Jumptown Honors the Legacy of Paul Quandt
By Magaly Sandoval
Our sport has seen many innovators who pushed the limits and made the impossible possible. In the canopy formation community, one of those was Paul “Q” Quandt. A charming, kind and wild soul who left the world too soon in a motorcycle accident, Quandt was a superb CF competitor and formation skydiving camera flyer. He was a multi-time CF world champion who loved to share his passion for the discipline with newer jumpers. He was also an innovator who made CF much safer, but his safety lessons spanned the disciplines.
Jumptown in Orange, Massachusetts—a scenic drop zone in the woods that was one of Quandt’s home DZs—hosted its 13th Annual Q Memorial Boogie July 4-7. CF organizer Scott Lazarus remarked, “This year is special,” and it sure was, with more than 40 CF participants from all parts of the country and Canada attending to celebrate Q’s life and legacy.
The world-class event organizers catered to jumpers of all skill levels and disciplines, not just CF. The drop zone offered two aircraft, its usual Caravan plus a super-fast Super King Air 200 that fit 20 jumpers and whose climb to altitude barely gave jumpers enough time for their usual high fives. Jumpers did not even take off their helmets in the scorching 90-degree weather because jump run arrived so quickly!
During the four days of jumping, jumpers flew a mind-blowing five-level hybrid organized by Josh Ruiz-Velasco, made lots of swoops and splashes on the Slip ‘N Slide, formed dozens of canopy formations organized by Eric Gallan, Eduardo Guillen, Scott Lazarus and Chad Neidigh, performed downplanes after most CF jumps and turned points on Bobby Goldman’s challenging formation skydives. Bill Homlan and Dorota Ziemian-Garncarz filled the bellies of jumpers with pasta and barbecue. On Saturday, friends shared stories, memories and tequila (Quandt’s favorite drink) when the weather ended jumping early and allowed the music and dancing to start.
The drop zone celebrated lots of accomplishments, including Laura Brisbois’ 100th skydive, Paula Philbrook’s CF currency jump after a 10-year layoff and Canadian CF jumper Carmen Juneau’s threading the needle (flying a canopy through a canopy formation) on her birthday. Camera flyers David Gerstein and Michael Tomaselli documented all the action. For the Q Memorial Dive, a tradition during the boogie, Neidigh piloted an 18-way canopy formation with streamers while Keith Thivierge and Shireen Khavari peeled away to create a missing-man formation. The pair then executed a downplane for the audience.
Jumptown’s Q Boogie is not just a 4th of July celebration; it’s a boogie with heart, and one that celebrates the life of a great man. This year, a new generation of CF jumpers attended. There were no CF cutaways, wraps or entanglements and no out landings. This new and safer CF community is a product of Quandt’s lessons and is his legacy.
Magaly Sandoval | C-46364