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Did You Know...

... that Arizona Airspeed might be closer to NMP-PCH Hayabusa than it seems?

Arizona Airspeed at the Paraclete XP Outdoor Championship 2013
posted Dec 11th, 2013 - Only two 4way Open Class teams of the TOP 5 at the last World Championship of Formation Skydiving, the Mondial Dubai 2012, came back to the same place a year later to compete at the 4th Dubai International Parachuting Championship 2013, NMP-PCH Hayabusa and Barkli.

World champion Arizona Airspeed, Evolution (4th) and Barkli (5th) met again earlier this year at the Paraclete XP Outdoor Championship 2013. NMP-PCH Hayabusa (2nd), Maubeuge Aerodyne (3rd) and Barkli then competed at the World Cup 2013. Arizona Airspeed and NMP-PCH Hayabusa have not met each other throughout the whole 2013 season.

The Paraclete XP Outdoor Championship 2014 will be the next time that the two best 4way teams in the world, as of December 2012, compete at the same place and at the same time. In the meantime, the only way how to get an idea of the situation on the very top of the 4way world is by crunching the numbers and by speculation.

4way Open
4way Women
4way VFS
8way Open
4th DIPC 2013Rd. 1Rd. 2Rd. 3Rd. 4Rd. 5Rd. 6Rd. 7Rd. 8Rd. 9Rd. 10TotalAvg
RankAAA Class11,H,12F,15,10A,N,E,Q,8K,4,L,6M,C,20,513,O,163,17,1821,7,1G,22,14P,19,9TotalAvg
1NMP-PCH Hayabusa (BE)2324322729222323183025125.1
2SDC Rhythm XP (US)1919262225171721182520920.9
3Dubai Asaar Ladies (AE)1314181717101214121714414.4
4Fuzion (CA)1011171716131112131713713.7
NMP-PCH Hayabusa at the World Cup 2013
There are ways how to estimate the relationship between Airspeed and Hayabusa, and it would not be the first time that the Sun Path Products NSL News is crunching numbers to evaluate the situation at a certain point in time. The end of the 2013 season is the right time for reasonable speculation.

How does it work if both teams never competed at the same event? It requires the help of other teams who attended the meets where Hayabusa and Airspeed competed. The results of those other teams can be used to create an indirect and proportional relationship between the two top teams.

It would be very speculative using only the results of one other top team for the formula, as SDC Rhythm XP competed at the same two most recent events where Arizona Airspeed (USPA Nationals) and NMP-PCH Hayabusa (4th DIPC) competed, as well. However, two additional teams (Dubai Asaar Ladies, Fuzion) help to create more solid data for the equation.

USPA Nationals 2013Rd. 1Rd. 2Rd. 3Rd. 4Rd. 5Rd. 6Rd. 7Rd. 8Rd. 9Rd. 10TotalAvg
RankAAA ClassG,9,C,PF,5,151,E,84,M,7H,N,B,O,314,20,LQ,K,12,1711,16,1910,A,182,22,DTotalAvg
1Arizona Airspeed (US)3828222633232520192125525.5
2SDC Rhythm XP (US)3324182629212118181922722.7
3Dubai Asaar Ladies (AE)2013141419121515101314514.5
4Fuzion (CA)131312191912158131313713.7
Arizona Airspeed at the USPA Nationals 2013
In fact, there was one more team competing at all three events, Dubai Asaar Black. The Dubai Asaar numbers could still not be used since the lineup was not the same. Craig Girard stepped into the 4way and the 8way lineups after the USPA Nationals. The lineups of the three other teams were consistent, except the video slot for SDC Rhythm XP.

SDC Rhythm XP, Dubai Asaar Ladies and Fuzion combined for a 17.0 average at the USPA Nationals and for 16.3 in Dubai. There was agreement that the competition draw in Dubai was the more challenging one, and the combined meet average of those three teams confirm this. Based on Airspeed's scoring level at the USPA Nationals, the reigning world champions would have finished with a 24.5 average in Dubai.

The conclusion after crunching the numbers is obvious. NMP-PCH Hayabusa would have won, but Arizona Airspeed has begun reducing the distance to the Belgium top contender for gold next year. Hayabusa has to watch out and be ready for a very competitive Airspeed lineup next year.

Arizona AirspeedNMP-PCH Hayabusa
NMP-PCH Hayabusa at the 4th DIPC 2013
This is nothing new or surprising for the Belgian team, neither for the team members nor for coach Gary Smith. They know that Airspeed will always have a competitive team at a world meet. It might just be surprising that Airspeed is possibly closer than it may have been expected at this point in time.

Hayabusa was aiming at a 26.0 average in Dubai, which would have been a safer distance at this point in time, compared to the estimated 24.5 Airspeed average. Especially Hayabusa's 18-pointer in Round 9 showed an unexpected weakness that may help Airspeed to gain confidence. On the other hand, the Belgians have more than enough time to focus on fixing a few potentially weaker spots, while Airspeed still has to pick up the pace to keep up with Hayabusa.

It will be a very interesting 2014 season, and the results at the Paraclete XP Outdoor Championship 2014 will show where the two top contenders really are at the beginning of March 2014. France may come up with a surprise for both current top teams, as well...

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