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The national 8-way team was in the race for medals in 1975 (4th) and won FAI silver medals in Australia 1977, one single point behind the U.S. team.
Then the competition for world meet medals came to an end and has never returned for Germany yet. The EADS 2008 linep came closest to medal contention with a 4th place (18.0 - 16.3) behind eX3MO's 8-way team in Maubeuge, France.
With a few and rare exceptions, the German 8-way teams have consisted of the national 4-way lineup and other experienced 4-way and 8-way competitors who filled the other four open slots. Most of the times, 8-way training and competition had second priority behind the plans of the national 4-way teams.
The last time that Germany had a separate 8-way lineup without members of the national 4-way team was on home turf in Gera 2006. No German 8-way teams competed in Menzelinsk 2010 and Prostejov 2014.
FAI Mondial 2016
The 2016 team at the FAI Mondial consisted of the five Airbus members (Olaf Biedermann, Thomas Mack, Goran Meyer, Christian Schafer, Andreas Troegele on camera). Steffen Schiedeck, Uli Sehrbrock, Thomas Spielvogel and Kai Wolf completed the 8-way lineup. The logistics for the double duties were very challenging at Skydive Chicago, and the teams with members in both events were under a lot of pressure.
Steffen Schiedeck and Thomas Spielvogel were back to fill open 8-way slots, together with former Airbus 4-way members Olaf Biedermann and Christian Schafer. Max Thiele stepped in for his brother Jorn.
It is unlikely that Airbus is motivated to continue with double duties in 4-way and 8-way at the FAI World Meet 2018 in Australia, while a new and separate 8-way team tries to fill the void and compete for Germany in October this year.
The new 8-way lineup is a mixture of experience and talent, and the training for the 2018 outdoor season has begun with an indoor camp in one of the Berlin wind tunnels that has a 16-foot flying chamber.
Former Airbus and EADS 8-way members Steffen Schiedek, Thomas Spielvogel and Uli Sehrbrock are bringing the 8-way experience into the team project, together with Max Thiele and Olaf Biedermann who will be sharing one slot. Video veteran Erik Lorenz will be filming the team.
8-way training and competition will have priority for the new 8-way team, and there is a good reason. There is still a qualification requirement that the German skydiving federation has set for the 8-way team before the tickets to Australia will be purchased. The new team has to beat the 13.0 average benchmark early enough this year.
That's a challenging requirement, as the highly experienced German 8-way lineup at the Mondial 2016 finished with a 13.6 average and followed up last year with 13.7 at the national championships.
The new team still hopes that the German federation will go back to the 12.5 qualification average that was required in 2017. And then the whole 8-way world will hope that the team can make it, so Germany has an 8-way team in Australia, where MicroClim8 will be waiting for the next exciting competition behind the medal rankings...