What a week! The Golden Knights canopy piloting team spent the last 12 days in Zephyrhills, FL competing in the final Florida Canopy Piloting Association (FLCPA) meet of the season and the USPA National Championships of Canopy Piloting.
The final FLCPA meet of the year was also the largest. Just days before Nationals, Canopy Pilots from across the globe came out to fine tune their flying skills. Over 60 competitors took to the skies making the competition a very tight race for the top spots. A strong tail wind was the story of the day helping the competitors go faster and further than most have gone before. By the end of the FLCPA meet SFC Greg Windmiller, SFC Joe Abeln and SFC Jared Zell all finished in the top 10 of the final five meet league standings.
Two days after the FLCPA wrapped up, USPA Nationals of Canopy Piloting began. Nearly 80 Competitors showed up to Skydive City for the competition. Three rounds of each Speed, Distance and Zone Accuracy are the events for nationals. This year was also a selection year for making the 8 person US Team for the up coming World Championships later this year also at Skydive City. The jumpers completed five rounds of competition by the end of the first day, all three rounds of speed and two rounds of distance. The second day finished out the last four rounds. A stiff head wind picked up for the afternoon making the final round of Zone Accuracy very challenging.
When the scores were posted the Golden Knights had a lot to celebrate. SFC Joe Abeln took a Bronze medal in Zone Accuracy and an 8th place overall finish making the US Team as an alternate. SFC Greg Windmiller despite a shoulder injury finished a Bronze medal overall and making the US Team in 3rd place.
SFC Joe Abeln