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Did You Know...

... that the Irish teams get ready for the annual Bedford invasion?

Irish delegation at the World Challenge 2011
posted Feb 26th, 2013 - Ireland will have at least five teams at the World Challenge 2013, which matches last year's number. Once again, UK's neighbor island has registered at least one team for each of the four Open Class categories and two teams have signed up for the A Class competition.

The Irish skydivers and competitors in Bedford are proud of the participation in the world's biggest international meet, as Celtic Air (AAA) member Ronan Whelan explained: "For a country with such a small skydiving population this is a great achievement."

He said that a small program called "Project 4 Way" is the main reason for the growing number of teams in Ireland and at the annual World Challenge: "Project 4 Way is a tunnel based program designed to help improve the individual skill set of Irish skydivers through 4way. It allows them to improve their skills within a team environment and also to gain great experience by competing at the Bedford World Challenge."

World Challenge 2011Rd. 1Rd. 2Rd. 3Rd. 4Rd. 5Rd. 6Rd. 7Rd. 8Rd. 9Rd. 10TotalAvg
RankRookie ClassO,P,DK,J,LC,E,FN,G,QM,B,AH,D,LP,B,CE,J,HM,F,ON,K,ATotalAvg
1Raykipo (UK)1012161319111418291115315.3
2Team EB (UK)1510121415121121221414614.6
3Bodyflight Black Majik (UK)8915111311119191111711.7
4Atmosfear (UK)96106111089188959.5
5Noo Your Other Left (IE)96957889175838.3
First Irish team at the World Challenge: NYOL
Each team is guided by an experienced skydiver as a player coach. It's not a new concept, and it has also worked very well and with great success in Ireland over the last two years, as Ronan Whelen confirmed: "Each team has a strong base to start from, and each year we have seen the scores of the previous years topped in each category."

NYOL (Noo Your Other Left) was the first team in the 4way project and competed in the Rookie Class of the World Challenge 2011 proudly accepting the last place on the whole leaderboard.

NYOL is now Taranis and competes in the AA Class at the World Challenge 2013. Taranis even plans to scale up training and competition this year after the consistent 2-year progression.

Sarah Cannon with Project 4 Way participants
Tail Spin and The Inbetweeners (formerly The Odd Quad) are moving up from the Rookie Class of 2012 and will now fight it out for the Irish top position in the A Class. Only one point separated them at last year's World Challenge, and Ronan Whelen expects another tough fight: "It already looks like nothing will be between them again this year."

Wind Shear is this year's new team in the Rookie Class. Ronan Whelen said that the team's progression has been promising, as well: "The Wind Shear members have very little experience and even less tunnel experience. However, their progression has been outstanding, and with a goal set, they are very determined."

Ireland's AAA Class team is comprised of the four team captains and player coaches for the project lineups. Head coach Sarah Cannon has her watchful eyes on all teams. Ronan Whelen said that she "gently persuaded us to enter the meet after seeing the player coaches fly together at the end of the January camp".

World Challenge 2012Rd. 1Rd. 2Rd. 3Rd. 4Rd. 5Rd. 6Rd. 7Rd. 8Rd. 9Rd. 10TotalAvg
RankRookie ClassM,B,OH,C,JQ,G,ED,K,NP,L,AF,P,QG,C,DL,H,EM,B,FK,N,OTotalAvg
6Tail Spin (IE)146109915101021811211.2
7The Odd Quad (IE)1410986161012161011111.1
NYOL in the A Class of the World Challenge 2012
The player coaches are Tony Higgins (Tail Spin), Colum McGovern (The Inbetweeners), Denis Gowran (Wind Shear) and Ronan Whelan (Taranis). They put in a lot of time and effort to give back to the sport and to the project's participants from what they have learned over the years.

Ronan Whelen added that Project 4 Way teams have also won the Rookie Class events at the last two Irish Nationals, which shows that the program is working well. Taranis also picked up the 2nd place in the A Class at the UKSL meet in in Langer last year.

He said that the Irish Nationals are getting bigger and more popular each year. He is hoping that the Project 4 Way program will inspire even more teams to join: "Here's to a great and fun World Challenge 2013 in Bedford and for more teams forming and competing from the Emerald Isle."

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