by Jeff Cornelius
A Diamond Quest camp was held in Eloy Arizona over the interim from Christmas to New Year's. The camp, led by world record holder, Kevin Vetter had a nice turn out and resulted in some very fun and interesting dives over the course of the 3-day camp. The first day saw several one-on-one dives to familiarize the newer members of CReW to the dynamics of "touching fabric" along with several successful diamonds and offsets. The second day, the 29th started out with an attempt at a 9-way diamond with a stinger. This formation built to 6 before the right wing came around and funnelled the formation resulting in a triple cutaway. This was to be the only cutaway and the only whirligig for the entire camp. The reserves were repacked and all were back in the air within an hour. The second jump of the day was to be a 12-way which only built to a 6-way box. December 30th was a beautiful day and the camp changed gears a bit with Chris Gay joining the camp and Kevin and Chris deciding to split the group into three and each taking a group for a jump or two. Kevin took four, Chris took four and Jeff Cornelius took two. Each group worked on different aspects of flying canopies depending on the group's need. After that orientation jump, all were combined, after a couple had to leave and a 12-way was planned. That jump completed to 7 and the following 12-way completed to 10 for the last jump at Eloy for the 1995 year by Diamond Quest.
A much smaller camp was held at Marana Skydiving Center just north of Tucson the following day, December 31, 1995. Four CReW jumps were made at this drop zone with up to 4 novices on each dive. Two 6-way diamond-stinger formations built successfully with plenty of altitude for a second point but none were planned and a 7-way kite completed for Marana's largest CReW formation to date. The last CRew dive of 1995 for Marana was a 9-way diamond that built to 8 before altitude ran out and the formation was broken down uneventfully. A nice ending to a great year of CReW in the desert southwest. Flight Concepts Prodigy's performed perfectly for both camps in Arizona as they always do.
by Kevin Vetter
The Eloy camp had a total of 16 people.
We started early Wednesday with Scott Fiore from Colorado and two new people who did very well. The new kids had lots of enthusiasm and we started with a cutaway on the first jump.
Thursday continued with seminars, camopy setup and practice with 7 and 9 ways. There were only 6 demo canopies until Friday when Jeff Cornelius brought more with him from Collegiates. Mick Zullo showed up with two new people and we had four others join in with low experience.
We tried several 9 ways on Friday with the new people whom averaged 30 CRW jumps each. On Friday we managed to have a three way wrap and cutaway with nobody hurt but one canopy was missing its risers after all was said and done. Wonderful thing...those hook knifes. By the end of Friday we had sorted out canopy sizes and weights and flight problems and were ready for the final day.
On Saturday Chris Gay joined us and with several pilots we made one training dive to give the new wingers some practice and then went for the big one. We just missed completing the formation and settled for 10 and 12 ways before problems developed. The last dive of the day was a two point 8 way -Box to Kite.
Winds were high at altitude, about 60 knots. We exited over 8 miles from the DZ and always made it back. Lots of fun. The people on the ground really liked the show especially since we were building out in front of the landing area.
Next camp on the West coast is not set yet. Will let you know when and where.