Johnny Gunn takes top Amateur spot for the 2016 season. Photo by Tony Efird
What a great season it was down here in the Southeast. We held 4 competitions in the 2016 FLCPA season with USPA Nationals right after the third meet. The season started in February and finished up in May. The meets had 49,57, 59, and 37 competitors at each. That’s more than many countries pull for a nationals and greater attendance than ever before in an FLCPA season. There were 41 competitors who joined the league this season to battle for overall standings. In 2015 there were 39, 22 in 2014, and 30 in 2013. We added a new venue in 2016 with a spectacular pond which was purpose built at Skydive Sebastian. For 2017 we’re looking to add West Tennnessee to our list of host DZ’s with the new pond that their putting the final touches on as we speak. No matter which way you look at it, we’re growing.
Curt Bartholomew took top honors as the PRO season champion with an unprecidented four victories. No one has ever before swept the entire FLCPA season. Second place went to Albert Berchtold and third to Matt Shull. These two were battling until the last jump for points looking to edge each other out.
Johnny Gunn took overall Gold in the Amateur Class followed by Rory Agundez with Cliff Steele wrapping up the top 3. Consistent performances throughout the season brought the top spots to these three who will graduate up to the PRO class for the 2017 season.
This years coveted “Most Improved” went to John Lopez from the US Army Golden Knights. John arrived at the first meet this season as a “middle of the pack” amateur competitor and quickly showed what he was made of. With the guidance of his team mates he darted to be one of the top competitors in his class. We look forward to seeing him crush it in the years to come.
We’ve already started planning for the 2017 season and have some changes in mind that will help grow the league even more. New Venues are on the way. We’re looking at expanding the competition into THREE classes instead of the two classes we’ve been running for the last 10+years.
Big things to come….
The 2016 season finished strong at Skydive Paraclete XP with 37 competitors vying for for the top spots not only at this meet, but for overall season standings.
The meet started off with Zone Accuracy in crosswind/quartering tailwind conditions. Matt Shull jumped into the lead in the pro class while John Lopez took the lead in the amateur class. The winds picked up over limits after the completion of Zone accuracy and we took the afternoon off and returned to complete distance at the end of the day.
Photo by Tony Efird
Saturday evening was the end of season dinner at PK’s Bar & Grill where we celebrated the retirement of Golden Knight Greg Windmiller.
Sunday morning was sunny skies and onto the speed event. quartering tail winds made for some fast runs. Amatuers Johnny Gunn and Rory who were leading the pack after day one both got zeros in the first round of speed and dropped down in the pack. The pro class saw Curt Bartholomew, Matt Shull, Albert Berchtold, Sven Jseppi, and Joe Abeln battling for the medal spots.
In the Amateur class Marcus Denniston took the Gold, followed closely by Nate Clark, while the Bronze medal went to Nick Peck from Deland.
In the Open class Curt Bartholomew locked up first place with his fourth victory this season, second place went to Matt Shull from the US Air Force, and Albert Berchtold took home the Bronze.
Big thanks to Skydive Paraclete XP for an excellent job hosting the meet. Special thanks to all the Judges, Performance Designs, and the US Army Golden Knights for all their help putting this meet together.
Stay tuned for the season wrap-up!
The final meet in Raeford is quickly approaching:
5 Matt Leonard
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The first two meets of the 2016 season have been awesome! Last month the season kicked off at the new pond in Sebastian. The dz was super excited to welcome all the swoopers and show off their new pond. Even with overcast conditions we still managed to complete 50 competitors before 5:00. In the pro class Curt Bartholomew took the gold, Pablo Hernandez won silver, and rounding out the podium was Justin Price. For the amateurs Rory Agundez took home gold, Johnny Gunn was second, and Danny Feltner took home third. The DZ did a great job on hosting their first event and we’re looking forward to welcoming them to the circuit again next year.
Meet two brought us to Zephyrhills, and the crowd grew to 58 competitors. High winds and cloud cover held us to 3 rounds for the PRO class and 4 rounds in the amateur class. Curt, Justin Price and Canadian Sven Jseppi were the medal winners in the pro class. The Am class was won by Darin McKeen,Johnny Gunn, and Rory Agundez.
The Pro overall season standings are updated and world champ Curt Bartholomew is in the lead, with Justin Price close behind in second, followed by Albert Berchtold sitting in third and Tommy Dellibac in fourth.
In the Amatuer class it’s a close race with Rory Agundez and Johnny Gunn neck and neck for the top seat, each with a first and second finish. Cliff Steele and Nate Olson sitting in 3rd and 4th are also in the running for a top seat. But as we all know, the season overall seats will be taken by the ones who can keep up their consistency when the going gets tough.
Keep up with the scores on control tower!
In past years we’ve always been plagued with winds playing havoc with our competition. Each place we go we have different measuring devices and while some are better than others, we routinely find winds playing too much of a role in our competition. While we can’t remove wind difference altogether, we can continue to do our best to minimize them from effecting the outcome of our competitions. In an effort to give us better wind reading capabilities, we’ve ordered a super sweet AIRSHOTS system. This software and and hardware system comes from our friends in Austria who have custom built a program that will give us detailed information that is specifically designed to work for our discipline. We will have detailed wind speeds, direction, graphs and the capability to save wind readings for each competitor into a csv file.
Click here: Airshots Anemometer for a detailed rundown on the software, and hardware we’ll be using! The good news is that it’s in the mail and hopefully we’ll have it up and running for next weeks meet. The bad news is, as mentioned earlier, we’ll be reducing the prize money paid out at each meet in order to help fund this expenditure. But it’s well worth it!!!
Fresh 300 reline, check. Reserve in date, check. Hotel and car reservations made, check. The 2016 season is about to begin!!!!
The preregistration list can be found here.
A couple reminders:
*Is my reserve, and USPA membership in date?
*Don’t forget to preregistration by Thursday noon in order to save$$.
*Safety & competition briefing will be Friday at sunset.
*Amateurs-please read and understand turn and wing load safety restrictions for your class. Any questions, please ask.
*We’ll be running the new 2016 FAI rules which were just adopted a couple weeks ago.
*As mentioned earlier, we’ll be lowering the cash prizes this year in order to purchase a new ultrasonic anemometer.
Here’s a couple Arial shots of the new pond in Sebastian. It looks pretty awesome!!!
Heres the list
* If there is an asterisk next to your name, your payment has not been completed. In order to get the preregistration price, payment must be completed by noon Thursday before the meet.
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We’re only a few weeks away from the season opener!! We’ve confirmed coaches for the first two meets. As we did last year, the coach will be on hand all day Friday for short debriefs and talking to competitors during their practice runs. This will give you some added feedback before the meet starts.
West Tennessee Skydiving is pleased to announce breaking ground on their 300′ x 80 ‘ north/south swoop pond. The pond will be fed by the DZ well and will feature an aerator pump to keep the water clean and fresh.
Initially, accuracy will run south, distance will run north and speed will be both directions.
DZ amenities include the fastest climbing aircraft in the country, indoor air-conditioned packing for everyone, swimming pool, showers, laundry room, wi-fi, and RV hookups. When swooping south competitors will land 150ft from the entrance of the air-conditioned packing area and will load the aircraft in the attached drive-thru hangar. http://www.SkydiveKingAir.com
The 2016 FLCPA season will have a few prizes from our supporters. This year the top placing Amateur competitor will take home a pair of custom liquid sky swoop shorts. That’s right, if you can be the best of the best in Am class, you’ll be rockin’ a brand new pair of custom swoop shorts at the end of the season. Good Luck!!!
*prize will go to the top placing amateur without a support or sponsorship from another suit manufacturer. So if first place has a support relationship from another company, then the prize will go to second place, and so on.
A couple changes for 2016:
1. Registration will close at sunset Friday- Safety briefing and exit orders will be done Friday evening at sunset. That is approx. 5:30 pm for meets 1&2) This should help us get rolling quickly and efficiently on Saturday morning.
2. We’re planning on purchasing a new windmeter(yay)!!! Crazy winds and windmeter troubles have long been a challenge for CP. This year after speaking to a few folks it seems like a good idea to invest in some state of the art wind measuring devices. We hope to have a new ultrasonic anemometer up and running by meet #1.
3. As was the case when we updated from camera timing to electronic sensors, we’ll be paying out smaller cash prizes for the 2016 season in order to fund the Wind meter. Everyone I spoke to felt this was a worthwhile investment to help alleviate the wind troubles we always seem to have. The plan for this year is to pay out a cash purse for the season overall and forgo the cash prizes at each individual meet. We will of course continue to award bad ass custom FLCPA medals for each meet to the top 3 PRO and top 3 Amateurs.
If you’ve got any ideas or suggestions, please feel free to shoot me an email at email@example.com
It’s that time of year again. The 2015 season is wrapping up for our sister league in the Northeast, and it’s time to start making your plans to come on back down to the Southeast for the 2016 season!! We’re happy to be adding a new venue to the schedule this year. Skydive Sebastian is putting the final touches on their pond.USPA Nationals of Canopy Piloting will be returning to Skydive City this year, so we’re happy to head back there twice this year before Nationals. Our Season Finale will be held in early May at Skydive Paraclete XP.
Meet #3 Skydive City Z-Hills April 2-3
More info about the upcoming season will be out soon!!!
This month the number of swoop ponds in Florida will double! That’s right, Our friends down at Sebastian have begun construction on a new swoop pond! This new pond is being dug on the north end of the landing area near the old taxiway. The new body of water is over 100×300 feet, approx 4feet in depth, and will be fed by a well that is also being installed. The space around the pond should allow for running courses in either direction, and the DZ is working on placing zone accuracy pits at both ends!!
We’re excited to have a new venue here in Florida and look forward to welcoming Skydive Sebastian to the 2016 FLCPA season.
This season there were 39 league members in the running for the overall title of league champion.
Amateur class: 2015 season was one of the most competitive I’ve seen. With every meet the top overall seats changed. In the end we graduated 6 amateur competitors up to the Pro class for 2016. Pawel Piotrowski fighting his way back from broken rib in meet 3 was our 6th place finisher. He’ll be looking to take down his big brother & pro competitor Peter next season. In fifth place, first year competitor Stephen Perry flew a strong season, he’ll work hard this year training to be ready for the Pro’s next year. Fourth overall was earned by Ross Brilakis. With just shy of 1,000 jumps under his belt, he was the young buck this year. But his level headed, smooth approaches led to continued scoring throughout the season. Third place went to Ben Lowe from Arizona. With two podium finishes in meets 2&3, his consistent flying style earned him a top spot on in the overall. Shane Seydel from Hawaii took second place overall. And the top spot for the 2015 season in the Amateur class went to Rob Harris from Zephyrhills, FL
PRO class: The top spot this season went to World Champion Curt Bartholomew from Team Alter Ego. Second place went to Gage Galle from the PD Factory team. These first two spots were locked up after three meets. The big battle this season was for third place. After 3 meets Albert Berchtold, Scott Harper, and Justin Price were separated by only a few points. Scott secured the third place overall with a solid performance in the season finale meet.
Big thanks to Skydive City Zephyrhills, and Skydive Paraclete XP for hosting the 2015 meets, Team Alter Ego for their sponsorship of the league medals and plaques this season, and to Performance Designs for their ongoing support of the league. See ya next year!!!!
The last meet of the 2015 season was nothing short of amazing. 40 competitors(18Pro, 22 Amateur) were in attendance at Skydive Paraclete XP. For some, it was their last chance grab at points for a top FLCPA season overall placing. For others it was their first few days in preparing for USPA CP Nationals that begins later that week.
The weather was great for the competition day. Light and variable down winds turned for the speed and distance events made for a fun morning. The last rounds of zone accuracy were held in a steady but light headwind making the stand-up landings attainable.
PRO: From jump 1 this meet Jay Sanders grabbed first place and refused to let it go. He took 200 points in the speed event. Ryan Brownlow and Julio Munoz were both giving close chase, but fell off the race for the top after the first distance round. Ryan narrowly missed the entry gate on a monster distance run, and Julio took a zero after missing the course.
As we moved into Zone Accuracy, Paulinho Marques, Albert Berchtold, Matt Shull, Jared Zell, and Scott Harper were all in the hunt for the Podium. With 2 91′s, Harper pushed his way up for the Silver Medal overall. Matt Shull took the Bronze overall.
Amateur: What an amazing competition for this group of talented pilots. Shane Seydel put up an awesome performance and took the Gold. As the meet started, it was clear that no one was going to just walk away with a medal, they were going to have to work for it. As we completed speed, Shane Seydel, Matt Leonard, Nathan Emmet, and Johnny Gunn were leading the pack. Emmet and Leonard struggled in distance putting up a zero in one of those rounds, but it’s not the last we’d see of Leonard in the fight for the podium as he clawed his way back up to second place overall. Gunn looked like he as headed for a podium finished after the first 4 rounds, until the great equalizer zone accuracy arrived and knocked him down after scoring only 6 points in two rounds. Putting all the boys on notice this meet newcomer this season Jessie Brownlow jumped out in front and was sitting in third place after four rounds. She’ll be one to watch for podium finishes in the future. Steady scoring was the path for Rob Harris this meet who took the Bronze medal overall.
Big thanks to Paraclete XP for hosting, they do a great job taking care of us. Awesome facility, caring staff, and quick airplanes, what more could u ask for. To our Judges, buy them a beer when you see them. It was upwards of 97 degrees in the NC heat wave as they stood out in the field to judge.
Season recap coming later this week.
With three of the four meets completed for the season, the race for the best season overall placings is heating up. the top placing PRO and Amateur win the title of Season Champion, a sweet plaque, and have their registration and competition jumps paid at USPA Nationals.
We calculate the season overalls by assigning a point value to each place. 1st place is worth 100, second place is worth 98.5 and so on. At the end of the season your lowest placing is dropped.
In the PRO Class, Curt Bartholomew and Gage Galle have 1st and 2nd locked down. The race in this class is for the third place slot. Albert Berchtold is sitting in 3rd with 285 points. That’s a 7 point lead on Justin Price in fourth and 8 points over Scott Harper who is also in the hunt for a podium seat this season. If Justin or Scott can secure a top place and beat Albert by a few spots the podium is still in reach.
In the Amateur class, Ben Lowe and Rob Harris are sitting in first and second respectively. They’re likely to keep places on the podium, but which ones will depend on how well they do at meet 4. Stephen Perry is sitting in third overall and hoping to hold on or move up with a good performance next month. In fourth place is Pawel Piotrowski who was leading the Amateur class going into meet 3, but unfortunately he took a tumble coming out of the speed course early in the meet and couldn’t finish. His tumble earned him a broken rib so while he’s still within reach of the podium with a good performance in meet 4, his return this season is questionable. Also in the hunt is Ross Brilakis currently sitting in fifth. If we look down the list we also see a sleeping giant in tenth place. Fraser Feltner with two third place finishes could spring back up to the podium with a strong placement in meet four. The season is definitely not over for these guys and we’re likely to see some shuffling around of the places at the fourth meet.
The Amateurs are all also looking for a solid finish to the season as the top placing Amateurs will move up to the PRO class at the end of the season.
The season standings can be found here http://controltower.io/flcpa/season/
There were a few new records set at the third FLCPA meet last weekend. Cornelia Mihai from Skydive Dubai set a new North Carolina state female distance and speed record at 145.71 meters and 2.502 seconds respectively. Curt Bartholomew set a new general distance record at 147.23 meters and speed record at 2.153 seconds.
With meet 4 and US Nationals less than a month away being held at this same venue, it will be interesting to see if these records stand!
This past weekend Skydive Paraclete XP was host to the third FLCPA meet of the 2015 season. Fourth competitors showed up to give it their all for this competition. It was an even split between the PRO and Amatuer classes with 20 competitors in each category.
Raeford once again pulled out all the stops. There were some problems with the PAC we were supposed to use so we ran the swoop meet out of a CASA!!! That was a first for most of us.
The weather was perfect with a light 4-6 mph tail wind for speed and distance and 6-8mph headwind for zone accuracy. The top spots switched between every round in both categories. Competitors were glued to their phones looking for the updated scores on Control Tower.
The Amatuer class was won by veteran skydiver and newcomer to the competition circuit Charlie Mullins. Second place went to Shane Seydel from Hawaii, and Ben Lowe rounded out the top three.
The pro class was won by Cornelia Mihai of the Skydive Dubai swoop team. Second place went to Curt Bartholomew while Albert Berchtold rounded out the top three.
We’ve always had a good time at the Raeford meet where instead of having one dedicated coach, we have 20! The Pro/Am competition randomly matches up each pro with an am to work together throughout the meet to help each other. Third place went to Cornelia and Peter Lubrano. Second was Albert and Luis Prinetto. And top spot in the Pro/Am went to Curt and Fraser Feltner.
Big thanks to Skydive Paraclete XP for hosting this meet with their great facilities and airlift power that allowed us to finish 7 rounds for 40 competitors by 3:00, Alter Ego our 2015 medal sponsor, and last but not least, a big round of applause for Performance Designs in thanks for their ongoing support of the FLCPA.
Meet 4 will be in just a few weeks!
This past weekend’s FLCPA Meet #1 was a great time down in Zephyrhills, FL. 48 competitors arrived as far as three weeks ahead of the meet. 27 Amateur and 21 Pro class competitors were out for the start of the 2015 season. The Friday practice day was similar conditions to what it would be on Saturday during the competition. curt Bartholomew was on hand Friday as the coach for the meet. This season we moved the free coaching to Friday, so the “tips & tricks” could be given out before the meet rather than during. This change seemed very well received by all the competitors.
Saturday morning we started with the briefing and then into the practice and speed rounds. After the practice round completed the winds creeped over the 5 m/s limit for the amateurs so we continued and ran the 2 rounds of speed for the Pro competitors. Curt, Scott Harper, and Gage were out in the lead at the end of the speed event. As the day continued, the winds calmed down enough to get the Amateurs through their two speed runs in a cool 3-4 m/s SE wind. Pawel Piotrowski, Ben Lowe, and Peter Lubrano were off to lead the Amateurs after speed completed.
We switched over to the distance course and managed to get through both Pro distance runs, and one of the Amateur rounds.
Sunday morning began with a 7:30 take off to start the Zone Accuracy event in 1-2m/s downwinds.
Here’s a look at the top seats:
1st: Curt Bartholomew
2nd: Scott Harper
3rd: Gage Galle
1st: Pawel Piotrowski
2nd: Rob Harris
3rd: Fraser Feltner
Big Thanks to Skydive City for hosting the meet, Performance Designs as the 2015 League sponsor, Alter Ego for the 2015 medal sponsor, and all the competitors for making the kick off meet a great success! Meet #2 will be March 14-14 at Skydive City. See you there!!