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Did You Know...

... that the Egyptian Goddess of the Air goes after World Meet medals in 2014?

First gold medals for V-Max in 2003
posted Jan 26th, 2013 - Teams from the United Kingdom dominated the 4way competition in the female category for quite a few years. Claire Scott, Sarah Laughton, Sacha Chilion and Kate Stephens won the first test event at the World Meet in Australia 1999. Claire Scott, Sarah Laughton and Sacha Chilion followed up four years later and won the first official FAI/IPC gold medals for the United Kingdom at the Mondial 2003 in Gap. Brian Vacher was filming V-Max.

The ladies from the UK then went into hibernation, and the US team took back the top position in 2004 that Synchronicity with Eliana Rodriguez had in Spain 2001. Perris Airkix (Emma Beyer, Julia Foxwell, Amanda Kemp and Claire Scott, with Andrew Wright on camera) came back with vengeance in Germany 2006 and did not leave the other female teams a chance in the 5-round meet.

Bodyflight Storm made it a triple for the United Kingdom in Maubeuge 2008. Hannah Betts, Claire Scott, Sarah Smith-Cannon and Kate Stephens, with Gary Wainwright on camera, touched the 20-average level for the first time in the female 4way category and won the third consecutive set of gold medals for the United Kingdom.

World Meet 2008Round 1Round 2Round 3Round 4Round 5Round 6TotalAvg
Rank4way WomenB,17,7H,N,13,A10,J,C,618,12,2E,3,919,O,4TotalAvg
1UK Bodyflight Storm 24261715211712020.0
2USA Fastrax Blue 24231913211911919.8
3France Aerokart Deep Blue 23231914201611519.2
4Norway Fortitudo2216161317139716.2
4Australia Women1920151117159716.2
6Germany Chicas1916151218169616.0
7Belgium Women101412916-6112.2
8Spain Empuria Gatas71110812-489.6
Gold medal for Sarah Cannon in 2008
Team Bodyflight (Tarnya Hollis, Amanda Kemp, Liz Matthews, Sarah Smith-Cannon) even increased the British meet average from 20.0 in 2008 to 21.6 in Menzelinsk, Russia. However, it was not enough any longer since Aerodyne Deep Blue from France had raised the bar in the female category to a higher level in the meantime.

France won the female 4way category for the first time in 2010 (23.6) and defended the gold medals successfully at the Mondial 2012 Dubai with a 20.7 average. The team from the United Kingdom, Bodyflight Langar (Sarah Cannon, Helen Arnold, Sian Stokes, Laura McLelland, with Alan Thompson on camera), finished in 4th place with a 15.5 average.

The NSL News reported on 14 January 2013 that France now has a significant makeover. Only Perrine Sanchez and Laurence Herve continue, while the Golden Knights are going for two more years with the same lineup. Bronze medal winner Polaris has not announced new team plans yet.

Mondial Dubai 2012Rd. 1Rd. 2Rd. 3Rd. 4Rd. 5Rd. 6Rd. 7Rd. 8Rd. 9Rd. 10TotalAvg
Rank4way Women5,12,E6,D,B,KO,8,7N,13,1810,21,M19,H,11C,G,1,A20,9,1516,F,P,Q2,J,4TotalAvg
1Aerodyne DB Defenders (FR)1828191618192119301920720.7
2Golden Knights (US)1927211518192117261820120.1
3Polaris (NO)1525191416162115211617817.8
4Bodyflight Langar (UK)1020151312141814231415315.3
5Sky & Sand (DE)1317131013131611211213913.9
6Danish Divas (DK)1016141013121613191313613.6
Sarah Cannon and Sian Stokes in Dubai
It will obviously be very challenging for any other female teams to keep up with the Golden Knights who may eventually make the next step in female 4way scoring progression. However, there could be a new opening for a strong UK lineup, at least in the next race for the silver medals.

There is a new British team that was recently formed, with two members of the Dubai lineup, including 2008 world champion and 2010 silver medalist Sarah Cannon. Sian Stokes continues with her and two new team mates. The team's name is Isis.

A recent news update from the United Kingdom explained that Isis was created at the end of 2012 by "four friends who had hitherto been jumping on different teams." Sarah Cannon and Sian Stokes have teamed up with Luci Boella (Vision) and Anna Hicks (Army Nemesis). All members are successful 4way competitors in their own right with many podium places between them in UK 4way competition. Videographer Nigel Holland is a professional skydiver and works at Skydive Empuriabrava in Spain.

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New Isis lineup at Bodyflight Bedford
Team member Anna Hicks explained that Isis is an Egyptian Goddess of the Air, and the team felt that it was an appropriate name. The 2013 season will be the first competitive year for Isis, and the new team will compete at most domestic 4way competitions, including the UK National Championships, where they hope to earn the British female team nomination for the World Championship of Formation Skydiving in 2014.

Isis will also compete on an international level and launch the 2013 season at the World Challenge 2013. Plan is to follow up later at the World Cup and the Dubai Cup. Isis has an initial 2-year plan, and the team members are not shy of setting high goals: "It would culminate on the podium for GB at the next World Championships in 2014."

However, selection for the 2014 World Championships happens this year at the UK Nationals in August, and Anna Hicks expects the competition "to be fierce".

Who's that guy...?
She said that the team is extremely motivated and will make great efforts to get to the top level:

"All have prioritised Isis above all other commitments. To achieve our vision of securing a podium finish on the international stage in 2014 we will need to train very hard, utilising all holiday away from our day jobs as training camps. Unlike UK’s traditional rivals, USA and France specifically, the British Parachute Association doesn’t provide professional or full time funding, so our team is currently entirely self-funded."

Isis will meet several other international 4way lineups at Bodyflight Bedford at the beginning of April, and the NSL News will keep an eye on the British team during the live coverage.

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