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Did You Know...

... that Vladimir Pavlenko competed the first time for Black Cat last year?

First Black Cat lineup at the Malevsky Cup 2005
posted Jan 11th, 2018 - Black Cat could not be rewarded with the unofficial title of the Ultimate Formation Skydiving Competition Team of the Year, as the NSL News reported on 29 December 2017. NMP PCH HayaBusa claimed this special honor, as well. It still does not take away any of the impressive achievements that the Russian 4-way and 8-way competitors put together during the 2017 season.

Also, it is probably acceptable to end up only behind the reigning indoor and outdoor world champions from Belgium in the most challenging and accomplishing part of the world rankings.

The Black Cat members could have ended up in the top position if the rankings considered the complete history of the teams and competitors, not only the 2017 season. Four of the five Black Cat members have their own FAI gold medals in their collections, which they won in 8-way long ago. They have also won FAI bronze medals in 4-way.

The current Black Cat 4-way lineup consists of eight active members, which is also quite unusual for a world class 4-way team. Evgeny Stashchenko, Vasily Korotkov and Alexander Kvochur are the original members who founded the team together with Alexey Minaev and Vadim Niyazov on camera in 2005.

Malevsky Cup 2005
RankAAA Class10,C,112,M,20K,A,3,F14,7,O22,19,PD,15,G,8L,18,J,131,H,N,165,12,6E,9,Q,17TotalAvg
1DeLand FireUS1920262218202022173221621.6
2Airspeed OdysseyUS1919222317201919182820420.4
3Sinapsi PDIT1719242117192019172920220.2
3Airspeed VelocityUS1920262117182016172820220.2
6Black CatRU1819232018161919182519519.5
7Spa HayabusaBE1618271918181919162419419.4
9SkyLight BarkliRU1419202116181718162418318.3
10Kolomna QuikbluRU1418261814161718152418018.0
12Punky FishNL1516191613161519112416416.4
134Gatos Empuria Red BullES1415201714171415142316316.3
14X-Ray RemscheidDE1315171510141314132014414.4
17Sunny HeavenRU1116141613141411151213613.6
23Virton SkyUA691188508--556.9

Evgeny Stashchenko, Vasily Korotkov and Alexey Minaev had just won FAI 4-way bronze medals with the Sky Panthers and sponsor Michail Kuznetsov in the lineup in Croatia 2004.

4-way bronze medals with Sky Panthers in Croatia 2004
Michail Kuznetsov and co-sponsor Leonid Kazinets then decided to continue together under the Barkli brand and with a different lineup (Oleg Shalamikhin, Sergej Shenin, Vladimir Pavlenko). That's when Evgeny Stashchenko, Vasily Korotkov and Alexey Minaev decided to start their own team project, Black Cat.

Valentin Ilin joined Black Cat in 2014, together with team sponsor Valeriy Gredasov, who he trained and competed with before in Sunny Wind. Valery Pripilyak was a Black Cat player sponsor in 2011. Alexander Golovkin is a 4-way and 8-way experienced alternate who steps in whenever he is needed.

Evgeny Stashchenko, Vasily Korotkov, Alexander Kvochur and Valentin Ilin, with Vadim Niyazov on camera, are the core lineup and have brought Black Cat to the world's top level since 2014. They train and compete with alternate and sponsor Valeriy Gredasov whenever there is some time for it.

Evgeny Stashchenko and Vasily Korotkov were in the Russian 8-way lineup that won FAI gold medals in 2001, together with their Black Cat team mates Alexey Minaev and Vladimir Pavlenko. Vasily Korotkov, Alexey Minaev and Vladimir Pavlenko defended their 8-way title successfully in 2003.

Then this 8-way team split, and R.T. Evolution Pro continued in 8-way for Russia with a new lineup. That's also the time when the 8-way world champion team mates switched to 4-way and continued with two different teams, Sky Panthers and Black Cat.

Russian Indoor Nationals 2017
RankAAA ClassA,17,227,10,2O,5,151,P,124,13,19Q,21,K,3N,B,C,L,14G,18,11F,J,M,9D,20,H,8TotalAvg
1Black Cat2622302723293825592930830.8
3Bubble Struggle2219232118233121472424924.9
6No Limits1916161615182512331518518.5
8Noviy Povorot1614141511142213341416716.7

Vladimir Pavlenko trained and competed with Sky Panthers, later with Barkli, and he won 4-way bronze in 2010, with two other former 8-way team mates in the lineup, Oleg Shalamikhin and Sergej Shenin. Michail Kuznetsov was the sponsor player, and Andrey Seliverstov was filming the team.

Black Cat lineup with new members Valentin Ilin and Valeriy Gredasov in 2014
The Black Cat 2017 lineup then brought the former 8-way team mates and 4-way rivals back together. Evgeny Stashchenko hurt his knee during an early training camp and needed surgery. Alternate Alexander Golovkin stepped in for him at the first meet of the year, an indoor competition in Russia, before Vladimir Pavlenko took the open slot for the first time at the FAI World Cup 2017 in Saarlouis.

Vladimir Pavlenko had also joined the Tanay 8-way lineup in 2016, with Black Cat members Evgeny Stashchenko, Valentin Ilin, Vasily Korotkov and Alexander Kvochur in the lineup. It was no big surprise that Black Cat was asking Vladimir Pavlenko to step in when Evgeny Stashchenko had to take a break last year.

The 2017 lineup with Vladimir Pavlenko (Valentin Ilin, Vasily Korotkov, Alexander Kvochur, Vadim Niyazov on camera) was still the first time that the former 8-way team mates and Sky Panthers/Black Cat rivals were back together in the same 4-way team. It was a very successful 2017 season for Black Cat, and Vladimir Pavlenko filled Evgeny Stashchenko's slot more than adequately...

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