The Supreme Videographer Brent Finley!Monday, November 6

Okay, okay! The tidbits.htm page is fixed! Somehow that file was corrupted when I updated the photo last night. Sorry about that! ;-)

The weather forecast is not good for today, and there are high clouds as the sun tries to come out this morning. First call is for Women's 4-way round 5 at 0800.

As I drove home last night I reflected on the performances of the 4-way leaders. My impressions are:

  • Airspeed Vertical. Skydiving in a very clean, methodical style, yet very physical on the block moves and quick on the randoms. Their camera work needs to be steeper at times or they may not get credit for that occasional freeze frame point.
  • Perris France Maubeuge. My in box is peppered with “Allez France Maubeuge!” from some of their many fans. This young and very talented team is skydiving very fast, but sometimes they seem to lose synch with each other and stumble for just a moment. If they find their groove they will be very tough to beat.
  • DeLand Norgies. This team continues to impress me with their steady improvement and clean presentation to the judges. Some of their block moves show some creativity, possibly the influence of coach Solly Williams. They have really improved their random work since Corowa and I think they will be putting the heat on Vertical and Maubeuge.
  • FX. The defending cup champions showed their random prowess by scoring a 29 on round three, two better than the next best. If they can muscle through the blocks and avoid the bust bug -- and stay healthy -- I think they will be right there on round 10. And I'm still finding red and black FX Rocks around the DZ from the 1998 Nationals.
  • PD Blue. Their style resembles their DeLand training buddies (the Norgies) with a presentation that is probably the cleanest and easiest to judge of all the top teams, helped in no small part by the excellent camera work of Eric Taylor. These guys have come a long way in just a couple of years.

Bottom Line: The team that avoids mistakes will win. I give Airspeed Vertical the edge right now, but it is a very small one. We will see!

0800: Change of Plans
They are starting with 8-way this morning, and the four teams are on a call. It will be interesting indeed to see how the Russians and Airspeed 8 match up...

Airspeed 8 creeping under the eye of the Discovery channel.

Airspeed Blue door jamming for the eye of Tom Sanders.

Murphy is messing around with our mixer in the judges' room. Where's the Murphy repellant? T1 is running around with a big can of it. Go Bro!

8-Way has completed two rounds, and Airspeed 8 has jumped out to a quick 9 point lead over a bust-prone Russian squad. It would be an even bigger margin had Airspeed not been busted themselves on round 2. Meanwhile the ladies have finished round five, and Synchronicity holds on to their lead over Norway. The weather is holding up and the meet drives on... 1140, we are now on a weather hold that may keep us on the ground for a few hours. What the hey, I could really use the break anyway. Come back soon for an update.

Okay, everybody listen up, I'm going to admit it: I WAS WRONG. I have previously stated my mild opposition to having a female category for formation skydiving because 1) men have no physical advantage over women in freefall and 2) what's the point of a women's category without a men's category? Well, I'm going to withdraw my opinion. The Russian delegation is far more attractive than ever before!
;-) t2

1400: Day Two is Done
With a large storm system covering most of Arizona, the meet director got on the public address and said “First call is at 0800 tomorrow, and I'm headed for the bar.” With that comes the end of day two and a photo of the FS judges. See you tomorrow!

Formation Skydiving Judges:
Salmela Pekka   Barry McAuley   Klaus Wellens   Deby Daniel   Anne Maria Lund 
Elisabet Pettersson   Gail Bradley   Sara Sacchet   Bob Charter    Pia Holm
Rina Gallo   Julie Nichol   Pia Berggren    Doris Hunziker