posted May 17th, 2005 -
Traveling coach Robert Chromy and NPSL Director Sandy Grillet with Red Bull representatives
The Northern Plains Skydiving League held the first meet of 2005 at Skydive Iowa May 14 and 15. A planned training camp on May 13 was called due to weather, and travelling coach Robert Chromy took the day to explain each block of the dive pool to the gathered teams. Complementary DVD footage of the US Golden Knights was used as video aid. Every team was able to learn and practice and creep the blocks. Three new teams joined the NPSL ranks and indications are that by the second meet, we'll have about three more than that. Red Bull provided energy drinks for the meet.
Event judge John Goswitz
Saturday opened with sunshine and little wind and most teams were able to complete two rounds before the weather rolled in - including gusts approaching 40 MPH. The day was lost to jumping, but not to activities including drinks at the hotel hot tub or dropzone antics and the regular bonfire and party that evening.
A shortage of videographers threatened meet completion for many teams on Sunday. However, new Rookie Class team, OkieSpeed, had to leave without completing the meet for non-meet related commitments. With that, all the other teams were able to get in all six rounds before the clouds closed in.
Many thanks to Chromy, Sandy Grillet, and John Goswitz for coaching, organizing and judging respectively. Also to Skydive Chicago for use of the Otter and Skydive Iowa for another excellent kickoff to the NPSL 2005 season. We hope to see Chromy again in July for NPSL Meet 3 at Skydive Twin Cities.
Rookie Class team OkieSpeed
The new NPSL team "OkieSpeed" consists of Jerry Baker, Lawrence Rogge, Chris Erikson and Kevin Kracht and collected no scoring points in this meet.
A Class team Sputnick
"Sputnick" is another new NPSL team for the 2005 season and consists of Russ Lucas, Chris Meyer, John Arnold, Cliff Roy and Joel Davies on camera. Sputnick had a total of 14 scoring points for a solid start this season. Cliff Roy had attended the NPSL tunnel camp back in March.
A Class team M&M
The second team in the A Class competition was a new team, as well. "M&M" with Mark Farrell, Peggy Babcock, Sonny Bader and Chuck Feser won the duel with Sputnick with a total of 17 points.
AA Class team Fast FWD
Returning team "Fast FWD" (Bill Rehm, Aaron Hislop, Sarah Bultman, Steve Blake, Mike Guillou on Camera) won the AA Class competition with 54 points and a 9.0 average. Fast FWD had only four Cessna practices prior to the meet but managed to get a great tunnel camp in March.
Fast FWD team captain Bill Rehm noted: "We're happy with our work on the slow rounds three and five considering, but not so much with the faster rounds one, two and especially four. With all we've learned, we are hoping for a big improvement ramp this season and are just waiting for some all-random rounds in the future like we got last year. We left a lot of points in the air untaken this time. In all, this was a slower draw than the last two from the 2004 season where we also averaged 9 - it was hugely 'fun' draw this time. So we are picking up ahead of where we left off 2004 with almost no practice. We owe much to our tunnel coaches from March for a good launch into the season."
AA Class team Microburst
Returning team "Microburst" with father and son, Sandy and Nick Grillet, Jason Seibert, Ken Flanagan and Nick Halseth on camera finished with a total of 35 points and only one point short of winning after handicap. Outside Center Nick Halseth and Tail Ken Flanagan also attended the NPSL tunnel camp in March. With only two practice jumps prior to the meet, Microburst showed the same level of top notch composure by improving throughout the meet and finishing strong with an excellent round five as the team's high scoring round and the judge's #1 pick in the catagory of "Most Creative and Artistic Launch of a Satellite."
AA Class team Cockeyed
Returning team "Cockeyed" with Mike, Wendy and Aaric Oolman, Kenny Flint and Mark Wagner on camera completed the AA Class field with 28 points and was most impressive this time. Leaving the team's 2004 average of 3.9 in the dust by scoring five points in every single round but one, we are seeing the 4-way effect taking root in the club from Luverne. This team moved up in the handicap ranks a few years ago to sneak out a season win. Could we see a repeat in 2005?
NPSL 2005 Meet 2 will be held at Skydive Twin Cities on June 18 - 19. The traveling coach will be Solly Williams of the reigning world champion 4-way team, Deland Majik. We are hoping for a mini-camp on June 17.
Meet story provided by Bill Rehm