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    POPS Members Compete at Lake Wales

    Published on Tuesday, May 1, 2018

    POPS Members Compete at Lake Wales

    Florida Skydiving Center in Lake Wales once again hosted the annual Parachutists Over Phorty Society SpringFest meet. The February 28-March 4 event brought jumpers from around the country together for friendly competition. It also gave POPS members a chance to remember Bob Rhyne, TopPOP #5, who had recently passed away.

    After a registration and practice day, TopPOP USA James Davis, DZ Operator Betty Hill, Chief Judge Karl Poruben and Judge David Hounshell welcomed the group on Thursday morning. Everyone was prepared to kick off the competition, but the weather had different ideas, and the organizers eventually called the meet for the day.

    At 8 a.m. on Friday, the loudspeakers blared, “POPS! POPS! POPS!” and the formation skydiving scrambles teams soon began dirt diving and planning how to best complete the required formations. This year, Poruben decided that the teams would consist of three jumpers rather than the standard four but designed the dives so that the maneuvers the teams had to complete were more difficult. Shawn Eskew, Greg Palmer and David Perry provided video services for the teams. After a close race for first throughout the three-round competition, Team Too Many Points (Pete Baer, Mike Lipinski and Ted Williams) edged out POPS Plummeters (Donny Lavoie Jr., Pat Moorehead and Jim Shorter) for the gold. Think Won (Gary Barron, James Harrison and Al Rosenberg) took the bronze.

    While the scrambles was in progress, the classic accuracy jumpers were zeroing in on the tuffet. The small but intensely focused field of competitors finished the three rounds of competition by early afternoon. Jonas Wallberg, who was visiting from Sweden, came in first, followed Walter Samojlik and Ed Hefright in second and third, respectively.

    Upon completion of the scrambles and classic accuracy events, the sport accuracy jumpers marched to the plane and their competition began. During the rounds, some competitors hit the target and remained standing, others fell, some sailed out of the circle and some came up very short. Still, it was anyone’s game as the sun set on Friday and competitors began gathering for a spaghetti dinner and an evening of camaraderie. The meet completed on Saturday morning with POPS, Skydivers Over Sixty and Jumpers Over Seventy leadership filling the podium: Russ Manhold (TopJOS) placed first, Moorehead (TopSOS) took second, and Harrison (former TopPOP) took third.

    The last event of the boogie was the hilarious and infamous Hit ‘n’ Rock. The one-round timed event, in which competitors land, remove their gear, touch the target and sprint to a rocking chair, produced some impressive scores even though the winds were erratic and strong. Wallberg took the gold with a time of 9.16 seconds, Shorter took silver with 10.50 seconds, and bronze went to Samojlik with 10.77 seconds. These were impressive times considering Wallberg and Samojlik were competing in Hit ‘n’ Rock for the first time!

    The average age of the competitors at this year’s event was in the 60s, but POPS also welcomes parachutists under phorty (PUPS) to attend its meets. Jumpers of any age may contact TopPOP Davis at toppopusa@gmail.com to get on the POPS event email list.

    James Davis | D-28216
    Wildomar, California

     

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    Author: James Davis

    Categories: Five Minute Call

    Tags: May 2018

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