Setup Bits

November 2
When I turned the corner into the DZ yesterday morning, I could immediately tell that hosts Larry and Liliane Hill have been busy with their never ending project of improving and expanding the facilities at Skydive Arizona. A new group of small buildings at the entrance appears to be a motel in the making. A row of shelters houses packing vendors near the swimming pool. Out in the landing area, a row of tents for each country sits on the edge of a lush green landing area that has been reseeded. In the main hanger, a redesigned judges' “fishbowl” occupies the east half, while the west side has bleachers set up in front of a large screen projector for DZTV. Teams are filtering through manifest; it looks like the turnout will be good, with some 14 countries attending. Noticeably absent: the U.S. Army Golden Knights and French 8-way teams, who have not competed head to head since the 1997 World Meet. Ah, but the Russians are coming, and they will give Airspeed 8 a good battle in 8-way. In 4-way, anything can happen; Maubeuge and Airspeed Vertical will likely battle for the gold, but FX and the Norgies are fully capable of pulling off an upset. It was FX, remember, that defeated Maubeuge in a memorable finish to the 1998 World Cup. Ah, but I am wandering from the subject at hand...

I will do my best to provide real time reporting as much as possible, but I will be alone running DZTV and I will not have much time to write during jumping. The webcam, however, will give you a peak into what is happening at the moment, as it will be live all the time. The team photos will take some time to gather and post, so please be patient if your team does not have a picture for a couple of days.

It should be a great show for spectators and competitors as all of the Formation Skydiving jumps will be judged live.