The 2016 USPA National Parachuting Championships of Canopy Formation and Style & Accuracy got underway at the Florida Skydiving Center in Lake Wales on Saturday, May 28. With warm, sunny skies, the meet competed two days early on May 31.
This year’s Nationals determined the U.S. Team for both style & accuracy and CF that will compete at the 2016 Fédération Aéronautique Internationale World Championships this September at Skydive Chicago. Adding to the drama, this year marked the final time USPA included style in its national championships.
Competition began with classic accuracy with a field of 42 men and eight women, including the Cuban national team competing as guest competitors. After ten rounds, Drew Riffle took the top spot for the men and Cheryl Stearns for the women. In the style event, James Hayhurst won gold for the men, as well as the overall champion title, and Elisa Tennyson won the women’s style gold. Stearns earned the overall gold medal. In team accuracy, the gold went to Skydive Rick’s.
This year’s U.S. Style & Accuracy Team includes six men, four women and three junior competitors: Hayhurst, Riffle, Jimmy Drummond, Matt O'Gwynn, Kevin Thompson and Edin Alisa for the men; Stearns, Tennyson, Nancy LaRiviere and Mery Rose for the women; and junior competitors Alexandra Deets, Kris Hayhurst and Nate Volk, all from the U.S. Military Academy at West Point.
The CF competition included 2-way and 4-way sequential and 4-way rotations. All events saw the reigning national champions reclaim their titles, as well as slots on the U.S. Team—Clean Air in 2-way and 4-way sequential and Elsinore Too Wrapped Up in 4-way rotations. Second-place 2-way team Leading Edge also earned slots on the U.S. Team.
Nationals also included a sport accuracy test event, with 14 competitors entered. James Hayhurst took the top spot.
DZO Betty Hill and the Florida Skydiving Center proved excellent hosts. Meet Director Randy Connell, Controller Elijah Florio and Chief Judges Marylou Laughlin (S&A) and Natasha Higman (CF) kept the meet running smoothly.
Skydive-TV was also onsite covering the event for daily broadcasts airing at skydive-tv.com. Complete results are available on OmniSkore!HD. Look for a full report in the August issue of Parachutist.