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Did You Know...

... that Thunder seems to be comfortable at the 21+ level?

Thunder at the ESL Championship 2013
posted Oct 5th, 2013 - The Sun Path Products NSL News story on 30 September 2013 brought up once again the topic of the unofficial status of the best amateur teams in 4way Formation Skydiving competition. The German national team Paratec-Saar triggered the topic with the latest performance at the German Nationals 2013.

Paratec-Saar was not really a part of this interesting topic last year, after the German national teams, first EADS and then Paratec-Saar, could always be found on the top level of the unofficial amateur 4way competition in previous years.

The 2012 season was dominated by SportLoto from Russia and by the team that has deserved and confirmed the top position over several years by now: Thunder with its international lineup of two Dutchmen (Paul Hofstee, Jacco van Eerden) and two Belgians (Sven Ibens, Wesley Claessens), plus Belgian team videographer Grim Swinnen.

ESL Championship 2013Rd. 1Rd. 2Rd. 3Rd. 4Rd. 5Rd. 6Rd. 7Rd. 8TotalAvg
RankAAA Class15,H,1617,5,7K,Q,P,22F,D,9,2J,3,14G,4,20A,O,18,136,10,12TotalAvg
1Thunder (BE)212224291919221717321.6
Tomscat Trophy 2013Rd. 1Rd. 2Rd. 3Rd. 4Rd. 5Rd. 6Rd. 7Rd. 8Rd. 9Rd. 10TotalAvg
RankAAA ClassA,N,B,J,10L,K,7,121,19,178,H,Q,20P,6,1621,13,189,14,311,G,M,152,4,5E,F,22,OTotalAvg
1Thunder (BE)1918182121172020182519719.7
Paraclete XP Outdoor 2013Rd. 1Rd. 2Rd. 3Rd. 4Rd. 5Rd. 6Rd. 7Rd. 8Rd. 9Rd. 10TotalAvg
RankAAA Class6,17,15B,11,1618,N,229,4,FJ,E,C,3K,O,12,M5,D,8Q,13,14G,7,H,101,20,21TotalAvg
1Thunder (BE)1917162626242113221720120.1
World Challenge 2013Rd. 1Rd. 2Rd. 3Rd. 4Rd. 5Rd. 6Rd. 7Rd. 8Rd. 9Rd. 10TotalAvg
RankAAA ClassO,E,J,K,3M,Q,A,144,6,168,18,NH,19,122,7,1311,C,P,915,D,10L,F,17,G20,1,22TotalAvg
1Thunder (BE)3332212323222921311925425.4
Aerokart Indoor 2013Rd. 1Rd. 2Rd. 3Rd. 4Rd. 5Rd. 6Rd. 7Rd. 8Rd. 9Rd. 10TotalAvg
RankAAA ClassQ,12,L,216,D,A,15P,7,O,10H,20,214,F,M,E11,16,813,B,N,22C,J,18,59,4,19G,3,K,17TotalAvg
1Thunder (BE)2329262534192327272525825.8
The 2013 season has been as busy for Thunder as last year, and the international lineup missed only the World Cup. Thunder has attended five meets so far, three outdoor and two indoor competitions, with the ISR Grand Prix 2013 still coming in November.

NSL-TV now follows up with the latest Thunder videos of the ESL Championship 2013. Thunder finished with a 21.6 average, which is once again higher than any other "amateur" team has shown this year.

SportLoto has not been training and competing this year, and the best US "amateur" team finished with a 19.3 average (Arizona Prime) at the USPA Nationals 2013. Carolina Turbo XP posted a 19.7 average but does not really fall under the unofficial "amateur" status any longer.

ESL Championship 2013Round 1Round 2Round 3Round 4Round 5Round 6Round 7Round 8TotalAvg
RankAAA Class15,H,1617,5,7K,Q,P,22F,D,9,2J,3,14G,4,20A,O,18,136,10,12TotalAvg
1Thunder (BE)212224291919221717321.6
2Creeps (NL)13151417139151110713.4
3Eclipse (UK)121613151114131210613.3
4Lupus (EE)9131017111112109311.6
5Cool Runnings (NL)101213141011998811.0
6Hvezdy (CZ)91110137796729.0
First 21+ average with Thomas Hughes in 2012
Thunder has been holding the 21+ average level for two years now, even though the ESL Championship was only an 8-round competition. It's impressive enough for an "amateur" 4way team to beat the 20-average benchmark, and only Thunder and SportLoto have made it to the 21+ level.

The limited time of "amateur" team members for training and competition makes it naturally much more difficult to get to the highest performance level, and the resources have to be used very wisely. The question is how far and up Thunder will be able to raise the amateur bar.

Thunder seems to have become comfortable with the 21+ average level. The next benchmark would be the 22+ level, which brings the team probably quite close to the 20-pointer club. There are always new goals to be set and benchmarks to be broken in Formation Skydiving competition. Thunder has not announced plans for the 2014 season yet...

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