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Did You Know...

... that the Shamrock Showdown 2018 features an early world class outdoor field?

Comeback after five years in 2007: Airspeed Odyssey
posted Dec 6th, 2017 - It has happened only once in the history of the Shamrock Showdown that Arizona Airspeed was defeated, as the NSL News reported on 6 March 2017. It was the first Shamrock Showdown in 2002 when DeLand Majik won by three points over the reigning Airspeed Vertical 4-way world champions (John Eagle, Craig Girard, Neal Houston, Mark Kirkby, Marc Steinbaugh on camera).

Airspeed needed five years to recover before the Airspeed Odyssey lineup (Eliana Rodriguez, Craig Girard, Andy Delk, Mark Kirkby, Will Pesek on camera) made the next trip from the U.S. west coast to the east and won the Shamrock Showdown 2007 by three points over Team Fastrax. Airspeed would then win the USPA Nationals the same year and the FAI gold medals in Maubeuge 2008, after first defeating the world's top challengers at the Shamrock Showdown in March 2008.

Arizona Airspeed's different lineups have attended most of the annual Shamrock Showdown meets ever since and are still undefeated, despite several other serious challenges by the best teams in the world, including the currently reigning NMP PCH HayaBusa world champions from Belgium at the events in 2011 and 2012.

Shamrock Showdown 2012
RankAAA ClassQ,8,H,2216,19,1310,14,2E,C,20,K5,M,9A,6,F,17D,21,N,BP,O,G,J,118,4,712,15,3TotalAvg
1Arizona AirspeedUS2520183536253331232026626.6
2NMP-PCH HayabusaBE2321203334293030202126126.1
3Aerodyne AerokartFR2321193329282829232125425.4
4SDC Rhythm XPUS2117152829232727191822422.4
6Deland NorgiesNO1816152226202626181420120.1
7Black CatRU1914152127-----9619.2
10CTR OptimumBR1212122025182022131216616.6
11Carolina Turbo XPUS1711132115171920141316016.0
12Bodyflight VoluntasDK1312121519171818131214914.9
13Dubai Asaar RedAE10117131515161513912412.4
14Dubai Asaar GoldAE111171515161412121012312.3

The 5-point battle between Airspeed and HayaBusa at the Shamrock Showdown 2012 launched a new world meet season, with the Grande Finale at the FAI Mondial 2012 in Dubai and one of the most dramatic 10th round finishes in the history of the sport. Airspeed's 2012 lineup (Mark Kirkby, Josh Hall, Thomas Hughes, Niklas Hemlin, Bill Schmitz on camera) won by one single point with the 27.9 average, which is still the highest outdoor average in the history of 4-way Formation Skydiving competition.

No comeback yet: NMP PCH HayaBusa at the Shamrock Showdown 2012
Similar to the Arizona Airspeed 4-way world champions of 2001, who lost to DeLand Majik at the Shamrock Showdown 2002, NMP PCH HayaBusa has not returned to DeLand for the Shamrock Showdown for five years ever since the 2012 event, while Airspeed's winning streak after the comeback to DeLand in 2007 is still going.

There is hardly an indoor or outdoor 4-way meet that the Belgians have not won yet – except for the Shamrock Showdown.

However, HayaBusa's absence has worked out well for Airspeed and HayaBusa both. The Belgians won the world championship titles in 2014 and 2016 without competing at the Shamrock Showdown, and Arizona Airspeed has fended off all other challengers at the event, including the toughest U.S. opponent, SDC Rhythm XP, in the past years.

The Shamrock Showdown 2018 will be the next serious outdoor test for Arizona Airspeed in a world meet year. The same Rhythm lineup will even increase the domestic pressure on the U.S. team for Australia, and both French national teams in 4-way Open and 4-way Women will compete in DeLand at the end of a 75-jump training camp.

Shamrock Showdown 201812345678910TotalAvg
1Arizona AirspeedUS------------
1SDC Rhythm XPUS------------
1French Weembi GirlsFR------------
1Qatar TigersQA------------
1Adventure FlyersPY------------
Winner of the Shamrock Showdown 2012: Arizona Airspeed
RealFly-Sion had offered NMP PCH HayaBusa tough opposition at this year's FAI World Cup in Saarlouis and has the gold medals in Australia as the team's 2018 target. The first showdown with Airspeed in DeLand will provide both teams with valuable information and experiences at the beginning of the world meet season.

The French Weembi Girls are apparently not facing serious opposition in 4-way Women at the FAI World Meet 2018 and use the Shamrock Showdown opportunity to compare their performance and scoring level once again with the best 4-way Open Class teams in the world.

The Qatar Tigers have the Shamrock Showdown 2018 on their meet agenda, as well, and they will be able to check out their own potential chances for a medal position in Australia.

As the French national teams, Airbus from Germany and Adventure Flyers Paraguay are also combining their training camps from a Cessna Caravan in DeLand with the international high-quality meet at the beginning of the world meet season. The Cessna Caravan will be the jump plane in Australia, as well.

The field of teams for the Shamrock Showdown 2018 is shaping up early this time, and registration is open for any teams who would like to join the world class event for the 10-round meet.

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