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Did You Know...

... that the SSL Meet at Skydive Elsinore Draws 16 Teams?

posted Jun 25th, 2004 - Skydive Elsinore was host to the Southwest Skydiving League’s fourth meet, which turned out to be the largest meet of the season. Sixteen teams participated including three A teams, five AA teams and eight AAA teams. Judging was provided by June “Bug” Urschel and Mary Beth Koolhaas, Both will be judging at the US Nationals (Bug will in fact be Chief Judge) this fall in Perris.

DZO John Hamilton, League Director Pam Stevens and the judges addressed the large group of competitors at an 8:00 a.m. briefing. All hoped for the best as the seasonal “June Gloom” cloud layer threatened to interfere with the day’s schedule. Teams then began to creep and prep and wait…, and wait…. Finally, after noon, the clouds cleared and the loudspeaker began to announce more “optimistic”, then confirmed load calls. The meet was on.

Tiki bar at Skydive Elsinore
Fortunately the long summer day offered a chance to complete the meet in one day. The only other threat of complication was a serious videographer shortage. Four videographers were filming two teams (one of them doing it with only one rig). It made for a tight time crunch as sunset loomed. Craig O’Brien dashed over from Perris to help speed things along at the end of the day. Thanks to cooperation between the drop zone ownership and staff and the competitors, calls were sped up after round four, and the last loads landed right at sunset. The crowd continued to hang out in Elsinore’s pleasant Tiki-like bar area watching videographer Pat Newman’s “Video of the Week” and hovered around the scoreboard. The awards ceremony finally took place just before 10:00 p.m.!
Arizona Blade

AAA Class Competition

Competition in the AAA Class promised to be tight for all three sets of medals. By a margin of only one point, and a meet average of 16.8, the gold medal went to Arizona Blade (Mark Kirkby, Thomas Hughes, Natasha Montgomery, Beat Steffen with GT Camera flyer Jonathan Tagle filling in). Perris School Boyz (Dan BC and Tandem/AFF instructors Andy Delk, Mike Kindsvater and Pat McGowen with videographer John Crowe) got the silver medal with a 16.7 meet average. Who was running the drop zone at Perris all day?

Elsinore GT (Brian Vande Krol, Steve Miller, Josh Hall, John Craig with videographer and double-winner Jonathan Tagle) took the bronze medal with a 14.3 meet average. However, it could have been a more serious race for the third place if it were not for an unfortunate camera malfunction for Elsinore Satori (John Hamilton, Gary McDonald, Julie Richter, Joe Helfer, and videographer Pat Newman). Satori’s zero in round two lost them the bronze medal, but an outstanding performance in the final rounds (18 in round four, 17 in round five, 17 in round six) still kept Satori at an average of 12.7 and a solid fourth place.

Perris Jamba (David van Greuningen, Erin Murphy, Pam Stevens, Chris Riley with a guest camera flyer) enjoyed their first meet of the season and, despite a series of delays in training and an NJ in round four, posted a 12.2 meet average for fifth place. Elsinore Adrenaline, also competing for the first time this season, came in sixth place with an average of 11.7 despite some busting in the beginning of round six.

Perris Katalyst III (Christopher Irwin, Cass Emery, Veronic Golub, Christine Balro and videographer John Crowel), despite some creative slot substitutions, posted a 10.7 average with a score of 13 points in round four, and twelves in rounds five and six. Newly reformed team No Pressure (Tom Allen, Carmen Mulleni, Heather Nissen, Cathy Nettles and videographer Mr. Steve Scott) posted a 7.2 average.

Elsinore Equinox

AA Class Competition

Five teams competed in the AA Class. There was also a tight race for the gold medals, which finally went to Perris Pending (Dominic Guzman, Tony Domenico, Justin Shekoski, Steve Salomon and videographer Lori Thomas) by four points, with an 8.8 meet average. It was the way this team picked up speed throughout the meet that won them gold, posting impressive scores in the last three rounds (10 points in rounds four and five, 12 points in round six).

The silver medal in the AA Class went to Elsinore Equinox (Kevin Thompson, Rob Cope, Stve Simar, Don Mullenix and videographer “Bobby”). The eleven points in round four kept the average up and won second place with an 8.2 meet average.

The bronze medal in the AA Class went to Elsinore Fuse (Lou Ascione, Chris Luff, Caitie Unkovic, Morgan Dunn and videographer Jim Cowan) with a 6.2 meet average. Up a notch from the previous meet’s consistent 6’s, the team posted consistent 7’s in rounds three through six.

The fourth place went to Arizona Diveworkz (Murel W. Addison, Annaliese Petrson, Blane Boynton, Brian DeWitt and videographer a.k.a. vidiot Don Simonds, taking a break from the Perris Rebels). This team made the trek from Arizona and scored a 6.0 average in Elsinore. The fifth place went to Perris-Ites (Bill Morrison, Debbie Jasek-Parisi, Laurie Ross, Wayne Clarke, and videographer Terry Weatherford) with a 5.8 meet average.

A Class Competition

All three teams in this category were medal winners, or at least they would have been if the Meet Director hadn’t left the medals at home. Visiting from England to enjoy California’s warm weather and winning the SSL gold medals was the British team Evolution FST (Rob Rossall, Chris Southworth, Steve Rossall, Amanda Truman, and videographer Greg Reid) with a 7.7 meet average. Jolly good!

The silver medal went to Elsinore Fury (Marie Forbes-Harrell, Eric Luff, Julie Herrmann, Todd Graham, and Brian Harrell) with a 3.5 meet average. The bronze medal (and if there were a medal for the most unique team name they would also win this one) went to Elsinore Tent Trash (Jeff Schmitt, Parey Anastasi, Lito Aralar, Michael Brosnan, Videographer Lori Ross).

Acts of Heroism

The first act of heroism at this meet was performed by videographer Terry Weatherford’s teenage son Toby Weatherford, who drove to Pasadena to retrieve the medals that the meet director left sitting on her desk. THANK YOU! Silver and bronze medals of the A Class will be sent to Skydive Elsinore for retrieval.

Other acts of heroism included the videographers who managed to film more than one team and, in Jonathan Tagle’s case, win with more than one team. There were also the judges’ marathon couch session, judging a total of 102 rounds between approximately 1:00 p.m. and 9:00 p.m. virtually without a break. Lastly, the drop zone staff managed to put up all competition loads between 12:45 p.m. and sunset at 7:45, which is incredibly heroic and much appreciated. Thanks also to the large group that patiently awaited final scoring and the awards ceremony. Further thanks to Hammo, Carl, and the Skydive Elsinore manifest, office, pilots, and loaders for taking such good care of us.

See y’all next month at Perris Valley Skydiving!

Pamela Stevens, SSL Director

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