Knights Swoop 4th Meet

The US Army Parachute Team, Golden Knights Canopy Piloting Team competed at Skydive the Farm in Rockmart, Georgia Saturday April 26th. This was the fourth Meet sponsored by the Florida Canopy Piloting Association.

 SFC Greg Windmiller a pioneer of swooping for the US Army Parachute Team competed against twenty-three contenders to bring home a silver medal for speed, the gold medal for distance and the overall gold medal for the competition. In round one he traveled a distance of 115.69 meters scoring 89.218 points and ran with a perfect round two score of 130.93 meter run with a perfect 100 point score resulting in the overall 189.218 points.

 Not only did Windmiller literally swoop the competition for the meet, he set a new George State, US National and World record in speed with one of his two course run times of 2.364 seconds.

 Windmiller is definitely not a stranger to this sport or his competitors. He competed in South Africa in the 2008 Canopy Piloting World Championships, setting a new World record in canopy piloting speed as well as placed 3rd overall in the world, winning a bronze medal. At the 2010 US National Championships in Rosharon TX, he claimed the US National Championship in speed and brought home silver and bronze medals and once again breaking the State and US National record for canopy piloting speed. In January 2011 he challenged 104 of the world’s best canopy pilots from 41 countries in Dubai UAE, Winning two Gold medals at the Dubai International Parachuting Championships and Gulf Cup.

 Windmiller recently returned from Kolomna Russia, competing in the 2013 Canopy Piloting World Cup, where he broke his own World Record in speed. This last record in Georgia marks Windmiller’s 5th world record in speed.

 I asked SFC Windmiller what did it feel like to be a five time World Champion of Canopy Piloting and he said, “I just appreciate the opportunity every day of my life to be privileged enough to represent the greatest Army in the world, doing what I love.”

 SFC Joe Abeln also competed in the Meet # 4 taking twelfth place with a score of 129.289 for the two rounds.

 An individual is allotted 100 points per round. Distance runs from a beginning point set by poles which the pilot goes through to an end point set of poles in a recorded amount of distance and time.

 Stay tuned for the next Canopy Piloting competition, which will be Meet #5 the (Nationals) held at Skydive City Z-Hills, Zephyrhills, Florida May 17th-18th.

 

HOT In Homestead

   The United States Army Parachute Team began Winter Training at Homestead, ARB today in a sweltering 80-degree weather.

    The Black and Gold Demonstration Teams jumped right through the day with picturesque gray, blue and huge white puffy clouds and even a slight bit of rain.

    World Record Swoop Champion, Sergeant 1st Class Greg Windmiller gave a very intricate class to about twelve team members in canopy proficiency.

    The newest team members that graduated from the Assessment and Selection Program in October seemed a little tense but very eager to get started, while the senior members where just happy to get back to training.

    Each new guy is assigned an old guy to mentor and advise through out the show season, beginning with the intense two months of winter training.

    Today both demonstration teams completed eight jumps before the liquid sunshine came in to nourish our beautiful bright green-sodded drop zone.

World Champions!

SFC Isenbarger holds the Ottley Sword high as GK8 Stands atop the podium. The Ottley Sword dates back to the 1970s, and is awarded to the best 8-Way Formation Skydiving Team in the World every 2 years.

Representing the USA, members of the Golden Knights 8-Way Formation Skydiving Team (GK8) have earned the right to be called “World Champions” by winning Gold at the 2012 World Parachuting Championships in Dubai, U.A.E.   In addition, GK8 set a new World Record for most points scored in competition- 229, beating the old record of 224 set in 1997.

Winning the Gold was no easy task, as the French National Team arrived in Dubai determined to defend their reigning World Championship.   France showed this determination in Round 1, beating GK8 by 1 point to start off the competition.   After a tie in Round 2, GK8 decided to turn up the intensity, and it paid off.  GK8 had a near perfect performance in Round 3, while France suffered from a minor mistake, resulting in 5 point swing in favor of the Knights.   GK8 entered Round 4 knowing very well that a 4 point lead was not enough to become conservative against the reigning World Champions.  With another high intensity jump, the Knights picked up 3 more points on the French.   The 7 point lead did not last long as France fired back in rounds 5 & 6, cutting the Knights lead back down to 4 points.  GK8 was determined to remain on the offensive, but also limit costly mistakes for the final four rounds.  The strategy proved successful, as the two top teams went on to tie in each of the remaining four rounds.  GK8 landed from Round 10 fairly confident that they had held onto their lead, and the competition pressure that had mounted over 8 days finally started to lift.  Members of the Golden Knights 8-Way Team broke out in celebration immediately after the judges confirmed their victory.  Four years of intense training and determination had paid off!

SFC Brian Krause receives a water shower in celebration.

“It’s been an honor to represent the U.S. Army and the United States of America on this World Stage.   I believe we demonstrated that, when properly trained, American Soldiers will prevail.” –SFC Mike LaRoche

This was the first World Meet for the Golden Knight Female 4-Way team. In preparation, this two-year team completed 800 training jumps and multiple hours of tunnel time.  This year kicked off with the Shamrock Showdown in Deland, FL. There, GKF4 finished with a 17.2 average. The competition at the World Meet was mostly familiar. Of the 14 female teams, GKF4 had faced 7 of them at one time or another. These teams were Canada, Brazil, Russia, Norway, UK, UAE and France. GKF4 led the competition for the first 7 rounds. In Round 8, France pulled ahead by one point. In the end, GKF4 won Silver with a 20.1 average.

The Competition Team will now enjoy some time off with family for the Holidays.  The Knights plan to train hard next year to defend their titles and continue the tradition of excellence that has been established.  Army Strong!

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