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Did You Know...

... that Airspeed Odyssey and Perris Fury both have good reasons to be happy?

Craig Girard and Christy Frikken
posted Feb 18th, 2009 - The dust of the Valentine's Meet 2009 has settled, and there are five weeks until the next sand will be stirred up again. How is the situation between Airspeed Odyssey and Perris Fury after the first showdown of the 2009 season? Airspeed's Craig Girard was very happy with his team's performance, and Christy Frikken said that Perris Fury had a good meet, too:
"Fury had very specific goals for this meet, and we were actually very happy with it. So early in a busy season it is tough to train to this meet, so we chose to focus a lot on what we have been doing in the short stints of training we have done. Things like modified block techniques, expanded continuity and closing the gap on slot switchers."

The pure numbers show as well that both teams had good reasons to be happy with the results of the first meet this year, even though the first view may not support this statement. Perris Fury is obviously still far behind Airspeed Odyssey, a difference of 18 points after ten rounds is hard to swallow at the very top level of 4-way competition.

However, the picture changes for Perris Fury after a closer look at the updated chart, which has kept track of both teams' scores at the same events. The gap between Airspeed and Fury has become a little closer. The preview of the Valentine's Meet 2009 on 13 February 2009 already brought up the same race between these two teams since the beginning of the 2007 season.

Christy Frikken's comments after the meet indicated that Perris Fury did not really expect to get much closer to Airspeed Odyssey at this point in time. The closer distance will probably be additional good news for Fury.

The Perris team may be even more encouraged by looking at the separate scoring progression of both teams in the same time period.

These charts disregard the indoor meets and show all scores at all outdoor meets, not only the scores of the meets where both teams competed directly with each other. These records make the Perris team look more consistent and progressive, while Airspeed Odyssey seems to have peaked in 2007.

There is still a different view of the same charts though. Airspeed Odyssey's progression seems to have a downslope between the 26.0 average at the Malevsky Cup in July 2007 and last weekend's 23.2 average in Eloy. However, this line doesn't tell the truth about where the reigning 4-way world champions from Arizona really are at the moment.

A more accurate statement can probably be provided by comparing the starting scores of each competition season directly with each other. Airspeed Odyssey opened the 2009 season on a significantly higher scoring level than ever before in the team's career. The same lineup started in 2007 with a 22.2 average at the Valentine's Meet and scored lower a year later (21.7) in Eloy. This year's 23.2 average at the Valentine's Meet last weekend could be a threatening warning for all other top contenders: Airspeed Odyssey is better and stronger than ever.

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Coming up next: FSL Shamrock Showdown 2009
Perris Fury started with a 20.3 average in 2007, followed with a 19.5 average in February 2008 and opened the 2009 season much stronger, as well. The 21.4 average compares well to Airspeed's difference between February 2007 and 2009.

Both US top teams do have good reasons to be satisfied and happy with their first scores of the 2009 season. The results at the FSL Shamrock Showdown 2009 in March will provide the next numbers and allow more evaluation and speculation. In addition, there will be the French factor in DeLand.

Aerokart Deep Blue and France Maubeuge in DeLand
The French 4-way community surely observes the race between Airspeed Odyssey and Perris Fury in the USA. The winner at this year's USPA Nationals will compete with France Maubeuge at the World Meet 2010 in Russia. The French national team will now switch from the observer's position into full action at the Shamrock Showdown, together with the French national team in the female category, Aerokart Deep Blue.

The meet preparations are in full swing in DeLand, and the event pages with additional information are already available. The Shamrock Showdown is a 10-round competition and includes the traditional Skins Game. The event is also the season opener of the Florida Skydiving League 2009 season. Teams can already register at the info page.

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