“Here are some nuggets from the Vertical Challenge at Skydive Arizona. The song is Colours by Grouplove. Oh yeah, and The Final Countdown by Europe :)” – Video edited by Brandon Atwood
The Az Vertical Challenge, ran along side the celebrated belly version, the Arizona Challenge, was held this year May 24- 27, 2013. The event was hosted by Skydive Arizona and organized by Arizona Arsenal. The purpose was to bring participants together to perform unique vertical formations with multiple points.
All 14 jumps went to 16,500 feet and were between 23 to 32 ways, 12 formation jumps, and 2 full skyvan loads. Registered participants paid the Memorial Day Boogie price of $21.00 per jump plus $5.50 for extra altitude w/ oxygen.
The goal was multiple point head down big ways, with some upright bonus points. An awesome mixed group of flyers showed up including experienced locals such as former Arsenal member Jason Peters, PD Flight-1 Coach Travis Mills, and Kim Winslow and Friday Friedman of Arizona Drive. The group also included accomplished visitors like tunnel instructors Aaron Necessary and Antonio Arias, and Paul Cooper and Dafi Filipowski coming all the way from the UK and Eastern Europe. Enthusiastic new talent like locals Paige Milligan and Melissa Zender got in there on some tough slots and rocked it. Fun was had by all!
There was also an impromptu smaller “skills camp” group of between 4 and 8 people working on VFS core fundamentals such as launching bases, diving, floating, stinging and break-offs.
Some of the cool jumps were the “fountain” with several concentric rings breaking off from the center, and the “three eyed monkey” where the 28 way built then became 7 different pieces with translation, rotation and vertical movement in relation to the base.
There were two Huck Jams at the tunnel, 1 hour each night organized by Ty Losey, Brandon Atwood, Steve Curtis, Sara Curtis and Jason Peters. Participants worked on vfs, dynamic, and multi-dimensional flying.
At the dz, early start times allowed for getting the jumps in before temperatures got too hot and turbulent. Any summertime visitor to Skydive Az knows that the key to making the most of your day in the summer desert is to get going early, and finish up early.
Many people travelled from as far away as Europe to jump with the Arizona crew. Thanks to you all for making this event such a great time. We hope to get things even bigger next year, as we’ve got the aircraft on hand to make it happen! So bring your friends and join us for dodging dust devils in the desert.
Challenge Participants: Craig Amrine, Antonio Arias, Vince Arnone, Brandon Atwood, Becky Baird, Wade Baird, Amy Benton, John Blackburn, Chazi Blacksher, Paul Cooper, Luke Cotton, Sara Curtis, Steve Curtis, Niklas Daniel, Dafi Filipowski, Danielle Ford, Mike “Friday” Freidman, Dave Hawley, Jeff Johnson, Nancy Koreen, Eric Leggiere, Ty Losey, Lisa Mazzetta, Paige Milligan, Travis Mills, Aaron Necessary, Jason Peters, James Schroeppel, Mark Stoddart, Kim Winslow, Melissa Zender, Dave Rhea (video and stills)
Skills Camp Participants: Derek Wallen, Nick Blacksher, Gary Schmit, Whitney Reighly, Ed Varley, Brianne Thompson
A special thanks to Mike Coffey, local freefly organizer who helped fill those morning early high altitude loads with his groups of fun jumpers!