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Did You Know...

... that Mass Defiance competitors and judges will meet again in Eloy?

posted Oct 8th, 2008 - The New England Skydiving League completed its 2008 season on the NSL Playoffs weekend at Jumptown. Mass Defiance member Brian Stephens reported that the "NESL had an excellent weekend for the NSL Playoffs meet, and a number of teams came out to participate."

The meet was held at Jumptown where the first NESL meet of the 2008 season was scheduled and then completely weathered out. Brian Stephens said that the weather was beautiful this time and provided additional information of the event:

Original Mass Defiance lineup
"Jumptown was simultaneously holding a 20-way event with Guy Wright organizing jumps, and helicopter jumps were also available. So many of the less formal teams had some alternate agenda jumps planned. However, the participation and fun factors are always encouraged here, and everyone had a great time. There were enough jumpers on the DZ that Jumptown even flew in a second Twinotter."

He added that all four USPA judges of the New England region were also present at the meet. Three of them are Mass Defiance members (Jim Rees, Brian Smith, Brian Stephens) and represent a new generation of Formation Skydiving competition judges. USPA Director Marylou Laughlin completed the judges 4-way team at Jumptown.

Jim Rees, Brian Smith and Marylou Laughlin are nationally rated USPA judges, Brian Stephens has a regional rating. Jim Rees is not actively competing with Mass Defiance any longer. He will be judging at the USPA Nationals 2008.

Mass Defiance with Dennis Rook
Former Airspeed member Dennis Rook already filled the Tail slot for Jim Rees at the Paraclete XP Money Meet 2008 in July. He will compete with Mass Defiance once again in Eloy this month, while Jim Rees will push the Omniskore buttons.

The original Mass Defiance lineup (Brian Stephens, James Rees, John Silva, Ben Liston, Steve Feldman on camera) finished in 7th plae of the Open Class competition with a 19.3 average at the USPA Nationals 2007. Mass Defiance with Dennis Rook posted an 18.1 average at the Paraclete XP Money Meet after just a few training jumps with the new member.

The same line-up as in Raeford will compete again at the USPA Nationals 2008. The Mass Defiance training options are still very limited. Ben Liston has been living in Guatemala for almost a year now. The team just gets together a few days before the next event and then enjoys the time together.

Air Buddha at the USPA Nationals 1999
image by: Omniskore
An interesting aspect of the lineup with Dennis Rook is the fact that Brian Stephens trained and competed with the new MD Tail already in 1999. "Air Buddha" was their first 4-way team, and they finished in 12th place of the Intermediate Class competition with a 7.3 average at the USPA Nationals in Sebastian.

Brian Stephens was in the Point position by then, and Dennis Rock had the Tail slot, which is identical with the current lineup. Dennis Rook left the team in 2000, and John Silva became the Center Outside for the new Air Buddha lineup, which finished with a 9.5 average in 13th place of the Intermediate Class at the USPA Nationals that year. John Silva is still in the same slot for Mass Defiance.

Brian Stephens and his former and current teammates did not compete at the last meet of the NESL 2008 season and guided the present NESL teams through the event as coaches and judges. Vertical Obsession (Rob Jayne, Andrew Palermo, Jim Petrocelli, Lee Stabler, with Rob Benatti on camera) completed all six rounds in the A Class and finished with a 9.5 average after a 5.3 average in August. The team is now making plans to compete at the NSL Championship in November.

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