... that Northern California has generated world class competitors?
Chris Farina with Formula4 in 2002
posted Aug 11th, 2013 -
The Sun Path Products NSL News reported on 24 July 2013 that the Northern California Skydiving League has a comeback next year. In fact, the first NCSL activities are on the way with skills camps and other preparations. The first NSL Tunnel Kicker at iFLY SF Bay is also coming up next week.
The story went far back in time and included the name of a competitor who participated in the early days of the Northern California Skydiving League, Formula4 member Chris Farina, who is now the Center Inside for Arizona Airspeed. A Formula4 video is showing Chris Farina in action at the NSL Playoffs in 2001. Formula4 continued to win the USPA Nationals in the AA/Intermediate Class with a 14.0 average.
Formula4 continued in the AAA/Advanced Class competition for another year and placed 5th with a 12.5 average at the USPA Nationals 2002. Chris Farina then slowed down in 2003 to take care of his business career.
First team: on camera for Jetstream
Chris Farina's skydiving and competition career is documented at his NSL Profile and needs an update after his latest Airspeed move. However, the Sun Path Products NSL News was interested in his memories of the early NCSL years, and Chris Farina provided some of them.
Formula4 actually started off as Jetstream in 1999, and Chris Farina was on camera for the team. He dropped the camera in 2000 to compete and came in 15th with a 9-point average in the Intermediate Class of the Northern California Skydiving League.
Chris Farina still believes that the regular local and regional competition was very beneficial and a key component of Formula4's:
"Formula4 had a pretty good rivalry going with a couple of NCSL teams, Focus4 and Blaze. I think that also pushed us to train harder and compete more."
SSL 2002 - May Meet
AAA Class - Teams
C 2 4
J 3 M K
8 15 Q
P 19 N 5
21 F 6
H A 18 9
NCSL competition in 2000: Focus4
Blaze and Focus4 both stopped competing at the end of the 2000 season after finishing 2nd as a guest team and 2nd overall, respectively. Formula4 continued in 2001 to win the USPA Nationals and moved up in 2002. Formula4 was pretty much the last remaining NCSL 4way team in training, and the league eventually came to a close at the end of the season.
Chris Farina pointed out that Northern California has produced some very strong 4way competitors. SDC Rhythm's new Tail Mikhail Markin is from the NCSL region, as well as last year's Vibe member Don Burnette, who is now training and competing with Nick Grillet, Ari Perelman and Shannon Pilcher. Former Rhythm member Rob Radez is also from Northern California.
Chris Farina is excited to see the league coming back to life: "I might just have to get up there for one of the competitions next year, visit some old friends and meet the new 4way crowd."
Formula4 - 2001
Formula4 - 2002
Mikhail Markin and Don Burnette with Vibe in 2012
He recently re-connected with one of his former Formula4 team mates, Robert May, who is also helping to NCSL with preparations for the 2014 season. Chris Farina said that he had not spoken with him for many years: "It was fun to catch up and reminisce. We both had a good laugh when we read the recent story and looked at the 12-year old picture and video."
That's long ago, and Chris Farina's story is not over at all. He was considering retirement from competition after the 2012 season and just before he was asked to try out for the new Airspeed lineup. Now he is eventually ready to fulfill the long term goal of joining Airspeed:
"I realized that I was joining a team where the other three members had all coached me at one point or another throughout my skydiving journey. I am looking forward to what is to come as a member of Airspeed over the next few years."
Dream coming true: Chris Farina with Arizona Airspeed
Looking back in time is just as satisfying for Chris Farina as thinking of what is still to come: "I enjoyed all of the good and challenging times that have been presented to me so far as a member of professional skydiving teams. I wouldn't change how I've gotten where I am. The journey has been an amazing one with a lot of good and a little bad. and I have no regrets."
This year, Chris Farina will most likely win the USPA Nationals in the AAA/Open Class with Arizona Airspeed for his first time. He will observe his direct 2014 opponents from Belgium, France and Russia carefully this week at the World Cup 2013. Then he will try to win his first gold medal at the World Championship next year in Prostejov: "Things are going well. We finished 5-day camps in July/August. We are in a good place and consolidating a lot of learning. We are coming together nicely as a team and are ready for Nationals."
The Northern California Skydiving League was a part of his journey and will now turn other new skydivers into competitors and then hopefully to world class performers...