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Did You Know...

... that the facts of US 8way history support the Paraclete XP8 project?

8way world champions: Golden Knights in Dubai 2012
posted Jan 22nd, 2013 - The NSL News reported on 8 January 2013 that Paraclete XP's new 8way lineup is serious business and plans to win at the USPA Nationals this year.

The first training camp of a whole week took place in Paraclete's 16-foot flying chamber earlier this month, and all team members showed up: Brian Krause, Kirk Verner, John D'Annunzio, Solly Williams, Shannon Pilcher, Josh Hall, Thiago Gomes. The names of the lineup members speak for themselves.

It takes a lot of confidence to set a goal as highly as this 8way team does it. The main opponent is no less than the reigning 8way world champions of the Mondial Dubai 2012, the Golden Knights. However, the Paraclete lineup cannot have any lower goals for good reasons.

8way world champions: Arizona Airspeed in Croatia 2004
It is not only the high-profile lineup that justifies the goal of winning and nothing less. Brian "BK" Krause was the team captain of the winning Golden Knights lineup in Dubai. He had already won 8way silver medals in 2008 and 2010. Kirk Verner has won two gold (1999, 2004) and three silver (2001, 2003, 2006) medals in 8way, plus 4way gold in 1995, 1997 and silver in 1999. Andy Honigbaum was Kirk Verner's 8way world champion team mate in 2004 and won the same silver medal in 2006.

The three 4way world champions Solly Williams (2004), Shannon Pilcher (2006) and Josh Hall (2012) don't have the same 8way experiences but bring everything else and additional knowledge and expertise to the Paraclete XP8 table. John D'Annunzio and Thiago Gomes have the talent and skills to just float along and benefit from the wealth of 8way and 4way competition experiences of the others.

RankUSPA 199812345678910Total
1Arizona Airspeed21242324212016221818207
2Golden Knights24232319132015241720198
3Dr. Evil's 8-way1111910101071281098
4DeLand Genesis10137148912136698
8way world champions: Mirror Image
There are also additional factors that support the possibility that the new Paraclete XP8 lineup has a realistic chance to defeat the Golden Knights. The history of US 8way competition reveals a very surprising and promising picture - from the Paraclete perspective.

The Golden Knights were always on top of the 8way competition when there was no serious civilian challenger, with a few exceptions. BJ Worth and Jerry Bird beat the US Army 8way team with their Mirror Image lineups whenever they wanted. This only changed when Mirror Image retired.

The Golden Knights then kept winning until the 8way team Vision/Coors was formed on the west coast and took over the 8way dominance in the early and mid 80s. The US Army's 8way team only came back to the top when the Coors 8way team retired. Then the Golden Knights were almost without any 8way competition in the USA for a whole decade and won the national and world titles year after year, including six consecutive world meet gold medals between 1987 and 1997.

USPA 2010Rd. 1Rd. 2Rd. 3Rd. 4Rd. 5Rd. 6Rd. 7Rd. 8Rd. 9Rd. 10TotalAvg
Rank8way OpenP,1,J,AK,13,49,O,2D,20,1715,B,L,3E,10,Q,MN,22,716,H,1219,21,6G,14,5TotalAvg
1Golden Knights (US)2419151930181823171619919.9
2Arizona Airspeed (US)2119151627221821171519119.1
3Paraclete XP8 (US)1616121725161818121316316.3
8way world champions: Arizona Airspeed in 1999
This incredible series lasted exactly until Skydive Arizona's owner Larry Hill decided to extend his Airspeed project from 4way to 8way. He hired former Golden Knights 8way world champion Craig Girard to build and guide Airspeed's 8way lineup. It took one year to get the new civilian 8way team to a competitive 8way level, and the Golden Knights offered stiff resistance for three years.

Arizona Airspeed eventually won the USPA Nationals in 1998 and replaced the Golden Knights as the US national team at the World Meet in Australia 1999. Paraclete XP8 member Kirk Verner was in this Airspeed lineup. The Golden Knights fought back for a few years and then left the 8way field for Airspeed who competed for the USA until 2006 and won all national 8way titles between 1998 and 2009, with one exception in 1999.

Airspeed gave up the focus on 8way in 2006 and kept winning the USPA Nationals without any training until the Golden Knights launched the new 8way project in 2009 and won the national title for the first time in 2010.

US 8way Competition in 2013

Who has the better chances to win this year?

Golden Knights
Paraclete XP8
New Golden Knights lineup in 2009
Airspeed and Paraclete attended the USPA Nationals with 8way lineups ever since but did not have any serious ambitions to beat the Golden Knights - until now.

The new lineup has probably the best talent and experience that is available and can be put together in the USA at the moment. The main question is how long it will take Paraclete XP8 to get to the scoring level that will threaten the Golden Knights, which has to be identical with the highest scoring average in 8way history.

Arizona Airspeed's 8way project needed one year to become competitive and another year to challenge the Golden Knights seriously. Paraclete XP8 will try to fast forward the same development of the late 90s and challenge the Golden Knights already this year. It will be a very interesting 8way year in the USA...

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