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Did You Know...

... that the SDC Furies XP are the TEAM of the WEEKEND?

    Swedish judge Elisabet Pettersson (left) at the World Meet 2010
posted Jun 14th, 2011 - The NSL News mentioned on 11 June 2011 that the sequence of Round 8 would challenge Arizona Airspeed. It was probably the slowest sequence of last weekend's 10-round competition draw, as the SDC Rhythm XP (15) and SDC Furies XP (10) scores for Round 8 show.

The question remains open whether Airspeed would be able to score 21 points or higher for that sequence since the team had to quit after Round 7 to make the departure time for the flight home to Arizona. There will be another time when the same or a similar sequence will be drawn at a meet that Airspeed attends.

The last NSL-TV video of the Swedish national 4-way team Bardagi was missing Round 1 at last weekend's competition in Sweden. FAI Judge Elisabet Pettersson helped out and sent the missing video file, which now completes the Bardagi 6-round performance in Sweden.

Arizona Airspeed at the Shamrock Showdown 2011    
Airspeed finished last weekend's competition with a 25.0 average after seven rounds. This seems to be an interesting benchmark for the strongest US team this year. Airspeed has attended a total of six meets this year, two indoor and four outdoor competitions including the Dubai Championship 2011. The meet averages at the Paraclete XP Indoor Skydiving Championships 2011 (28.8) and the World Challenge 2011 (29.8) were quite different. The fast sequence of Round 3 in Bedford supported the higher average in April.

Airspeed's outdoor averages are the more interesting ones. The consistency of the scoring level is quite amazing after three meets with the new lineup (25.0 - 24.9 - 25.0) and one with the previous lineup plus alternate John Eagle (24.9) in Dubai. It seems to be a valid statement to say that the new Airspeed lineup performs on a 25-average level at the moment and after 27 competition rounds.

How does it look on the SDC Rhythm XP side? The NSL News also mentioned in the preview of last weekend's competition that it would be a great opportunity to "measure the team's progression with the Airspeed scores". How did it turn out?

Midway Battle 2011 Round 1 Round 2 Round 3 Round 4 Round 5 Round 6 Round 7Total Avg
Rank AAA Class   18,A,3 13,20,Q 11,M,D,2 5,G,21 K,O,1,10 17,P,C,14 B,9,6 Total Avg
2 SDC Rhythm XP 20 18 21 22 18 23 25 147 21.0
1 USA Arizona Airspeed 24 21 27 24 23 28 28 175 25.0
3 SDC Furies XP 13 11 17 14 9 16 18 98 14.0

    Higher scoring level: SDC Rhythm XP
It only makes sense to compare the meet average after seven rounds, which were completed by all three teams at the Midway Battle. Rhythm had a 21.0 average after Round 7, which doesn't seem to be much compared to Airspeed's 25.0 average.

However, Airspeed's average is almost identical with the Shamrock average (1/10th of a point higher), while Rhythm had a 19.7 average on the scoreboard in March. The 21.0 average is a significant increase and brings Rhythm closer to Airspeed and closer to the USPA medal positions, which will also be pursued by Perris Fury, Golden Knights and Paraclete XP4 in October.

The SDC Furies XP should also be happy with the results last weekend. The 14.0 average after Round 7 beats the Shamrock average of 12.6 clearly. In fact, the Furies are the TEAM of the WEEKEND. They improved their average by 11% compared to the scores after Round 7 and the Shamrock Showdown. Rhythm went up by 7% and Airspeed did not add much at all.

Shamrock Showdown Round 1 Round 2 Round 3 Round 4 Round 5 Round 6 Round 7 Round 8 Round 9 Round 10 Total Avg
Rank AAA Class   N,H,3,1 J,4,C,13 7,17,19 B,20,15 12,22,M F,18,2 E,16,9 G,8,21 P,A,11,14 10,Q,D,L Total Avg
1 Arizona Airspeed 25 25 25 24 20 25 30 22 24 29 249 24.9
6 SDC Rhythm XP 18 19 20 21 15 18 24 19 20 23 197 19.7
15 SDC Furies XP 11 13 13 14 8 14 15 10 15 13 126 12.6

All those numbers do not really consider the fact that it is much more difficult for Airspeed to increase the scoring level, and the steps will naturally be smaller ones. It is always easier for the challengers to catch up, and Airspeed will face this situation throughout this season and also next year. It still only counts for the domestic 4-way competition in the USA where Airspeed is so far ahead of the other top teams.

The international top contenders from France, Belgium and Russia are dealing with the same situation as Airspeed. They have to accept that it is diffucult to show progress in numbers on the scoreboard. Time will tell how the top teams in the world deal with slow progression and other obstacles. The team psychology and mental skills will play a bigger role.

The title of the TEAM of the WEEKEND belongs to SDC Furies XP even though the teams from the United Kingdom and Sweden have their own progression, as well, and some of the UK teams did really well compared to their previous results. The NSL News will take a closer look at those teams and the results later on.

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