posted May 24th, 2006 -
The official registration deadline for any National Aero Club to provide the "Preliminary Entry Form" for the World Meet 2006 is 75 days before the start of the competition. This means that May 22 closed the door for any teams that have not been pre-registered at this point. The "Official Entry Form" and the payment of registration fees must reach the organizer at least 45 days before the competition starts, which is June 21 this year. The field of teams for the upcoming World Meet seems to be almost complete.
The participation in Germany this year is identical with the number of teams that competed at the World Meet in Croatia 2004 at this point. The 4-way Open Class will have a field of 21 teams, including the top contenders from the USA, Italy, Russia, France, Belgium and Norway. The whole line-up of all teams can be found at the event page.
Belgium Spa Hayabusa
USA, France and Italy added their teams almost at the last minute. Most of the participating nations already know the teams that will represent the nation. However, a few qualification events are still scheduled between now and the start of the World Meet 2006 at the beginning of August.
The Belgian Nationals 2006 are coming up this weekend. There is not much doubt that Spa Hayabusa will win and compete for Belgium in Germany a few months later. The situation is similar in France where the winner of this year's national championship in July will become the national team for the World Meet. The NSL News covered this topic with stories on April 5 and on April 12.
Sky Panthers in Croatia 2004
The Russian Nationals 2006 in July is also the qualification event for the World Meet. However, things are very different compared to Belgium and France. There is tight competition in 4-way and in 8-way, and there is no indication at this point who will eventually compete for Russia in Germany.
It seems as if there are three 4-way teams that will compete to become the national team this year. Black Cat was the Russian national team last year and competed at the World Cup 2005 in Eloy. The Sky Panthers was the national team at the World Meet in Croatia 2004, where they won the bronze medals, and the team did not compete in 2005.
Black Cat at the World Cup 2005
However, the Sky Panthers are back in the race with a new line-up, while the former team members have continued with Black Cat. This team won the bronze medals at the World Cup 2005 after a jump-off with DeLand Fire. In addition, Extreme.RU has always been closely behind Sky Panthers and Black Cat and is eager to win for the first time.
The Russian national competition in 8-way has been just as tight as in 4-way in the past years. The 8-way situation reminds on the days when Arizona Airspeed and the Golden Knights competed every year for the one slot as the US national team at the World Meet.
Only the Russian competition in the Women's 4-way event does not seem to have any open ends. The Ladybirds have not trained much this year, however, they will have no difficulty to qualify as the Russian national team in this event.
Russian 8-way team at the World Cup 2005
The 8-way competition at the World Meet consists of 10 teams, the same number as in Croatia 2004. The contenders for the top positions are probably the same nations as in 2004, USA, France and Russia, with Germany and Italy following behind.
The competition in the 4-way Women's Class matches exactly the number of teams in 2004, as well. Ten teams from ten nations will most likely see France and the UK team AirKix fight it out for the gold medals. The Russian Ladybirds will probably be the strongest team to defend their own bronze medals.
Several of the registered teams have already competed in the past and this year. These team pages are already set up and offer the team profiles. Additional team pages and information will be uploaded as soon as possible. The NSL News will also follow up with information of the upcoming national qualification events in Belgium, France and Russia.