posted Jul 20th, 2005 -
The 5th meet of the Florida Skydiving League 2005 took place at Skydive DeLand on July 16, while both home teams, DeLand Majik and DeLand Fire, were touring Europe. By the way, the competition draw for the five rounds of the World Games have now been added to the scoring table. As the NSL News reported with the story on July 18, DeLand Majik won the gold medals with a 23.2 meet average.
DeLand Fire has not traveled back home yet, as well. The winner of the Malevsky Cup 2005 has the German national championships on the event agenda. Fire also hopes to squeeze in a few training jumps here and there on the European tour.
There is a very good chance that the NSL News will witness and cover the event in Germany, when the two German 4-way top contenders, the current German national team EADS and FSC Remscheid, will battle for the qualification as the national team for next year's World Meet on home turf. Both teams competed at the FSL Shamrock Showdown 2005, as the NSL News reported with the story on May 13. DeLand Majik's world champion Solly Williams will be on the German competition site to guide FSC Remscheid through the competition, while DeLand Fire's Gary Smith will help team EADS.
This competition will also once again feature the German national 8-way team FSC Remscheid, which placed 4th at last year's World Meet in Croatia and recently lost the 8-way battle with Italy at the Malevsky Cup 2005. Remscheid 8 is out for redemption after a disappointing performance in Russia.
FSC Wind Damaged celebrating the six rounds of the meet in DeLand
The Florida Skydiving League event in DeLand last weekend had several interesting aspects. First of all, the three teams that decided to make the trip to DeLand enjoyed the fact that the event took place at all. The 6-round event was celebrated like a special success due to the fact that last year's summer in Florida was almost completely wiped out by the intense hurricane season.
The July 2004 competition fell victim to the aftermath of one of the three devastating hurricanes that hit Florida very hard, and only two teams showed up at Skydive Sebastian. The August meet in Lake Wales was completely wiped out, and DeLand Scape was the only team that tried to make it an alternative meet on the same weekend in DeLand completing two rounds. The make-up meet in Lake Wales at the end of August and the regular September meet two weeks later ended up in the same sad situation of Hurricane aftermath clean up work.
Florida Skydiving League statistics
Considering the 2004 experiences, it was almost a surprise that the three FSL teams last weekend in DeLand trusted that this year's summer will be better. The weather situation was not too far away from becoming a copy of the July 2004 disaster. The second hurricane of the 2005 season was passing through the Gulf of Mexico, while the teams had to decide whether it will be worth making the trip to DeLand or not.
The summer in Florida is usually the slowest time of the skydiving season by nature. Many active team members, individual skydivers and coaches leave the hot Florida summer and visit skydiving centers in the north of the USA or travel overseas. The statistics of the Florida Skydiving League participation since 1999 show how the numbers drop toward the middle of the summer and begin to go back up in August. This year, August will bring the NSL Playoffs with the FSL competition in Lake Wales, and the participation will probably be back to normal. Unless there is a hurricane on its way...
Teiwa-Z-Hills line-up last weekend
Teiwa-Z-Hills was the only AAA Class team in DeLand last weekend, while the AA Class saw a 2-way competition between FSC Wind Damaged from Lake Wales and CTRL-Z from Skydive City. All three teams enjoyed a complete 6-round event, which is also not so common in the Florida Summer. As expected, the daily summer storm slowed down the jump operation in the early afternoon. However, the weather improved early enough, and the meet could be completed in time.
Even though the weather cooperated reasonably well, the teams faced a different obstacle last weekend. It was the same obstacle that all AAA and AA Class teams were facing at the same time: the competition draw was heavily loaded with blocks. The AAA Class draw with 15 of the 22 blocks in the dive pool had additional memory in three of the six rounds, and only four of the 16 Random Formations were part of last weekend's 6-round competition. The AA Class draw included 11 of the 16 blocks and three Random Formations.
CTRL-Z's line-up in DeLand
AAA Class team Teiwa-Z-Hills was not ready for this technical challenge. The new line-up for this meet, with Christine Bako visiting from Texas, Tim Taylor making his Teiwaz debut as well, and repeat offenders Bob Byrne and Kurt Gaebel, filmed by Ray Dutch, managed the first two easier rounds reasonably well and struggled with the technical challenges of the remaining four rounds due to the lack of training. However, Teiwaz was taking it easy as usual and welcomed the two new members to the consistently increasing Teiwaz line-up.
The two AA Class teams in DeLand, FSC Wind Damaged and CTRL-Z, showed up with the original line-ups and were confronted with the same technical challenge. The first two rounds with the only three Random Formations of the whole AA Class meet allowed FSC Wind Damaged to post 2-digit scores. The difficulty of the remaining four rounds caught up with FSC and CTRL-Z just as much as it did with Teiwaz in the AAA Class. An FSC exit funnel in round three gave CTRL-Z the highest score for one round. Other than that, the Z-Hills team was very consistent in relation to FSC and the sequence for each round.
Teiwa-Z-Hills members after the DeLand meet
Last weekend's meet averages were the lowest ones in 2005 for each of the three FSL teams. However, it was the same competition draw for each of the 26 teams that competed last weekend. The FSL teams went from one extreme to another one after the very fast competition draw of the June meet at Skydive City, at least in the AAA Class. The August meet at the Florida Skydiving Center in Lake Wales is identical with the NSL Playoffs 2005 and will offer the opportunity to go through the whole dive pool in a 10-round competition.