop Dusters" and the "SUV" are putting on a show for the crowd right now, and just about as soon as they are done the first teams will be on a call - for 8-way, Freestyle, and Skysurf. Now let the games begin!

Almost done with round 1 of 8-way. Russia did a 22 busted to a 20 and Airspeed is about to be judged...and...they...are waiting for Stevie to dub the tape, he's standing in line still...okay here they go...pretty rough start, but they cleaned it up on the bottom, and it's a...22! Got that last point just in time, they had really good composure after that rough start. Round one of 8 is done!

Freestyle & Skysurf fans, please be patient for the photos and scores, things are going to be very hectic for a while ;-)

Mowing on into round 2, France is on the big screen now, and they have a very nice looking jump going...round 2 is a pretty fast one, the Aussies had a nice 18 moments ago...and France has a...a 21, they took a bust in there, but they have picked up three points over Australia for third place. Russia and USA coming up shortly. Well, that was quick, as the boys from Arizona are being cued up next we go...really nice pace on the bottom of that one again, and they post a 25, very nice and smooth! Russia is next, I think their camera work is in drastic need of improvement, and they also do a 25 but it's busted to a 23. And so now Airspeed's lead is 4 points after 2 rounds, with a long way to go.

Oops, there is a bug in our 8-way standings table, we'll have it fixed here shortly, it's not showing the results in the right order after two completed rounds.

Just around the corner from the DZ-TV
room, the controlled chaos of video dubbing.

Russia busted again in round 3, a 22 down to a 20, and USA did a clean 20. Russia is matching Airspeed on the throttle, even going faster in round 3, but the clean jumping team is out in front by 4 after 3 rounds. France set the standard on round three though, posting a clean 22, and they are 5 points behind Russia. Way to go France!

A study in contrast, Russia and USA. Russia looks very sloppy compared to the US team, and their video is not nearly as steep or close. Take a look at their scoring summaries, it's the proverbial "tale of the tape." If Russia can clean up their skydiving, they will really put some heat on the competition. They are very talented and experienced and quite capable of putting some really big numbers on the board.

Beer Thirty
Actually, that be wine thirty, as this part of Australia is quite well known for its fine array of varietals and I'm sipping a nice red one now. The championships are off to a great start and the next nine days should tell a wonderful story.

When I made a quick trip out to the boarding area before round one to get some team photos, I saw Airspeed walk all the way out from the team tents just to shake hands with the Russians and say good luck. The Russian > USA rivalry has grown over the last few years, and last year it was Russia that gave the Golden Knights a run for their money at the World Cup in Portugal. I say it again - expect a terrific battle from these two teams. If Russia can avoid the bite of the bust bug there will be fire at the finish line. Go USA, but may the best team win - in all events.

Good night, and have a pleasant today!