Training and dedication has finally paid off for the Golden Knights’ 8-way competition team. GK8 is bringing home the Gold from the 2010 US National Skydiving Competition at Skydive Chicago. The Knights finished the 10 round 8-way competition with 199 points and a National Championship. GK8 topped the reigning National Champs, Arizona Airspeed, who finished with an impressive 191 points.
Less than 2 years ago SFC Brian Krause formed the current Golden Knights 8-way team along with two other experienced Golden Knight competitors- SFC Matt Davidson and SSG Sean Sweeney. With five brand new competitors on board (SFC Larry Miller, SSG Justin Blewitt, SSG Josh Coleman, SSG Matt Acord, and SGT Mike LaRoche), the young 8-way team began the long and difficult process of training to become competitive on the National and International level. SFC Kurt Isenbarger joined the line-up early this year and brought with him several years of past 8-way experience, replacing SGT LaRoche who took time off with the early arrival of his baby girl. SSG Drew Starr also stepped in as videographer for the 2010 season.
The Knights knew early on that it would be no easy task to top reigning US 8-way Champions Arizona Airspeed, comprised of World and National skydiving champions who have dominated the 8-way event for the last decade. In fact, the Golden Knights’ last US 8-way Championship took place in 1999. SFC Matt Davidson is the only current GK8 member from the 1999 team. With a National Championship under their belt, GK8 will continue to push their training efforts in pursuit of a World Championship in the near future.
The 2010 US Nationals did not end with 8-way as the Knights rolled into 16-way competition the following day. After 6 rounds, the Knights took 2nd place with 68 points and set a new US National 16-way record with 21 points on round 4! Arizona Airspeed also put up 21 points on the round, resulting in a shared 16-way National Record between the Golden Knights and Arizona Airspeed. The 10-way speed competition will kick-off soon, and the Knights hope to defend their 10-way Championship from the 2009 US Nationals. Stay tuned!