America's Cup 1999 — Skydive Cross Keys

August 21 & 22, 1999

4-way Results | 4-way Draw | 8-way Results | 8-way Draw | Webcam


michael mcGowan

Michael McGowan says hey to everyone!

Okay, almost up anyway, it's late morning here in NJ and we are on *BING* you guessed it, a weather hold. After four months of draught, it's been raining here for a couple of days, but the forecast is for clearing skies around noon. GOOD NEWS: Michael mcGowan, bless is sore bones, has loaned me the use of his computer and phone line, so I've got the webcam up and running this weekend. I visited Mike this morning, and he is looking good, but staying in bed a lot. For those of you who haven't heard, Mike experienced a main/reserve mess here a couple of weeks ago and was saved by an Oak tree and dumb luck, no broken bones. Send Mike some good mail okay?

The meet is looking to be a good one, we've got Airspeed, Space Center FX, DeLand Genesis, the Golden Knights, [kaboom!] SONIC FORCE, and others for a total of 18 4-way teams registered. Somebody please throw some chicken wings to the weather gods!

1:00 p.m.

hanger.JPG (18317 bytes)

View from the loft.

Weather hold extended until 3:00 p.m. It's a solid kind of gray overcast, very cool, the kind of sky you look at and think it's in no hurry to leave. On the bright side, I'm catching up with lots of people I haven't seen in a while.

3:15 p.m.
1st load is on a call, the sun is coming out, and 18 4-way teams are stretching, creeping, and dirt-diving. I've got a cup of coffee and a big carpet crease down the side of my head from napping on the floor.


OmniSkore is set up and ready.

A note from your host (Tim): I am able to receive e-mail from my server via Mike's AOL account, but I can't send e-mail until I get back to the hotel and connect with my laptop. So please excuse me if you ask a question and get no response.

5:45 p.m.
Ooh, the teams look rusty from the weather delay. We're almost done with round one, but we had five teams left and then went on another weather hold. Airspeed looked sharp except for a bad glitch finishing a bipole. Golden Knights Gold had an awesome round 1 and posted the best score (so far) or 20 points. I love the DZTV audience in the hanger; they are applauding every good skydive like a point in a good tennis match. Cool.

6:15 p.m.
The day has been called because of a thick, immobile overcast. We are going to finish through round 2 of 4-way at 0700 tomorrow, followed by 3 rounds of 8-way, followed by 3 more rounds of 4-way. That's the plan, anyway.


7:40 a.m.

Airspeed 4

Airspeed boards for round 2.

It was still a solid overcast at daybreak, but the clouds parted like the Red Sea at 7:15 and the first load of the day is in the air. I had a great time at PJ's last night, having a few drinks with skydiving's International Man of Mystery, a man with countless stories and one of the great contributors to our sport. It looks like it's going to be a long, fun day of skydiving, so get that webcam fired up and stay online!

Raeford Frigid Air

Raeford Frigid Air walking in.

A 19th team has registered in 4-way, making this one of the largest America's Cup meets I've seen, if not the biggest. Hat's off to Focus 4, who flew all the way from northern California for the meet. Focus 4 was also one of the medal winners in the recreational class at last year's nationals.

10:00 a.m.
We're cooking right along, through 2 rounds of 4-way, and 8-way is under way. There's some really good skydiving going on here at Cross Keys and a good battle brewing in 4-way.

11:00 a.m.
Oh boy, did Airspeed look like a soup sandwich on round 1 of 8-way. They got busted once, but the judges were pretty nice to them. The Knights did a clean 20 to take the early lead. Warp Factor is an 8-way team here from Texas, they did a 6 on the round, which is not an easy jump. The first two rounds of 4-way are in the bag, and Raeford Express has a slim early lead over Golden Knights Gold (based on the handicap). Going to be a long busy day, so these reports will be short. Back to work now.


Oscar, video coordinator

11:30 a.m.
Round 2 of 8-way is already completed, and Airspeed looked more like a Philly Cheese Steak this time (can you tell it's almost lunch time?). Both Airspeed and the Knights put up 17s for the round, so the Knights hold their lead. Someone bring me some chow please...

12:00 noon
Two hot dogs later, I saw the footage from Mike McGowan's near-fatal main/reserve entanglement. Wow - scary stuff. He had a fully open reserve that gradually repacked itself (the reserve deployed through the main risers, then the main pulled the reserve slide back up to the top) until there wasn't much left. He is indeed one very lucky SOB. This will probably add a lot of fuel to the emergency procedures debate on whether it is best to cut away a pilot chute in tow.

Knights wind blade

The Golden Knights
are showing their colors
at this meet..

1:00 p.m.
8-way is a wrap -- only three rounds because of weather -- and Airspeed was soup again, a 22 busted to a 20. The Knights provided a demonstration on round three: they were smooth, patient, deliberate, and cruised to a clean 23. Airspeed was fast but sloppy. They didn't have a good meet, which will probably help get their noses back to the grindstone with the Nationals and World Meet coming up.

Meanwhile, we're on a weather hold again, those nasty clouds moved back in and stopped the party. Time to go rap with skydiving's International Man of Mystery!

2:30 p.m.
We've done the 8-way awards, with gold medals going to the Golden Knights, silver medals to Warp Factor, and bronze medals to Airspeed. While the 8-way teams were jumping, some of the 4-way teams continued with their rounds, and we are judging those next during this weather hold (which is supposed to be ending soon).

Dubbing Station

The dubbing station.

5:30 p.m.
It hasn't cleared, but we've started 4-way again with a reduced working time, jumping from around 6,000 feet. Beats sitting around, I guess. Bad news is, now us judges gotta go back and rejudge all those teams that had already done rounds 3 and 4.

7:30 p.m.
IT'S A WRAP. Finished the last two rounds with reduced working time of 20 and 15 seconds for rounds 3 and 4. Check out the results page for the numbers.

John Eddows & Co. did an awesome job with this meet, they are great hosts, and everyone rocked. The Nationals are next, and oh does OmniSkore! have a few new tricks up its Internet sleeve! See you there!


Bored? Read Tim's trip diary HERE