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Did You Know...

... that Mile Hi Mayhem challenges the top contenders of this year's Rookie Class?

Mayhem 2007 lineup
image by: Julie Blakley
posted Jun 19th, 2007 - The Colorado Skydiving League literally had the minimum attendance last weekend at its second meet of the 2007 season. Only Rookie Class team Mile Hi Mayhem completed four rounds on their hometurf. COSL Director Travis Roth reported that the Air Force teams have left for the summer on training programs all over the world, and his other civilian COSL teams had scheduling conflicts.

Mayhem could complete only four of the six scheduled rounds due to the weather situation, as Travis Roth explained: "As with most summer days in Colorado - the afternoon weather is as unpredictable as it gets. Wind and lightning shut down our meet after four jumps."

Colorado's Rookie Class team, with Craig Julien (Center Inside), Bob Meister (Point), Russ Moran (Center Outside), Kim Smith (Tail) and Peter Konrad (Camera) did not get distracted by the critical weather situation and posted a new team record with the 8.0 meet average.

Coach Rusty Lewis is one of the most experienced tunnel flyers and instructors and has moved his team's flying skills up from one performance level to the next one meet by meet.

Jump preparations last weekend
image by: Julie Blakley
The 2007 season is Mayhem's second year in the Rookie Class, and the team started at a 0.3 average level in April 2006. Last year's meets in June (1.7) and August (1.6) did not bring the breakthrough. The performance level had a serious lift for the first time in September 2006 with a 6.3 average.

The increased fun and success on the new performance level at the last meet in 2006 was probably the reason that Mayhem signed up for another season in the Rookie Class, and the team continued this year in fact where it finished last year. The first meet in May 2007 brought a 6.4 average for Mayhem.

Hard Mayhem work at the mockup
image by: Julie Blakley
The 8.0 average of last weekend included the team's second 2-digit score with a 10-pointer in Round 2. The 12-pointer of the first 2007 meet still stands as Mayhem's highscore for a round. However, the performance has obviously become more consistent, as the 8.0 average shows.

Mayhem has now become one of the top contenders in this year's Rookie Class competition in the USA. The scores of the Carolina Skydiving League teams in the Rookie Class are still missing. However, Mayhem has a good chance to defend last weekend's top position successfully and aim at the 1st place in the national NSL Rankings of the Rookie Class.

The 8.0 average brings Mayhem even close to the best international teams in the Rookie Class. The teams from Great Britain have been dominating this competition class in the past, and 4-Play has posted the highest average of the 2007 season with an 8.7 average at the Grand Prix competition on June 2 so far.

Bodyflight Frenzy in 2006
Several UK teams broke the 10.0 average in 2006, and the meet averages went up as high as 19.9 in August 2006, posted by Bodyflight Frenzy after eight rounds. The team scored three 23-pointers in the same meet. This was not even the highest score in the Rookie Class. Team 100% had posted a 24-pointer already on July 22 in Great Britain, which stands for the current Rookie Class record. The jump can still be viewed on NSL-TV by clicking here.

Mile Hi Mayhem is not at that scoring level yet. However, Englishman Rusty Lewis is probably eager to challenge the scores of the Rookie Class teams in Great Britain, which are mostly built on the foundation of serious windtunnel training at Bodyflight Bedford. Colorado has a windtunnel in Denver, too, and the COSL teams have access to it.

UK team 100% in 2006
Craig Julien is the senior member of the team with a total of approx. 300 jumps. He has competed with Caged Animals before. Russ Moran and Kim Smith are with Mayhem for the second year, as well, and follow closely behind with 200 and 140 jumps respectively. Mayhem 2006 member Jim Lawler has taken a break for the 2007 season and was replaced by former pro motorcycle road racer Robert "Dr. Bob" Meister. With only about 90 total jumps, Dr. Bob is the freshman member of the team but skydives strong as a result of many practice rounds in the Colorado windtunnel. Travis Roth added that "rumor has it, he was learning his head down skydiving skills in the tunnel before starting AFF..."
Rusty Lewis with DeLand Scape in 2004
Peter Konrad has joined the team to film the training and competition jumps. Coach Rusty Lewis competed with DeLand Scape (Pete Allum, Brian Johnson, Michael Biederman) in 2004 and finished the season with a 17.8 average and the silver medals behind Arizona Blade at the NSL Championship of SkyQuest 2004. He is now a professional windtunnel instructor and examiner.

Mayhem's plans for 2007 include 85 training jumps, which will be supported by weekly tunnel sessions with Rusty Lewis. The team's initial goal of surpassing last years 3.2 average has already been met, so the newly defined goal for the team is to be a 2007 top contender in the Rookie Class.

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