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Paratec-Saar, the German national team of the past years, saved a 1-point advantage over the finish line in Round 10, after a fierce battle round by round with EADS. Neither of the two teams was able to win a round by more than a single point, and only a jump-off could have made it even more exciting.
The EADS/Airbus story began after the World Meet 1999 in Australia when Daedalus (Dieter Kirsch, Christoph Aarns, Thomas "Spieli" Spielvogel, Pitt Weber) retired after a 7th place with a 15.5 average, and Jens Goennemann put together the first EADS/Airbus lineup (Jens Gonnemann, Holger Solter, Olav Biedermann, Kai Wolf). Thomas Spielvogel and Goran Meyer replaced Holger Solter and Kai Wolf a year later, when EADS/Airbus represented Germany for the first time at a World Championship of Formation Skydiving (7th - 14.7) in Spain 2001.
|German Nationals 2013||Rd. 1||Rd. 2||Rd. 3||Rd. 4||Rd. 5||Rd. 6||Rd. 7||Rd. 8||Rd. 9||Rd. 10||Total||Avg|
Paratec-Saar took the reign in Germany from then on and was never again seriously challenged by a German 4way team - until last year. EADS/Airbus took a break from 4way competition after the world meet in 2006 and three members (Olaf Biedermann, Thomas Spielvogel, Goran Meyer) focused on 8way, where they competed for Germany in 2008, together with the Paratec-Saar lineup. Olaf Biedermann and Goran Meyer were also in Germany's 8way lineup at the Mondial 2012, this time without the injured Thomas Spielvogel.
|World Challenge 2014||Rd. 1||Rd. 2||Rd. 3||Rd. 4||Rd. 5||Rd. 6||Rd. 7||Rd. 8||Rd. 9||Rd. 10||Total||Avg|
|10||Cats in a Bath (INT)||20||19||17||25||24||23||20||16||19||22||205||20.5|
|11||Dubai Asaar Black (AE)||17||19||19||27||24||24||19||15||18||22||204||20.4|
The situation did not change in 2010, 2011 and 2012 until EADS/Airbus decided to re-focus on 4way and changed the lineup. Final Four member Thomas Mack took the open 4th slot as the Center Outside, and his Final Four team mate Christian Schafer followed him when the team had to replace the injured Point, Thomas Spielvogel.
The results of the new EADS/Airbus lineup were impressive and eventually challenged Paratec-Saar more than ever at the German Nationals 2013.
The situation in Germany could be very similar to how it was in 2006, when the national team at the world meet (EADS) was defeated earlier by the German challenger (Paratec-Saar). The national championships are once again scheduled ahead of the world meet, and Airbus will be ready to score higher than last year's 20.1 average. The new Paratec-Saar lineup launched the 2014 competition season with a 20.2 average at the World Challenge 2014.
Airbus was in DeLand for a spring training camp, and the Sun Path Products NSL News met with the team for a live interview at the end of the camp. Team captain Olaf Biedermann, one of the two original members, mentioned that it is amazing for him to see how he turned from being the youngest 8way team member at the World Meet 1993 in Eloy to the senior position this year. Over 20 years of age are between him and the youngest Airbus member, 23-year old Chris Schafer...