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The 2nd place in 8-way with an 18.5 average was probably even more impressive than the 1st place in 4-way. HayaBusa was expected to outscore the two best U.S. 4-way teams, and the 12-point difference after the ten rounds in Perris was convincing enough to confirm the top spot in the world at this point in time.
The USPA Nationals 2017 was also another test event for HayaBusa. The NSL News mentioned earlier that the Belgians were not convinced whether they would take on double duties in 4-way and 8-way at the next World Championship of Formation Skydiving in Australia 2018 or not.
NMP PCH HayaBusa and ISR FireFlash had launched their Fly-In Machine 44 project this year, and the 8-way lineup attended three meets, including the FAI World Cup 2017, where 4-way and 8-way both took place at the same time and parallel with each other.
USPA Nationals 2017
|1||NMP PCH HayaBusa||BE||31||33||28||23||25||23||23||22||31||31||270||27.0|
|3||SDC Rhythm XP||US||29||31||28||23||22||20||23||19||28||29||252||25.2|
USPA Nationals 2017
|2||Fly-In Machine 44||BE||23||16||17||16||15||21||16||20||26||15||185||18.5|
HayaBusa had won the FAI gold medals in Saarlouis, and the Fly-In Machine 44 did very well at the first outdoor competition with bronze medals for Belgium behind Golden Knights and Tanay. However, the evaluation of the HayaBusa situation after both events still came to the result that the 8-way project will be put to a rest for a year.
Belgium's national 4-way team and FAI world meet gold medalists of 2014 and 2016 first experienced the impressive progression and potential of the French national team, RealFly-Sion, in Saarlouis and then measured themselves up with the two best U.S. teams in Perris. The expected 4-way pressure coming from France and now Arizona Airspeed was probably the main factor for the Belgian decision.
NMP PCH HayaBusa's third consecutive FAI 4-way gold medals could be jeopardized with the double duties, and the potential medal position in 8-way would not compensate for a loss of the unique achievement in 4-way.
FAI Indoor World Meet 2015
|7||Dubai Asaar Black||AE||22||23||20||26||21||31||21||21||21||-||206||22.9|
|17||HF Junior Zeleny||CZ||11||10||7||11||6||12||7||7||-||-||71||8.9|
|18||HF Junior Zluti||CZ||10||8||6||9||7||9||2||9||-||-||60||7.5|
The Belgians still have to deal with enough pressure, not only from France and the U.S.A. in 4-way. Indoor competition has officially become an FAI sanctioned event, and there are teams who focus mainly, or even exclusively, on wind tunnel meets.
HayaBusa is the reigning indoor world champion, as well, after winning the first event of this kind at the Hurricane Factory in Prague 2015. The NSL News has extensively covered the toughest challenger in this event, the Weembi High Rollers, with three French 4-way and 8-way world champions in the lineup and former HayaBusa member Roy Janssen.
Weembi has pushed HayaBusa to the limits every time the two teams have met this year, and the Belgians got away so far, last time with the smallest possible margin of a single point at the World Challenge 2017. The next showdown is coming up end of next week at the FAI Indoor World Meet 2017 in Montreal, and Airspeed is joining the battle of the two indoor giants. Weembi has focused only on indoor competition., whileHayaBusa had three weeks to switch from outdoor to indoor competition after the trips to Saarlouis and Perris. The NSL News will cover the event live from Montreal.