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Did You Know...

... that Phil Roberson wrote a great SkyQuest story for the Parachutist?

    Bob Byrne, Joel Kmetz and Gilles Dutrisac at Skydive City
posted Dec 30th, 2005 - Five more teams competed last weekend at Skydive City, but only one AAA Class team had the opportunity to experience the Super Sequence in Round 4. Teiwaz finished shortly behind the two AAA Class top teams from Texas in Round 4 and tied the Dallas Pulse score with a 23-pointer after two point deductions.

The main competition at Skydive City took place in the A Class where three teams attended the last meet of the regular 2012 season. The Super Sequence also trickled down into the A Class with the first three Random Formations (J-F-E) of the sequence and offered a great scoring opportunity.

However, the A Class teams get their Super Sequences on a regular basis, and the same sequence also applied for the Rookie Class teams last weekend.
FSL 2012 - September Round 1 Round 2 Round 3 Round 4 Round 5 Round 6 Total Avg
Rank AAA Class G,7,2 8,9,11 A,6,22 J,F,E,Q,N 14,P,O,1 K,18,C,3 Total Avg
1 Teiwaz AAA (US) 13(-1) 13 11(-1) 23(-2) 12 11 83 13.8
Rank A Class G,7 8,9 A,6 J,F,E P,O,2 K,C,Q Total Avg
1 DeLand Higgs Boson (US) 8 8 9 16(-1) 9 9(-1) 59 9.8
2 Zunday (US) 6 2(-1) 7(-1) 17(-1) 8 6 46 7.7
3 Not Yet (US) 2 3 6 11 - - 22 5.5
Rank Rookie G,D,M B,N,H A,L,G J,F,E P,O,D K,C,Q Total Avg
1 Pyro4ic (US) 4 6 2 8 4(-1) - 24 4.8

The January 2006 issue of USPA's Parachutist includes a great story with nice pictures of SkyQuest 2005. Freefall photographer Phil Roberson collected information and materials live at Fantasy of Flight and covered the event on four pages under the headline "Show Time".

SkyQuest 2005 was the second visit at Fantasy of Flight for Phil Roberson. He already filmed Guy Wright's Team Elite at its inaugural event in 2004 and posted many SkyQuest pictures at his own website last year. This year, he went a step further and became the event journalist for the Parachutist.

His article in the January issue calls SkyQuest 2005 an "extravaganza for spectators and skydivers alike". He introduces SkyQuest with a brief look into the history of the event and describes the event site, Fantasy of Flight in Polk City, Florida. Phil Roberson also quotes NSL President Kurt Gaebel with his vision of the special annual event: "SkyQuest is a spectator-friendly event and acts as a bridge between the public and the skydiving community".

    DeLand Higgs Boson and Zunday 2012 scoring progression
DeLand Higgs Boson and Zunday were in a similar situation as the teams in Texas. Super Sequence or not - both FSL teams posted their best scores of the 2012 season at Skydive City.

It was the 4th time that Higgs Boson and Zunday competed with each other this year. Both teams progressed in different ways after launching the 2012 season with almost exactly the same scoring difference. Zunday consistently increased the averages meet by meet and had actually caught up with Higgs Boson in June.

Bob Byrne's player coach team then was so fortunate to have former FSC Wind Damaged member Joel Kmetz fill last weekend's open Center Inside slot, which helped to shoot Higgs Boson up to almost the 10-average level. Zunday improved the performance and scoring level once again but suffered a few bad exits and could eventually not keep up.

The skydiving author continues with stories of each single event and provides beautiful pictures for the article, some of his own, some made by Craig O'Brian. His coverage of the Kaleidoscope Dives, organized by BJ Worth, includes a preview of the upcoming world record attempt of the World Team in Thailand.

He mentions the two generals of the Royal Thai Air Force who visited at Fantasy of Flight where they were intoduced to the Kaleidoscope Divers. The 95 SkyQuest 2005 participants, who will travel to Thailand very soon, were impressed by the efforts of the generals who came to observe the World Team's training preparations at Fantasy of Flight.

Phil Roberson continues with a very accurate coverage of the NSL Championship 2005, which was the only event that managed to complete all planned rounds. He also mentions that the 2005 competition was the first money meet in NSL history: "The Jump Institute, owned by Fastrax team member John Hart, donated prize money for the first time in the NSL Championships' history, with a total purse of $4,000."

    FSC Wind Damaged with coach Bob Byrne in 2007
Joel Kmetz re-connected with two of his former team mates last weekend. Bob Byrne was also player and coach for FSC Wind Damaged for a while and knows Joel Kmetz very well.

Gilles Dutrisac was also a Wind Damaged member in 2007 and 2008 before he joined Sebastian Tempest to launch and advance his AAA Class career. He joined Teiwaz last weekend for the other unexpected FSC Wind Damaged reunion with Bob Byrne. Gilles Dutrisac has trained with John Hart's Start Skydiving lineup this year.

The FSL teams are not done yet, as they will defend their home turf once again at the NSL Championship of SkyQuest 2012 in November. The indoor showdown with the Northwest Skydiving League and iFLY Seattle also continues for the remainder of the year, and the iFLY competition tour stop in Orlando is next in October.

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He explains the difficult weather situation of the 2005 event, as well, and still comes to a very positive conclusion at the end of the whole article:

"But what a show it was - for both spectators and participants. Gaebel stressed the importance of presenting skydiving as a safe sport to the non-jumping public and credits Worth and Wright for recruiting safe skydivers to their teams. Thousands of skydives in four days resulted in no serious injuries and only one cutaway. The fifth annual SkyQuest proved once again that a skydiving airshow can attract top talent and tourists alike and give the public a taste of what skydiving is all about."

The NSL News could not express it any better, thanks to Phil Roberson for a great event coverage, and also to the Parachutist for spreading the SkyQuest word.

Phil Roberson made his first jump in 1980. He did two static line jumps with his brother Steve in Orange, MA, and then did no more jumping for 17 years. He finally came back after he got married. He went with his best man and best friend, Mike Richards, and they each did their first freefall in Pepperell, MA, in 1997. He still does most of his jumping at Skydive Pepperell, but he also goes to Jumptown in Orange, MA. He mostly flies with the camera on his helmet although he also has an AFF Instructor rating. Phil had over 2,000 jumps in August this year.

He also has some competition experience. In 2004, he competed as a videographer for the 4-way team Shin-jitsu. He competed in Freestyle with Anne Klein in 2003, while he was still filming 4-way, this time with team Galileo. He won a USPA Intermediate Class silver medal in 2002 when he already competed with Anne Klein in Freestyle. He also flew video for Burning Daylight, a 4-way competition team in 2001.

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