The start of the 2018 competition season saw swoopers from all over the world converge on Skydive City in Zephyrhills, Florida for the first meet of the FLCPA. 50 competitors from across the US, Europe, Central, and South America all showed up excited to learn and gain valuable experience. Team Alter Ego Fastrax was running canopy courses in the beginning of the week, and PDFT Team member Ian Bobo was the league coach on Friday, all spreading their knowledge to both new and veteran competitors alike. The meet started Saturday morning with light winds, and the competitors went right into the first round of Zone Accuracy. The normal practice jump was foregone in hopes of getting Zone Accuracy done before the downwind picked up. It worked like a charm and the second round was complete just as the winds started to get stronger. Mario Fatturoso, in his first competition as a new member of the PD Factory Team, was sitting in first place when Zone Acc was complete, followed by Joe Abeln in 2nd and new member of Team Alter Ego Fastrax Alex Hart in 3rd. In the Advanced category, Jesse Weyher was sitting on top followed by Nico Rubio, instructor for the Alter Ego Project from Colombia, and Beau Riebe in 3rd. Austin Lankford led the Beginner class closely followed by Lamberto Micangeli and Philip Andre from Cosa Rica.
The meet then moved into Distance as the downwind picked up and got a bit turbulent. After a very bumpy 2nd round, Greg Windmiller took the top honors of Distance followed by Curt Bartholomew and Matt Shull. Justin Anderson put down some very nice runs and sat with 198 out of 200 points in the Advanced class, followed closely By Robin Jandle leading the female charge as she switched canopy manufactures in the off season. Matt Koch rounded out the top of the Advanced class in the Distance category. Kevin Dice put some consistent runs in the beginner category followed by Juan Felipe Montoya and Josh Szajko. The whole comp then went on a weather hold due to high winds and turbulence for a few hours mid day.
When the winds calmed down later in the afternoon, everyone got geared up for the Speed event. The top Pros mimicked their Distance podium with Greg leading followed by Curt and Matt Shull. A handful of rejumps in the Pro class at the very end of the meet kept the anticipation high for the end results. Matt Koch lead the Advanced charge through the Speed course followed by Justin Anderson from Mile-Hi Skydiving and Fraser Feltner from Skydive Deland. A zero from Robin in Speed saw the top of the Advanced class shuffle some spots in the Overall standings. Juan Felipe Montoya put down some great runs on his Velocity once again followed closely by Lamberto and Dan Hammond in some very light winds and beautiful conditions for some great learning experiences on a difficult Speed carve course.
When all the dust settled, Greg Windmiller stood on the top step of the Overall podium to start the 2018 season off right, followed by Curt Bartholomew and Mario Fatturoso. Beau Riebe from Performance designs won the gold in the Advanced class, followed by Justin Anderson and Nico Rubio, who rounded out the Overall podium. Lamberto Micangeli took top honors in the Beginner class with a decent gap back to Juan Felipe Montoya in 2nd and Dan Hammond in 3rd. Everyone flew the meet very safe and learned a lot of competition strategy and lessons from the top pros. Only one training accident happened prior to the meet with last year’s Beginner season overall winner Evan Pritchard getting injured, we wish him a speedy recovery so we can see him back out hitting the courses with us. See you guys at the next meet at Skydive Sebastian.