4-time winners: Eliana Rodriguez, Andy Delk, Craig Girard, with Mark Kirkby at the World Challenge
posted Apr 8th, 2013 -
The aftermath of the World Challenge 2013 continues with the promised Round 10 live videos and the conversation with NMP-PCH Hayabusa after the last round of the meet.
A happy and relaxed team knew that they did not have to work too hard to win the meet this time. There was only one World Challenge in the history of the event where the winning team was 27 points ahead of the team in 2nd place. It was the inaugural World Challenge of 2006 where Arizona Airspeed (Eliana Rodriguez, Craig Girard, Andy Delk, Brian Johnson) outscored Hayabusa by 27 points.
Eliana Rodriguez, Craig Girard and Andy Delk continued with Mark Kirkby and won again in 2007 while Brian Johnson placed 3rd with XL. Eliana Rodriguez, Craig Girard and Andy Delk won the World Challenge two more times in 2008 and 2009. Winning the event four times is the standing record. Mark Kirkby and three Hayabusa members (Roy Janssen, David and Andy Grauwels) each have won three times and can catch up with the three Airspeed members next year. The same three Hayabusa members have also attended each of the eight World Challenges since 2006. That's one more than the NSL News...
NSL Talk: NMP-PCH Hayabusa
3-time winners: Roy Janssen, Andy and David Grauwels. with Luc Verstrepen at the World Challenge 2007
The winning margin of 27 points in 2007 and last weekend will probably never happen again. The biggest margin between 1st and 2nd place was 13 points in 2012 (Hayabusa - Aerodyne Aerokart). Only the absence of Airspeed, Barkli and the new Franch national 4way team allowed Hayabusa to compete without any serious pressure.
This situation made it probably easier for the Belgian team to work on keeping the scoresheet as clean as possible. However, several of the rounds (3 - 7) were clean and fast at the same time, and Round 9 belongs to the same category, as well. The big question is where the three other top contenders (Arizona Airspeed, Aerodyne Aerokart, Barkli) are standing with their new lineups at this point in time.
Hayabusa posted a meet average above 30 for the fourth consecutive time, which is also unique. The 30.7 average is the highest one ever for a 10-round meet with the complete dive pool.
Four times above 30-average: NMP-PCH Hayabusa at the World Challenge 2013
The Belgian indoor champions still cannot relax too much. Arizona Airspeed's 22.9 average at the Paraclete XP Outdoor Championship 2013 doesn't sound like much. However, a closer look at the numbers of DeLand and Bedford changes the picture and may keep Hayabusa more on the toes.
Comparing the outdoor and indoor scores of the teams who competed at both events offers at least a rough guess of where Barkli and Airspeed might be positioned compared to the Hayabusa results last weekend. It could be anywhere between far behind Hayabusa or closer than the Belgians may think, depending on which team serves for the comparison and how Airspeed's performance in DeLand is being looked at.
Evolution and a.team4way did much better in Bedford after a relatively weak meet in DeLand. Airspeed would have been very close to Hayabusa if the team's outdoor performance in March was a weak one and if they came back as strongly as Evolution and the Russian team in Bedford. Airspeed's strength is usually in outdoor competition. Thunder or SDC Rhythm XP could be the better teams to compare with, which would place Airspeed and Barkli somewhere in the gap between Hayabusa and Evolution. Hayabusa has a head start this year, but the distance might not be too far...