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Did You Know...

... that the Golden Knights delegation maintains the Formation Skydiving power position?

Last Airspeed FS sweep in 2008
image by: Omniskore
posted Sep 19th, 2013 - There were times when Arizona Airspeed won all four traditional Formation Skydiving events (4 - 8 - 10 - 16) at the USPA Nationals. It happened the last time in 2008. A year later, the Golden Knights took away the 10-way title, which was the beginning of a major power shift.

Airspeed still won the other three events (4 - 8 - 16) in 2009 and bronze in 10way. However, the Golden Knights were on their way to take over the dominating position at the USPA Nationals.

The 8way lineup of the US Army then won the USPA Nationals 2010, which became the foundation of the upcoming power shift. Airspeed still won the other three events the same year, and then the Airspeed dominance was over.

FS power shift in 2011: Golden Knights 16way lineup
The Golden Knights joined forces with Paraclete XP for the 16way competition in 2011. Airspeed offered strong resistance, however, the GKXP combination won by two points and added the 16way title to the 8way gold medals. The Golden Knights also won the 10way competition, and the power shift was complete. It was the first time that Airspeed won only one set of gold medals in 4way.

The Golden Knights delegation was even stronger in 2012 and had hardly any competition in 8way and 16way on Airspeed's home turf last year. Three sets of gold medals went again to North Carolina, and the female lineup of the Golden Knights added a bronze medal in 4way Open.

The USPA Nationals 2013 have been a copy of last year's event so far. The GKXP 16way lineup is almost identical with last year's (Kirk Verner, Matthew Davidson, Kurt Isenbarger, Larry Miller, Angela Nichols, Brian Krause, Scott Janise, Josh Coleman, Sean Sweeney, John D’Annunzio, Matt McLean, Laura Dickmeyer, Michael LaRoche, Justin Blewitt, Dannielle Woosley, Jennifer Schaben, Jeshua Stahler, Matthew Navarro on camera), and the US Army walked away with new 16way gold medals.

USPA Nationals 2013 - 16wayRound 1Round 2Round 3Round 4Round 5Round 6TotalAvg
2Arizona Airspeed71213998589.7
3Deguello 17566555325.3
4Rhythm 16453554264.3
5The Best We Could Find265344244.0
6Desert Convergance045334193.2
Golden Knights 16way lineup this week
image by: USPA/Omniskore/Skydive Chicago
The combination of the Golden Knights 8way lineup and the two teams in 2nd and 3rd place in 4way Open (Paraclete XP4, Golden Knights Women) is too strong for any other team to keep up, even for Arizona Airspeed with their three 4way world champions of 2012 and the alternate (Mark Kirkby, Thomas Hughes, Niklas Hamlin, Nick Grillet), this year's new 4way members (Thiago Gomes, Chris Farina) and the other selected top competitors (Thomas Jenkins, Scott Latinis, James "Bu" Klinge, Rodney Cruce, Mickey Nuttall, Ron Hill, Benjamin Liston, Todd Hawkins, Brian Stephens, Melanie Curtis, Justin Price, Ari Perelman).

The 10way competition is now in full swing, and chances are just as little that any other lineup can beat the Golden Knights in this event. The US Army team won the first round clearly. The complete 8way lineup competes together with Angela Nichols and her team videographer Scott Janise, Matthew Navorro is on camera.

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