Fire-Breathing Rubber Duckies Win Spaceland Transitions 3-Way Speedstar Meet
By Christy West
Quickly getting to a formation of friends in freefall is fun! November 9-10, at the sixth annual Skydive Spaceland Transitions 3-Way Speedstar Meet for jumpers with fewer than 100 jumps, the competitors had fun and received free coaching, and some even won skydives for a day. For these competitions, meet directors at all Skydive Spaceland locations (three in Texas, one in Florida and one in Georgia) put each pair of participants with a USPA Coach for three rounds of competition and dive-and-dock coaching. Just as in the 10-way speed event at the USPA Nationals, the team with the lowest overall score wins.
Fire-Breathing Rubber Duckies, from Skydive Spaceland–Dallas in Whitewright, Texas, turned in the lowest score in the meet’s history: 46.64 seconds (averaging 15.55 seconds per round). Mentor Alex Ogden coached Deanna and Nick Anderson to the strongest score of a very good meet; their total score was fewer than two seconds ahead of the second-place team overall, The Only Team (Katie Lazarus, mentor Brandon Radcliff and Scott Scarpinato) from Skydive Spaceland–Florida in Clewiston. The third-place team overall, Shemp (mentor Rich Delgado, Jordan Keener and Tim McIntyre) from Skydive Spaceland–Houston in Rosharon, Texas, was fewer than nine seconds back despite a camera malfunction on one round. BMF won top honors at Skydive Spaceland–San Marcos in Fentress, Texas, with a total score of 86 seconds. Skydive Spaceland–Atlanta in Rockmart, Georgia, did not field a team. Complete results are online at tinyurl.com/u6d6hlp.
These competitions have no entry fee and are a labor of love: The meet directors, judges and mentors donate their time. Michael Erickson in Dallas, Liz Pitts in San Marcos and Radcliff in Florida served as meet directors. Shell Meakins in San Marcos, Lisa Hornsby and Mike Thompson in Florida, Erickson and Brandy Verhalen in Dallas, and Christy West and Valerie Marvin in Houston served as judges. The mentors were Delgado, Dustan Deuterio, Erickson, Miles Gibson, Leslie Hanna, Ogden, Liz Pitts, Radcliff, Patrick Radford, Helaine Rumaner and Aaron Shoulders.
The Transitions program at all Skydive Spaceland locations provides free coaching for jumpers with 100 jumps or fewer every weekend, regardless of where they trained. The speedstar meet is one of four annual competitions for newer jumpers; the series also includes a 3-way formation skydiving competition and two sport accuracy competitions each year. Interested jumpers can check any Skydive Spaceland location’s Facebook page for the 2020 schedule.
Christy West | D-21464