The Convention started with a break from the weather gods: the weeks prior to the Convention were very hot and humid, heat index well over a hundred degrees. But the Convention started with low temperatures, light winds, and really lovely weather. As the week went on, temperatures slowly began to rise along with the humidity, just breaking the ninety-degree mark. Friday (Jet Day) dawned windy and cloudy, so the Jet was held over to Saturday. (Many jumpers made hop-n-pops all day long, however.) The final Saturday and Sunday of the Convention were absolutely beautiful weatherwise, and many, many happy jumpers concluded the Convention with 727 Jet jumps, Casa jumps, Super Otters, and Mike Mullins' incredibly fast King Air.
The Convention Load Organizers kept very busy, with Tents 1, 2, and 3 being reserved for the more experienced jumpers (with room for them to pack as well!), while Tent 4 welcomed the lower-experience jumpers and those wishing to make smaller, low-pressure skydives. Tent 5, Skydive City, was busy as well, with many people going through AFF at the Convention and graduating off student status, as well as providing load organizers. The Muff Brothers and Brian Germain's Extreme Tent provided atmosphere, giving skydivers every possibility to learn whatever they desired to try. I must admit that every time I saw a bunch of skydivers walking to the airplane with earmuffs on, chanting "muff muff muff muff," it brought a smile to my face. Skydive Sebastian and the CRW tent finished up "Tent Row."
I myself made 44 jumps this year, mostly with the Tent 4 crowd, but I jumped every airplane except the B-24, happy to experience such a really wonderful Convention with people from around the world. One jump had skydivers from Belgium, England, Germany, Guatemala, Italy, and of course, the United States (me!). And I watched jumpers with as few a 50 jumps become safe boogie skydivers, able to exit whatever aircraft they chose, opening, flying, and landing safely. It was a great time. One of the brand-new jumpers (Deborah, 53 jumps at the beginning of the Convention) wrote Quincy Virgin Musings for rec.skydiving and has agreed to let me add it here for your amusement.
Next year's Convention dates are 4-13 August 2000. Mark your calendars and watch the web page to see what exciting things will be coming.
Blue skies, and have a safe and happy year until WFFC 2000!!!
WFFC 1999 had 54 countries represented, along with all 50 U.S. states. A total of 5,410 registered participants made 69,000 jumps in 10 days! 464 tandem skydives were made, and 60 AFF student jumps were processed by Skydive City, with five graduates. 412 kegs of beer were given away, and the Future Farmers of America spectator tent city tours raised $1,750. Thirty-three units of blood were raised by the WFFC Blood Drive, and more than $12,000 was raised for charities.