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Did You Know...

... that Team Karma tries to win with seven hands?

Claudia Breidbach demonstrates a grip
posted Jul 14th, 2013 - The German Nationals 2013 will not only feature an interesting competition for this year's 4way championship title. There is also a new team that has caught the attention of the German media.

The special attention is related to one of the team members. Center Inside Claudia Breidbach was born without a left hand and takes the 4way grips with a special prosthesis.

Claudia Breidbach made her first skydive in the summer of 2009. The new video, which portraits her in August 2010, shows that she came into Formation Skydiving a year later. It includes a 2way jump with Christian Wirth, a former Final Four member and German silver medalist of 2011.

Claudia Breidbach with team Karma
The portrait video with the 2way also shows that Claudia Breidbach has found her way to take grips and that she can turn quickly too. Eventually she decided to become a member of the 4way team Karma that was founded at the end of the 2012 season at the skydiving center in in Soest.

Rebecca Steinberg (Tail), Michael “Macko” Mackowiak (Center Outside) and Michael “Speedy” Sigl (Point) are the other three Karma members. Team captain Michael Sigl told the Sun Path Products NSL News that his team plans to compete in the Rookie Class at the German Nationals, and Karma wants to win or medal with a 10+ meet average.

It's a very challenging goal. The German Rookie Class is almost identical with the A Class of the NSL 4way Network and includes seven of the eight A Class blocks. Last year's winner finished with a 12.4 average, and the two other medal winners posted 11+ averages.

German Nationals 2012Rd. 1Rd. 2Rd. 3Rd. 4Rd. 5Rd. 6Rd. 7Rd. 8Rd. 9Rd. 10TotalAvg
RankA ClassE,J,PO,9M,A,HF,7B,21E,2O,Q,NM,4F,6B,19TotalAvg
1Four Elements (DE)15151513111216109812412.4
2Kiwis Kassel (DE)1591712127131112911711.7
3Go Relative (DE)13131511101015911911611.6
4Girlaxis (DE)8111712981599710510.5
5AirKraft (DE)9916128611889969.6
6Subbotnik (DE)1081399877108898.9
7Horschd Macht Erndschd (DE)68108869688777.7
8Helden Wie Wir (DE)8596856354595.9
9Team RSA (DE)7557736338545.4
10VertiGo (DE)1142556555393.9
Indoor training with Sarah Hajooze
Claudia Breidbach's positive attitude is probably a big factor for the Karma motivation to go after such a big goal. Team captain Michael Sigl said that her story about how she made it into skydiving and a 4way team is more than impressive and a strong source for motivation: "She has shown what can be possible..."

Team Karma wants to show not only to the skydiving community that it is possible for Claudia Breidbach to be highly competitive in the same competition class with all other "normal" teams.

The special situation of the new German team requires some additional attention to certain flying skills. Michael Sigl explained that the team has to consider the limited options for launching complete formations from the jump plane.

Accurate flying and well shaped formations required
Claudia Breidbach's Center Inside slot generally requires a lot of grip taking situations, and the exit grips have to be strong ones. Michael Sigl said that the team also has to fly with special attention to clean and smooth perfomance: "There are situations in freefall where she can only put her hand on for a grip to score a point."

The other Karma members have to present their grips carefully, as Claudia Breidbach cannot reach far to help closing a gap. The formations need to be in good shape, as the grip connections are vulnerable to tension. He said that it was difficult for Claudia Breidbach in the past to commit to 4way competition and find team members who were willing to make the extra efforts.

The Karma members see the additional challenges as an advantage, as they have to fly even more accurately. The team plans go beyond the German Nationals 2013, and the results of dealing with the challenging circumstances could be seen later on. Karma is already looking at the AA Class dive pool...

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