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Did You Know...

... that Pajama Pumas are ready for AAA after 0.2 in Rookie Class last year?

Vantage and Pajama Pumas at the UKSL 2017 meet in Langar
posted Sep 19th, 2017 - The UK Nationals traditionally include great competition in the other three 4-way categories (AA - A - Rookie) that the British Parachute Association (BPA) applies at the national championships, as well as at the monthly meets of the United Kingdom Skydiving League (UKSL).

The exciting 1-point battle in the AA Class between winner Salty Jacks and Pajama Pumas was mentioned in the story on 28 August 2017 that was also a preview of the ESL Championship 2017.

It was just as exciting in the A Class, where RAFSPA Venom and Bacchus were tied in 2nd place after Round 8 and had to break their tie with an extra round. Last and best, the Rookie Class teams needed a jump-off round for the gold medals when RAFSPA Shadow and Fireflies were tied in 1st place after Round 8, one single point ahead of Flying Fossils in 3rd place.

The AA Class story goes even further back and began at the UKSL May meet where silver medalist Pajama Pumas won with a 9.3 average after six rounds. Vantage won the 1-round meet over Pajama Pumas in June and then the 5-round meet in July. Pajama Pumas came better prepared to the national championships and won this duel by four points. However, Salty Jacks were the unknown factor, with only a 15.0 average in the team records after the World Challenge 2017. All three teams battled for the top spot over the eight rounds in August.

UK Nationals 2017
RankAA ClassK,D,M,Q4,B,21L,8,14C,N,157,19G,O,E,136,21,11TotalAvg
1Salty Jacks191091111131189211.5
2Pajama Pumas181111111111999111.4
4Sausage Addicts1398117997739.1
5Funtime Piglets1310679975668.3
6Dive Hard 4.0119866988658.1
One point in the Rookie Class meet in May 2016
Salty Jacks and Vantage formed their teams this year for the AA Class competition in the United Kingdom, while Pajama Pumas have a longer team history. Matt Cumming, Jamie Havard, Paul Milburn, Sam Widdowson and videographer Paul Rimmington started the team project in the UKSL Rookie Class of 2016 and attended three meets of the regular 2016 season before the UK Nationals in August.

Pajama Pumas made the UK headlines at the very first competition in May 2016 when the team scored the first point in the last round of the meet for a 0.2 average. The first lineup also gave the team the name. PaJaMa puMAS includes the names of the original members.

Matt Cumming remembers that very first point in team history: "In our first competition it took us the full six rounds in Langar to score our first point, but we finally built a K (Hook) in Round 6 giving us an overall score of 1 and a 0.17 average. We didn't even know what the 2nd point was supposed to be, as our coach had only prepped one point with us for the last round!"

A year later, Pajama Pumas won the silver medals at the national championships in the AA Class with an 11.4 average, and they rank 4th in the AA Class world.

Matt Cumming said that Pajama Pumas had "fallen in love with 4-way training and competition" and wanted more of the dive pool. They almost skipped the A Class and attended only the ESL Championship 2016 in Saarlouis where they won the gold medals for the UK delegation in this category with a slightly different lineup.

A Class gold for UK delegation at the ESL Championship 2016
Matt Cumming, Sam Widdowson, Paul Willcock and videographer Paul Rimmington then decided to take on the AA Class this year with new member Paul Colman and attended once again all three UKSL meets to get familiar with competition in the new category and with the 16 blocks. Matt Cumming said that the Pumas had great fun battling Vantage all season long in the AA Class: "We're not actually sure who won overall as we are tied on UKSL points."

The end of the 2017 season with national silver medals in the belts was apparently even more motivating, as Pajama Pumas have new plans for the 2018 season with the next big step into the AAA Class. The team is ready to deal with long sequences and slot switchers a year and a half after the 0.2 average in the Rookie Class:

"We can't wait to move up to AAA next year now and will be back in the tunnel soon as we head into winter. We'd have never believed we'd be moving up to AAA just a year and half after our first point in rookie!"

UKSL May 2016
1RAFSPA Raptor769764396.5
3Fourkin Ace232340142.3
4AAC Hawks02401071.2
5Pajama Pumas00000110.2
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