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Did You Know...

... that Tuesday's updates are bad news for the sport?

No Golden Knights at the World Cup
posted Sep 2nd, 2015 - The next NSL TV Reality clip live from the German Nationals 2015 is including bad and sad news, which are not directly related to the event at FSZ Saar.

In fact, only Golden Knights coach Solly Williams is directly effected by the latest FAI World Cup 2015 update. The Golden Knights will not compete in Teuge next week, neither in 4-way Women nor in 8-way.

The Sun Path Products NSL News was on a DZ Tour this morning and captured different scenes after the morning fog was eventually blown and burned away and the competition continued. Solly Williams had a few minutes to explain that he was officially informed this morning that an unrelated skydiving accident caused the US Army command to cancel all Golden Knights skydiving activities for the moment.

German Nationals 2015Rd. 1Rd. 2Rd. 3Rd. 4Rd. 5Rd. 6Rd. 7Rd. 8Rd. 9Rd. 10TotalAvg
RankAAA Class20,O,P,1613,18,1910,11,1D,2,174,L,C,522,N,A,H15,21,314,9,M6,E,8K,G,B,12TotalAvg
1Airbus Illertissen201513(-3)-------4816.0
2AtomiX YUU-Skydive171312(-1)-------4214.0
3FSC Remscheid171113-------4113.7
RankAA ClassO,11,1921,E,MC,G,20B,18,8J,6,Q7,K,NP,D,A,42,14L,9,1F,22,HTotalAvg
4Fast 4ward7119-------279.0
RankA ClassO,7F,19M,9E,2B,4O,6F,21M,H,JE,Q,PB,A,NTotalAvg
24 FREE9810-------279.0
3On Air889-------258.3
Back in action: Teams in Germany
That was bad enough for morning news, and it still was not the end. It is also a fact that Thunder ISR has withdrawn from the World Cup, which also eliminates the Thund8rbirds from the 8-way field. The reasons for Thunder's withdrawal are very different ones, and the Sun Path Products NSL News will follow up later with more details.

Fact is the the team posted an open letter to the host announcing the withdrawal, which is copied below.

The good news from Germany is that the morning fog was gone early enough to get the teams back in the air for a few more rounds. The three top teams in the AAA Class have moved even closer together. Airbus suffered three point deductions due to video issues in Round 3, which allowed FSC Remscheid and AtomiX YUU-Skydive to keep close this time. Round 4 is in progress.

Click here to connect on the Clash of Champions Facebook page
Open letter to the Event Organizers of the 13th FAI European Formation Skydiving Championships and the 20th FAI World Cup of Formation Skydiving - September 1, 2015

Withdrawal of Thunder ISR from the FS 4-way and Thund8rBirds from the FS 8-way competition

Dear Organizing Committee and Event Organizers,

It has come to our attention that different parties are contesting our participation to the above mentioned events and are questioning the correctness of the issuance of Belgian FAI licenses to some of our team members. It is true that some of the Thunder ISR members have a Dutch nationality, while competing for Belgium. However, we sincerely believe that the licenses have been issued in accordance with the current FAI rules and codes. The Belgian NAC followed due process and had raised questions which were answered by ourselves and, after checking, the licenses were granted.

Although we are convinced that the FAI licenses have been issued correctly and our participation to the events is legitimate we would like to share the following:

Since the formation of our team, seven years ago, our team has followed an intense training schedule to achieve the highest possible performance level. Over the years we have participated in many non-FAI sanctioned competitions, both indoor and outdoor. On personal invitation of the World Cup 2012 organizing committee, our team was invited as guest team and unofficially ended up in second place. We appreciated this opportunity very much, because it allowed us to measure ourselves at the highest possible level. Unfortunately, apart from the latter rare opportunity, there are limited to no competitions where our team can face real competition. We would like to note that this practically applies for all national competitions around the world where the national teams are known upfront and locally face no real competition.

In contrast to our invitation as guest team to the World Cup 2012, upon our first inquiry on the dates of the World Cup 2015 our team was immediately informed by the Dutch parachuting federation that our team would not be eligible to participate due to the mixed nationalities. We would like to note however that FAI rules allow an organizing committee to both accept and deny entry of guest teams at category 1 events. Unfortunately, and much to our surprise and disappointment, this was option wasn't even considered. This has left our team with no other option to pursue the possibility to represent Belgium. Personal circumstances have made this possible this year, and all in accordance with the FAI rules.

In our view, unfortunately, the FAI rules of category 1 events have the character of exclusion rather than enabling the sport to develop and provide a platform to inspire and interest non-competitive skydivers. Considering, in our observation, the declining interest in competitive skydiving much work has to be done to maintain the high performance levels and expand the top level competition community. It is for this reason that, next to our personal team goal to have fun, spend time with good friends and perform at the highest level, over the years we have been very active to support a very large number of both Dutch and Belgian skydivers, including some currently participating in the upcoming FAI event. In this light for us it is therefore extremely disappointing to learn that much effort is being invested to prevent us from participating at the World Cup 2015, and also this close before the event where the entire competitive skydiving community has been very much aware of our participation. At no point during all this time we were contacted to discuss or acquire clarification.

In recent days, and just prior to the upcoming event, our team's integrity, as well as that of the entire Belgian delegation, the Belgian NAC and parachuting federation, has actively been questioned. To date, we are still convinced that the Belgian FAI licenses have been correctly issued in accordance with the applicable FAI rules. However, it has now come this far that we are actively being warned (read : blackmailed) by the Dutch parachuting association of far reaching consequences towards the entire Belgian delegation and federation. To our disappointment, we now find ourselves in a hostile environment, where we are wondering how unique our situation is historically.

Even though we train to compete at the highest level, our most important team goal is to have fun, doing what we love to do so much. A very important part of that fun is to spend time and compete with other (international) teams, which we consider friends and have known for several years. In no way it has ever been our intention to antagonize other competitors, individuals or organizations, nor do we want to create, or be in, a hostile environment or even start a discussion.

Due to recent events, the "fun-factor" is completely gone for us and we no longer feel welcome to show our skydiving skills at your event. Therefore, and in order to avoid the Belgian delegation, parachuting federation and NAC to be dragged in this "witch-hunt", we enormously regret to have chosen to withdraw team Thunder ISR from the competition. We are also part of the Belgian 8-way FS team "Thund8rBirds" and as a consequence this team will not compete either.

We wish our competitor friends a great competition and we're looking forward to meet them at other competitions with a more open and constructive character. Please forgive us, considering the circumstances, for not physically being present at the event despite being relatively close to home to cheer and support the competitors.

Go Belgium !!

Sincerely, Team Thunder ISR

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