USPA Parachutist Cover December 2016

EagleBear (Andre Gerner, Joseph Gerner and Nathan Roth) turn points on the way to taking the silver medal in open mixed formation skydiving at the USPA Nationals in Eloy, Arizona.

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Parachutist online

Skydive Radio Photo of the Week Show #227!

I would like to thank Dave at Skydive Radio for making my image below their pic of the week! Skydive Radio is the world’s leading internet radio show dedicated to the sport of skydiving.  Weekly episodes include commentary, feature interviews with industry insiders, listener-contributed photos, and e-mails from an audience that spans the globe.

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Arizona X-FORCE takes 3rd at the 2016 USPA Nationals!

2016-sdaz-nationals-logo-small.pngThe 2015 USPA Nationals were held at Skydive Arizona(SDAZ) in Eloy, AZ. In the 4-way VFS category there were 6 teams in open, and 4 in advanced –the same turnout as the previous year.

Last year, Arizona X-Force took 3rd place at the 2015 USPA Nationals in Eloy with a 13.13 average. After completing close to 200 training jumps at Skydive Arizona, and spending about 20 hours in the Skyventure Arizona wind tunnel, the team was only able to maintain their competition average at a 13.88 this year. Unfortunately Seth Studer (tail flyer) needed shoulder surgery 2 months prior to the competition, forcing him to stay on the ground. Luckely Jason Peters was able to fill in last minute for Seth; and with very minimal training, the team entered the competition.

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Left to right:Brianne Thompson, Niklas Daniel, Kevin Mitchell (video), Jason Peters, Johnny Gunn. Photo by David Cherry.

Here is a look at the draw for the open devision:

  1. H-14-4
  2. 16-G-6
  3. B-L-A-E-15
  4. 12-13-J
  5. 9-D-2
  6. 11-F-5
  7. i-7-M-K
  8. 3-1-10
  9. N-17-8 (tie breaker round) not jumped

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SDC Core and Arizona Arsenal ended up taking the first two spots on the podium. There was an exciting fight to the finish between Arizona X-Force, the ARMY Golden Knights, and Skydive California Super Serious as they battled for the bronze until the last round. In the end, X-Force managed to put two more points on the board than the Knights, securing their 3rd place finish. For more in-depth information, please visit omniskore, and for more media coverage check out SkydiveTV.

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Arizona X-Force would like to thank Skydive ArizonaSkyventure Arizona, and all of our equipment sponsors who made this training season possible. Special thanks to Jason Peters for filling in last minute.

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VFS Open team Arizona X-FORCE. Photo by Jochen Althoff.

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VFS Open podium photo by Jochen Althoff.

Teams from left to right: Arizona Arsenal (2nd), SDC Core (1st), Arizona X-FORCE (3rd)

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AXIS at CSC for 1st Vector Camp

CSC_logoDarker.png13062454_1075000679225457_3689017340747840641_n.pngOn August 11-14, AXIS Flight School went to  Vector Camp #1 at Chicago Skydiving Center (CSC) to organize and coach in both FS and free-fly disciplines.

Brianne put together large belly groups and challenged them with formations AXIS put together. These jumps involved stepping out of the usual FS skill sets and rules and required participants to think fast and fly very precise. Nik provided video for some of the FS groups and also provided some free-fly organizing and angle jump coaching. The AXIS vs. Grillets big way belly sequential event ended up with a slightly different format than advertised. Because the turn out of the event was lower than expected, there just simply were not enough people to form four 10-way teams. Because of this, the participants were  encouraged to come together and challenge their skills with more complex dives.

Performance Designes hosted their Backyard Accuracy Challenge, where participants were able to demo the Optimum reserve and fly through a simulated back yard with obstacles. The winner of the event walked away with a free OP Reserve!

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Jason playing the didgeridoo after a couple of shots at 9am Australian local time.

On the evening of the 12th, three famous figures in the skydiving community were put onstage and asked to recall some of their favorite memories from their skydiving carriers. The evening took on a humorous mood as the mixing of crazy stories and alcohol continued. As Jason Cooke is located in Australia, he joined the event via a webcam and light projector.  13738363_1127571877301670_6289208481130646850_o.jpg

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CSC hangar during drunken skydiver history

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later in that evening…

For more images and info, check out the Vector Camp Facebook page.

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VectorCamps: Premier Skills Camps in the U.S.

Sign up here!

Building on the success of the famous Vector Festival event in Europe, UPT has spearheaded a group of manufacturers, coming together to deliver a skills camp experience like no other. The goal is to work with top coaches and provide camp participants with a safe and personalized way to further their skills. Number of slots available per each day is limited.  Coaches and organizers will come from teams like Fly4Life, SDC Core and AXIS Flight School, and focus on working with a small group of flyers. Participants will be entered into a raffle to win a custom Vector container at the end of the series, along with many smaller prizes during each camp.

The manufacturers and vendors behind the Vector Camps are Performance DesignsVigilVertical SuitsCookie HelmetsSquirrelAirborne America.

In conjunction with each VectorCamp, we at Blue Skies Mag will deliver tips, tricks and interview from select coaches on a variety of topics – especially for those of you that can’t make it to the camps in person!

The first VectorCamp is to be held at Chicagoland Skydiving Center (CSC) August 11-14, 2016, featuring a variety of events and disciplines:

⚬ 10 Way FS Challenge (AXIS Flight School vs. the Grillet family)
⚬ Intro to Canopy Flocking (Greg Rau)
⚬ Angle Leadership Group (Andy Locke)
⚬ Mixed FreeFly Sequentials (Naomi Kotzee)
⚬ Multi Dimensional Wingsuit Flight (Lawrence de Laubadere)
⚬ HeadUp Formations and Big Way Skills (Gareth Bloodworth)
⚬ Intro to FS and Group Belly Flying Skills
⚬ Intro to FreeFly
⚬ Intro to Angle Flying

For more information on the CSC event, please visit this post on the VectorCamps page.
To keep up to date with future camps, check out the VectorCamps Facebook page.

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Originally posted by Blue Skies Magazine May 12, 2016

Luke & Greg

Luke and Greg visited AXIS Flight School at the end of March 2016. The purpose of their visit was to be introduced to 2-way MFS (mixed formation skydiving) in a formally coached setting. During their week and a half long stay, the duo performed 28 training jumps and 10 hours of coached tunnel time, which allowed them to see every formation in the advanced dive pool. In addition Luke and Greg refined their individual, as well as formation flying skills.

Machete Squad wins 1st annual MFS Money Meet

IMG_3090.PNGOn February 20th, a 2-way MFS competition has officially replaced the scambles-style meet that was normally held around this time. This year Skydive Arizona hosted the 1st Annual MFS Money Meet! Three members of Arizona X-FORCE (Brianne, Nik, and Seth on video) entered the competition under the team name Machete Squad.

Five teams attended and the decision was made to combine the two classes – open and advanced. The competitors utilized the advanced dive pool over six rounds. Here are the results which were scored and posted by omniskore:

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After six rounds Machete Squad took the top spot on the podium with 92 points, the Panty Snatchers took second with 49 points, and 29 Toes took third with 36 points.

Thanks to all who attended and for making this competition possible.

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Skydive AZ first annual 2-way MFS Money Meet winners.

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Team Machete Squad (from left to right: Nik, Seth, and Brianne)

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Group shot of all teams, judges, and coordinator.