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Skydiving league playoffs Saturday

From staff reports

The Southeast Playoffs of the National Skydiving League scheduled for the Atlanta Skydiving Center almost didn't happen this year. The league runs six Playoff events around the country starting on Sept. 15 and 16, but were postponed due to the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon. Because of the uncertainty of when general aviation would resume, respect for the tragedy, and the difficulty in rescheduling, league president, Kurt Gaebel, was considering canceling the Playoffs altogether. "I was planning to announce the cancellation of the Playoffs on Wednesday evening," Gaebal said. "When I got to the office to post the cancellation notice, I had several e-mails from teams asking me not to cancel. They said I should not let the terrorist activity ruin a year of planning and work by the teams and that skydiving would help them return to normal and begin the healing process. I decided to think about the cancellation some more." As luck would have it, skydiving centers were allowed to resume operations on Thursday, September 20. Gaebel received an enthusiastic response from teams and skydiving centers when he said the Playoffs would continue. Instead of running over the course of three weekends, all six Playoffs will be scheduled for the same weekend, Sept. 29 and 30. Formation skydivers will be meeting in the skies over the Atlanta Skydiving Center, located at the Cedartown Airport, on Sat. And Sun. Sept. 28 and 29 for the Southeast Playoffs of the National Skydiving League. The competition will begin at 9 a.m. and continuing throughout most of the day. Four-way (person) skydiving teams from the Carolina, Florida, Georgia and the Southeast Skydiving Leagues will be attending the competition. Each league has been running its own local competition season from January through August. The Playoffs will decide the regional champion in the open/advanced and intermediate divisions and serve as a qualifying event for the invitaion-only NSL Championship 2001 for the open/advanced teams. Spectators are invited to attend the free event. There is an indoor and outdoor viewing area plus a picnic section. Tandem skydives will be available for spectators who may want to experience the free fall for themselves. During the competition, the 4-way (person) formation skydiving teams will exit the plane at 10,500 feet and perform a series of pre-selected maneuvers within 35 seconds to earn points. At about 4,000 feet, the team members will separate and open their parachutes. A videographer will record the jump from above the team. As soon as the videographer lands, the tape is turned over to the judge. The public can view the jumps on the drop zone televisions. The National Skydiving League includes 18 leagues around the country that organize and manage over 90 competitions with more than 2000 skydiving teams competing in the 2001 season. The competition season culminates with six Playoff events at locations around the country and theinvitation-onlyNSL Championship 2001 in Florida. The locations are: Northeast playoff -Skydive Cross Keys, Great Lakes Playoff-AerOhio, Midwest Plains Playoff-Chicagoland Skydiving, Central Playoff-Skydive Dallas, Southeast Playoff-Atlanta Skydiving Center, Western Playoff-Perris Valley Skydiving. The NSL Championship 2001 is scheduled for Nov. 17 and 18 at Fantasy of Flight, located between Tampa and Orlando in Florida, and will be held in conjunction with "SkyQuest Skydiving Air Show," SkyQuest includes the NSL Championship 20001, The SkyQuest Accuracy Challenge, the CRW SkyQuest (canopy relative work, and the SkyQuest Fantasy Swoop (pond swooping). The SkyQuest 100-way invitational will make intricate formations above the spectators.


This article was created at :

September 27 ,2001

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