UK Artistics Indoor Nationals
The World Challenge at Bodyflight, Beford, hosted the selection event for British freefly teams...
Last episode ended at round 5, when some teams were going up to begin round 6 on Sunday night. Most of them struggled with weather and the flow of the dive. The puzzle was 20, 18, 5, a workhorse jump if ever you saw one! With clouds thickening, and the dim light meaning it;s easy to lose orientation - so the double vertical on 18 wasn’t ideal!
Skyfool had a hideous round, with a collision with the cameraman, doubtless due to him flying closer to help the round be judgeable… then they spent most of the dive recovering .. eventually scoring a 1. Helios took what seemed like forever to agree on the start of their 18, dropping and picking up grips numerous times. Paul Scott confessed at the time he was thinking ‘shame the cloud's not thick enough for a rejump”! ACM had an elegant dive but dropped an arm grip on the close of an 18, busting the point and interrupting the flow. Revolution lost a point to camera angle/grip visibility. Chimera had a very smooth round, scoring 13, and looking good doing it! 4Mula showed a sophisticated dive, measured but go-for-it 18s (zircon-zircon), and made a great score of 15. The weather was on the edge and gradually deteriorated till it was called for Saturday night.
On Sunday the weather was stop-start again, but the DZ and teams worked together to bash out 15 cycles of 3 loads in the breaks. It was kind of fair that the rest of round 6 in AAA also had challenging conditions. Satori stamped their mark of authority with a 17, two points ahead of 4Mula, while NFTO, Vision and Eclipse all made 14. This more or less set the pattern for the next round. The meet has now been called for the weekend in AAA, AA and A - all the belly apart from Rookie, which is the only one with an incomplete round. The last 2 teams in Rookie are on a 50-minute call as I write this .. so hopefully that round will get completed.
In AAA, the places are as follows; first Satori XL with 142, then 4Mula with 129, who are looking fantastic.. in third Vision 99 with 125, Eclipse on 120, NFTO 119 and Chimera with 111, in AA, Tyrano4us (Langar) are leading with 55, 4 points ahead of RAFSPA Lightning, and 10 points ahead of copycat scratch team Tyrana4them in third position, with 45. In the remaining half of the competition they will battle it out for bronze with Vanilla Sky, 1 point behind and Kesshin 2 points behind. I wonder if also Helix can come back in the game, they were doing great but had an explosion on round 3, scoring just a 3. Go Helix!
In single A, it's unbelievably close, with only 9 points separating the top 10 teams; Colostomy, Viento 99, Dive Hard, Blue Steel, TBC, 4Tune, Skybolt, Fall Play, 99 Problems but a Beech Ain't one and Tempest. Bring on the rematch!
The Rookies are jumping now, and also the VFS, where there are only 4 teams in the competition, so it's even feasible they could finish tonight, the weather is brightening up and getting sunny, that classic Sunday evening phenomenum!! You can check the latest scores on on the skydiving championships Intime website
Meet Director Noel Purcell has done an excellent job of running this meet so far, great safety calls, standdowns to give teams a break, and releasing the majority of teams now to drive home, leaving the remaining teams with a real chance of completing their Nationals. I could blow smoke up the arses of all the Hib staff, they have been fantastic! .. but I'll save some for next weekend's reports.
In the unfinished AA, AA and A, there will be a redraw. The remaining blocks and randoms in the unfinished rounds, including the jump-off, are put back in the hat and the last rounds re-drawn. In AAA this means the following will go back in the hat: 1, 2, 3, 6, 9, 13, 17, 21 and D, F, K, M, P, Q. Will they be more or less friendly than the current rounds? Rounds 8 was 3,6, M, a nice flowing dive with quick blocks, a fast random and a reset. Round 9 was D, F, P, K, 2, the closest to an all-random dive in the draw. I know Joey wanted an all-random dive, I hope for him one comes out against the laws of probability and we get to see what the very accomplished 4Mula, the ambitious Satori XL and all of this great field of competitors make of it. The redraw is on Friday night, 28 August then Saturday morning the teams will jump the remaining rounds; 3 for AAA and 4 in AA & A. When the 4-way Nationals is complete, the 8-way Nationals will begin. The forecast is fabulous so there is every chance Hib will complete the 4-way and 8-way, please sacrifice yourselves to the beer gods meanwhile!