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Did You Know...

... that the national female lineups set up for the 2010 showdown?

First training for Spaceland Blue in 2008 with Christy Frikken
posted May 3rd, 2009 - Spaceland Blue's recent move from hibernation into training action brings back memories of the World Meet 2008 in France where three of the team members left behind the French national team, Aerokart Deep Blue, and won the silver medals one single point behind the Bodyflight Storm world champions.

Becky Brocato, Erin Murphy and Brianne Thompson, with Niklas Daniel on camera, surprised the French team with a very strong performance after a short training season and seriously challenged the Bodyflight Storm lineup of 2008. Alternate Christy Frikken had pushed the team to a new performance and scoring level and almost won the gold medals after only a few months with the US team.

How is the international situation in the female 4-way category after the beginning of the 2009 season?

Spaceland Blue at the Shamrock Showdown 2008
It is obviosuly a challenging job for Spaceland Blue's new Point, Annaliese Peterson, to replace Perris Fury's world class competitor in the Open Class, Christy Frikken. However, she is familiar enough with the roughly 20-average pace that her three Blue team mates were going with Christy Frikken in August 2008. Her former team, Arizona Divewerkz scored a 19.0 average at the USPA Nationals 2008.

Spaceland Blue's new lineup will probably not need too much time to eventually break the 20-average benchmark. Bodyflight Storm is the only female lineup that has posted a 20.0 average, exactly, at the World Meet 2008 in France. It was a 6-round meet though and leaves the question open what it would have been after ten rounds.

In fact, the original Fastrax Blue lineup (Becky Broccato, Kelley Fredrickson, Erin Murphy, Brianne Thompson) already posted a 20.0 average, as well, and it was also after a 6-round competition, the FSL Shamrock Showdown 2008. The 31-pointer in a fast all-random sequence contributed to this high average.

Bodyflight Storm at the World Meet 2008
The reigning Bodyflight Storm world champions in the female category have a complete makeover, as the NSL News reported on 12 April 2009. Sarah Smith is the only remaining world and UK champion of 2008. The three new members are not new to 4-way competition. The new Bodyflight Storm lineup will still begin on a lower level compared to Spaceland Blue.

The only medal winner in the female category at the World Meet 2008 with exactly the same lineup this year is Aerokart Deep Blue, the French national team for 2009 and 2010. Sophie Deremaux, Bérangère Duplouy, Françoise Simons-Hamouchi and Amélie Tirman, with Christophe Chekroun on camera, have been jumping together since June 2007 and were selected as the French national team after a short 2008 season in France and a few weeks before the World Meet.

Aerokart Deep Blue at the World Challenge 2009
Aerokart Deep Blue has the comfort of two years without pressure, as the team has already been selected to represent France next year at the World Meet in Russia. Deep Blue, with the team's coach Marin Ferre, could take the time to step back after the rush to the World Meet 2008 and begin to work on a plan for 2010.

Deep Blue already attended three competitions this year, the Aerokart Indoor Championship, the FSL Shamrock Showdown 2009 and the World Challenge 2009. The French team looks already stronger compared to the World Meet 2008 and is very confident. The great chemistry and the shared experiences of the same lineup may give Aerokart Deep Blue an important advantage at the moment.

Chicas at work in 2008
Three other teams were locked into a very tight race for the 4th place at last year's World Championship of Formation Skydiving: Norway, Australia and Germany. Norway's female team Fortitudo has disbanded, Australia had plans only until the World Meet 2008. Germany's Chicas completed the team's 5th year in 2008 and has new plans for the 2009 season.

In fact, the Chicas have already started training with the new lineup, and the new team member could have a similar impact on the team performance as Christy Frikken had with Fastrax Blue last year. Chicas' talented Point, Susa Serra, takes a year off and travels around the world, and Nina Kuebler takes her slot this year.

Nina Kuebler with Endeavour in 2003
Nina Kuebler is a 4-way veteran. She was invited by Dan BC to the 4-way Women's project at the "International Women's Team Week" in November 2004 where Dan BC had the best four female competitors in the world joining forces in Perris for one week. She jumped there with Lise Nansen/Aune (DeLand Norgies), Arianna de Benedetti (Snapsi PD) and Eliana Rodriguez (Airspeed).

Her highest credits came probably from her time with the Swiss national 4-way team Endeavour. She competed with Endeavour at the World Meet 2003 in France and placed 6th with an impressive 18.7 average. Her Swiss team outscored the DeLand Norgies, bronze medal winners in 2003, in two rounds.

Nina Kuebler has been actively involved in 4-way competition ever since, even though she has not been on a high-profile team in the meantime. Her energy and passion is still the same though, and this energy could be beneficial for the Chicas.

Chicas scoring progression
The German national female lineup of the past years has consistently increased the performance and scoring level. The Chicas eventually won bronze medals at the FAI World Cup 2007 with no participation of any US or UK team. The 16.0 average at the World Meet 2008 after the race with Australia and Norway was the best result for the Chicas at an international competition.

The three returning members for the 2009 season, Petra Bärenfänger, Sylvia Maier and Marion Thomas, are experienced and well skilled 4-way competitors. Rumors from Germany mention that Nina Kuebler has already added her energetic style successfully to the Chicas performance. The German team may get closer this year to the world's top teams' performance level than ever before.

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