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Did You Know...

... that Mass Defiance plans to bring back the New England Skydiving League?

Team Mass Defiance
posted Jan 19th, 2006 - Great news are coming for the 4-way fans in New England. The USPA Champion of the Advanced Class in 2005, Mass Defiance, prepares to re-launch the New England Skydiving League, together with former NESL Director Beth Murray.

Mass Defiance member Ben Liston brought up the subject already in September 2005 and explained the desire of the 4-way fans in New England to join the network of the National Skydiving League. Mass Defiance recently finalized the team plans for the next two years, and these plans include helping to grow the 4-way community in New England.

Mass Defiance was probably the biggest surprise of the USPA Nationals 2005. It was no secret that the team had been together for a while. In fact, the 2005 season was already the second year for the same line-up with Ben Liston (Center Inside), Brian Stephens (Point), John Silva (Center Outside) and Jim Rees (Tail). Also, the team members were already experienced 4-way competitors before they joined with Mass Defiance.

USPA's Advanced Class winning averages
However, the team's 15.4 average for the gold medals in Perris last year was probably higher than other competitors in the Advanced Class had expected. Only Identity Crisis in 2001 was able to score one point higher (13.2 - 15.5 - 13.7 - 14.7 - 13.2 - 15.4) ever since the introduction of USPA's current Advanced Class in 2000.

Elsinore Gravity managed to keep close to a certain degree, but Mass Defiance was still 12 points ahead at the end of the 10-round competition. The 15.4 average in Perris would have been good enough for the 9th position in USPA's Open Class competition, tied with Perris Synchronicity and two points behind Perris Fury.

Mass Defiance exit
image by: www.massdefiance.org
Mass Defiance was already very close to USPA Advanced Class medals in 2004. The 12.8 average was one single point behind Elsinore Satori in third place and only four points behind the gold medal position of Elsinore Adrenaline. The progression from 12.8 to 15.5 within one year speaks for the team's great work in New England.

The very successful 2005 season encouraged the team members to make new plans for two more years with the same line-up, even though Mass Defiance will now have to step up into the Open Class at the USPA Nationals. Mass Defiance is also motivated to share knowledge, expertise and experience with the skydiving community in New England.

Beth Murray
This motivation and the long-term goals of the team was the foundation for plans to re-activate the New England Skydiving League in 2006, which was founded with NESL Director Beth Murray in 2000 and hosted regional meets until 2002.

The Mass Defiance members will be involved in the NESL operation and activities, and Ben Liston works together with Beth Murray to prepare the league affairs for the 2006 season.

The potential for a successful re-launch and a great NESL 2006 season is better than ever before. The success of Mass Defiance has sparked the interest in 4-way in New England, and the team members plan to support the grass roots, including Rookie and A Class teams, with special care.

The new SkyVenture wind tunnel in New Hampshire will contribute to this momentum, as well. The tunnel is already under construction and will most likely be ready when the NESL 2006 season begins. The owners, Robert Greer and Laurie Wass, have already expressed their interest in supporting the NESL activities.

Ben Liston has contacted the skydiving centers in the NESL area and found only open doors. The Connecticut Parachutists Inc. (CPI), Skydive Pepperell and Jumptown in Orange, Massachusetts, are already excited to see additional events and activities coming along with the New England Skydiving League.

The NSL website has already added the space and pages for the New England Skydiving League, and Mass Defiance has been added to the line-up of AAA Class teams. Mass Defiance has not competed yet at any of the NSL meets, which might have been a reason that the name was not as well known as others before competing at the USPA Nationals 2005.

Ben Liston
This will be different in the upcoming 2006 season, as the team plans to attend the regional events of the NESL. However, it will be challenging for Mass Defiance to combine the efforts to support the grass root level of the league and the team's own training and competition schedule. Ben Liston is still confident that his team will be able to manage this agenda. The consistently growing experience of the team members will be very helpful.

The NSL News will soon follow up with more information. Dates and locations of the NESL meets will be added as soon as possible, and Beth Murray can be contacted for additional information in the meantime.

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