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Golden Knights Vertical Program takes 2nd Place

IMG_9438-WThe GKVP team has participated in their first competition of the year. They went to Gunslingers Dos: The Fiesta Continues, which is a wind tunnel competition that took place at the iFly tunnel in Austin, Texas from May 8th-9th. The team arrived in Austin on the 7th and headed directly to the wind tunnel to test it out and see what the ideal wind speed to fly at was. After flying some formations and figuring out the wind speeds, the team was ready for the competition the following day.

The team competed in the vertical formation skydiving event on May 8th against two other teams. At 1:30 pm, all of the teams attending the briefing for the day got to draw for all 8 rounds of the competition. Right away the team got to work and started engineering the formations. Once 3:30 pm came around, the competition started! Each team is given one minute to fly, but only scored on 35 seconds. All of the teams knocked out the first round and did very well. But there’s no time to relax, because now it’s time to walk the dive for the next round. This process is repeated after every round until the last one is completed.

The competition is over for VFS, and the final scores will be released the following day at the award ceremony, the team can finally relax after a full day of hard work. The competition comes to an end on Saturday May 9th, and all of the competitors meet at a local restaurant for the awards. GKVP won second place with an 18.625 average. SDC Core took first place and third place went to team 4 Non-Blondes.

Not too long after Gunslingers, the team was scheduled to compete in The Bay Brawl at iFly San Francisco, May 17th. With only a week between the two competitions, the team trains hard to keep up the pace. The team flies out and arrives in San Francisco two nights prior. The very next day, the team flies in iFly San Francisco for the first time to get an idea for the wind speed and to get used to the size of the tunnel for the competition. After flying, the team feels confident about the following day. Sunday comes around and the team heads to the tunnel early to start walking the dive pool. Once 5 pm rolls around, the competition starts. The team has committed the first dive to memory and starts off slow and smooth right out the gates. For the first 2 rounds, the Golden Knights are in last, but following close behind the second place team. As the rounds continue, the team starts pulling ahead and gaining a strong foothold in second place. The team finished the competition with a 17.8 point average, claiming second place! GKVP continues to train hard for upcoming competitions and greatly appreciates everyone’s support.

2015 Great New England Air Show Success

IMG_3637Gold Demonstration Team spent this last weekend at the Great New England Air Show at Westover Air Reserve Base in Chicopee, Massachusetts. We performed four shows before a crowd of over two hundred thousand spectators and fans.

This weekend brought along a few weather obstacles, but nothing the Golden Knights weren’t trained to handle. Working alongside the Canadian forces, the Team opened the show flying in both the U.S. and Canadian National flags with their respective anthems. We were able to host some of the U.S. Navy Blue Angel crew, Westover Air Force Servicemen and women and a variety of media and press, to share with them the experience of jumping out over such an amazing air show venue.

After each performance, the Team was welcomed by hundreds of fans and future Soldiers who helped us pack our parachutes, and learned about what it takes to be a Soldier in today’s Army, and a teammate on the U.S. Army Parachute Team. We look forward to the next time we can be a part of the excitement and hospitality of the Great New England Air Show!

Please join or follow us next weekend at the Salute to Veterans Air Show in Columbia, Missouri. We will be joined once again with the Canadian Snow Birds and many other incredible performers!

Blue Skies!

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GKF4 Wins Gold in Bedford

imageGolden Knight Female 4-Way Team (GKF4) wins Gold in Bedford, England at the 2015 World Challenge Indoor Skydiving Championships in the Female Open Class.

While Bedford Bodyflight celebrated their 10th year of competition, this was only the second time the Golden Knights have made the trip to the England wind tunnel to compete.

The 2015 World Challenge was run slightly different than in years past with all competitors saying it was ran very smoothly and that they were very impressed with the meet. Owner and meet director, Paul Mayer, had taken notes from competitors and tried to accommodate as much as possible. Teams only had to be at the tunnel for minimal amount of time thanks to the scheduling of each different category. With 90 registered 4-way teams, this kept from overcrowding the tunnel and worked very well allowing each team the needed room to prepare for each round.

Day one of the competition started out with AAA 4-way formation skydiving and all teams ran through round 1 without any hiccups and continued through round 5.

The Golden Knights finished the day with 127 points, 16 points ahead of the second place UK team. After looking at the score cards from the judges, team coach, Solly Williams, had questions on round 2. The Knights were deducted 4 points with 2 points being deducted for a center point violation and after the team reviewed the video, they filed a formal protest to the Chief Judge. Round 2 went back in front of a judging panel and was re-scored, this time with only 2 deductions and a final round score of 21. The Knights won their protest and after the scores where corrected, ended the day with 129 points, increasing their lead by 18.

Day two proved to be even better for the Golden Knights. The last 5 rounds where a bit more technical but they were able to execute each round very well and produce high scores for each. The Knights dominated the female class throughout the entire meet and did not lose a single round and while this was their main goal, they looked at the open class leader board and set their sights on beating a few different teams and we’re happy with the results.

GKF4 took the Gold in AAA Female 4-way Formation Skydiving class and placed 5th on the Open Class leader board with a new team high average of 26.3.

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