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Did You Know...

... that Niklas Hemlin and Josh Hall left Airspeed with a clean outdoor record?

Undefeated outdoor world champions: Arizona Airspeed
posted Mar 6th, 2013 - The upcoming Paraclete XP Outdoor Championship 2013 features much more than only the first showdown this year between the two US top contenders, Arizona Airspeed and SDC Rhythm XP with their final lineups.

The winner of this duel has very good chances to win the USPA Nationals 2013 and qualify as the US national team for the World Championship of Formation Skydiving 2014, as the NSL News explained yesterday.

However, there is more on stake for two of the Airspeed members. Mark Kirkby and Thomas Hughes have never been defeated yet at an outdoor competition since they got together in the 2011 lineup. This brings the guests from Russia (Sky Panthers Barkli) and Canada (Evolution) into the Paraclete XP Outdoor game who have the potential to keep up with both US teams at this point in time.

Valentine's Meet 2011Rd. 1Rd. 2Rd. 3Rd. 4Rd. 5Rd. 6Rd. 7Rd. 8Rd. 9Rd. 10TotalAvg
RankAAA Class18,N,920,6,511,O,715,13,P21,L,D,CG,F,M,K,4A,3,2210,19,H14,2,B1,E,17TotalAvg
1Arizona Airspeed (US)2523272330362321212125025.0
2Aerodyne Aerokart (FR)2619262127352419181923423.4
Airspeed lineup at the Paraclete XP Indoor Championship 2013
Airspeed's 2011/2012 lineup (Mark Kirkby, Thomas Hughes, Niklas Hemlin, Josh Hall, with Bill Schmitz on camera) attended a total of eight outdoor meets in their time period and won all of them.

This amazing streak began at the Valentine's Meet 2011 and ended at the Mondial 2012 in Dubai.

Mark Kirkby, Thomas Hughes and Niklas Hemlin added the 9th victory together this February before Niklas Hemlin followed Josh Hall into retirement from top 4way competition.

Paraclete XP Outdoor 2011Rd. 1Rd. 2Rd. 3Rd. 4Rd. 5Rd. 6Rd. 7Rd. 8Rd. 9Rd. 10TotalAvg
RankAAA ClassN,H,3,1J,4,C,137,17,19B,20,1512,22,MF,18,2E,16,9G,8,21P,A,11,1410,Q,D,LTotalAvg
1Arizona Airspeed (US)2525252420253022242924924.9
2Aerodyne Aerokart (FR)2324232419232923242423623.6
3NMP-PCH Hayabusa (BE)2123222319212820222922822.8
The eight consecutive victories included competition with all other top 4way teams in the world. The series came almost to an end at the most important event, the Mondial Dubai 2012, where Airspeed carried the thinnest 1-point advantage in the history of the sport over the finish line. This incredible race was rewarded with the first 4way gold medals for three of the Airspeed members (Thomas Hughes, Niklas Hemlin, Josh Hall) and videographer Bill Schmitz.
Midway Battle 2011Round 1Round 2Round 3Round 4Round 5Round 6TotalAvg
RankAAA Class18,A,313,20,Q11,M,D,25,G,21K,O,1,1017,P,C,14TotalAvg
1Arizona Airspeed (US) 24 21 27 24 23 2814724.5
2SDC Rhythm XP (US) 20 18 21 22 18 2312220.3
Mark Kirkby added the fifth 4way gold medal to his collection (1995 - 1997 - 2001 - 2008 - 2012) in Dubai, and he has learned in his career to accept a 2nd or 3rd place and win the next time. Even for him it is unusual to go through a period of over two years without ever losing a competition.
USPA Nationals 2011Rd. 1Rd. 2Rd. 3Rd. 4Rd. 5Rd. 6Rd. 7Rd. 8Rd. 9Rd. 10TotalAvg
RankAAA ClassM,5,1321,14,2212,20,D11,Q,16O,C,10,KP,L,19,818,6,215,9,G7,F,17A,B,N,J,3TotalAvg
1Arizona Airspeed (US) 25 19 19 22 26 24 21 26 31 3024324.3
2Golden Knights (US) 18 17 18 21 24 23 19 21 29 2821821.8
3Perris Fury (US) 20 17 16 21 26 22 15 21 29 2921621.6
4SDC Rhythm XP (US) 22 17 18 21 24 20 19 22 26 2621521.5
Indoor champions of 2011 and 2012: NMP-PCH Hayabusa
Arizona Airspeed's world champion lineup was defeated in this time period, and it happened even two times.

NMP-PCH Hayabusa outscored Airspeed by seven points at the World Challenge 2011 and defended the indoor dominance a year later at the same event.

Hayabusa won by 14 points at the World Challenge 2012, and Aerodyne Aerokart also finished one single point ahead of Airspeed in Bedford.

Valentine's Meet 2012Rd. 1Rd. 2Rd. 3Rd. 4Rd. 5Rd. 6Rd. 7Rd. 8Rd. 9Rd. 10TotalAvg
RankAAA ClassN,O,F,K,210,A,J,84,C,P,11M,3,17G,B,14,17,15,H21,D,E,1612,6,920,L,1822,19,QTotalAvg
1Arizona Airspeed (US)3723252725282623232326026.0
26 for 5 for 517412111112----6711.2
Both events were indoor competitions though, and Niklas Hemlin expressed very clearly in Bedford what he thought of Airspeed being outscored in the wind tunnel: "You are not winning a World Championship in the flying chamber..."

He was eventually right, as Airspeed came back to win the gold medals at the outdoor competition in Dubai.

Paraclete XP Outdoor 2012Rd. 1Rd. 2Rd. 3Rd. 4Rd. 5Rd. 6Rd. 7Rd. 8Rd. 9Rd. 10TotalAvg
RankAAA ClassQ,8,H,2216,19,1310,14,2E,C,20,K5,M,9A,6,F,17D,21,N,BP,O,G,J,118,4,712,15,3TotalAvg
1Arizona Airspeed (US)2520183536253331232026626.6
2NMP-PCH Hayabusa (BE)2321203334293030202126126.1
3Aerodyne Aerokart (FR)2321193329282829232125425.4
4SDC Rhythm XP (US)2117152829232727191822422.4
Niklas Hemlin and Josh Hall have now left the Airspeed project and top 4way competition without ever being defeated at an outdoor meet. The same counts for Thomas Hughes, Mark Kirkby and videographer Bill Schmitz, except that they are trying to extend their Airspeed outdoor streak beyond the number of nine, indluding this year's Valentine's Meet, which did not offer much competition.
USPA Nationals 2012Rd. 1Rd. 2Rd. 3Rd. 4Rd. 5Rd. 6Rd. 7Rd. 8Rd. 9Rd. 10TotalAvg
RankAAA Class3,B,K,HF,7,22O,4,D,13A,M,11,8N,P,G,19L,20,15,16,J6,21,1218,17,10E,C,Q,15TotalAvg
1Arizona Airspeed (US)3028242334222819203726526.5
2SDC Rhythm XP (US)3024232425212517193023823.8
3Evolution (CA)2420222122192616183322122.1
There was neither a lot of competition for Airspeed at the Paraclete XP Indoor Championship 2013, and the first two meets of the 2013 season went by without much pressure. However, Airspeed was still dealing with the personnel changes at the beginning of the 2013 season, while the first two meets took place.
Mondial Dubai 2012Rd. 1Rd. 2Rd. 3Rd. 4Rd. 5Rd. 6Rd. 7Rd. 8Rd. 9Rd. 10TotalAvg
RankAAA Class5,12,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
4Evolution (CA)2231241719212822302223623.6
5Sky Panthers Barkli (RU)1929222121182820352023323.3

Paraclete XP Outdoor Championship 2013

Who will win this year?

Arizona Airspeed (US)
SDC Rhythm XP (US)
Sky Panthers Barkli (RU)
Evolution (CA)
The lineups of Arizona Airspeed and SDC Rhythm XP have now been completed for a little while, and the teams could both focus on the athletic part of 4way competition. That's about time since the international competition in DeLand will surely be very challenging for both US teams. There is no doubt that Thomas Hughes, Mark Kirkby and Bill Schmitz would like to keep their outdoor record as clean as it has been.
Valentine's Meet 2013Round 1Round 2Round 3Round 4Round 5Round 6TotalAvg
RankAAA Class7,6,G17,9,1215,O,J,Q3,P,K,DC,B,4,MN,11,20TotalAvg
1Arizona Airspeed (US)2423292628-13026.0
2Qatar Tigers (QA)18161717201510317.2
The pressure will mostly come from Russia and Canada. Sky Panthers Barkli has a lineup that has been together for a while, with a 3way that has been training and competing for almost two decades, and Nikolay Vylegzhanin in the Center Inside slot here and there in the last two years. The new Evolution lineup, with Point Katie Woods, is well trained by now and has shown the potential in Singapore last December.

Evolution still has to show everything at an outdoor competition, according to Niklas Hemlin. However, Sky Panthers Barkli has prefered outdoor meets in the past and is very strong in this area. Then there is Thunder too, who have moved closer to the pro level year by year. There will be pressure on Airspeed, even if the audience does not expect too much of it after the first results of the latest NSL Poll...

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