by Teresa Bizzell
Diamond Quest ushered in 1997 with it's first camp of the year in Clewiston, FL. The camp had a large turnout of 48 crewer's. Experience ranged from 4 ways as the largest formation to three time World Record holders. Jumpers came from as far away as New York, California, and Texas.
The weekend got an early start with most jumpers arriving Friday afternoon. Everyone, especially those from the north, were anxious to get started. Practice began with some warm-up 12 to 16 way diamonds.
Saturday, as more jumpers rolled in, the dive size grew to 22 and 25 ways. The otter and porter pilots did a great job of flying the formation loads. As the day progressed, the two groups were merged into a 32 way. Jumpers were rotated in to give everyone a chance to jump. Although none of the 32 ways completed, everyone got a chance to learn and improve their skills. Several people had the opportunity to dock their first row 5 wings - Wow what a rush! The day ended with a lot of optimism. Thanks to the staff at Air Adventures, we were able to get a second otter for Sunday.
Sunday morning saw a slow start due to ice on the wings. However, after a little help from the sun, jumping resumed with 22 and 25 ways, allowing everyone to get in the air. Before the day was over, we saw a 15 way complete with the 4 way lockup pulling out and re-docking the 16-way lockup slot.