1997 U.S. Nationals Tidbits (Timbits + Tedbits)

  By Tim & Ted Wagner. Opinions registered on this page do not necessarily reflect that of Perris Valley Skydiving, or anyone else for that matter.

Sunday, October 5- Official Practice

Four twin otters and a skyvan ran pretty much nonstop today and yesterday, once the morning fog lifted around 10:00 a.m. It looks like it's going to be one of the biggest nationals on record, if not the biggest, as I believe we have 23 open and 43 intermediate teams in 4-Way alone. The competitors briefing is tonight, with the official draw for 4-way. You can see the draw by clicking on a column header on the standings page for the 4-way and 8-way open events. The intermediate events use the same draw, but perform only the first three or four points before repeating the formations. Stay tuned here for complete coverage!

Name trivia: There are four 4-way teams with the name "Sebastion" in them, five with the name "Elsinore," and twelve with the name "Perris."

Monday, October 6

8:30 a.m.
The 1997 U.S. Nationals gets under way with...a weather hold. A low overcast has 69 4-way teams sitting around drinking coffee, but it is supposed to clear by this afternoon.

4:00 p.m.
The clouds cleared enough to start jumping around noon, and at this writing we are almost finished jumping round two, but the judges have not yet posted all of round one. It is breezy but nice, and Airspeed pulled out of the gates with a 21 for the apparent early lead; France Maubeuge, the World Meet silver medallists and competing here as Nationals guests, posted a 19.

The meet is being very well run here at Perris. The management has covered all the bases, and about the only grumbling I've heard has been over having to wait for airplanes to land or take off before walking back to the DZ from the landing area.

After two rounds of open, Airspeed has built a quick six-point lead and looks very sharp. There are also some very good scores coming out of intermediate, and I saw one intermediate team jumping with all matching gear and scoring in the double-digits. There is a 6:30 a.m. call for tomorrow, and the beer lamp is ON...

Tuesday, October 7

The morning dawned clear, cool and breezy, and we are skydiving hard. It's around 10:00 a.m. and round four is nearly complete, so if things keep going like this, 4-way will finish today. Scores coming up!

1:00 p.m.-
4-Way is complete through half of round six, and a cloud layer has brought on a weather hold. The judges are backed up with video tapes; it's been four otters running teams nonstop since 7:00 this morning.

3:00 p.m.
NEWS FLASH- Arizona Airspeed, the World Champion 4-way team consisting of Dan BC, Jack Jefferies, Mark Kirkby and Kirk Verner, has just made their last jump as a team. The entire drop zone crowded along the fence and formed a human tunnel as Airspeed walked in. It was quite a sight, probably the highlight of the Nationals. Congratulations, Airspeed, for a job well done, and for representing our sport in such a powerful and successful way.

6:00 p.m.
4-Way is over, and most of the open is posted. Intermediate still has a round to be judged. Airspeed is once again U.S. Champions of 4-way with 120 points. France Maubeuge, competing as guests, finished with 109, Arizona Vortex will take the silver with 106, and Golden Knights Black will have the bronze with 104 points. 8-Way tomorrow, to be followed by 20-way and 10-way. I'm off to the bar. See ya!

Wednesday, October 8

9:00 a.m.
4-way finished last night with a mega-place tie for second in intermediate, and they are now finishing the jump-offs. 8-way has started, with 8 teams in the open class and 14 in intermediate. This is the biggest 8-way turnout in years, and features practiced teams from around the country. What a great meet this is...I'll fill in much more later today, I've gotta go get the 4-way results...

10:00 a.m.
The 4-way intermediate results are posted, and we are cranking hard on 8-way. I'm shooting MIB & B, which is Team Perris and the Gumbies. Lotta fun. Gorgeous weather today, too!

11:00 a.m.
Already done three rounds of 8-way today...the Knights put up a 25 on round 2...

7:30 p.m.
What a day! On round five, MIB & B had an inadvertent main deployment just moments after exiting the plane. Jim Kelly went flying a few feet away from me with eyes big as saucers; Kai Wolf had accidentally pulled his pilot chute while launching a donut cross. Too bad, they were doing quite well up to then, and it's a zero on the scoreboard. The Knights are running away with 8-way as expected, but 8-way intermediate is turning into quite a battle between Perris Passion 8 and Faultline Express, both of whom are doing quite well. Their expert coaching and team efforts really show in their skydiving.

Thursday, October 9

8-way was officially closed out this morning, and Perris Passion 8 won the intermediate battle with a very impressive 8.83 average. These girls worked very hard, and it showed, with smooth skydiving and good discipline. Congratulations, Passion 8!

Today seems to be pretty much a practice day for 10-way and 20-way. The 8-way awards ceremony is tonight, with 20-way slated for first thing tomorrow.

Friday, October 10

8:00 a.m.
20-way started at 7:30 this morning, and it looks like it's going to be a great contest. The draw looks very good, we should see some great skydives here today.

5:00 p.m.
20-way is rocking the boat- Deguello and Arizona Knights are all tied up after five rounds. I've been judging 20-way today, so this tidbits page is a bit lame- final 20-way report coming in about an hour or so.

9:30 p.ml
20-way is all over, and the AZ/Knights squeaked out a narrow victory over a very determined Deguello squad. Both teams at points seemed determined to hand the meet away, with very sloppy skydiving on the part of AZ/GK and some careless busts on the part of Deguello. It was a great 20-way contest, and Dequello can go home with their heads held high for an outstanding effort.

Saturday, October 11

It's 6:00 a.m., and the webmaster is just a LITTLE bit hung over. There are nine 10-way teams competing today, including defending champion DeLand XTZ. There is a lot of talk surrounding proposed rule changes for this event. At last year's nationals in NY, Judy Celeya and I drafted a proposal that placed the teams behind a line inside the aircraft. The clock would start when the first competitor crossed the line. Instead of a speed star, the proposed rules would utilize a pool of formations. This arrangement would make judging a lot easier (and let us use OmniSkore!) as well as making it funner for the competitors. I think the fact that were more 20-way teams competing than there are 10-way says a lot for the state of the event: it needs to be changed. Turn it back into a skydiving event, and I think we'll see a lot more teams competing in it again. Please, if you agree or disagree, let us know.

I got an e-mail last night from my web site server: it seems that omniskore.com has been getting so much traffic that we have exceeded our bandwidth quota for the month, by an order of magnitude, and it looks like we're going to have a $200+ bill to pay for it. So all you folks out there who've been dropping by, we ask you to please do one or more of the following:

  1. Send check or money order to Tim Wagner, Rt 1 Box 800, Perry FL 32347, for however much money you make in one hour at work, or-
  2. Send check or money order to USPA for the U.S. Team Fund, same amount, or-
  3. Send me e-mail telling us how great we are, or-
  4. Buy a case of beer at your home DZ and lift a toast to OmniSkore!

During this meet I have competed in 4-way, shot video for 8-way, judged 20-way, and tried to keep this page up to date, so this is my "yay me" paragraph. I don't think anyone's done that hat trick before, and I'm not sure I want to repeat it. When I get home I'm going to sleep for a week.

11:30 a.m.
I want to thank all of you who have sent notes and thanks yous, we really appreciate it. I have been drafted to do video for DeLand XTZ, so it's going to be another busy day. But I'll keep this updated. Back soon...

1:20 p.m.
Five rounds of 10-way are complete, and a surprising Arizona Airspeed has put up some VERY fast times to stay within .4 seconds of DeLand XTZ after five rounds. Is this a great nationals, or what? Stay tuned for the finals results from the 1997 U.S. Nationals!

2:30 p.m.
Well, the last competition jump is over, and the fat lady is about to sing. I haven't seen the official standings yet, but it looks like DeLand XTZ pulled out a narrow victory (by much less than one second) over Airspeed in 10-way. It was a fabulous, fabulous meet. Great weather, great organizing, great people, everything really came together here. The Conatsers and everyone else involved should be extremely proud of themselves. They did their homework, and got straight A's. The banquet is tonight, so they have one last chance to blow it (and the banquet is the typical place to REALLY blow it...). Final report and commentary coming up later.

Sunday, October 12

Well, the fat lady sung last night, at least as far as Formation Skydiving is concerned. The banquet was pretty nice, even though it was held outside. Propane space heaters were set up around the several dozen tables to help ward off the chill, and after several hundred famished competitors and staff went through the chow line, the last of the medals were awarded for 10- and 20-way. There were lots of speeches and presentations, but by far the highlight of the banquet was the passing of the CG God Frog award (for best vibes) to its new and rightful owners, "Tons O' Fun" 10-way team, featuring the horizontally challenged personel from "Sonic Force."

Thank you all for coming by and visiting OmniSkore!, and we'll see you all next time. Until then, blue skies, and skydive safe.

-Tim & Ted

  The DZ is loaded with new facilities and crawling with competitors. U.S. Army Golden Knights, ready to defend their national title.
  Skydivers creeping for as far as the eye can see. AZ Airspeed to try the same.
One of four Otters standing by for 69 4-way teams. Charla Henney and Amy Lee running DZTV.
The judges, handing out the verdicts. Post-diving in the Bombshelter Bar & Grill.
Bill, Roland, and Sally keeping everything rolling smoothly. Mass Transit says hello to the friends at home!
The Fliteline booth. The U.S.A. 8-Way team gear.
One of many DZTV's scattered around the DZ. "Door!"
Lou: "Hi, Texas!" Camera Swoop
Arizona Vortex creeping round 6 The Wizard of Oscar
Deguello is ready to defend the Alamo in 20-way. Golden Knights stretching at sunrise.
The judges: underpaid, overworked, and having too much fun. The truth is out: There are really four of us...
USPA Executive Director Chris Needels The Ottley Swords, just returned home from Turkey by the U.S. 4- and 8-way teams.
Sebastion Sunrise creeping round 1. Arizona Knights dirt diving round 6.
Meet director Robin Berg has done, like the rest of the staff here, an outstanding job. Your most humble and benevolent webmaster on his way to update this web page.
The DZ has been shuttling many of the jumpers from the landing area with trucks and carts. Skydiving's MTF jumping with DeLand's XTZ.
Shark Air hauling load # umptymillion The Wagner delegation: Tim, Roy, Rose & Ted
No nationals is complete without Dan. Overall champions Arizona Airspeed
The hosts: Ben, Melanie, Diane, and Pat Conatser. Great job! Best pool videographer: Mike Scott

The CG God Frog Award: Tons 'O Fun 10-way

Sonic Force: "Look out, Airspeed! We're coming back next year!"


Thanks for visiting OmniSkore!