... that Dawn English's NSL Profile will offer an exciting 4-way story?
Dawn English and Lise Aune
posted Sep 22nd, 2005 -
The NSL News story on September 19 pointed out that Natasha Montgomery is the first female 4-way competitor who won the USPA Nationals in the history of Formation Skydiving competition in the USA.
The same story included additional information of other female Formation Skydiving competitors who made it to the very top of the world in open competition with male competitors. Three of these female top athletes, Lise Aune, Arianna de Benedetti and Eliana Rodriguez, are also featured on the NSL Profiles pages.
Exit of an early FX line-up
The NSL News had already planned for a long time to feature Dawn English, as well. She was the first female competitor who impressed the skydiving world with her achievements. Her story is overdue. The NSL News has now collected most of the needed information, and Dawn English's NSL Profile will be added very soon.
The story itself is already exciting enough. However, Dawn also finds a way in her memories to explain her own experiences in a very special way. She sees her "favorite place in the world" in a 4-way competition, and it sounds very special:
Exit of the FX 2000 line-up
"At altitude the door opens, the wind roars in, transmitter on, cameraman out, climb into slot, pick up grips, and pause. You can feel your teammates breathing... the prop seems to be in slow motion... the view of the horizon is awesome... you are completely in the moment. Your skin tingles and your brain is focused in a very primal way.
When the launch comes, the air will feel like ice in your nostrils and you'll find balance between the two extremes of your body's instinct for making the moves and your mind's intellect for managing them. At its best it's all of your power and aggression with all of your ability to control it. For a few moments we get to simultaneously experience our sophisticated intellectual evolution and the basic aggressive animal that made it to the top of the food chain. How can you not love that?"
FX line-up at the World Cup 1998 image by: Omniskore
Dawn English also explains in her NSL Profile how difficult it was for her to get her career started and move on to higher levels:
"I was so much smaller than them that I wore 26 pounds in competition. I didn't have to stop a move - I'd just go until I ran into one of them. I remember one dive we were spinning donut-360-donut and two of us collided. I left the screen so fast you had to play it in slow motion to see where I went."
Her career's peak was the World Cup 1998, as the earlier NSL News story had already mentioned, and it began 1995 in Arizona. The NSL Profile story will offer more details later. The first FX line-up already included Joey Jones, plus Marshall Clark and Vo Von Hoffman and took the 4th place at the USPA Nationals with only 200 training jumps.
FX line-up at the USPA Nationals 2000
Dawn English and Joey Jones then accepted a player coach position for Dr. Joel Shugar's first team and competed with Eyes on Florida at the USPA Nationals in 1997. The next year would bring the highlight of her 4-way career for Dawn. Together with Joey Jones she formed Space Center FX, which was fully sponsored by the Skydive Space Center in Titusville, Florida. Space Center FX with Christopher Irvin and Doug Park in the line-up trained hard, traveled to Portugal for the World Cup 1998 and won the gold medals after a jump-off with France Maubeuge.
The same line-up lost the USPA Nationals 1998 against Arizona Airspeed a month later. Dawm English left the FX team and was replaced by Neal Houston in 1999. The new FX line-up ended up once again behind Airspeed. David Timko took Neal Houston's slot in 2000, and Dawn English came back for another year. This time, FX ended up six points behind Airspeed with a 20.7 average and USPA silver medals. It was the last competition for Dawn English so far.
Joey Jones continued with DeLand Majik and became a 4-way world champion in 2004, together with Dawn English's former FX teammate Doug Park. Christopher Irwin joined Arizona Airspeed for a few years and still works as a 4-way player coach on the west coast. Dawn has focused on her job as the owner of Mirage Systems. However, she does not know yet whether her 4-way career is over or not. The whole NSL Profile will be posted soon.