VFS is going from strength to strength in the UK, with a good turnout of teams at the British Nationals and some impressive scores across the board.
The 4-way Open category had two trained teams fighting it out for the top spot. Defending champions Omni99 are Tim Gaines (VFS Rep), Greg Lucas, Sarah Boyd and Martin Roberson with Dan Guest on camera. Omni came into 2019 with four consecutive Nationals titles behind them but not much training this year, having taken a bit of a break to focus on boogies and fun jumping (and making it onto the cover of the August Mag…). Horizon won silver in 2018 and are now Pete Dennett, Steve Smith, Ming Chu and Peter Hutchinson with Karim Shokraee on camera.
Last year’s Nationals saw Omni finish on a new personal best average of 11.2, while Horizon’s 9.2 marked them as up-and-coming challengers to Omni’s crown. This made for an eagerly-anticipated rematch as both teams stepped up their game for 2019, with Horizon hoping to bridge the gap and Omni feeling the heat.
Omni set off at a blistering pace, throwing down scores of 16, 11 and 14 on the first three rounds. Horizon were two points per round down, meaning the gap was starting to open up but Omni were still being kept on their toes. Round 4 saw the two teams just one point apart, then Horizon beat Omni for the first time on Round 5. Omni responded with a new British Record of 20 points in time in Round 6 and, despite another Omnibeating Round 8 from Horizon, Omni won their fifth British Nationals with a new team PB average of 12.3. Special congratulations to cameraman Dan Guest who has now won 10 overall Nationals gold medals across three disciplines – VFS, CP and Freestyle.
In Intermediate, AC-DC are Adam Potter, Dave Bloomfield, Matt Law and Matt Kite with James Round on camera. They were happy to have progressed since last year and to fly some tricky exits to finish on 27 points in eight rounds with no zeroes.
The 2-way Rookie category, now in its second year, was contested by three teams and watched over enviously by the 4-way teams who all agreed that the dive pool looked really fun to fly! Improvements made after last year’s test event mean that both flyers now need FF2, but that the points are fast and furious – a great route into VFS. The 2019 champions are Two Ways For Days – James Moran, James Parry and Hutch, who are all current UK Head Up Record holders and who did just one day of training the day before the comp! Their six-round total of 38 put them ahead of silver medallists Steve (Stuu and Eve, with James Round
on camera) on 30, and Royal Navy Kraken (Emma Reynolds, Dave Lee and Andy Godwin) who scored 20 points in total.
We finish with a quote from each of our top two teams. Omni say “It’s great to see all teams progressing and we hope to see them again next year”, and Horizon say “Bring on 2020!”
Photo: Omni 99 by Rob Lloyd
First published in the October 2019 issue of Skydive the Mag.