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The Sun Path Products NSL News found another article in a recent Blue Skies Mag edition, which expressed the passionate feelings of a 4way competitor.
Sydney Owen Williams in charge of events and marketing at Skydive Elsinore and has the Tail slot for Elsinore Horizon. Her team competed in the A Class last year on home turf and in the AA/Intermediate Class at the USPA Nationals.
I miss this place. Three years ago, I started writing a little column for this here magazine, telling my journey “from zero to hero,” documenting my trip through AFF and beyond. Then I moved to Skydive Elsinore and the storytelling took a backseat to fixing the terrible freefall habits I brought with me. Well, it’s high time I get you all caught up.
My then-boyfriend Barry and I moved to Skydive Elsinore in 2011. Since then I’ve broken my back (December 2011), recovered and got back in the sky (May 2012), got married in the tunnel at SkyVenture Colorado (10.11.12), and got to work on learning how to fly efficiently and prepare myself for the world of competitive 4-way FS.
After doing 2-ways all summer in 2012 with, my now teammate, Kristian, we got together and started an intermediate 4-way FS team, Elsinore Horizon. We found two other people who were thirsty for knowledge and good times, and enlisted the help of former Airspeed, local 4-way master, and Skydive Elsinore DZO John Hamilton to coach us and get a good foundation going from the get-go.
This past September, we made our debut at the USPA Nationals. Competing against 42 other teams in the intermediate 4-way FS competition, we placed 16th with an 8.6 average. We were (and still are) elated about our first showing at Nationals.
|Elsinore - June 1st, 2013||Round 1||Round 2||Round 3||Round 4||Round 5||Round 6||Total||Avg|
|2||Elsinore Passing Jacob||7||5||7||7||6||8||40||6.7|
|3||Trish and the Lemmings||2||3||2||3||3||3||16||2.7|
|4||Red Otter 15||1||0||2||2||2||4||11||1.8|
We did it. We had made it to Nationals. Through all 10 rounds and a training season with no injuries, no cutaways, no major team drama, and within the budget we set for ourselves. We had met all of our goals that we set for the beginning of the year, and we had all improved dramatically. The end.
No but really, this sport is so glorious. There is something for everybody. And my something, like I predicted, is competitive skydiving. I’m not quiet about my big-ass dreams as a teammate and an individual. And after all of the blood (minimal), sweat (probably gallons of it, thank you SoCal summers), and tears (only two occasions, I wasn’t going for a hat trick), when we landed from round 10 on that Monday, I did everything but Tebow in the landing area. As I was stowing my toggles and uncollapsing my slider, I just looked around, in total disbelief and completely unaware of how to process what just happened.
|USPA Nationals 2013||Rd. 1||Rd. 2||Rd. 3||Rd. 4||Rd. 5||Rd. 6||Rd. 7||Rd. 8||Rd. 9||Rd. 10||Total||Avg|
10 rounds, 35 seconds of working time each round. This is what we train for. This is where all the money goes. This is where road trips to tunnels and all of the energy required to get through eight jumps in 110-degree weather ends up. For not even six minutes of time to shine.
I’ve been fortunate to get a metric shit ton of good information and outstanding coaching since we moved here, and I’m finally in a place where I feel comfortable giving back. Getting on the vulnerability train for a second, I didn’t just bring horrible body position down here with me.
And honestly, coaching the EXCEL camps and snagging a couple of newbies for a 2- or 3-way on the weekends is some of the most rewarding skydiving I’ve done since I started. Sure, hot-shit 4-way with complete badasses is a great time, but landing from a jump with someone who has 30 jumps who just had the most successful skydive they’ve ever done (simple as it may be), and them feeling like total rock stars? That’s what it’s all about.
This year should be a freaking riot. Follow along on our 4-way journey on the Elsinore Horizon Facebook page: facebook.com/elsinorehorizon.