As well as being a seasoned swoop competitor, Vaughany was also part of Australia’s CRW team Ookoonono. He did some test jumping for us here at NZ Aerosports during our Summer of Love R&D project. Most skydivers in NZ and Australia have done a canopy course with Vaughany at some point and are better skydivers for it!
When you compete accept that you will miss gates, especially early on in your competitive career. It will frustrate the hell out of you but it will happen. It takes time and lots of practice to see the right pictures to make gates and score consistently. Until you get to that point, don't push it too close to the limits just to get those scores.
Know the rules, you cannot compete effectively if you don't know exactly how you are being judged. If there comes a time when you cannot compete, whether through personal/financial reasons or injury, then consider becoming a judge. It will help the sport and also give you a view from the other side that a lot of competitors don't really appreciate.
Training involves lots of jumping but it is not everything. The fitter and stronger you are, the better a competitor and the less prone to injury you will be.
Invest in yourself and get coaching no matter what level you are at, it is worth every cent.