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The national championships are history, and all three teams are beginning with their preparations for the 2018 season. SDC Rhythm XP continue with the same lineup and will try again to take over the U.S. top position next year, while Airspeed and HayaBusa continue with their ongoing battle at the next world meet.
This battle has pitched both teams against each other since 2007, even though the Airspeed and HayaBusa team franchises were both launched earlier. Airspeed competed for the U.S.A. for the first time at a world meet in 1995, HayaBusa in 2004. They still did not meet each other before the FAI World Championship of Formation Skydiving 2008 in Maubeuge, France.
HayaBusa competed for Belgium in Croatia 2004 and Germany 2006, when Airspeed was not the U.S. national 4-way team. DeLand Majik won the gold medals in 2004 and DeLand Fire in 2006. HayaBusa and Airspeed then launched the 2007 season with new lineups before competing for their countries in 2008. Airspeed Odyssey won the FAI gold medals in Maubeuge, while HayaBusa's 2008 lineup with inside center Luc Verstrepen won the first set of FAI world meet medals for Belgium with a 3rd place.
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|
Airspeed had 11 different members between 2007 and 2017, HayaBusa only seven, disregarding the camera positions. The Belgian personnel changes were always only one new member with a HayaBusa 3-way, while only Mark Kirkby continued after winning the silver medals in Menzelinsk 2010. Three new Airspeed members (Thomas Hughes, Josh Hall, Niklas Hemlin) then won the gold medals in Dubai 2012.
It was again a 2-2 change for Airspeed in 2013, and another personnel change came two years later when Niklas Hemlin came back to take Mark Kirkby's slot. The 2015 lineup had only one year together before Mikhail Markine replaced Chris Farina in 2016.
Several slot switches happened in the time period between 2013 and 2016, and the 2017 lineup came together with a complete makeover and another new team member, Ari Perelman.
HayaBusa had only one slot scramble in the history of the team. Brothers David and Andy Grauwels gave up their family front piece at the end of the 2008 season after the first encounter with Arizona Airspeed at a world meet. David Grauwels switched from outside to inside center, and his brother Andy moved from point to outside center. They have done the center work together ever since, with different piece partners though.
Dennis Praet became the new point at the end of 2010, and Jeroen Nollet took the tail slot from Roy Janssen after the first Belgian gold medals in Prostejov 2014. The second set of gold medals followed in Ottawa last year, and the current lineup will try to defend them next year in Australia with the current lineup in its 4th year.
It will be the second year for Airspeed with the same lineup. In fact, Niklas Hemlin mentioned in the recent NSL Live Talk that the team has plans until 2020. Three Airspeed lineups have staid together for four years or longer in the team history. Each of them has won FAI gold medals, the first one twice. Only one 2-year lineup won gold, and only Niklas Hemlin was on Arizona Airspeed in Dubai 2012...