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Did You Know...

... that the Russian team Crystal has a busy 2009 schedule?

Crystal's travel agenda this spring
posted Mar 4th, 2009 - A team from Russia has joined Airspeed's and Fury's busy odyssey at the beginning of the 2009 season. Team Crystal already competed at the Valentine's Meet 2009, has signed up for the FSL Shamrock Showdown 2009 and will then travel back to Europe and attend the World Challenge 2009 at Bodyflight Bedford.

Andrey Kalugin and Valery Kryshevich trained and competed with Crystal already throughout the 2008 season. Andrey Baldin and Sergey Romanuk completed last year's lineup. Sergey Romanuk used to be a team member of the Russian 8-way team Evolution Pro and competed at this year's world meet in Canopy Piloting. The team competed at the Russian Nationals 2008 (13.0) in June and at the Russian Cup 2008 (13.4) in August.

The Crystal 2008 lineup disbanded at the end of the season. Andrey Kalugin and Valery Kryshevich joined forces with two new team members for the 2009 season, and the plan for this year is much busier compared to 2008.

Evolution Pro at the World Meet in Germany 2006
The new lineup is very promising, as it brings two Russian competition veterans into the center positions of Crystal 2009. Vladimir Arutyunov trained and competed with the Russian national 8-way team Evolution Pro between 2004 and 2007. Evolution Pro won bronze medals for Russia at the World Meets in Croatia 2004 and Germany 2006 and added a set of silver medals at the World Cup in Russia 2007. Evolution Pro then disbanded, and Russia did not have an 8-way team at the World Meet in France 2008.

Evolution Pro member Sergey Romanuk started out with Crystal in 2008, and Vladimir Arutyunov now continues to help building up the team in the Center Outside slot. He gets the best support from the most experienced 4-way competitor of the Crystal 2009 lineup in the Center Inside position.

Sergey Yalpaev trained and competed with Extreme.RU in 2005 (19.2 - 20.3) and 2006 (21.3 - 21.0) before switching to Cross Road for the 2007 and 2008 season. The Cross Road project was more a player coach situation for him, as the 2007 lineup scored between 12.6 (Valentine's Meet) and 16.7 (World Cup), except the Malevsky Cup 2007 where a different Cross Road lineup posted a 22.6 average.

Cross Road at the Malevsky Cup 2007
Cross Road 2008, again with player coach Sergey Yalpaev, was already on a significantly higher scoring and performance level (21.3 - 19.5 - 15.9) over the whole season. However, Sergey Yalpaev joined the Crystal lineup for the 2009 season and has taken the driver's seat in the control center.

Valery Kryshevich will continue in his Tail slot that he had last year. Andrey Kalugin switches from Center Outside to Point for the 2009 season, as veteran Vladimir Arutyunov is the new Center Outside. Andrey Karin is filming the team.

Sergey Yalpaev's former team Cross Road has signed up for the FSL Shamrock Showdown 2009, as well, which will make the meet in DeLand the first internal Russian competition at the same time.

Russian 4-way team Crystal
Crystal's third meet this spring is the indoor competition at the World Challenge 2009, and it will feature the next Russian competition. Crystal will be facing Ocean 5 and Kaktus Hunter in Bedford.

The busy start of the 2009 season will be followed by more training during the meet break. Crystal plans to complete approx. 500 training jumps this year and will be well prepared for the Russian Nationals 2009 in Menzelinsk, the hosting skydiving center of the World Meet 2010.

The Russian Nationals 2009 will not be the end of the Crystal season at all. In fact, the pace picks up again at that time. The Russian team hopes to make it to the FAI World Cup 2009 in the Czech Republic and plans to finish the 2009 season at the USPA Nationals. It sounds like the NSL News audience will hear much more from this Russian team in 2009.

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