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Did You Know...

... that Amphibious Attack Tigers completed their "pre-second" training camp at Skydive Spaceland Houston?

Amphibious Attack Tigers at the USPA Nationals 2011
posted Jun 19th, 2019 - The season opener of the Texas Skydiving League, the San Marcos Showdown, is coming up this weekend at Skydive San Marcos, which will be followed in July by the Pre-Nationals at Skydive Spaceland Houston. TSL Director Scott Latinis told the NSL News that seven teams have already registered for the meet this weekend and that he expects a great turnout for the Pre-Nationals.

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
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 Total Avg
Rank 8-way Open 8,B,6 P,3,C,M 1,18,Q 22,E,16 11,17,H L,12,13 7,A,20 19,14,9 J,5,4 G,15,10 Total Avg
1 XP8 US 17 20 19 17 14 13 17 14 21 17 169 16.9
2 Arizona Airspeedish US 13 22 19 18 15 15 15 13 16 19 165 16.5
3 Qatar Falcons QA 16 21 18 14 15 15 16 13 17 16 161 16.1
4 Amphibious Attack Tigers US 12 14 13 14 10 9 10 9 14 13 118 11.8
5 French Monsters US 10 9 10 10 9 10 5 10 10 11 94 9.4
6 Blocksmiths XP US 10 10 10 6 6 6 8 7 10 7 80 8.0

First AAT bronze medals at the USPA Nationals 2015
Some AAT members of previous lineups will join the 3-way this year (Jim Rees, Lucas King, videographer John Legge), and new AAT member Doug Hendrix will be joined by Tim King and Kai Wolf in their first year with the 8-way team and the defending USPA bronze medalists.

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
Rank8-way OpenG,22,19,6,2D,7,178,J,C,KQ,B,14,2019,15,4A,10,1312,M,N,PH,O,3,165,21,11TotalAvg
1Golden KnightsUS2217161921221921281720220.2
GFly-In Machine 44BE2316171615211620261518518.5
GQatar FalconsQA1612151215161317201314914.9
2Arizona AirspeedUS1714111515171413181314714.7
GAmphibious Attack TigersUS1812131013181416151114014.0
6SDC Rhythm XP8US1211121311151215141212712.7
7Paraclete XP8US1311101112141211141011811.8
8Spaceland Gummies 8US1111871012910109979.7
GPerris Spider PigsUS5745657547555.5

Arizona Airspeedish at the USPA Nationals 2018
image by: USPA/Omniskore
This year, the four original AAT members will once again compete for the bronze medals, as Paraclete XP8 and Golden Knights are set for the two top spots. Ben Liston did not train with the new AAT lineup last weekend, which indicates that he will be back with this year's Airspeed 8-way pickup team.

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...

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