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Did You Know...

... that both New England teams posted record scores last weekend?

Mass Defiance 2005
posted Jun 13th, 2007 - The slowest meet weekend of the 2007 season followed the record weekend of June 2. Only the New England Skydiving League completed a competition last weekend. The Northwest Skydiving League competition was weathered out, and two teams managed to beat the weather on the east coast with six jumps at Skydive New England.

However, the results of these two NESL teams were still interesting enough. One of the two teams was Mass Defiance, USPA's Advanced Class champion of 2005. Mass Defiance members Ben Liston and Brian Stephens have also taken over the league management in New England this year and spent a lot of energy to prepare for the NESL 2007 season.

Creeping in 2006
Mass Defiance was mostly focused on running the NESL meets, and the efforts paid back at the season opener on May 5 when six teams attended the meet at Conneticut Parachutists. It was so busy for the team members in May that Mass Defiance was not able to attend the competition with the team's own line-up.

Last weekend offered a better opportunity, even though it was not planned to turn out the way it did. Mass Defiance was prepared this time to run the event and compete at the same time. Unfortunately, Saturday's weather did not cooperate at all, and many NESL teams and competitors did not even show up. Brian Stephens commented the weather situation in the northern parts of the country:

"We had a total weather day on Saturday. Not a single jump was made, which hurt our training, too. However, we're used to this sort of thing in New England. It sounds like the Northwest Skydiving League has similar issues. It certainly is tough in some regions of the country that don't have year-round jumpable weather."

B.T. Eva members in 2006
Mass Defiance and B.T. Eva were still on competition site when the weather improved on Sunday, and both teams completed the six rounds of the competition. It was a good decision to stay and wait for the weather opportunity, as the scores for both teams show.

Brian Stephens confirmed that Sunday's weather was beautiful. He understood that teams from other parts of New England did not make the trip due to the forecast for Saturday. However, the two local teams were present on Sunday and used the opportunity to post great scores. Brian Stephens was especially excited for the A Class team B.T. Eva:

"B.T. Eva put up a 10-pointer! That's the first time they've hit the double digits mark. They also did very well score-wise. It looks like right now they're in 2nd place of the national A Class Rankings. They jumped in the Rookie Class last year, so they're doing very well climbing up the ranks. We'll see if they can grab that first place slot after NESL Meet 3."

Mass Defiance 2007
Mass Defiance didn't stay far behind the A Class team as of scoring progression. In fact the 18.0 average after six rounds is a new team record. Ben Liston (Center Inside), Jim Rees (Tail), John Silva (Center Outside), Brian Stephens (Point) and Steve Feldman (Camera) won Advanced Class gold medals at the USPA Nationals 2005 with a 15.4 average, posted a 15.0 average at the NSL Playoffs in September 2006 and then a 16.7 average at the USPA Nationals in October 2006. Last weekend's 18.0 average was the first official result of the 2007 season.

The team was happy and excited, as Brian Stephens reported: "Mass Defiance was finally able to jump in an NESL meet and post some scores for the NSL leaderboard outside of USPA Nationals. We were psyched. That might have also contributed to less teams since we weren't available to fill in vacant slots this time, but it was fun putting up some numbers."

Mass Defiance in 2007 action
The meet day was a part of a long training weekend for Mass Defiance, from Friday through Monday. Brian Stephens explained the meet and training situation: "We worked the meet into our training schedule. We started out on Sunday with the draw doing three sets of back-to-back jumps and then continued jumping for training."

Mass Defiance coach, Sinapsi PD and XL member Pete Allum, was on training and competition site, as well. He spends his summer in Spain this year where he organizes training camps in Ampuriabrava. Mass Defiance had invited him to work with the team throughout the meet weekend:

"Our Coach, Pete Allum, was also in town for this camp. He was a tremendous help for us, as always, and for the other jumpers at the meet, as well. We haven't done a camp with him since January, so it was a good to have him back. He'll be back again in August."

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