Did You Know...... that several participants in the Northwest had their best skydiving day ever?
Early summer in the Northwest
Four teams competed: Synergy in AA at Skydive Kapowsin, JOES and Fun Sponge in A, and Rain Air in Rookie all at Skydive Snohomish. It is clear that most of the competitors have spent time at iFLY Seattle, training throughout the winter and spring.
David Zhang took on the judging duties for the meet along with coaching Rain Air. Coach Dave Correia continues to fly with JOES, and coach Deb Correia continues with Fun Sponge, with new team member Zackary Smathers.
Fun Sponge exit in Round 1
Fun Sponge ended the meet with a 4.0 average. Even so, the team felt they had a great meet. Jay Alspach and Kelli Alspach practiced in the tunnel with two others during the winter, coached by Deb Correia, but decided to regroup with Fun Sponge for the outdoor season. Zackary Smathers is a fairly new flier with around 150 jumps and one 15-minute tunnel session. He had never done any of the blocks, and the team only did two practice jumps a few weeks prior to the meet. Zack did an outstanding job flying Tail for the team. Knowing there was no way the team could catch up to JOES, Fun Sponge decided to go all-out and launch the first formation of every round, including Block 2. While not every launch was successful, they were all close, and a lot of learning was had.
New Rookie Class team Rain Air
Rain Air ended up taking a Zero in Round 5 because they didn't have any video but decided it was worthwhile to continue on with the meet rather than sitting on the ground waiting for someone to be available. The team, composed of Samantha D'Andrea, Irina Ulanova, Agata Staniak and Matthias Kaminski, has been training with David Zhang in the tunnel all winter and has made great progress.
With a new Point, Charles Wesley, and a new/old Center Inside, Dave Correia, who missed out on the last season due to a broken ankle, the JOES, with Djordje Mandaric and Denis Pershakov, had their sights on breaking their personal best of 10.8 average from last season's NWSL meets in the A Class.
NWSL 15way at the end of the day
All of JOES' exits were stable (including a new exit technique for Block 2) and their random work was characterized as clean by judge David Zhang. However, "it is clear that JOES have a lot more work to do on their outdoor block techniques in order to be able to reduce the horizontal separation between the pieces and pick up the pace", team member Djordje Mandaric commented.
All of the teams were finished with the meet by 5 pm, which gave time for Deb and Dave Correia to organize a successful 15way with most of the team members who competed at Snohomish and a few extras from around the drop zone. Deb Correia said that this was the largest formation many of these jumpers had been on: "Everyone made it to the first formation, and we nearly completed the second one before breaking off at 6,000 feet."
She also said that the training in the wind tunnel "has clearly paid off for jumping in the Northwest, keeping everyone current throughout the winter and building skills that would take hundreds of jumps in the outdoors. Several of the newer jumpers were heard saying that this was their best day of skydiving ever..."