A. Malevsky Memorial Meet

The Draw:
(1) 4 11 F, (2) J H 20 15, (3) 6 7 2, (4) C O 5 8, (5) 1 12 9, (6) B E 18 10, (7) P D K N 14, (8) M 22 G 3 (9) 13 L 21, (10) Q 19 17, (11) 16 A 14

Team Rd1 Rd2 Rd3 Rd4 Rd5 Rd6 Rd7 Rd8 Rd9 Rd10 Tot Rank
401 Wild Wind 17 14 18 17 17 15 16 9 13 - 136 6
402 RT Evolution 15 8 11 15 12 13 16 12 3 - 105 9
403 BBC 13 14 9 12 12 9 16 4 - - 89 10
404 Evolution-Pro 20 19 19 21 18 18 24 17 19 18 193 3
405 Synairgy 8 6 7 8 7 4 9 9 - - 58 13
406 Kolomna Quick Blue 13 15 7 12 13 11 1 12 - - 84 12
407 Sky Panthers 17 13 17 20 18 16 22 13 18 17 171 4
408 DeLand Majik 21 25 21 23 20 22 29 21 24 25 231 1
409 Denmark 11 12 14 14 11 9 17 14 12 - 114 8
410 Netherlands 10 9 12 13 12 10 14 9 - - 89 10
411 Japan 13 15 15 11 10 10 15 14 12 - 115 7
412 Switzerland 13 16 17 17 15 16 21 11 15 - 141 5
413 Arizona Airspeed 23 22 22 24 19 23 26 22 19 21 221 2

Wednesday, July 31

Well I just got the second report off using Toly's mobile phone 'Net connection, which advertises itself as 115k on the task bar but acts more like 5k. Way too slow to check any web pages, besides yahoo.com off course. So, T2, please e-mail me short versions of what's going on in the world. Also, if anyone sends me an e-mail, no attachments please, I can't open 'em.

Yesterday at 5:30 we were abruptly herded into buses and driven to a sports center in downtown Stupino for an genuine (always pronounced "jen-yoo-eyen") opening ceremony. Must not be much to do in Stupino on a Tuesday evening, there must have been a couple thousand people in the stands. Airspeed did one of their patented team landings; they and the Swiss and the Russian Evolution were the only teams to jump in.

From the ceremony, I rode in one of the Russian judge's car to the hotel, and stopped at a BP station (yup - British Petroleum) that had a modern convenience store that recognized a Visa card and how to use it. I bought a couple of bottles of recommended souvenir vodka and a large bottle of water. We got lost on the way to the hotel, but got to see more of the Russian countryside.

Round 2 is beginning. To finish round 1, DeLand Majik, making their first jump in Russia, did a clean 21, the Danes busted a 13 down to 11.

12pm -- about to break for lunch and in round 2, Airspeed looked rocky with a 22 while Majik downright rocked with a 25. One point lead for Majik after two! Where's my pickled tomatoes?

1pm -- lunch is always the same, a buffet consisting of an array of pickled veggies (lots of cucumbers, diced 'maters, cheese, olives, eggplant), with sliced ham and diced mystery meats on the side.

1:30pm -- Airspeed just got a 22 on round 3 to Majik's 21 -- a tie ballgame after three innings. It's already clear that these two teams are very evenly matched and the Nationals in September will be a helluva meet to miss. The pace is very good today, barely 90 minutes between jumps for most teams.

7pm -- Halfway through round 6 (and the ballgame is tied again after 5 innings). I hear the plan is to do only two rounds tomorrow, then take a whole day off Friday, then do semifinal & final rounds on Saturday. Perhaps a Moscow tour on Friday? That would be cool.

btw between typing notes here, I spend my time alternating very regularly among reading a David Baldacci novel, playing Spider Solitaire, wandering to the Big Blue Building to watch the top teams get judged, sneaking coffee from the judge's room, watching the Russian girls, and wondering how the D'backs are doing. I'd type more, but I'm trying to take as much of a break as I can from keyboards & computers. So there. No flames about lack of more or the laptop gets roof tested!

As soon as round 6 is in the can, I'm going to hook my laptop up to the scoring network, download the competition data, and get ready to head to town for what I hear is a higher speed 'Net connection. It would be nice to catch up some news. The two television channels are all Russian of course, and there are no English language newspapers or magazines anywhere to be found. No wonder the natives are so in awe of all these foreigners -- they hardly knew there was an outside world before. It makes the noodle boggle!

And now they're judging the last of round 6. Airspeed did a 23 and Majik does a ... come on judges, roll the tape! ... (as soon as this is done, I'm grabbing the data from the competition laptop and getting this e-mail off so T2 has Real Results to post) ... Graham Harding is doing video for Majik here ... here we go ... 22!

And off we go --

tee1drepovski ;)

Thursday, August 1st

The stuff I've written so far has been pretty haphazard, interrupted by Nescafe refills and fly slappings, so I don't recall what I've said about the organization here. In short, the organizers have done an excellent job in most aspects, and nothing less than a good job in everything. I have heard no complaints from any competitors (although that may have been because of limited expectations). The host put a lot of money and last-minute work into the DZ (and they're still working on it), from the big packing and spectator hangar (that's not really a hangar, like Eloy's), the best creeping pad I ever saw, a nice restaurant/lounge with a big, big outdoor deck, fresh concrete walkways, benches everywhere, and freshly planted grass imported from Holland that grows very fast and green. The judging/admin building is very adequate and has everything except air conditioning (but I have yet to see any A/C anywhere outside a modern imported car). This meet clearly means a lot to the Russians, and they're making every possible effort and more to make sure it's recorded as a top-notch Category 1 competition. And right now, they will have to screw up for that not to happen. Exi (Hoenle, the IPC controller) and BJ (Worth, IPC president and for this meet, jury president, and for that matter, the entire jury) have had nothing but glowing things to say about the level of effort.

My only complaint: the flies! Get rid of the damn flies!!! [slap]

Toly's here, e-mail time! I'll have rounds 7 & 8 posted after lunch --


11:30am, round 7 is wrapping up. This is a fast one, four randoms and bipole-bipole. Airspeed did a 26, they had a couple of glitches, while Majik looked solid with a 29, though the judges (enough of them anyway) gave them the bipole on the freeze-frame where I wouldn't have. Going into round 8, a two point lead for Majik, and the seesaw sees and saws. So far there have been four lead changes, and only one round in which both teams tied. They're now talking about doing the semifinal round (9) today, based on weather forecasts. Of course, I've always been a proponent of jumping as fast as the weather allows! You never know what might happen, not just the weather.

So the plan for OmniSkore is for it to go with Klaus to Germany where I will meet him on the 10th, in Gransee (northeast of Berlin). After the German Cup (it's not really a nationals), the system will go with Klaus back to Stupino for the Russian Nationals, then back to Germany again, where he'll ship it back to me in time for me to haul what's left of it to Illinois for our Nationals.

I hear Craig (on Airspeed) is not feeling well today. He must have the same thing that's crept into my plumbing...

1:15pm ... Stein"way" is about to dub round 8 ... a tough round to engineer ... they get a 22 ... up steps Graham ... and Majik falls just short of getting #22 in working time, and goes into the semifinal round with a one point advantage. Ladies and Germs, don't go away!!!

(And I've just been informed we are doing semi-finals today... after lunch ... so stay in that chair right there ...)

... and in round 9, Airspeed busts a 21 down to a 19, and Majik, after a bumpy exit, smokes a beautiful 24 on a tough skydive! Majik arrived here tired, ragged & harried, but are skydiving very impressively.

Beer light's on. Probably no report tomorrow, so tune in Saturday for the finals!

teeonedrepov :)

High Noon, Saturday August 3d

Wow. That's the word that repeats itself in my head when I recall the last 12 hours.

After spending an hour in the Internet cafe in downtown Moscow last night (a block from the Red Square), we (myself, Alya, Joey (Jones) and Solly (Williams, both of Majik, and a "Carson" (I think) from the Danish team) decided to at least try to find a sushi restaurant in town, and if we couldn't find sushi, something nice, with some wine. Besides having a nice meal, we wanted to kill a couple of hours before tackling the Friday night rush hour of Muscovites heading to the country for the weekend. Alya suggested we search around by foot, since driving around Moscow and finding parking was such a challenge. We made it less than five paces before Joey spotted a sushi bar directly across the street. Hmm, I wonder how many of these there are in Moscow?

We took the pedestrian tunnel under the street and took the stairs (past a "Security Guard", typed with sideways winks) down to the restaurant, and boy were we pleasantly surprised. It wasn't real crowded (yet), so we filled up five seats at the sushi bar, which was shaped like a fish's body (w/o the fins) and had a half dozen chefs (most of them Japanese) cutting fish. The bar featured a prepared sushi "conveyer" system common in Japan's sushi restaurant, where you take what you want as it travels around the bar, and stack the color-coded plates in front of you which determine the final bill. Last night, it was white plates = 90 rubles, yellow = 120, red = 150, blue = 170, and black = 190 (about 30 rubles to the dollar). Fortunately, the salmon sushi was on the white plates!

Anyway, this "conveyer" system was not like the mechanical ones I'd seen before. The bar had a genuine moat, and the sushi was placed on small wooden boats that lapped around the moat, connected by a tiny, almost invisible wire to keep them spaced about 10 inches apart. I'd have taken a picture, but my camera ran out of gas while I was stomping around the Kremlin.

Ninety minutes later the final bill for five people came in at 4200 rubles, not cheap but not bad either, we ate quite a bit (and I had sake, of course). Then, we hit the road back south to Stupino.

Moscow officially has a population of about 11 million, unofficially about 15. On Friday nights, every last one of them does what they have to do to find and get in a car that is heading in any of the directions out of town. And south was a very popular direction last night.

I've never seen anything like it. Most Muscovites can't yet afford nice cars, so the ones they do have (not being worth what we're used to) drive them with reckless abandon (after all, it's just a mechanical horse that's not going to kick or bite back). Most of the highway after we got past the edge of Moscow was typical 3-lane country highway, where the center lane (when there was one) was marked for making left turns and occasionally a passing lane. Only last night, the southbound traffic used the center/left-turn lane as an express lane. But wait, there's more! They also used the northbound lane, full bore. If you had to head north to Moscow, you were s*** out of luck! Oh, I know what you're thinking, just drive north on the shoulder of the road. Well, you couldn't do that either, 'cause people with the right kinds of cars were using _both_ shoulders for southbound traffic. Joey & Solly & I couldn't believe what we were seeing. A 2 or 3-lane highway, with five lanes of southbound traffic. We passed numerous accidents, about one every couple of miles. Never saw a cop, ambulance or other emergency vehicle. Most people involved in fender-benders just put it back in gear and keep on going. What else are you going to do? was the explanation. Brave Alya, charged her little ol' Audi through that mess like a champ.

Poor Joey and Solly. They had the adventure to end all adventures just getting from London to Moscow. If any of you remember the scrapes I went through to get a visa to Russia when I was in London a few years ago, that was like a weekend in Kauai compared to what Joey & Solly went through getting their airline tickets and visas (if and when I get the time, I'll try to retell it here, but it's quite unbelievable that those two ever made it to Moscow). Anyway on the 29th when they arrived in Moscow at 8pm, they waited for the Danes to arrive at 10pm so all could ride to Stupino together. Naturally, the Danes arrived at midnight. Naturally, they arrived without any luggage (the conveyer system broke at the airport in Copenhagen). After taking more than 2 hours getting through passport control and sorting out that there was no luggage, they finally hit the road around 3am. Joey & Solly crashed hard asleep in the back of the van, which cruised at 130kpm (about 75).

An hour after getting on the highway that first night, Joey & Solly were awakened by a loud thump and horrible screeching, and their van spun out and stopped, but somehow did not flip over. Later they figured out why. The driver had hit a large tire sitting in the center of the lane, and lacking the time to get out of the way, did his best to high-center the tire. It lodged under the van's axle, which gave it a pivot point, and lifted the back tires enough to make their brakes ineffective, so when the driver hit the brake pedal, the front brakes caused the van to spin around, fortunately on its new pivot point. J&S were tossed around a bit and scared witless, but survived to tell the tale. They made it to the hotel at 5am, just a few hours before the official competition was to start.

So during last night's journey, they were very nervous in the back seat. Every time Alya hit the breaks from someone cutting her off, I thought they were going to jump out of their own skins! And here they are now, a five point lead with one round to go in a Category 1 competition that has a five-figure cash prize. That's one way to earn it!

I got settled into bed last night about half past midnight, but it was not a pleasant evening. A platoon of sewer rats has infested my plumbing and they are partying hard. I had to visit the LBR more than a few times, and the only thing I could get down for breakfast was a small piece of bread with some butter and caviar.

The schedule for today didn't have us going to the drop zone until noon, so I took the time after bra-bra-bra-breakfast to lay down and relax. When I got to the DZ, ... wow. None of us were here yesterday of course, and we found out why. They had set up a band stand with a huge video screen and rock concert sound system. As of 12:30, there were 3000+ plus Russian spectators here listening to live pop music, drinking beer and lounging around. You'll just have to see the photos!

1:40pm -- all done but one team. Airspeed did a fast 25 but got zapped for an incomplete phalanx which resulted in an incomplete separation to the next point, so they had to settle for a 21. Majik is being judged now ... these guys are very impressive, only about 500 jumps as a team and looking like 5000 ... and Majik posts a clean 25 to win by double digits. Congratulations Majik! What a way to finish this adventure.

2:30pm -- The equipment is torn down, OmniSkore packed. The closing ceremonies are at 3:45. As soon as one of the translators is done with the tandem jump the judges bought for him (he's a 26-y/o Russian Army captain named Abu), Alya is driving me and Judy to Stupino to look for medicine, gifts and a lost debit card. Hopefully, at some point, Toly (who's only been visible as an occasional blur today) will show up with his laptop and mobile phone and I can get this off and the final results to T2.

They've _really_ got the music cranked up on that sound system out there! I'm in the judging building 150 meters away and I NEED EARPLUGS IN HERE (sorry, didn't mean to shout).

Okay Toly's here with his stuff. Home in two days --


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