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Did You Know...

... that SDC Rhythm XP has a unique center slot situation?

SDC Rhythm XP 2013 lineup in Sebastian
posted Feb 20th, 2013 - The NSL News has reported the personnel changes of the US top teams, 4way world champion Arizona Airspeed and last year's USPA silver medalist SDC Rhythm XP, with several stories. Meanwhile, Airspeed's new lineup has also posted the first 2013 scores, first at the Paraclete XP Indoor Championship 2013 and then at the Valentine's Meet 2013.

SDC Rhythm XP, with new members Christy Frikken and Mikhail Markine, have not attended a competition yet with the complete new lineup. Solly Williams filled the Center Inside slot for Christy Frikken at the Paraclete XP Indoor Championship, which was the first competition for Tail Mikhail Markine with his new team.

The NSL News made a quick 1-day trip to Skydive Sebastian yesterday where Rhythm just started a new training camp. This time, team videographer Alex Bittner was missing. However, the other four members of the new lineup were in full training action and took some time for a new NSL Talk and also provided the videos of the training day.

Paraclete Indoor 2013Rd. 1Rd. 2Rd. 3Rd. 4Rd. 5Rd. 6Rd. 7Rd. 8Rd. 9Rd. 10TotalAvg
Rank4way Open/AAA18,O,219,9,13A,8,D,J10,F,Q,22M,C,4,B3,L,2017,12,511,1,EN,16,1421,K,H,6TotalAvg
1Arizona Airspeed (US)2326312533232523232926126.1
2Just In Time (US)2223312331212323212724524.5
3SDC Rhythm XP (US)2423272333212122212524024.0
Arizona Airspeed vs. SDC Rhythm XP
It was not the first training camp with the new lineup. Rhythm completed the first 3-day camp in January after 37 jumps. The team also spent four days with the new lineup at Paraclete last week. This week's outdoor camp in Sebastian is a part of the preparations for the upcoming competitions, first the Paraclete XP Outdoor Championship 2013 in March, followed by the World Challenge 2013 at the beginning of April.

The scores at the first outdoor competition for Airspeed and Rhythm in DeLand will tell the new starting point between the two US top teams. Rhythm has been moving closer to Airspeed year after year since JaNette and Steve Lefkowitz launched the Rhythm team project in December 2006. The Paraclete Outdoor scores will show whether both teams have the same distance as when they met last time at the USPA Nationals 2012 or if anything has changed.

Airspeed and Rhythm were separated by 2.7 average at the USPA Nationals, and the distance was down to 2.1 after the ten indoor rounds with Solly Williams.

Female center control: JaNette Lefkowitz and Christy Frikken
The videos of yesterday's Rhythm training jumps are showing Christy Frikken in her new Center Inside slot. Her Center Outside partner is JaNette Lefkowitz, and the Rhythm center slots have created a unique situation. It's the first time that an Open Class top team is controlled by a completely female center.

It is also an interesting aspect that new Tail Mikhail Markine is somehow familiar with this very special situation. His previous team Vibe, Advanced Class winner at the USPA Nationals 2012, had Jane McGuire and Christine Freiherr in the two center slots. This situation was one of the topics during the new NSL Talk with SDC Rhythm XP.

The Arizona Airspeed challenger is also copying for the first time what the 4way world champions did when the original Airspeed lineup was formed in the 90s. Dan BC and Mark Kirkby from the west coast joined forces with Jack Jefferies and Kirk Verner from the east coast. It was a very successful move. Christy Frikken and Mikhail Markine now represent the US west coast for Rhythm while JaNette and Steve Lefkowitz grew up as east coast skydivers. But that's another story...

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