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Did You Know...

... that weather and gas prices make it more difficult in New England?

Mass Defiance 2008 lineup
posted Jun 30th, 2008 - Four of last weekend's competitions have already provided scores and updates. It turns out so far that the weather did not cooperate much anywhere, neither in Europe nor in the USA.

The 3rd competition of the United Kingdom Skydiving League did not get any further than to half completion of Round 2. The teams of the Czech Republic Skydiving League were stopped after three rounds.

It was not much better in the USA. The Midwest Skydiving League completed only four of the scheduled six rounds. The New England Skydiving League did not even get the chance to start the meet at all.

Mass Defiance's Point, Brian Stephens, provided the update from New England. His own team had just attended the Paraclete XP Money Meet 2008 on the previous weekend. NSL-TV uploaded the new meet videos of Round 3 today, and Mass Defiance features the slowest sequence (8-2-14) of the whole outdoor competition in Raeford.

Mass Defiance's Round 3 at the Paraclete XP Money Meet - see video
Ben Liston waits for tunnel action at the indoor meet
Ben Liston (Center Inside), John Silva (Center Outside) and Brian Stephens (Point) finished the team's first competition with the new Tail, former Airspeed member Dennis Rook, with an 18.1 average after the ten outdoor rounds and with a 21.6 average after the ten tunnel rounds. Steve "Scuba" Feldman was filming the team.

Ben Liston traveled back to his new temporary home in Guatemala after the meet weekend, while the other team members went back home to New England. Brian Stephens began with the preparations for the season opener of the New England Skydiving League, which was scheduled for last weekend.

The event became a victim of the weather situation, as the other competitions on the same weekend, and Brian Stephens provided some additional information of what makes it more challenging to train and compete in 4-way in the US Northeast:

New MD Tail Dennis Rook prepares an exit
"Unfortunately, we did not have the best weather this weekend. We actually had pretty good weather after some early morning clouds on Sunday, but due to the weather on Saturday and the forecast for Sunday, most competitors had already gone home Saturday night and resolved that Sunday would likely be just as unjumpable - if not worse. So there were no remaining teams on Sunday when the weather cleared.

New England is known for very unpredictable weather, and days with the absolute worst forecast can end up jumpable - and vice versa.

As new jumpers in New England become the veterans, they eventually learn to not give up. However, and interestingly enough: with gas prices as they are, many now choose not to make the drive out to the DZ at all if the weather isn't a sure thing. This is a new factor when it comes to our sport.

New England weather in Jumptown
Jumptown, the oldest sport skydiving DZ in the country as the original home of Lew Sandborn (D-1), always has a good turnout for NESL meets. They always do a great job with the meets. Their staff is tremendous. Dedicated jumpers did show up Saturday eager to jump and stuck it out through the entire day with potential calls followed by weather holds.

One load did finally get up on Saturday - filled with tandems. Two teams were all geared up in the loading area for the backup load, and this was the closest as it came to jumping all day long. The next weather hold was back on when the tandems landed from load one, and that's how the day ended.

Jumptown had a great BBQ and bonfire that night, which was still fun. They did a terrific job. They did all they could. We just wish Mother Nature co-operated more... We'll try again at NESL Meet #2 in July at Skydive New England!"

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