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Did You Know...

... that 55 North members Patrick MacCaffrey and Michael Gamble aim for more 4way excellence in the NSL leagues?

    Blue Skies Mag
posted Feb 7th, 2014 - The 2013 season was the first year for 55 North in the Midwest Skydiving League, and the new team attended all five meets of the regular season, plus the USPA Nationals 2013. It was a very intensive start into a competition career, which continues this year.

Blue Skies Mag featured two team members in the January issue under the monthly SKY COUPLES column and permitted the Sun Path Products NSL News the online publication. Patrick MacCaffray and Michael Gamble have been partners for 18 years and are now also team mates with 55 North.

Eli Godwin was asking the questions for Blue Skies Mag and started with a series of questions about the partner. They were given the option to vet each other's answers but elected not to do so. He then posed a series of questions to be answered together, though for several, they gave separate responses.

Perfect scoring progression until USPA Nationals    
BSM: What is his best quality as a jumper? PM: The ability to balance fun and goofing off with safety. MG: He is calm and level-headed, a perfect inside center.

BSM: What is his best quality as a partner? PM: He is a perfect match to my impulsiveness and goofiness. He is more focused and consistent, and I need that! MG: Always wanting to bring joy to me!

BSM: What is your pet peeve about the other person? PM: Sometimes he is annoyed by my goofiness! MG: He collects stuff - lots of stuff. We have DVDs that have been donated recently that have not ever had the wrapper torn off.

BSM: What is the coolest thing he can do in the air? PM: Under canopy, he can do amazing things - stuff that I am way too SCARED to try! MG: Dude can fall, FAST! There is no reason for his fall rate to be as quick as it is, but it just is. I wear about 20 Ibs. in 4way and he wears none.

BSM: What is the coolest thing he can do on the ground? PM: He has a very inconvenient way of getting my attention with his beautiful ass... anytime!! MG: He can make my toes curl with his tongue. (Jeez, he's gonna kill me for saying that!

BSM: What's the most valuable thing he's taught you, in the air or on the ground? PM: How to have fun, be safe, and how to live a happy and healthy life, getting the most out of everyday! MG: Live life, and love others. Above everything, we are stronger together.

BSM: How/where did you meet? PM + MG: The Internet, before the days of web pages and chat apps.

BSM: Where was your first kiss? PM + MG: Soulard in St. Louis, after our first date.

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55 North lineup at Skydive Chicago    
BSM: Have you done a kiss pass? If so. when/where/how? PM + MG: Yup! During Patrick's 26th jump, one of his first after finishing AFF, at Skydive Spaceland.

BSM: When did you officially become a couple? PM + MG: March 3, 1996.

BSM: How do you think skydiving has impacted your relationship? PM: It's given us both an activity that we enjoy, and it has brought us closer together as we can share the sport. We spend more time together since I have joined skydiving. MG: It has brought us much closer together. Before Patrick began jumping, skydiving created a similar distance as what many single-skydiver couples experience.

BSM: How do you think your relationship has impacted your skydiving? PM: The fact that he has more experience in the sport and I can bounce ideas off him helped me excel in skydiving more quickly. MG: Ha! Well, it certainly got more expensive, but there is no doubt that it's an expense I love to have. I have to admit though, I'm even more aware upon opening - I survey each team mate, looking to make sure Patrick isn't having a mal.

    55 North at Midwest Skydiving League season opener
BSM: You're on the same skydiving team and in a committed relationship. What advice would you give others on how to make that work well without one negatively impacting the other? PM: Make sure you can deal well with frustration on the team and in the relationship. We definitely have tense moments during training and in life, so we have learned to choose battles, and to take a breath when tensions start to run high. MG: Teammates always have tension from time to time. Be willing to listen, and completely respect the opinion or view of the other. Ensure that you do listen, even if you disagree. No matter what, enforce beer fines in your team!

BSM: Has being gay ever had an impact on how you are perceived as jumpers? If so, how? PM + MG: I really don't observe any perception difference. I still hear the occasional, "That's so gay," or other innuendo, but skydivers in general are the most accepting of any group I run around in. Once others learn we are gay, the inappropriate comments vanish, or the idiot does.

BSM: Who have been your skydiving mentors/role models? PM: Steve and JaNette Lefkowitz MG: Kirk Verner, Kate Cooper-Jensen, Dan BC, Steve and JaNette Lefkowitz.BORDER=0 height=57 width=630

55 North at MWSL August meet    
BSM: Who have been your relationship mentors/ role models? PM: There are very few gay relationship mentors or role models. I guess I look at my mother as a relationship role model. MG: My parents, without a doubt.

BSM: What is your favorite jump you've done together? PM: A jump with our 4way team after one of the most AMAZING training days. We did a speed star, and after everything with our team had clicked so well, the fun of the speed star was the most perfect way to end one of the most significant days of skydiving ever. MG: Rainbow Boogie 2012, on a warm-up dive for a record jump. I watched Patrick come in and dock. I then watched another jumper, a bit amped up on his approach, come screaming in, pass up his dock, and land squarely on Patrick's back, taking him out. I laughed until track-off!

BSM: What do you think the future holds for the two of you, both in skydiving and life in general? PM: In life: actual, for-real marriage... sooner rather than later! In skydiving: definitely more 4way! Looking to continue to travel and experience new DZs across the nation and the world. MG: More 4way excellence in the NSL leagues and I want to get Patrick to a big-way camp. I hope to complete many more state big-way and world big-way records.
Aug 10th, 2013Round 1Round 2Round 3Round 4Round 5Round 6Round 7TotalAvg
RankA Class N,2P,G,JM,E,21A,L,19D,9O,K,86,HTotalAvg
155 North (US)MWSL5976 9 7-437.2
2Cirrus (UK)INT49116 4 68486.9
3Red 4 (US)TSL6986 1 6-366.0
3Loads of Fun (US)TSL4776 6 6-366.0
5Scratch n Sniff (INT)INT4683 4 67385.4
6Dive Bombers (IE)INT4263 3 64284.0
7CSC Flashpoint (US)MWSL4633 3 3-223.7
8M Ms (IE)INT4254 4 32243.4
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    55 North at USPA Nationals 2013
BSM: What's the #1 place you want to go together? PM + MG: IRELAND!!!!

BSM: What's the #1 thing you want to do together? PM + MG: Get for-real married.

BSM: How does he make you better or grow? PM: He's always pushing me to improve... in skydiving, my health and all other aspects of life. MG: He makes me aspire to make others happy.

BSM: Anything else we should know about you two? MG: I gripe about him collecting things... But, I have EVERY issue of BSM ever published!

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