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The meet will also feature a reunion of the New England Skydiving League team Mass Defiance. Team speaker Ben Liston recently updated the NSL News on the team's activities this year.
Mass Defiance trained and competed intensively between 2004 and 2007 and almost made it to the 20-point average level last year. The 2007 season was already slower for Mass Defiance compared to the earlier years, and the New England team has no plans to step it back up. The Paraclete XP Money Meet may be the only meet this year before the USPA Nationals 2008.
Mass Defiance also has a change in the lineup this year. Jim Rees, who has been competing since 1993 and was flying the Tail position for Mass Defiance, has decided to take a break from 4-way training and competition. He is still doing a lot of 4-way coaching in the tunnel and in the air, and he will be serving as a 4-way judge at the USPA Nationals 2008. He may still be jumping with Mss Defiance in the 8-way and 16-way events. The other Mass Defiance members of the past years will continue, including videographer Steve "Scuba" Feldman.
"He obviously brings a lot of power, experience and intensity to the line-up, and we are looking forward to having some fun. The rest of us will stay in our old slots, and Dennis will be flying Tail. It's going to be a relaxed schedule for us - we just plan to hit the Paraclete XP tunnel and freefall meets in June, then the USPA Nationals in October."
Ben Liston will be returning to New England a couple of weeks before the Paraclete XP Money Meet in June and then again before the USPA Nationals. He said that Mass Defiance will try to compensate for the lack of outdoor training with windtunnel time:
"SkyVenture New Hampshire has always been a huge pillar of support for our team, and we'll try to squeeze in as much training as possible there before each of the events. Our team members in New England are still doing free coaching there every other Tuesday night, by the way. Folks interested in taking advantage of this just need to book their time directly with the tunnel and note that they'd like to work with Mass Defiance when they make their reservation. We're also lucky to have the incredible DZ of Skydive New England in our backyard and look forward to putting up as many jumps there as time allows. They do a great job taking care of teams..."
"Our team is starting to work on putting together a winter boogie down here in Guatemala. The skydiving club down here is incredible, and active jumpers Manuel Rojos and Miguel Cantoral are interested in helping get the first event together. We hope to have something ready for the time between Christmas and New Year. It would include three or four days of jumping and some tourist activities, too. We plan to do a day of 4-way, a day of 8-way and then a day of big-ways. We haven't decided on a venue yet, but there are some great areas to do beach jumps on the Pacific side and great views on the Caribbean side as well."
The Mass Defiance 2008 lineup with Dennis Rook will have the first scores on the scoreboard this weekend at the Paraclete XP Money Meet in Raeford.