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Did You Know...

... that Thunder has finalized team plans for the 6th season?

posted Oct 26th, 2013 - It wasn't too long ago that SportLoto announced comeback plans for the 2014 season. The Sun Path Products NSL News reported the great news on 18 October 2013 and related once again to the annual race for the unofficial title of the best amateur team in the world.

Thunder earned this title in 2012 and probably again in 2013. The poll and voting question for the 2013 season will be posted soon, and there is little doubt that Thunder will end up on the top. The main opponent of 2012, SportLoto, attended only two indoor meets this year and then had to stand back for the remainder of the 2013 season.

However, SportLoto will still be a candidate, and it is at least an interesting aspect that the Russian team outscored Thunder at the World Challenge 2013. The question is whether one indoor competition can be enough as the deciding factor.

World Cup 2012Rd. 1Rd. 2Rd. 3Rd. 4Rd. 5Rd. 6Rd. 7Rd. 8Rd. 9Rd. 10TotalAvg
RankAAA Class1,19,214,18,15N,16,20E,6,J,AC,K,9,13F,8,11Q,22,L,21B,17,H,P12,D,0,4G,10,7TotalAvg
2Thunder (BE)2017202427202031201921821.8
3SportLoto (RU)1617212920192031192021221.2
Thunder meeting at the World Cup 2012
No matter what happens this year in the polls - both amateur teams will be back for the 2014 season and continue with their pursuit of 4way excellence. SportLoto will finalize the 2014 plans in November, and Thunder has now announced the team's schedule for next year.

It did not take the same Thunder members of the last five years very long to agree on another Thunder year. The Thunder plan and dynamics work out well for the individuals, and the 6th team season integrates 4way training and competition once again into the private and professional lives of the five individuals and their families.

The 2014 schedule is very similar to this year and includes 250 training jumps, plus 15 hours of indoor training. Thunder hopes that coach Thomas Hughes will have enough time to continue his successful work with the team at the first training camp in Eloy.

World Challenge 2013Rd. 1Rd. 2Rd. 3Rd. 4Rd. 5Rd. 6Rd. 7Rd. 8Rd. 9Rd. 10TotalAvg
RankAAA Open 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
6SportLoto (RU)3528(-1)19(-2)232421(-3)30(-1)2334(-3)20257(10)25.7
7Thunder (BE)33(-1)3221232322(-1)29(-1)21(-2)31(-4)19(-1)254(10)25.4
Weekend meet: Thunder at the Tomscat Trophy 2013
Thunder also plans to attend the indoor competition in Empuriabrava in January. The first showdown with SportLoto will happen at the World Challenge 2014 in Bedford. The annual Tomscat Trophy is a must for Thunder, while a trip to the United Kingdom for the national championships is a new stop on the Thunder 2014 meet tour. The ISR Grand Prix will conclude the 2014 season, as it does for Thunder this year.

Thunder member Paul Hofstee said that his team would like to attend even more meets and national championships, such as the German Nationals, where the Paratec-Saar lineup always has a word for the unofficial amateur title. However, his team has to select the meets that don't require too many vacation days for the working members, and the German Nationals usually stretch out over a week. The UK Nationals are traditionally a weekend event, despite the large number of teams.

Thunder hopes that the other top amateur teams will be able to match their schedule here and there. SportLoto has confirmed the World Challenge 2014 and will follow up with the rest of the meet schedule. Paratec-Saar has a team meeting these days and will announce the 2014 schedule soon, as well. The unofficial 2014 amateur race is in the works...

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