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He also mentioned that the Amphibious Attack Tigers had a training camp at Skydive Spaceland Houston last weekend, which does not happen too often. The AAT 8-way team has competed at USPA Nationals since 2011 and won the USPA 8-way bronze medals each year since 2015. However, AAT are usually getting together at the national championships without much training at all.
This time, they completed 28 training jumps in three days at Skydive Spaceland Houston, despite weather delays due to normal afternoon showers at this time of the year in the Houston area. Scott Latinis said that his 8-way team was able to go through all 22 blocks. This was especially helpful for a new AAT member, Doug Hendrix, who has not as much 8-way experience as his AAT team mates.
Scott Latinis himself is one of the original AAT members and was in each of the eight lineups at the USPA Nationals between 2011 and 2018. Only Rodney Cruce and James "Bu" Klinge have also attended each of the eight events with the Amphibious Attack Tigers. They won their four USPA bronze medals together in 2015 - 2018 and will try to defend them again this year with another new lineup.
USPA Nationals 2018
|4||Amphibious Attack Tigers||US||12||14||13||14||10||9||10||9||14||13||118||11.8|
The training will be helpful and necessary for the Amphibious Attack Tigers if they want to try to defend the bronze medal position this year. The Golden Knights will be back this year, who had opened up the door to bronze medals at the USPA Nationals 2018 when they had to leave early. Paraclete XP8 and Golden Knights will both be out of reach for Amphibious Attack Tigers.
Arizona Airspeed's 8-way pickup team for the USPA Nationals 2018, Arizona Airspeedish, took the 2nd place last year in the absence of the Golden Knights and were even close to XP8. Airspeed will most likely have another 8-way team at this year's USPA Nationals, and the new AAT lineup can only defend the bronze medals successfully by outscoring the unknown Airspeed lineup.
Niklas Hemlin and Airspeed's 4-way team videographer David French were the only current Airspeed members in the Airspeedish 8-way lineup, together with the complete Airspeed Odyssey lineup of 2005. Original AAT member Ben Liston was also in the Airspeedish lineup last year, after seven years with the Amphibious Attack Tigers. He could not resist the Airspeedish invitation and jumped ship.
USPA Nationals 2017
|G||Fly-In Machine 44||BE||23||16||17||16||15||21||16||20||26||15||185||18.5|
|G||Amphibious Attack Tigers||US||18||12||13||10||13||18||14||16||15||11||140||14.0|
|6||SDC Rhythm XP8||US||12||11||12||13||11||15||12||15||14||12||127||12.7|
|8||Spaceland Gummies 8||US||11||11||8||7||10||12||9||10||10||9||97||9.7|
|G||Perris Spider Pigs||US||5||7||4||5||6||5||7||5||4||7||55||5.5|
Scott Latinis is looking forward to the competition at the USPA Nationals after the unusual training effort with the Amphibious Attack Tigers: "The drop zone was tremendous in their support of the team. Manifest kept us in the air, in an Otter, on our schedule, even when it meant flying the Otter 'light'. Pilots, packers, loaders, manifest, staff, and local jumpers were terrific. We could not have asked for a better training environment - although a bit less rain would have been nice. This was a 'pre-second' for the Amphibious Attack Tigers - an actual training camp. Usually we are hoping to be able to get in at least one practice jump between the end of 4-way and the start of 8-way at Nationals."
The Amphibious Attack Tigers will also compete at the FAI Outdoor World Cup at Skydive Arizona in October. Season opener of the Texas Skydiving League at San Marcos and Pre-Nationals at Skydive Spaceland Houston are first on the event list for Scott Latinis, who has a lot of hats on as organizer and competitor.
Sometimes it is difficult to remember everything. He recently forgot to bring jumpsuit and helmet to a 3-day training camp. He said that Christy West came to his rescue...