Women's World Record in Skydiving

Coyotes for the Women's World Record in Skydiving

The Coyotes are the ground crew for the Women's World Record in Large Formation Skydiving. They will help us with the busy work on the ground, such as checking in each jumper after each jump, setting up the fruits and drinks for us during the day, and running miscellaneous errands for us. The Coyotes are a very supportive group of people who are the epitome of teamwork. They are named after the masters of the desert.

Roger Taranto     Mary Traub     Toby Harness

Duncan Meech     Francis Wiser

Roger Taranto Birthdate: 17-Sep-65
# jumps: 149
Jumps at: SkyDance Skydiving, Davis, CA
Why I'm a Coyote:


Seriously, I guess the two reasons I'm a coyote are that world record attempts have such a hard-to-define energy associated with them that who _wouldn't_ want to be around while the attempts take place. There's so much tension and intensity that it'll be exciting just being there in a support role.

Second, I'm definitely not going to pass up a chance to meet all sorts of famous skydivers that I've only heard about and listen to their "no shit" stories.

Awards, Ratings, Licenses: B-18968

Mary Traub
Age: 34
Home DZ: Skydive Arizona
# of Jumps: 470 (200 RW, 150 Freestyle, 75 Freefly, 45 assorted "airbaths" Started Jumping in May, 1994
D-LIcense #19018, 4-Stack Award #4774
Nationally Rated Freestyle Judge
Principal Judge at the 1996 US Freestyle Nationals
Memorable Jumps include
  • 1995 205 mph, 38 second freefall in the fastest recorded stand-up position.
  • 1995 George Jicha's Blot Camp
  • 1996 Intermediate Bronze Medal winning jumps with an all female 8-way team at the Valentines Money meet at Skydive Arizona.
  • 1996 Airspeed 16-way camp and competiton at Skydive Arizona
I reside in Phoenix, Arizona
Occupation: Administrative Secretary

I want to be a Coyote because I would like to be involved in the Women's World Record Attempt. I am convinced that the goal is possible and given the right blend of experienced skydivers, confident organizers and diligent ground support, the record will be achieved.

I would make an excellent asset to the Coyote team, because 99% of my skydives have been made at Skydive Arizona. I know the DZ and the staff very well and I am familiar with all of the aircraft and pilots. I am a natural efficiency expert and can ALWAYS be counted on to be where I am supposed to be and ON TIME. Personally, I get great satisfaction being around the smart, interesting, experienced skydiving women I have met since joining this sport. I believe that to be successful, you must surround yourself with the very best!

Toby Harness
Birthdate: 10/3/59
# jumps: 1600
Jumps at: Skydance, Davis CA
Awards, Ratings, Licenses: D14748; AFF JM; 12 and 24 hour; Gold Wings;
First Jump: July 1990.
Why I'm a Coyote:

A women's world record in a sport whose participants do not benefit in any particular way from an over supply of testosterone is something of an anomaly. It is legitimate and worthwhile because there are so few women jumpers. Anything that encourages women to stay in the sport, or get into the sport, or become better at the sport, is good for skydiving. A women's world record attempt like this does all three.

All world record attempts are rare, special events. The atmosphere is charged, and it's exciting to be around. Although I won't be a direct participant, many of my friends will, and it will be cool to be able to help them reach their goal. Skydiving record attempts need a great deal of logistical support, some that can be provided only by experienced skydivers. With the relative scarcity of experienced women jumpers, it only makes sense to have a mostly male ground crew.

Jan Meyer has been a coach and a friend. She is very competent and knowledgeable about all aspects of the sport. She makes safety her first priority, as it has to be on any skydive. The 1997 Women's World Record Event will not lack for organization or leadership.

I had the opportunity to be around 120 great women, at one of the best (and sunniest) drop zones in the world, helping a friend I highly respect on a well-run endeavor that will enhance the sport I love. Of course, I jumped at the chance (pun intended).

Duncan Meech Birthdate: 7-27-64
From England originally, living in San Francisco, CA
Awards/Ratings: 12, 24 hours FF, gold wings, AFF JM
# Jumps: 1500
Why I'm a Coyote:

Because I want to support and encourage women in skydiving, a sport that continues to be ravaged by the sometimes fatal symptoms of testosterone poisoning.

Francis Wiser Age: 30
# Jumps: 1300
Awards and Ratings: D-14129, C-18538, Falcon-540, 4S-3338. Qualified for GW, GFF and all other USPA RW awards incl. Gold Eagle. (Just too lazy to fill the forms.)

Well, I'd have to say that 100+ to four is definitely my kind of gender ratio...
In reality, I wound up in this position mainly due to my favorable impression of the organization and talent connections going into this record attempt. I think it should be a highly entertaining event, although more for the Coyotes than for the actual participants, since the latter are going to have to be exerting great discipline in repetitive slots. Having individuals around to take care of the details and niceties should enhance the group's focus, and I've always gravitated to that role anyway. (Getting to hang out with old friends and young turks from all over doesn't hurt either.)

Started 9/84 at Pacific Parachute Center in Oregon (now closed due to prosecution of owner on several manslaughter charges.) Have been regular in Oregon, South Carolina, and Perris Valley, albeit with layoffs in the late 80's. Incurred serious spinal injuries 2/1992, convalesced until 1993.

I now have 1300 jumps, including 550 camera, 12 + night and 30+ on round canopies. 3 malfunctions, 4 reserve rides (one intent. cutaway w tert) Largest formation: 2 pt 64 way at 1996 Wilburs. Videoman for Perris Valley Eclipse 1995. Nationals pool video, 1995. Currently primarily team videoman, Faultline Express 8-way. Home DZ is Skydance in Yolo Co.

In straight life: Born New York City, 1966 Public school education.
BA (Biology/History) - Reed College 1989 (Portland OR)
MSPH (Epidemiology) - U. South Carolina 1993 (Columbia SC)
Epidemiologist for Public Health Department, San Mateo Co, CA
Reside in South San Francisco, CA.

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