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Did You Know...

... that 4-way is as popular as ever in Great Britain?

posted Jun 9th, 2007 - The actual meet story wraps up the coverage of the second UK Grand Prix competition of the 2007 season on June 2, while teams from New England, Northwest and Texas are already in full swing this weekend. It's the season opener in the Northwest and in Texas, the New England Skydiving League holds its second meet of the 2007 season. This time, Mass Defiance plans to put the team's own first 2007 scores on the leaderboard. The new scores will be posted as soon as possible, here is the meet story with more details from the last meet in Great Britain.
RAFSPA A team launches a Meeker
image by: Dave Ledward

UK Grand Prix Meet in Langar, Notts

By BPA Formation Skydiving representative Chris Hollis

Glorious sunshine shone down on the United Kingdom for a change enabling the cream of the country's up and coming talent to compete in the latest round of the NSL network. Synched up to the rest of the competing nations, the UK line-up saw three AA Class teams, seven A Class teams and six Rookie Class line-ups all going for gold and to see where they are against their skydiving friends in other nations.

Dit Mon Nom Salope had originally entered in the AAA Class competition but thankfully agreed after some discussion to move to the AA Class to provide more of a competition on site and prevent "Dit" having a solitary time up in the AAA Class, thank you, guys!

Due to maintenance issues with the host drop zone's normal Cessna Caravan, and much to the delight of the jumpers, all rounds were jumped from the tailgate of a Skyvan. There was a high number of inexperienced teams, and many of the jumpers had little or no tailgate experience, so many of the more experienced competitors, plus a couple of coaches providing free BPA supported coaching, were kept busy discussing the finer points of tailgate exits.

A Class team Phobia
Most of the teams coped really well and were enjoying the whole thing. Trained AA team, Wingnutz, fell foul of the slipstream and spent much of round one recovering from a funnel, only to blast out 23 points in 24 seconds upon getting back together. Having been on a training camp recently with Mark Kirkby in Eloy, the Airspeed method of training seems to be highly effective, as Wingnutz ended up clear winners with a solid 13.8 average over "Dit" and Fend 4 Yourself scrapping it out for silver and bronze respectively.

In the A Class, now in their second year together, Phobia took advantage of the all-random draw in Round 1 to post an impressive 19-pointer and repeated the feat in the all-random Round 4. That created a gap that saw them walk away A Class winners, comfortably ahead of Slightly Odd, who despite some good rounds never managed to close the gap on the ESL Rookie champions of 2006.

A Class team Monkey Magic
Third place was a three-way split between Monkey Magic, Qi (pronounced "cheee") and Seraphim, so we were into a jump-off! The other competitors who had finished waved off the three teams to the enplaning point. When the judging was finished with the new CamScore system, first seen at the World Challenge 2007 at Bodyflight Bedford and now used very successfully for its first out-door skydiving competition, Monkey Magic and Qi both scored 8-pointers with Seraphim taking off their jumpsuits for the day after scoring six points. The second jump-off saw Qi just pipped by the all-girl Monkey Magic who took the well deserved bronze medals for their efforts.
Rookie Class team Phoenix launches a Star
4-play were in fine form in the Rookie Class and loving the Skyvan exits. This very inexperienced team was skydiving well and building on their silver medals at the first meet the year. This popular young outfit managed to walk away as the easy winners in the Rookie Class. A solid performance by Recreational Hazards saw the local team fend off a late push by scratch team Strangers in the Night who were having a great time and using all the coaching advice to good effect.

4-way competition in the United Kingdom is as popular as ever, and there is a great feeling among the competitors at these events. The standard of jumping at these levels is really encouraging for the sport. Let's hope these guys keep together so that in a few years the AAA Class teams of today are looking hard over their shoulder at the young UK challengers.

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