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Did You Know...

... that Dubai Asaar has taken the world's #4 position in 8way?

Two 4way teams at the USPA Nationals 2011
posted Dec 13th, 2013 - Skydive Dubai's recent Formation Skydiving competition story began with Eliana Rodriguez and Craig Girard and two 4way teams in 2011. The two former Airspeed members, both world champions of 2008 and silver medalists of 2010, had moved to Dubai and were in charge of building up a team project from scratch.

The first international appearance of the two new 4way teams, Dubai Red and Dubai Gold, with player coaches Eliana Rodriguez and Craig Girard, took place in the Advanced Class competition of the USPA Nationals 2011. The project continued in 2012, and the national 4way team for the United Arab Emirates, Dubai Asaar Red, finished with a 15.8 average at the Mondial Dubai 2012, without a player coach in the lineup. Asaar Red had attended five indoor and outdoor meets before the Mondial 2012.

In the meantime, Eliana Rodriguez and Craig Girard, both also former 8way world champions with Arizona Airspeed and Golden Knights, had initiated an 8way lineup for Skydive Dubai, which consisted of the members of both 4way teams and the two player coaches whenever they were needed. Dubai Asaar's 8way lineup eventually made it to the finals at the Mondial 2012 with an 11.1 average in the team's first year. Last week, Dubai Asaar finished with a 15.1 average as the winner of the 4th Dubai International Parachuting Championship 2013.

4way Open4-way Women4-way VFS8-way Open
4th DIPC 2013Rd. 1Rd. 2Rd. 3Rd. 4Rd. 5Rd. 6Rd. 7Rd. 8Rd. 9Rd. 10TotalAvg
Rank8way Open 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
1Dubai Asaar (AE)1517141716131514161415115.1
2Monaco Vitalsea (MC)1516121714161615151214814.8
3Fly Tanay (RU)1515131614161313141414314.3
4Sudwest (DE)9131114111112117810710.7
5Colombia (CO)010011120060.6
Award Ceremony
Dubai Asaar 8
Without Khalid Abduljalil at the 8way awards
The progression within the twelve months is obviously impressive enough, even though Craig Girard was actively helping out at the 4th DIPC as the player coach. The Sun Path Products NSL News reported earlier that he had to step in when Abdulla Bin Shahar, a 3-year member of the Dubai team project, lost his life in a motorcycle accident shortly after coming back from competing at the USPA Nationals 2013.

Dubai Asaar 8 had posted 11.5 averages at the World Cup 2013 and again at the USPA Nationals 2013. However, Craig Girard said that his 8way lineup was ready to move up to the next scoring and performance level, with or without him. This step happened at the right time, and his driving force as an active member was surely a main factor.

The timing could not have been much better, as the first big success for the 8way team and the Formation Skydiving competition project happened to take place on home turf at Skydive Dubai.

Mondial Dubai 2012Rd. 1Rd. 2Rd. 3Rd. 4Rd. 5Rd. 6Rd. 7Rd. 8Rd. 9Rd. 10TotalAvg
Rank8way OpenN,21,B,514,C,1322,M,2017,H,16J,E,12,47,19,15G,K,8,2O,L,F,P,A10,11,189,Q,D,1TotalAvg
1Golden Knights (US)2119272626182028192522922.9
2Aerodyne Maubeuge (FR)2219222327202028192522522.5
3Barkli (RU)1918222221151524162019219.2
4EADS (DE)1413151518141416131614814.8
5VIVA (CH)1313151514111217131313613.6
6Dubai Asaar (AE)1111121110101012121211111.1
With Khalid Abduljalil after the 8way awards
It would be too easy to downgrade the 8way success due to the fact that the three 8way top teams in the world (Golden Knights - USA, Maubeuge Aerodyne - France, Barkli - Russia) were not present in Dubai. A closer look at the 8way leaderboard of the Mondial 2012 shows clearly that Dubai Asaar's 8way team have positioned themselves right behind the three 8way powerhouses in the world. The 15.1 average after ten rounds would have won the 4th place at the last world meet.

Craig Girard was surely pushing the pace and the performance level as nobody else could have done it. However, the seven original Emirates still had to keep up with the pace and deliver individually. By the way, Craig Girard would now also be eligible to compete for the United Arab Emirates after sitting out at the last world meet.

Dubai Asaar's 8way team was actually fortunate that they did not need another alternate. Team member Khalid Abduljalil, who is also in the national 4way lineup, broke his arm in a ground accident shortly after the competition was over. The new NSL Reality TV video clip of the award ceremony is showing the team without him, as he was still in the hospital to recover from a surgery. However, the team included him in their own way after the ceremony...

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