Post FLCPA meet review of new potential rules

January 21, 2012 we held the first FLCPA meet of the season at SkydiveCity in Z-Hills FL. We ran the new courses to try and stay ahead of the game and get some people running them in competition. One of the nice things about the FLCPA is that its not “officially” governed by anyone (USPA/FAI) so we can make on the fly rule changes as needed. We had 44 competitors at the meet. 24 Amateur, and 20 Pro. I’ll stick to discussing the Pro class in this post since those are who run the FAI Open class rules.  We make the rules a bit easier for the Amateur class and have even greater ability to adjust them to keep this class as a place to grow new pilots.

The meet was 6 rounds(2 speed, 2 distance, 2 zone acc.) and 1 mandatory practice run on Saturday morning. We finished the meet in one day.  The courses were set up running running west. During distance the winds were out of the south varying SE/SW 90 degrees with a few lulls that made for a few unusually long runs(2.5-5M/S). (you can see them if you analyze the scores).  During speed the winds were out of the WSW(headwind) (2-5.5M/S). During the Saturday morning briefing we let everyone know that we would be aggressively handing out yellow and red cards for unsafe approaches or attacking the gates in an unsafe manner. With the new rules, finesse would be the way to a good score, not smacking the water. 3 yellow cards were handed out total. 2 on the practice day, and one during the meet during distance. There were no injuries at the meet. The two yellow cards from the practice day were due to impacting the water and they were both pretty sore on Saturday.  One competed, the other sat out from the meet.

SPEED: No issues setting up the course. We used our TAG Heuer timing system. Double beam on the entry, double beam on the exit.  These new rules make it even easier and more likely the little guys will get under the 1.5M high beam on the entry and many were flying through the exit gate laid out flat(like in distance). We had one rejump due to the entry gate not triggering on one competitor. We thought judging the dragging would be an issue. At the briefing we discussed “chatter” on the water vs. “skipping” along the water. There were little to no ripples on the water and judging the drags was easier than expected.

DISTANCE: There were many who thought having the water drag at the entry would cause there to be hard impacts at the entry gate. Quite the contrary, the approaches were very controlled and not scary at all. Before starting distance we briefed everyone that the angles and approaches should look like accuracy approaches, not the old distance approaches. The ability to time the drag to be at the gate was difficult. There were a number of people getting on the water and lifting up before reaching the gate, skipping over it, or touching down just after. Putting the drag at the entry gate(not before or after) was very challenging. Most stayed controlled enough stay below 1.5M for the 50 Meters and there was very little popping up after that gate. The landings were much less scary and hard on the competitors. The height restriction seemed to do its job in saving our competitors from dangerously hard landings.

In regard to water contact after the drag, there was quite a bit of incidental water contact on the water after the entry gate. In trying to stay low until 50 meters there were quite a few toes skimming the water at the second/third/fourth water gate. If incidental water contact is not allowed, it will be very difficult to differentiate when the competitor picks up his foot as many had little toe skips on the water after the entry drag.  At the speeds the competitors were moving at the entry gate, it would be very difficult for judges to differentiate the drag, from skipping and when a competitor raises his foot off the water.

My feeling on the rules is a bit different after running them.There was a lot of griping and complaining before the meet.

Here’s a link to the score sheet so you can analyze and see a ballpark of the times and distances that were put down with the wind conditions shown above.

The competitors with stars before and after their names are the Pro competitors, If there are no stars, they are amateur competitors. Amateurs didn’t have to drag in any of the events, just stay below the 5 foot gates(it works like a handicap).

Just my observations…

Albert Berchtold

FLCPA Meet #1 Rocked!!!!

What an amazing start to the 2012 season!!! 44 competitors(24 amateur and 20 Pro) showed up to Z-Hills for the first meet of the season.  We put the proposed FAI rules to the test and had some interesting results.  I’ll write up some thoughts on those for a post later this week.  We managed to finish all 308 rounds on Saturday(1practice and 6 comp).  The weather conditions were 2-5m/s and varied from a straight cross wind, to a straight head wind.  We started the day with the zone accuracy event to get the competitors into the proper mindset of dragging water since all the events would now require this skill for the Pro’s.

There were a few water impacts on Friday which was the practice day.  Danny Feltner from Deland earned himself a yellow card as well as Rob Wallace who was pretty sore Saturday morning.  Water Hurts!  Blue Skies Magazine awarded Kritter with a Year’s subscription for being the competitor who used the least amount of his talents as a canopy pilot(Kritter didn’t post up the best meet of his life).

The Saturday evening festivities started off with an advanced viewing of the newest PD office video.  That was followed up by the US Army Golden Knights presenting Albert Berchtold with Honorary Golden Knight.

It was certainly a fierce battle to start off the season.  The top nine competitors all managed to score all six rounds.  The Awards continued with the presentation of the top 10 spots at the meet.  The top five split a cash purse of $1,200.  The top three spots were taken by Tommy Dellibac in third, Curt Bartholomew in silver, and Nick Batsch with the win.
Big thanks to Skydive City for hosting an awesome meet, Performance Designs and Mirage for their support of the league, our judges for their hard work, our meet coach Jay Moledzki and all the competitors who pitched in helping set up and break down courses.
Click here for full results.

Click here for photos!


FLCPA Meet #1 begins tomorrow morning!!!

It’s the end of the practice day here in z-Hills and with the number of swoopers around, you’d think it was US Nationals.  There are 47 pilots(so far) registered for meet one of the 2012 FLCPA season.  22 in the PRO class and 25 in the Amateur class.  The Cessna has been running constantly all week with pilots training for the meet, and boy did the pace pick up today with the Caravan running 13 loads.  There were 5 pilots doing group coaching with Jay Moledzki today.  A few skips off the water showed that the new rules are certainly going to take some time for everyone to perfect.

The festivities begin tomorrow morning at 7:00am with the safety briefing.  In usual form, that will be followed with a practice round for all competitors and then straight into round 1 of the meet.  The meet director has decided to start the day with the ZONE ACCURACY event.  Given the new rule changes, it makes the most sense to start with the finesse event, rather than the power events.  This should give the competitors a gentle ease into the new format of having to drag water in all events(for the pro’s at least).

We’ll try to keep you up to date with the meet on the FLCPA Facebook page throughout the day.  Also keep an eye on the Facebook for updates.

*Albert   Berchtold* Performance Designs
*Kaz Sheekey*Slipstream
*Stuart Schoenfeld*   Slipstream
*Brian McNenney* Slipstream
*Greg Windmiller* Golden   Knights
*Joe Abeln* Golden Knights
*Johan Karlsson*
*Manny Neto*-Brazil
*Sven Jseppi*-Canada
*Jessica Edgington*-PD   Factory Team
*Ian Bobo* PD Factory Team
*Tommy Dellibac* PD Factory   Team
*John Zuliani*
*John Minos*
*Aaron Stocum*
*Nick Batsch* AlterEgo
*Sergei Fedotov*
*Curt Bartholomew*-AlterEgo
*Kritter Weiss*
*Bart Rogowski*-ISM
*Gage Galle*
Eddie Manteith
Rob Wallace
Peter Bany
Garret Davenport
Jeannie Anderson-Alter Ego
Miki Baranowski-Chutingstar
Daniel Feltner
Ryan Levesque
Yuri Chernechov
Sergey Kotlyarov
Aaron Figel-US Army
Jared Zell-US Army
Edward Reiter
Andrey Kan
Zak Stone
Josh Schwenn
Chad Madden
Jerry Hannon
John Nolan
Paul Rodriguez
Marko Markovich
Sergio Cribas
Carlos Cribas
David Bauer
Peter Piotrowski

Registered for FLCPA Meet #1?

1.  Albert Berchtold-preregistered/member

2.  Brian McNenney-preregistered/member

3.  Zach Stone-preregistered/member

4. Marko Markovich-preregistered/member

5.  Kritter Weiss-preregistered/member

6.  Ryan Levesque-preregistered/member

7. Curt Bartholomew-preregistered/member

8.  Jeanie Anderson-preregistered/member

9.  Bart Ragowski-preregistered/member

10.  Tommy Dellibac-preregistered/member

11.  Jessica Edgeington

12.  Rob Wallace- preregistered/member

13.  Kaz Sheekey

14. Manny Neto

15.  Johan Karlsson

16.  Greg Windmiller

17.  Joe Abeln

18. Sven Jseppi

19.  Jerry Hannon-preregistered/member

20. Mystery swooper-see for details

21.  Sergey Kotlorov

22. Yuri Chernechov

23. Aaron Stocum-preregistered

24. Carlos Cribas

25. Peter Bany-preregistered/member

26.  John Nolan-preregistered/member

27. Nick Batsch

28.  Peter Piotrowski-preregistered/member

29.  Stuart Schoenfeld-preregistered/member

30.  Eddie Monteith-preregistered

31.  Sergio Cribas

32.  Gage Galle-preregistered/member

33. Paul Rodriguez-preregistered/member

34. Miki Baranowski-preregistered/member

Are you attending and don’t see your name here? well then get off your ass and preregister for the meet!!!

NEW Rules & Courses for 2012

There are some upcoming rules for the FAI that are slated to have their final review and potentially passed at the plenary meeting coming up in February. These include some pretty big changes to our courses and rules for the speed and distance events. Here’s the short and skinny on the potential new rules. I’ve also included how we’ll be adapting them into the SWOOPLEAGUE pro and amateur classes.

We’re all about staying ahead of the curve so we will be implementing these new courses for the meet this weekend.

Speed: The new speed course will be a straight course measuring 50 meters long(5-5 foot tall gates).  Pro competitors will be required to maintain contact with the water for the first 4 gates(36 meters). Amateur competitors will be timed on the same 5 foot tall- 50 meter course, but dragging will not be required.

Distance:  There are two big changes here.  First, pro competitors will be required to drag the entry gate.  Second, all competitors will be required to stay below 5 feet until they are 50 meters down the course. ie no popping up  til you’re down course.  This change should do two things.  First, it should shorten up the overall distances by requiring a controlled drag and limiting the competitors ability to climb right away.  Second, it should make this event a bit safer by keeping competitors from climbing 10+ feet up in the air and hence reducing some of the blisteringly hard landings we’ve seen lately.

Accuracy: There are no changes slated for the accuracy event at the Pro level.  We’ll make one small change to the amateur class at SWOOPLEAGUE.  Last year, amateur competitors had to eclipse the first 10 foot gate to get any score at all, and eclipse the 5 foot gates to earn the water points.  This year the first 10 foot gate will be removed and replaced with the “infinity gate” we used for this event years ago.  Basically amateur competitors will still need to fly between the first entry gate to enter the course(ie, no hard carving in after the entry gates), but their height does  not matter.  They still need to eclipse the 5 footers to score the water points.

Records: The implementation of these new rules would cause the distance and speed records currently on the books to be retired.  In escence, wiping the slate clean for new State, National, and World records to be set.

Preregistered for FLCPA Meet #1?

1.  Gage Galle-preregistered/member

2.  Brian McNenney-preregistered/member

3.  Zach Stone-preregistered/member

4.  Marko Markovich-preregistered/member

5.  Kritter Weiss-preregistered/member

6.  Ryan Levesque-preregistered/member

7.  Curt Bartholomew-preregistered/member

8.  Jeanie Anderson-preregistered/member

9.  Bart Ragowski-preregistered/member

10.  Tommy Dellibac-preregistered/member

11.  Jessica Edgeington

12.  Rob Wallace- preregistered/member

13.  Kaz Sheekey

14. Manny Neto

15.  Johan Karlsson

16.  Greg Windmiller

17.  Joe Abeln

18. Sven Jseppi

19.  Jerry Hannon

20. Blue Skies Magazine Mystery swooper

21.  Sergey Kotlorov

22. Yuri Chernechov

23. Aaron Stocum

24. Carlos Cribas

25. Peter Bany

Are you attending and don’t see your name here? well then get off your ass and preregister for the meet!!!

FLCPA new events, registration, and records

For those of you who want to print out and complete your registration form for the upcoming meet before arriving at the dz, I’ve attached the form below.  Please print it out and bring it with you.   Remember discounted preregistration is only open until Thursday.

FLCPA Meet Registration Meet 1 2012

FLCPA Meet RegistrationFlyer-Meet 1 2012

If you want to see how fast or far you have to fly to set a World, US National, or State record, here’s the list of them as they stand now.

FLCPA Current Records-Meet 1 2012

There may be some changes coming down from the FAI this week which could change the speed and distance events enough to retire these old records.  If the proposed changes are passed, we will most likely run the new courses next weekend.  Be prepared for new events and rules!!

Attending from abroad?  For those attending from another country who may set their own national record during an FLCPA meet, please check in and we would be happy to provide you with a signed score sheet and necessary documentation so you can file your record with your National Aero Club.


2012 season is about to begin!!!

The Dubai championships have completed and we’re a week away from the beginning of the 2012 season!!!  The FLCPA and California districts are both set up and ready to rock.  The schedules are carefully organized to not conflict with each other while building up to the USPA Nationals being held in June at Skydive the Farm. There are some potential rule changes coming down from the FAI this week, so stay tuned in the next few days for an update on those.  Being the premier league we will do our best to implement the most up to date rules into our events.  This will most likely include running the new rules at the first meet in Z-Hills.  No use running old rules right? This will prepare those pilots competing the best opportunities to grow their skills in preparation for the world level events. Next weekend is the first meet in Florida being held at Skydive City in Z-Hills Florida.  We’ve confirmed with management that practice & competition jumps will be only $18.00.  This is great compared to $21.50 we were at last year.  Z-Hills has been growing their aircraft fleet and has a few which are a bit lower cost that will be at our disposal.  They’re also in the process of purchasing a tiller this week for their sanded accuracy pit.  This will keep the accuracy landing area nice and soft throughout the season for meets and training.  Big thanks to Z-Hills for their dedication to our discipline.

Discounted pre-registration for this weeks meet is open until Thursday, so if you want to save yourself 25% on your registration, get-er-done! Jay Moledzki, current world champion, will be the coach at the first FLCPA meet.  Coaching on Saturday(during the meet) is included in your registration.

Jay is available for coaching on Friday for a limited # of jumpers.  You can score smaller group coaching with Jay on Friday for $100. You can preregister for that here.

Adrenaline Obsession to Support California Canopy Piloting Events

The organizers of the California Regional Canopy Piloting events are pleased to announce that Adrenaline Obsession will be the headline sponsor for the 2012 competition season.  Adrenaline Obsession provides sport inspired clothing along with their brand name clothing line.  AO will be designing and providing event T-shirts to each registered participant in the district.   Adrenaline Obsession will also be providing several unique awards during the season which includes awards for the fastest, farthest, and most accurate canopy pilot.  These are in addition to the individual meet medals and prizes provided by the league. The guidelines for these special awards will be outlined prior to the first meet and will be awarded after the conclusion of the final meet.   More information about their clothing line can be found at or by clicking on their logo.

We greatly appreciate the support and we are looking forward to the 2012 competition season.