by Chuck Akers, Skydive USA - firstname.lastname@example.org
Just a note to say thanks to everyone that came out for the Winter POPS Meet and Boogie held January 14-16 at Skydive USA in Wharton, Texas. 103 jumpers registered for the event, cranking out over 700 jumps from the Super Twin Otter. Top POP Ted Rose was on hand too. The weather was unusually cooperative, allowing us to scoot 38 loads to altitude. For anyone keeping Super Otter scores, the average time to 14K was 12 minutes, and takeoff to landing time averaged 16.8 minutes. Not bad considering several multi-pass loads due to clouds.
Most newsworthy of all the activities was the POPS night RW record. Rick Meyers organized 10 POPS and set a new night POPS RW record 10-way, complete with lights, video, and pics. The group made a couple practice jumps, then completed the 10-way in just 4,000 feet of altitude, holding it for about 35 seconds! By the way, the record jump was staffer Tom Bryant's 4000th jump. Congrats to the new world record holders!
Over 30 jumpers registered for balloon jumps, although only a handful actually got to jump due to winds. We plan to have the balloon back soon, so watch this website for dates.
Saturday afternoon was Hit & Rock time. Ted Rose put his extensive experience to work, winning with a time of 7.1 seconds.
Two live bands cranked out the music Saturday night as the Aggie club fed everyone BBQ, and the crowd wasted 2 kegs by 10 PM! Beer run to the rescue, and the party continued through the night. If you weren't here or left early you missed out on one hell-of-a party, including the body shots (not to worry ladies, we'll withhold the names to protect the guilty).
The Texas A&M Skydiving Club hosted POPS vs. PUPS Sunday morning. This 3-way scrambles proved very popular with everyone. 9 teams hit the skies for the 3 round competition. By the way, the POPS were the winners, proving once again that they be old, but not cold. This was the second fund-raiser for the Aggie club hosted by the DZ, and we couldn't be happier. The Aggies have been with us since AOT closed, and their presence on the DZ has been a very positive thing for all concerned.
Monday was MLK day, so the handful of folks with the day off topped the weekend with a few more loads before heading back to the real world.
Thanks again to everyone for a great event. The DZ is rockin' strong, thanks to everyone's involvement. If you haven't been out for a while, you're really missing some great times. There's a lot of new faces coming from all over, and a special thanks goes out to all the regulars for making them feel so welcome. The most often heard comment from new folks is how friendly the people are here. While I'd love to take credit for that, I can't. You make this DZ what it is, and for that you have my sincere gratitude. Thank you.