But right after the storm, Convention skydivers showed what they were made of! Spirit and teamwork was the word, and hundreds of skydivers pitched in, many still soaking wet, and helped straighten out the load organizer area. When Monday rolled around and the weather looked great, people started jumping like crazy. Having no tents to pack in was hot but it didn't stop anyone, especially Packin' Cathy's crew. They just packed outside in the sun. By Tuesday the tents were beginning to be put back up and soon it was our regular old home, dry and shady. Then we really started jumping.
The rest of the week the weather was mostly good and both the B-17 Flying Fortress and the B-24 Liberator were at the Convention, but unfortunately the Jet was not able to make it to the Convention on Friday. The previous supplier, Amerijet, was not available, and the paperwork for another jet simply didn't get done in time. This didn't stop any jumpers however, and jumping continued strong in the good weather.
By Saturday people started mentioning how they missed the kick-in-the-pants blast of a jet exit, so high-speed passes in the Casas began to happen, and people got a good idea of what a jet or Connie exit felt like.
The Convention Load Organizers kept very busy, both the experienced groups and the novice groups.
On Friday August 11th the Convention Load Organizers set a new record. Mike Crow, Liam Brennan, and Marcus Thorton organized a 56 way formation that completed and looked beautiful from the ground. This large formation was signifigant because it was made completely from "walk-up" jumpers, or those who simply came to the load organizer area each evening to try to be in a big-way.
Chicagoland Skydiving did the AFF instruction this year and everyone I talked to from there had a lot of fun. Many first jump courses and many graduates.
Wendy Faulkner led the CRW organizers this year and I heard of several big-ways going up. (They land at an alternate landing area and are a quiet bunch so you will have to ask them about everything they did.)
The Muff Brothers and Brian Germain's group provided other types of load organizing so that jumpers could try whatever types of skydives they could think of.
I made 45 jumps this year, (nothing compared to what some of the organizers do) and each year I know a little bit more personally about the folks I jump with. I can hardly wait until next year.
If you have any feedback you wish to provide the Convention Load Organizers, please write to Gary Peek at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Blue skies, and have a safe and happy year until WFFC 2001!!!