The March DQ camp in Dallas recovered well from a slow start. No jumping on Friday because of high winds at the drop zone, but 9 attended the Friday night seminar. It was a good chance to review the training tape and focus on the world record.
Ten CReW dogs attended the camp; the Dallas contingent was there, of course, strengthened by folks from San Antonio, Houston, Louisiana, and other points South. Also attending were two CReW pups from Kansas City. Refreshed by the seven hour drive, they arrived Friday afternoon ready to jump and learn.
Saturday morning dawned clear but cold, following the freeze warning Friday night. However, nine of us dressed in all our layers rode the Caravan to 13000 feet and built a beautiful 9 way diamond by 8000. Everyone got a chance to practice flying their slots as Peter Schaller, the camp leader, piloted us across the sky, to include at least one 360 degree turn. Starburst was called and came off without a hitch.
With the addition of two more folks we built a 9 way diamond with row four wings, again without any major problems. Much fun was had by all, but the biggest smile was on Eric Rueff's face. It was only his second DQ camp but because of an aborted dock and an open slot he found himself flying row 4 wing. Great job, Eric.
Jump three was a 12 way jet attempt with a planned second point of three diamonds flying relative. This jump took awhile to start to build, but everyone kept great echelon discipline and at breakoff we had built to 10 with numbers 11 and 12 closing to dock.
Same dive for number four, with some position changes. The formation built to completion, but the lower diamonds began pulsing in and out of the center line. We held it to breakoff, but because of a communication problem, some folks broke to a starburst, while others went to the three diamonds. This caused some problems on the right side with one completely collapsed canopy. However, after some quick discussion we sorted things out and everyone was able to land under their main canopy.
Jump four was the jet again, with a break (done correctly) into the three diamonds flying relative to one another. Great job pilots Peter, Jeff, and Jon!!! What a beautiful way to end the day.
Sunday started early, with everyone ready for wheels up at 8:00, and a planned 2 by 6 box, but Mother Nature had other ideas. We leveled off under the ceiling at 4000 feet, changed the dive, and built three 4 way diamonds over Whitewright. There was much discussion on the ground, but it was obvious who had the fastest diamond: Jeff, Lee, Bryan and Mac. (That's my story, and I'm sticking to it...)
Of course now there was a scent of competition in the air and load number two resulted in two groups working on their diamonds, while the third group built a diamond, transitioned to a tee, and were on the way to a stack, all before breakoff altitude. The obvious winners this time were Jeff, Lee, Bryan and Eric.
Continued low ceilings with a forecast for rain sent most of the group home early, but the two new guys stayed for three more jumps to practice exits, base pins and offset rotations.
Even with one day of jumping, we were able to accomplish quite a bit at this camp. All but one dive resulted in a complete formation, and we were able to fly four way diamonds relative to each other. The big lesson learned was to make sure EVERYONE understands the breakdown sequence, whether it is "Break it down", "Diamonds", or "Starburst". I think I speak for all present that the March Dallas DQ camp will be noted as a success. See you at the record!!!
See you at camp,