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Did You Know...

... that the NESL line-ups included national and world champions?

What's Your Team Name? in action
posted May 24th, 2006 - The New England Skydiving League successfully launched its 2006 season last weekend, even though the conditions were not perfect at all. The NSL News story on January 19 had posted the exciting news that USPA's 2006 Advanced Class champion, Mass Defiance, would re-activate the league this year. The story on April 8 followed up with additional information.

Last Saturday was the opening day for the league and its new leadership, and the teams and competitors in New England followed the call for action despite unfavorable weather conditions. Mass Defiance as a whole team did not compete since the team members were busy putting line-ups together for the meet.

Two and half Mikes prepares a jump
NESL supporter and Mass Defiance member Ben Liston reported that the weather allowed only "a partial meet" and added: "The teams completed three or four rounds over the two days, while the weather was brutal." He provided scores, names of the team members and team pictures after the conclusion of the meet, which have now been added to the team pages.

There were actually six teams ready to go on Saturday. Unfortunately, the weather came in before all teams could get up in the air. The 6th team, registered for the Rookie Class, could not return on Sunday and missed the whole meet. Ben Liston was still very happy with the participation at the first NESL 2006 meet:

First Jump Course with Dennis Rook
"We felt like the event was a huge success. People had fun on the jumps they made and made use of the weather by starting the Saturday night Hanger Opening Party at Jumptown a bit early. My team split up to fill in slots on three different teams and offered tips to other teams that wanted help engineering their jumps or figuring out how to execute certain blocks."

The NESL management already had some prizes for its teams, as well. The Relative Workshop provided a set of t-shirts that went to the winning team "What's Your Team Name?". Another 30% gift certificate for a container went to NESL competitor Mike Granims who jumps with team "Two and half Mikes".

Airspeed 8-way world champion Dennis Rook at the World Meet in Croatia 2004
The host, Jumptown, donated the video slots for the day and provided free food in the afternoon and evening for everyone at the dropzone. Ben Liston commented that "...the new facilities are fantastic and the DZ staff did a great job helping to make the meet run smoothly. Everyone is looking forward to our next meet!"

Three of the five teams competed in the AAA/Open Class competition. The number of experienced competitors, hidden in the line-ups of the teams as the members of Mass Defiance, included even a reigning world champion. A quick look at First Jump Course's team page shows a very familiar face. Former Airspeed member Dennis Rook came out to play with his NESL friends.

Airspeed members with retirees John Eagle and Dennis Rook at the World Cup 2005 in Eloy
The NSL News story on October 27, 2005, (Archives > 2005 > NSL News) came from the World Cup 2005 at Skydive Arizona. It included a short interview with Dennis Rook where he officially confirmed the end of his Airspeed career. He knew already by then that he would return to his home in New England.

Dennis Rook had a relatively short and very successful time with Arizona Airspeed. He won the USPA Nationals in 8-way in 2003, 2004 and 2005. The silver medal at the World Meet in France 2003 was followed by the 8-way gold medal in Croatia 2004. His last event, the World Cup 2005, was a great finish with another gold medal after an exciting competition with the French 8-way team.

The NESL teams and competitors are surely happy to have Dennis Rook back in New England. He will be an inspiration for the skydivers in the NESL region, and he has a lot of experience that he can forward to his fellow teams and competitors. The next NESL meet is scheduled for June 17 at Skydive New England.

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