At the 2018 DC-3 10-Way Speed Money Meet at Skydive Arizona in Eloy, an all-female team called Seek This!—comprised of some of the most accomplished female skydivers in the U.S. and headed up by Ellen Monsees—chalked up an impressive victory. A team by the name of Ripped Gristle—an all-male team captained by legendary jumper Mark Knutson—came in second. It was the battle of the sexes, and for the 2019 meet, there was a rematch. Under the leadership of longtime organizer and competitor Steve Woodford, a total of eight teams got an early start on December 28 for the two-day meet. Four teams entered the open class (including Seek This! and Ripped Gristle) and four entered the advanced class.
The meet consisted of six rounds with two rounds each out of a DC-3, a Skyvan and a Twin Otter. The rules allowed floaters on only the Otter jumps. The first point on each jump was a star (aka round). After the speedstar, each jump included prescribed formations the teams could build to improve their scores. Each formation completed after the first point and within 40 seconds of exiting resulted in a one-second deduction of time.
The competition was both intense and light-hearted, with competitors complimenting the performances of other teams throughout the event. And there were some impressive performances. Two teams had 13.4-second first points. The same two teams turned a full six points on one of their rounds while three of the four teams in the open class turned 22 or more points in time during the meet. Ripped Gristle had the fastest build out of the DC-3 at 20.5 seconds.
The competition remained close throughout the event. After all six rounds, the teams in the advanced class had total scores separated by only 23 seconds. In the open class, the total spread between the four teams was just 25 seconds. Once again, the ladies’ team Seek This! prevailed with an impressive 92.78-second total adjusted time. The men of Ripped Gristle were close with a total adjusted time of 96.37. No doubt, there will be another rematch when the teams gather again January 9-10, 2021.
Jim McCormick | D-12379
Estes Park, Colorado