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NMP PCH HayaBusa's 8-way team, with ISR FireFlash as the second half of the lineup, made Round 3 with a slightly different lineup. Sven Ibens was not available on Friday, and HayaBusa's former inside center Luc Verstrepen filled the slot.
He was in the air only in 8-way so far, as the 4-way teams have not added a lot of scoring numbers to the leaderboard.
The 8-way competition is in a very unusual situation. There is nothing surprising with the leader, and Russia's Tanay team was also expected in 2nd place. However, it is extremely unusual to see a French national 8-way team not in a medal position.
In fact, it has never happened in the modern history of Formation Skydiving competition since 1985 that France has not won an 8-way medal at a world cup or a world meet. The Belgian addition to the top spots on the 8-way leaderboard has created a difficult situation for the French 8-way powerhouse.
FAI World Cup 2017
|3||Fly-In Machine 44||BE||19||20||-||-||-||-||-||-||-||-||-||39||19.5|
|5||Project: Ride the Dragon||UK||6||9||-||-||-||-||-||-||-||-||-||15||7.5|
Martial Ferre explained that the support for a French national 8-way team has subsided, and the results of the decreased investment is visible. The vast 8-way experiences in the Saarlouis lineup are not enough so far to fend off the Belgian challenge. France had only little indoor and outdoor training before traveling to Germany, while the Fly-In Machine 44 was better prepared with the new and highly talented lineup.
The colorful lineup of three different French 8-way generations will not have the opportunity to warm up and pick up the pace in the coming rounds. The current standings could be the final ones, and the French 8-way team would leave Saarlouis empty-handed...