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Did You Know...

... that Block 2 was the troublemaker of round eight?

posted May 30th, 2005 - The new NSL-TV show features round eight of the FSL Shamrock Showdown 2005. It was the last jump of the first meet day at Skydive DeLand on March 19, 2005. The sequence for this round (22-2-1) was one of the two slowest in the 10-round meet, and it gave teams and officials a hard time.

The top teams were apparently not on their peak performance level any longer, possible due to an extraordinary long day of 4-way competition. The NSL News cannot recall any 4-way competition where eight rounds were completed on the same day. However, the official IPC and USPA rules do not limit the number of rounds to six per day any longer, as it used to be years ago. Before this rule change was set in place, teams had requested to offer the meet management the option to increase the possible number of jumps per day.

Spa Hayabusa's round eight - see video
The FSL management in DeLand took advantage of this option and used great weather and a smooth operation in DeLand to complete eight rounds on Saturday. However, the performance energy and concentration was possibly on a lower level when the first of the two slow and technically challenging rounds came up.

This state of a lower power level included the meet officials. There is no other explanation for a significant error on the scoreboard, which was never detected after the scores were posted. The Belgium national team Spa Hayabusa ended up with the highest official score of 16 points for round eight.

Hayabusa's score was not seriously questioned since the Belgium team had posted several impressive scores in earlier rounds of the same meet. At the same time, the top teams on the current leaderboard did not do too well in round eight. Thus, there was a realistic possibility that the underdog from Belgium could have stolen a highscore for a round.

The NSL stop watch showed a very different result when round eight of the Shamrock Showdown was now up for NSL-TV. The working time was over when Spa Hayabusa had completed 14 points. The NSL audience is invited to use a different stop watch and take the judge's position. However, the 16 points were officially posted for the lucky Belgian team.

Golden Knights' round eight infringement situation - see video
The Golden Knights had actually completed the highest number of 17 points within working time. Only 15 points ended up on the scoreboard after two infringements at the completion of Block 2 (Side Body Donut - Side Flaked Donut) on the second page. The series of stills shows that a missed or slipping grip of the individual flyer caused some key problems and also translated into the transition from the Side Flaked Donut to the Snowflake of Block 1 (Snowflake - Offset). The Side Flake Donut was judged as an incomplete formation, and there was no clearly presented total separation between the bottom of Block 2 and the Snowflake, which caused the second infringement.
DeLand Fire's round eight infringement situation - see video
It was a missed opportunity for the Army team. The leader by one point after seven rounds, DeLand Fire, flinched for the first time in the team's first competition. Just by coincidence, Fire's mistake happened at exactly the same situation, only one page later. The connection between the individual flyer and the 3-way piece did not go well enough for a solid scoring point, and the Side Body Donut did not count as a scoring formation. However, DeLand Fire was able to avoid the additional damage that hit the Golden Knights. With the help of quick reactions, especially by world champion Gary Smith in the critical position, Fire still showed a clean transition to the Snowflake and saved it as a scoring formation.

Both top contenders ended up with 15 points on the scoreboard. The Golden Knights could have taken the lead without the two infringements after the 1-point deduction for DeLand Fire. At least, both teams could have been tied in first place if the DeLand team had received their 16 points without the infringement. However, reality after round eight was DeLand Fire still hanging on to the 1-point lead.

Fastrax Select's round eight infringement situation - see video
There was a third team that had problems with the completion of Block 2. Fastrax Select was in exactly the same situation as the Golden Knights and DeLand Fire. The completion of Block 2 on the first page was questionable, and individual flyer and center tried to fix it, while a grip was dropped in the 3-way piece. Finally, the whole team decided to show a complete and clean Side Flaked Donut, but the damage was already done with the broken grip in the piece before the complete picture of the second block formation.

Fastrax Select was luckier than the two top teams. The good will of the team to show the clean Side Flaked Donut might have covered up for the broken grip, or the very first picture of the bottom formation of the block might have been accepted by the event judge as the scoring formation. Fastrax Select completed seven points in time and had all of them posted on the scoreboard, as well.

It was the end of a very long day of 4-way competition, and the next day would bring back the top teams in full and energetic swing without any infringement situations in the remaining two rounds.

Teiwa-Z-Hills' round eight - see video
The lower scores of the top teams offered the teams on lower scoring levels great chances for the Skins Game prizes. Teiwa-Z-Hills with Bob Byrne, Barbara Kobzik, Richard "Rambo" Calledare, Jesper Rasmussen and Ray Dutch on camera took advantage of this opportunity with a clean performance and a score of 11 points. The awards for the first place in round eight after handicap were $200 cash and a set of T-shirts, contributed by the Relative Workshop, plus one ProTrack by Larsen&Brusgaard.
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