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62 teams have registered for the UK Nationals, slightly lower than last year’s 70 but still an impressive turnout, especially considering a doom’n’gloom weather forecast that sees many UK dropzones closed for the weekend. We know with Skydive Hibaldstow’s management that if there is a whisper of a hint of an opportunity of a break in the weather, they will grasp it with both hands. I remember more than once kitting up there in the pouring rain muttering to myself about what the heck they were thinking of, climbing to altitude in clouds - and opening the door to a miracle piece of sunshine they’d spotted from afar.
There are 21 teams in AAA, 8 in AA, 16 in A and 13 in Rookie.
In triple A, the five top teams from last year return for a rematch. Who will leapfrog who out of last year’s order of Champions Satori with 20.7 average, 4Mula with 18.3, Vision 99 with 17.7, NFTO (16.4). Also returning from last year are Arurora Blue, ACM, Antimatter, Fr4gment (stepping up from AA) Phoenix and Skyfool, while we bemoan the loss of Pineapple Jesus, Tetris, and Funnel Vision. New teams stepping up to the block are Eros (Helen Williams, Roy Little, Danny French and Stubert, with Sam Williams on camera, Helios (Paul Seymour, Paul Scott, Caz Vaughan & Phil Jenks, with Nigel Rowland on camera, and the all-female Unicorn Magic Flytastic, with Rai Ahmed, Lynne Murray (ex NFTO & Kaizen), Debbie Lamsley (Vision, ACM, Microclim8) and Helen Honeybone (Microclim8). No sign of our UK indoor ladies team, Volition, they are on a different path.
8 teams in AA, compared to 11 last year. Helix and Kesshin who finsihed equal 7th last year will fight it out again. The entertainingly named Tyranno4rus, who won single A last year, with an 11 point average, are now entering AA, alongside Tyrano4them Rex – that is going to be a headache for manifest! Also in AA are Chatterchimps, who up until this year have been all-female, and have worked their way up from Rookie. Now they added a man to the line-up, changed their name to Chatterchimps, and are proudly competing in AA. Dave Wickes, you have a lot to live up to, these girls rock!
The single A field of 16 teams (same as last year) includes Chatterchicks’ fan team, Chatterchaps, and jolly fine chaps they are too! They moved up from a 7 point average in Rookie last year. Last year’s Rookie Champions, Blue Steel,w ho won with a 13.5 average, is now in A class moving up with Falling Stones and Ice Bank Mice Elf, another nightmare name for the manifestor to say out loud.
Rookie sees 13 teams, all new to the UK Nationals, showing that the tier system is working, to bring in the new blood, and progress the old. An eclectic list of names includes the Tilstock Tumbling Turkeys, 4loceraptor (Ali Woodhouse is always good with team names), and the politically incorrect Fat Birds Can’t Fly.
VFS has four teams; Exite 96, Omni 99, QFX and AC:DC.
The team list and ongoing scores can be found on the InTime website here
We wish all teams a great competition, and will bring you written updates here on the skydivemag.com website, and Facebook LIVE videos, on the Skydive Mag Facebook page and on the Skydive Hibaldstow Facebook page.
Next article, Two Snatched Rounds