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Did You Know...

... that France has a 50% makeover for the national 4way team?

Mathieu and Guillaume Bernier
posted Jan 31st, 2013 - It has been a long trip together in 4way and 8way competition for the French brothers Mathieu and Guillaume Bernier, and it is coming to an end now, or at least to an interruption. France has a new 4way lineup for the next two years, and only the older brother Mathieu is back in.

They started together in the French B-Teams and were both selected for the national 8way lineup after the World Meet 2003 in Gap. Since then they have trained and competed together and were separated only once in 2010 when Mathieu Bernier also competed in 8way while brother Guillaume was only in the French 4way lineup.

Together they have won 8way silver medals at the World Meet in 2004, 8way gold medals in 2006 and 2008, 4way silver medals in 2008 and gold in 2010, plus the recent bronze medals in 4way and silver in 8way at the Mondial Dubai 2012. In addition, Mathieu Bernier became the first competitor in 2010 who won two gold medals in both events at the World Meet 2010 in Menzelinsk.

World Meet 2010Rd. 1Rd. 2Rd. 3Rd. 4Rd. 5Rd. 6Rd. 7Rd. 8Rd. 9Rd. 10TotalAvg
Rank4way Open10,7,123,11,5J,M,Q,P,L19,1,13N,18,20K,17,82,15,H4,D,6O,E,9,G22,B,16TotalAvg
1Aerodyne Aerokart (FR)2122562022242224402627727.7
2Arizona Airspeed (US)2221532320242325402327427.4
3Sky Panthers (RU)1921562119212322412126426.4
World Meet 2010Rd. 1Rd. 2Rd. 3Rd. 4Rd. 5Rd. 6Rd. 7Rd. 8Rd. 9Rd. 10TotalAvg
Rank8way Open3,21,N6,20,9E,G,17,5K,16,212,C,22B,D,M,17,15,J13,L,P,114,18,O10,14,19TotalAvg
1Aerodyne Maubeuge (FR)2519162122251819231520320.3
2Golden Knights (US)2317182022272017211119619.6
3Sky Panthers (RU)2019161722201819201418518.5
Together in 8way in 2004
National Manager Jeremie Rollett, who is a multiple world champion in 4way and 8way himself, informed the NSL News that the selection of the new national lineups was completed last Friday. The selection of the new female lineup was completed earlier, as the NSL News reported on 14 January 2013.

Jeremie Rollett is separating the 4way and 8way teams again for the next two years, but not completely. Mathieu Bernier and Julien Degen, who continue in 4way, will also be in the French 8way lineup, at least until the World Cup and European Championship in August this year. The 8way lineup will be identical with the one in Dubai.

This means that brothers Mathieu and Guillaume Bernier still have the 8way training and competition together this year, and they can celebrate their 10-year anniversary of winning medals together for France in Formation Skydiving competition.

Mondial Dubai 2012Rd. 1Rd. 2Rd. 3Rd. 4Rd. 5Rd. 6Rd. 7Rd. 8Rd. 9Rd. 10TotalAvg
Rank4way Open5,12,E6,D,B,KO,8,7N,13,1810,21,M19,H,11C,G,1,A20,9,1516,F,P,Q2,J,4TotalAvg
1Arizona Airspeed (US)2734272223233225402627927.9
2NMP-PCH Hayabusa (BE)2534272123243227402527827.8
3Aerodyne Aerokart (FR)2630272123252923372426526.5

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Challenging two 4way years to come: French national manager Jeremie Rollett with Pete Allum and Steve Hamilton at the Mondial Dubai 2012
The French 8way team will obviously have no problem maintaining the scoring and performance level with the same lineup. The situation in 4way is much more interesting and very challenging for manager Jeremie Rollett.

Winning gold medals with the same lineup in 4way and 8way seems to have become impossible. The international competition, with 4way experts like Arizona Airspeed, NMP-PCH Hayabusa or Evolution, is too strong, which France had to find out the hard way in Dubai. The 3rd place for Aerodyne Aerokart was the first time that a French 4way team did not win gold or silver at a World Championship of Formation Skydiving since 1985.

It will not become any easier for France from here on forwards, and it might even become a struggle to win a medal at all in 2014. NMP-PCH Hayabusa continues with the same lineup for two more years, Arizona Airspeed is ready to go with new Point Chris Farina, and Canada's three Lemay brothers with Katie Woods will be a very strong 4way factor in the coming two years.

Damien Gouriou and Laurence Herve at the World Challenge 2010
While French National Manager Jeremie Rollett counts on experience in 8way, he has voted for a serious makeover in 4way. Mathieu Bernier and Julien Degen will be in charge to bring two former B-Team members up to top speed. Damien Gouriou and Pierre-Emmanuel Balageas are now getting their golden opportunities after working their ways patiently through the French progression system.

Damien Gouriou was in the same Perros Dunkerque Maubeuge B-Team lineup where Laurence Herve competed with player coach Marin Ferre in 2010. Laurence Herve was then selected for the Aerodyne Deep Blue Defenders at the end of the 2010 season, while Damien Gouriou continued with other B-Team lineups in 2011 and 2012.

Pierre-Emmanuel Balageas was in the other B-Team and battled it out with eager young French competitors for the best chances at the next 4way selection. Two slots were now available, and the new members have to learn quickly if France wants to catch up with the top contenders from USA, Belgium, Canada and possibly Russia too. The NSL News will follow up with more information of the new French lineups, as French Veloce reporter and former world champion Martial Ferre will be at the Paraclete XP Indoor Championship 2013 this weekend. He promised to bring brandnew information from France...

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