posted May 26th, 2005 -
MESL Rookie Class team 4-Play
As the day dawned clear and bright on May 21st, a total of seven teams began arriving at Skydive Greene County to kick off the 2005 season of the newly re-named Mideast Skydiving League
. There were some known faces and some new ones this year.
In the Recreational Class, newcomers Foreplay would put forward a very nice day while enjoying themselves immensely. Their scores are especially credible since at least one member of the team had never jumped a tailgate prior to round one. Foreplay had no direct competition at this meet, but that is expected to change when all the members of DC3 are healthy again.
AAA Class team Fastrax at the MESL season opener
Fastrax and Fastrax Select took on the AAA Class draw. Having a tailgate aircraft for this meet left its mark on both teams. In spite of this, the skydives were hot. In fact, Fastrax's Satellite launch in round four was a thing of beauty.
The real battleground was in the AA Class, where four teams slugged it out. Old, Cold and Grumpy posted some pretty good scores for a bunch of guys who had not a single jump as a 4-way prior to the meet. After two rounds Soylent Greene, Airtight and Vortex were all wondering who was going to blink first.
AAA Class team Fastrax Select
The score was a 3-way tie at the end of round two with 13 points. It turned out that it was Vortex that blinked. Soylent Greene and Airtight carried the tie into round four. Then it was Soylent Greene's turn to blink in round four, while Vortex had a rough exit. It was a nice day of competition in this class.
The MESL was pleased to welcome a new judge, Deanne Hesterberg, who recently moved into the region from Texas. The addition of a USPA rated National Judge is most welcome and will serve to improve the League by providing outstanding feedback.
AA Class team Airtight
At the end of round four, a couple of teams had questions about their scores and infringements. Deanne and I discussed the questions and reviewed USPA's Skydiving Competition Manual. As we read it, there seemed to be a conflict with what we understood about this year's rule changes.
An outside opinion was sought from NSL President, Kurt Gaebel. Our phone call was returned and Kurt and Deanne traded available information. At the end of this call, we determined that there was an apparent error in the language of the USPA Manual, which effectively altered the rules.
AA Class team Soylent Greene
I decided that the IPC's rules were the controlling document and asked Deanne to re-score all rounds to match the IPC rules. In my opinion, everyone involved in this problem handled every aspect with the utmost mutual respect and professionalism.
The re-scoring had an immediate effect on the progress of the meet. Prior to the re-scoring, Airtight and Soylent Greene were tied at the end of six rounds and were actually in the air for a tie-breaker when the new scores came out. The new scores cleared the tie, but both teams jumped anyway, and tied for that round, as well.
AA Class team Vortex
Despite the questions with the rules, our first meet of the year was a resounding success. I look forward to seeing everyone at Skydive Greensburg on June 18th (rain date June 19th) for MESL Meet 2.
Randy Connell, MESL Director