Wednesday, October 14, 2009
What a Day!
Simply put, it was a hell of a day today at the 2009 USPA Nationals in 4-way skydiving. There were different story lines playing out in all three divisions.
Click Here to See Photos from before Round 10 through the medal celebrations.
The story played out early in the competition with VTSD setting the tone by establishing an early lead and never relinquishing it from start to finish. VTSD literally came out of nowhere. In 2008, no one knew who these kids were. In 2009, they worked hard traveling ridiculous miles to hone their skills. VTSD competed in three different state leagues putting thousands of miles on their vehicles as they commuted up and down the east coast to compete against anyone, anywhere. Hard work and the right attitude truly pays off. This group have amazing chemistry and a heart to win. This will not be the last time you hear about this team: Doug Barron - Outside Center
Joey Coffineau - Inside Center, Andrew Happick - Point, Ben Worrall - Tail and Jamie Sides - Video. Their gold medal achievement has caught the attention of everyone here at the nationals.....it is so well deserved.
Ice began the season without ever thinking they would make it to the medal stand. The fact they won silver is a great achievement for the team and Skydive Carolina. Kerri Pyne, Pete Langehans, and Kyle Rice are AFF instructors at Skydive Carolina and show that there is no substitute for great flying. Bruce Travis is a world record holder and John Patten has been on various Ice teams since the early 2000's. This team has the ingredients to be just what they are: great. Great chemistry, excellent attitudes and good flying can only be made up from years of experience. It was a great day for this group!
In one of my earlier posts today, I mentioned that some teams had great intensity as they literally were trying to claw their way back into contention after making an early mistake. The team I was referring too was SDC Furies. This team began the day in first place only to slip to some very tight competition after posting a 9 in round 3. Everytime I walked past Furies, the determination on their face was so clearly evident.....intensity, all the time. Skydive Carolina's, Rhonda Wilcox is on this team (Rhonda was on Black Ice two years ago) and it was evident that the only thing that would satisfy her would be gold. After a monster round 7, the Furies moved into contention and the lead never to give it up again. Furie's victory may have been one of the sweetest of the day.
The Open class could not have been more exciting as the dynasty of Arizona Airspeed continued. At no time in the history of our sport have we seen a team dominate at the highest level the way Airspeed has. Through 10 rounds, Airspeed maintained a 25.1 average!!!! To say they are firing on all cylinders would be an understatement. Airspeed is to skydiving as Roger Federer, Michael Jordan and Gretzky were in their sports - dominant. What made this year's competition so enjoyable to watch is that Airspeed was pushed by Spaceland Force. The excitement with Force came in the 6th round as they established the world record for most points in a single round - 45!!! At the end of the day, Airspeed were victorious again. As I type this blog, I'm watching them join with former Airspeed members to create their 8-Way team for tomorrow's competition. In the last two nationals, Airspeed has swept 4-way, 8-way, 10-way and 16-way. They have no intentions of leaving this nationals with anything less. They'll have their hands full with the Golden Knights who specialize in 8-way. It will be interesting!
So that does it from a full day here at the US Nationals. Many more days to go and we look forward to seeing Skydive Carolina's first free-fly team compete in the Nationals. It will be a fun week!