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Did You Know...

... that NMP-PCH Hayabusa and Evolution have a lot in common?

4-way Open Class medal winners after Round 10
posted Aug 31st, 2014 - It's time to follow up on the FAI World Championship of Formation Skydiving 2014 with some videos of the competition jumps, and the review begins with the new 4-way world champion, NMP-PCH Hayabusa from Belgium.

Hayabusa's 1st place in Prostejov is the first time in history that a team from Belgium wins gold medals in Formation Skydiving competition. It is also the first time that France did not win a medal in the Open Class competition. Last not least, it's also the first time in recent history (since 1985) that Canada won a set of medals.

The Sun Path Products NSL News predicted the outcome of this year's world meet as the most likely one, as the story on 11 August 2014 explained, and the online audience voted the same way. The results are actually not a big surprise.

World Meet 2014Rd. 1Rd. 2Rd. 3Rd. 4Rd. 5Rd. 6Rd. 7Rd. 8Rd. 9Rd. 10TotalAvg
RankAAA ClassE,3,C,5F,6,D,2119,H,2M,4,1O,14,A,P8,J,167,11,1222,20,1517,G,1813,B,9TotalAvg
1NMP-PCH Hayabusa (BE)3229252533252218262926426.4
2Arizona Airspeed (US)3127252431232217242925325.3
3Evolution (CA)3128242228232021252724924.9
Andy and David Grauwels celebrating at the Hayabusa headquarters
The only surprise might be how clearly NMP-PCH Hayabusa won in Prostejov. The Belgians allowed another team only once to score higher, and it was not Arizona Airspeed who outscored Hayabusa in Round 8. Evolution from Canada was three points ahead of Hayabusa. Hayabusa had the option of a re-jump in Round 8 after a rainy start of the working time. However, the team decided to swallow the lost round and move on.

The only other surprise might be how difficult Evolution made it for Airspeed to win the silver medals. Hayabusa and Airspeed were in a 2-team battle for gold at the Mondial Dubai 2012, and the world champions of 2012 now found themselves in a 4-point battle for 2nd place.

NMP-PCH Hayabusa took full advantage of the 2-year head start. The Belgians and Airspeed were in the same situation in Dubai 2012, when both teams had completed two years of training with the same lineups and competed on exactly the same scoring level over ten rounds.

Dennis Praet with his proud parents
It was not the same last week. NMP-PCH Hayabusa came to Prostejov with two more years for the same lineup, while Airspeed had two new team members. Evolution had a smaller but similar advantage with the three Lemay brothers coming back with Katie Woods. This is probably one of the reasons why the Canadians were so much closer to Airspeed.

Hayabusa and Evolution have a lot in common as of the team history. Roy Janssen, David and Andy Grauwels competed together at their first world meet in Croatia 2004 and placed 6th with Sven Ibens. The three Lemay brothers met them two years later in Germany 2006. Benoit Lemay was only packing the parachutes at that time, as he was too young to compete at a world meet. Hayabusa finished 6th again, Evolution 9th with Francois Pigeon.

The complete Lemay family with father Michel competed in France 2008 (6th), while the Grauwels brothers and Roy Janssen finished 3rd with Luc Verstrepen. Evolution had the same lineup two years later in Russia 2010 (5th) where Hayabusa placed 4th with Waedong So. Dennis Praet then took the Hayabusa point slot for 2012 (2nd) and the gold medals last week in Prostejov, where the same four Belgians met the three Lemay brothers once again. Who could keep up with those two teams if they continue for two more years...?

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