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Did You Know...

... that 2014 is a rebuilding year for the Dubai Asaar delegation?

Eliana Rodriguez and Craig Girard with videographer Juan Mayer
posted Feb 12th, 2014 - The recent TURNING POINTS topic for Blue Skies Mag ("Shifting Skydiving World") provided a coincidental transition to the next story. It is a part of the athletic side at Skydive Dubai that requires an update.

The United Arab Emirates will once again be represented by a Dubai Asaar lineup at the Paraclete XP Outdoor Championship 2014. It is the third time that Eliana Rodriguez and Craig Girard send their 4way competitors to DeLand.

The two former Arizona Airspeed members and world champions had their new competitors from Dubai collect meet experiences as soon as they had launched the 4way and later the 8way project in Dubai. The two new Asaar lineups competed first at the USPA Nationals 2011, then on home turf at the 3rd Dubai Cup 2011 and started the 2012 season at the Paraclete XP Outdoor Championship 2012.

USPA Nationals 2011Rd. 1Rd. 2Rd. 3Rd. 4Rd. 5Rd. 6Rd. 7Rd. 8Rd. 9Rd. 10TotalAvg
RankAdvanced ClassM,5,1321,14,2212,20,D11,Q,16O,C,10,KP,L,19,818,6,215,9,G7,F,17A,B,N,J,3TotalAvg
1Qatar Tigers 13 13 12 14 14 13 12 15 18 1614014.0
4Qatar Falcons 12 8 11 13 14 14 11 15 16 1613013.0
7Dubai Red 14 9 10 11 13 13 12 15 14 1512612.6
12Dubai Gold 11 9 8 10 11 9 11 11 12 1310510.5
Gold medal and broken arm: Khalid Abduljalil
It has been a smooth and impressive progression ever since, which recently peaked at the 4th Dubai International Parachuting Championship 2013 with the gold medals in 8way, which set the Dubai Asaar 8way lineup in 4th place of the unofficial NSL world rankings.

However, Eliana Rodriguez recently reported from Dubai that their original plans for the 2014 season had to be changed. She said that two members of the 8way lineup are not coming back this year, and Khalid Abduljalil broke his arm in a ground accident shortly after the competition was over, as the Sun Path Products NSL News reported on 13 December 2013.

Eliana Rodriguez said that he is recovering well after the necessary surgery, but he will still be a few months away before he can jump.

Dubai Asaar 8way lineup at the USPA Nationals 2013
The plans had also changed in September last year when Dubai's Formation Skydiving delegation lost Abdulla Binshaher in a motorcycle accident just after coming back from the trip to the USPA Nationals. It has been bad luck recently for Eliana Rodriguez and Craig Girard, as they basically lost half of the 8way lineup.

Fortunately, they began early with efforts to recruit new team members for the project's future, and two new Emirates began with 4way training in October 2013. Nasser Aldhaheri had approx. 70 jumps at the time when Eliana Rodriguez began working with him, and Ahmad Alabdooli had only a total of 18 jumps by then. Craig Girard was in charge of the 8way training

Eliana Rodriguez said that Nasser Aldhaheri now has 175 jumps, while Ahmed Alabdooli has made it to approx. 90 jumps in the meantime: " We've done a lot of work on their basic skills in the tunnel, they are really doing great!"

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
Dubai Asaar Black with Craig Girard at the 4th DIPC
The new Dubai Asaar lineups for the 2014 season are still running under Dubai Asaar Black and Dubai Asaar Yellow. The Black lineup is the more experienced one with the remaining members of last year's 8way team: Ali Alneyadi, Abdulla Aldosari, Aziz Shukari and Abdulrahman Almaamari. It's also a 2-2 combination of last year's Black and Yellow 4way lineups. Juan Mayer is still filming the new Black team.

The Yellow lineup will be the farm team with the two new 4way competitors, Ahmed Alabdooli and Nasser Aldhaheri. Craig Girard will be the player coach, and last year's videographer Iurii Railean has taken the 4th slot, while the recruiting of new Emirates for the team project continues.

Eliana Rodriguez said that she has started working with a new local candidate, Aziz AlRayaesi. The training with Eliana Rodriguez and Craig Girard began for him in Skydive Dubai's wind tunnel when he had one AFF jump. Now he has 13 jumps and finishes his A-License while the Dubai delegation travels to DeLand. Eliana Rodriguez added that they have apparently found a very naturally talented new competitor.

Dubai Asaar's 8way team with Craig Girard at the 4th DIPC
The coaches expect Khalid Abduljalil coming back to the team after complete recovery, which would give them a lineup of five experienced competitors and three new members for the 4way and 8way teams. Eliana Rodriguez said that the main goal is to create two 4way teams that will be more evenly matched, so they can push each other to a higher level. This will hopefully also create a stronger 8way team:

"We think that by having the more experienced guys jumping with the younger guys, they will reach a higher level sooner, and this will be a good benefit for both teams and for the 8way team. The experienced guys will be in a teaching role, which will also help making them stronger."

Eliana Rodriguez and Craig Girard have not decided yet how the final lineups will look like after Khalid Abduljalil comes back. This decision will be made after competing at the World Challenge 2014.

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
2Barkli (RU)2023312423201621182722322.3
3SDC Rhythm XP (US)1919262225171721182520920.9
4Qatar Tigers (QA)1818262319171719172419819.8
5Dubai Asaar Black (AE)1615231714161716132417117.1
Dubai Asaar delegation at the Paraclete XP Outdor Championship 2013
They see the 2014 season as a rebuilding year for the Dubai Asaar teams and take the new lineups to the Paraclete XP Outdoor Championship 2014, so they can continue to get some competition experience, even though the lineups may change again:

"We were actually planning to take them to the Paraclete XP Indoor Championship 2014, as well, but with the changes it was going to come upon us too quickly. Our season is super long with the Dubai competition being in December, so we wanted to give the 8way guys some time off to recharge before we started up again."

This year's training didn't begin before the end of January, and even the Deland competition is coming very soon, too. However, Eliana Rodriguez and Craig Girard wanted to use the rare opportunity of a high-profile competition: "There are no more outdoor competitions that we can go to before the World Championship in August."

Dubai Asaar Yellow with Eliana Rodriguez at the World Challenge 2013
The Dubai delegation is once again traveling to Bodyflight Bedford for the 4way indoor competition, as well. They hope to have Khalid Abduljalil back after that trip and then focus more on 8way training, which has not started yet at all:

"We have mainly focused on teaching the new guys the 4way dive pool and letting the new Black lineup get used to flying with each other. They all have new piece partners and one member is in a new slot."

The two new members of the Dubai Asaar Yellow team need competition experience even more than the other project members. That's why Craig Girard and Iurii Railean fill the slots on the upcoming trips. It will be an exciting experience for the new members. The Dubai delegation has half of the rebuilding year left before the World Championship of Formation Skydiving in Prostejov.

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