by Jim McCormick
Texas State Sequential Record
Sequential records have become the thing in the big-way community. With one-point records becoming harder to break due to fewer big-way belly jumpers and new multi-point record categories, the energy is around sequential records.
This effort started on Halloween at Skydive Spaceland Houston. Event captains Scott Latinis, Guy Wright and Larry Henderson assembled a solid team of 60 representing seven countries. Their goal was to set a new state sequential record.
The strength of the team, the plan and the leadership became apparent when success came early. On only the second shot at the record, a two-point 60-way was completed …
…almost! Video review showed one wrong grip. Not to be denied, the team took only two more attempts to do their job. Bang! A two-point 60-way on only the fourth try. Better yet, the team successfully added a complete third point just for good measure on the same jump.
Due to the technicalities of record judging, only the two-point record could be claimed. But that did not keep the team members from putting a big, bold Texas star in their logbooks next to that jump.
Now the effort moved to setting a full-break record. The record just set abided by the rules allowing for less than the entire team to change grips. Now came the challenge of a full-break transition. Each member of the team would have to fly no-contact during the transition from the first to the second point. In addition, no grip that was part of the first formation could be retaken for the second formation.
Having lost a day to weather at the beginning of the four-day event, time was short. As day four dawned, the team knew they had at most five more shots at their second record of the event. As most big-way record-baggers will tell you, it often comes down to the last opportunity. This was no exception.
Jump five of the day and jump 15 of the event, 57 jumpers exited three Twin Otters at just under 18,000 feet. Point one was complete. The key was given to transition to point two and it completed. The team had built two 57-way formations separated by a full break. But would the effort survive the judges review?…
‘No’ was the answer. One grip had been taken during the transition before the previous grip was dropped. One unintentional grip switch kept the near perfect jump from being the second record of the event. If it was easy …
Nevertheless, the team could still go their separate ways with a well-deserved sense of accomplishment. Many a glass was raised as the team celebrated the Texas state sequential record they set, their successful three-point 60-way and coming up just shy of a full break two-point 57-way. Not at all bad for four days of effort.
Congratulations to these record-setters:
Alexandre “Cabeca” Januario
Dr. Dick Klimas
Erendira Sanchez Gonzalez
John Pierre “JP” Forget
Mark R Schrag