... that the 2004 horse race between Germany and Italy in 8-way might take place again this year?
posted May 19th, 2006 -
South Africa has registered one team for each of the three Formation Skydiving events at the World Meet 2006
, and Ireland added a team to the line-up in the 4-way Open Class. The NSL News continues with the introduction of the home teams of this competition in Gera, Germany.
The story on May 7 mentioned that the German skydiving club FSC Remscheid currently hosts two of the three German national teams, the 8-way line-up and the female team. The same story covered the history of FSC Remscheid's national team in the Women's Class.
German 8-way team of the 1990's
FSC Remscheid's 8-way team has dominated the 8-way competition in Germany for many years. The winning streak of the team at German national championships began in 1991 and was interrupted only once in 2002. Thus, the FSC Remscheid 8-way team missed only the World Meet in France 2003.
A new line-up was put together after losing the qualification in 2002, and FSC Remscheid came back strongly next year to win the German Nationals 2003, which was the qualifying event for the World Meet in Croatia 2004. Training was intensified, and club president Klaus Mathies helped to find resources and finance the extra efforts.
World Meet Croatia 2004
The results of the 2003/2004 training showed at the World Meet in Croatia 2004. The NSL News covered the exciting race between Germany and Italy for the 4th place with several stories. FSC Remscheid's 8-way team finally won this horse race by one single point and a 14.0 average.
The performance and the scores in Croatia 2004 resulted in the best placement for a German 8-way team at a World Meet since the introduction of the current format. The 14.0 average after nine rounds was also the highest meet average in the history of German 8-way competition.
The team was excited after this success and made plans for the 2005 season. However, only seven of the eight members were able to commit for the next year. Axel Randolph, a solid center player of the 2004 line-up, retired and had to be replaced for the upcoming season.
The team decided to select talent and motivation over experience, and Susanne Weisheit joined the line-up at the beginning of the 2005 season. She had no previous 8-way experience and had not competed with any of the top 4-way teams in Germany before her commitment to FSC Remscheid's 8-way team.
Malevsky Cup 2005
Susanne Weisheit was by far the youngest competitor in the line-up. She had made her first jump in 1997. All other team members have been in the sport since the 1980's, except Steffen Schiedek who started in 1991. Her total number of jumps (1700) was also far behind the team average of 6200.
It was a brave team decision and a very challenging situation for the new team member. It became even more challenging for the new FSC Remscheid line-up when the results of the 2005 season were not as expected and hoped for. The team made approx. 300 training jumps with the new line-up and still ended up below the 2004 performance and scoring level.
German 8-way teams prepares a competition jump in Russia 2005
Italy had continued with its 8-way team, as well, and former Sinapsi PD member Marco Arrigo had joined the team. Germany's FSC Remscheid and Italy's 8-way team Ex3mo met again at the Malevsky Cup 2005 in July. It was not even a competition between the two teams this time. Italy finished with a 13.7 average in 4th place, while Germany fell back to the 5th place with an 11.9 average in Russia.
The spirits in the German quarters were naturally on the lower side after the first results of the 2005 season. However, the team used the experiences of this competition to learn and get ready for the German Nationals one month later. It worked out well and much better this time.
German national 4-way team EADS
There was competition for FSC Remscheid. The challenging German team, FSV Saar, included the members of the German national 4-way team EADS. FSV Saar posted scores that matched Remscheid's scores at the Malevsky Cup and finished with an 11.6 average.
However, FSC Remscheid had recovered and learned from the performance in Russia. The 2005 line-up posted a 13.1 average, won the German National 2005 and qualified once again for the World Meet 2006 on home turf. It was a happy end of the 2005 competition season for Remscheid's 8-way team, and the 2005 line-up made plans for the 2006 season.
Italian 8-way team at the Valentine's Meet 2006
The 13.1 average in 2005 was still significantly behind the 14.0 average in Croatia 2004, and the Italian rival 8-way team made progress. Germany did not compete at the World Cup 2005 in Arizona, however, Italy's Ex3mo traveled to Eloy in October 2005 and posted a 14.5 average after ten rounds.
FSC Remscheid scheduled two winter training camps and re-hired the two coaches the team had worked together with before, former Airspeed veteran Dan BC and Mike Vetter from Switzerland. The feedback from the team after the completion of the second camp in April was almost enthusiastic, and the team patience and persistence might pay back eventually.
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8-way captain Henning Stumpp at a briefing with team members...
Team captain Henning Stumpp reported to club president Klaus Mathies: "The training was a great success. We made 106 jumps in nine days. Everybody is happy and healthy, which is always the most important thing. We learned a lot of new things and were already able to execute much of the input we received at the last camp. Without exaggeration, there is a quality growing here that has never been seen in the German 8-way history."
It seems to be possible that Italy and Germany might switch positions once again this year. Italy's Ex3mo made a step backward at the beginning of the 2006 season when the Italian 2006 line-up finished the 6-round 8-way competition at the Valentine's Meet 2006 with a 12.2 average. At least, there seems to be a horse race coming up again in the 8-way competition of the World Meet 2006 for the top spot behind the three medal contenders from USA, France and Russia. Germany's FSC Remscheid seems to be ready to defend the 4th place of the last World Meet in Croatia 2004.