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Did You Know...

... that Gary Beyer and Thomas Hughes plan to win in 4-way and 8-way?

Visit at the NSL office in DeLand - see video
posted Mar 27th, 2009 - Spaceland Force XP has become a well known team name quickly. The results at the FSL Shamrock Showdown 2009 moved the new lineup (Shannon Pilcher, Ian Bobo, Gery Beyer, Thomas Hughes, Eric Boyd on camera) up to the very top of the world rankings instantly.

The NSL News introduced the Space Force and followed up with additional information already with several stories before and after the event in DeLand. Thomas Hughes and Gary Beyer are still in DeLand, as they also train and compete in 8-way this year. They are both members of the new Paraclete XP lineup, which scheduled a training camp in DeLand for the week following the Shamrock Showdown.

The NSL News invited the two 4-way and 8-way teammates for a live interview in the NSL office, which took place yesterday afternoon. Paraclete XP was done with the 8-way training early enough to allow the time for the interview.

Spaceland Force XP prepares for a new round
Thomas Hughes and Gary Beyer have a very busy 2009 schedule ahead, and the 2010 season might be even busier. They confirmed in the interview that both teams, Spaceland Force XP and Paraclete XP, plan to win this year's USPA Nationals and qualify as the US national teams for the World Meet 2010 in Russia.

The NSL News questions in the interview covered the very beginning of the team project and obviously the plans for the future. Gary Beyer had already spent some time at Skydive Spaceland when he trained and competed with his former team Directe, which was originally founded in Arizona and then moved to Texas. He said that owner Steve Boyd wanted to have a world-class home team for a long-term project.

Gary Beyer contacted Thomas Hughes who agreed to be a part of the project, and both went on together with the recruiting process. Finally, the three 4-way world champions of 2006 with DeLand Fire (Shannon Pilcher, Ian Bobo, alternate Thomas Hughes) re-joined for the Spaceland Force XP project.

Thomas Hughes and Gary Beyer study the records
The new lineup completed a few tunnel hours and 27 training jumps prior to the Shamrock Showdown and were ready for the first competition. The Space Force finished in 3rd place with a 22.0 average, six points behind the French 4-way silver medalists of 2008 and nine points behind the reigning Airspeed Odyssey world champions.

Thomas Hughes and Gary Beyer left no doubt that they want their Space Force to be the first team to beat Airspeed Odyssey and stop the 16 - 0 run. In fact, Thomas Hughes wants to do this already with XL at the World Challenge 2009, as he mentioned in the interview.

The Space Force members have good reasons to feel confident. They beat the world champions already in three of the ten rounds (6, 7 and 10) in DeLand and tied Airspeed's 23-pointer in Round 8. It is easy to imagine that Spaceland Force XP will give Airspeed Odyssey a much harder time after the scheduled 300 training jumps this year.

NSL-TV uploaded Space Force's video of the winning jump in Round 6. The 30-pointer was the highest score for the round on the leaderboard, and it was also the fastest performance in Round 6. Airspeed completed 30 points in time and lost a point, while the Space Force had 31 points in time and 30 on the scoreboard.

Click here to order the Shamrock Showdown high-quality DVD in the NSL Shop
One thumb for 4-way, one for 8-way: Thomas Hughes
It will be a challenging year, at least for Gary Beyer and Thomas Hughes. It will be difficult enough to beat Airspeed in 4-way. The new Paraclete XP 8-way lineup is also taking on Airspeed in 8-way and the new Golden Knights lineup. The chances are still very good to win the 8-way event, as well. The Golden Knights have a very young and new lineup, only Matt Davidson and Brian Krause have a lot of competition experience. Airspeed doesn't train in 8-way at all and still wins at the USPA Nationals year after year. Paraclete XP will have a chance to change that.

The 2010 season would be even tougher if Gary Beyer and Thomas Hughes win both events this year. France Maubeuge has already focused only on 4-way and dropped the 8-way efforts until the World Meet in 2010. France also has a new 8-way lineup and will work hard to defend the gold medals.

That all doesn't matter at the moment. The two Space Force members enjoy the great new team project in 4-way and 8-way, and Thomas Hughes looks forward to competing with the original XL lineup at Bodyflight Bedford next week. The interview with Gary Beyer and Thomas Hughes can be viewed by clicking here.

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