Up early at 5am, the 8way Team was greeted by rain and clouds for the first day of competition at Skydive Chicago. The plan was a 15 minute call at 6:45 for a 7am takeoff. The Golden Knights Black 4 Way Team ( SGT Mike LaRoche, SSG Josh Coleman, SSG Matt Acord, SSG Justin Blewitt and SSG Drew Starr) are team 401 and are scheduled for load one. The clouds are expected to clear early this afternoon.
The Gold 4 Way Team is SFC Brian Krause, SFC Kurt Isenbarger, SFC Matt Davidson, SSG Sean Sweeney and SFC Larry Miller. Both teams are using the 4 Way competition for a warm up before the 8 Way event starts on Monday. We have had very little 4 Way training this year since we have been totally geared toward the 8 Way event.
Yesterday we made several practice jumps and finished our last 8 Way jump with a new team training record. We were able to get 32 points in our working time beating our previous record of 29 points. The Knights plan to carry this momentum and confidence into Round 1.
The meet director for the 2010 US Nationals is Mr. Bill Wenger, a former World Champion Golden Knight from the early 1980s. His plan is to finish all ten rounds of 4 Way by Sunday night and move on to 8 Way Monday morning.
In addition to skydiving at our personal best, the Golden Knights 8way Team spent several hours yesterday with 6 future Army Soldiers from the local Illinois area. The Team members shared their Army experiences and lessons learned with the recruits while also giving them a taste of competitive skydiving. The Future Soldiers left motivated and excited to begin their Army careers.