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Did You Know...

... that France might miss a world meet in 8-way for the first time in history?

False news: French 8-way training in DeLand
posted Mar 20th, 2018 - The NSL News mentioned in a preview of the Shamrock Showdown 2018 on 9 March 2018 that the two French 4-way teams were practicing 8-way during their training camp in DeLand before the competition.

Aerodyne Realfly and Aerodyne Weembi Girls had and have no intention to invest training efforts into 8-way competition. The NSL News met both teams at the mockup and asked them to pretend working on an 8-way exit. It was false news and meant to be a joke.

However, the 8-way situation in France is really not very promising, which initiated the false NSL News. There are no plans to send a team to the FAI World Meet 2018 in Australia at this point in time, which is extremely unusual. Both 4-way teams are gold medal contenders this year, while the French delegation may depart Gold Coast without an 8-way medal.

Aerodyne Weembi Girls don't even seem to have any serious competition in 4-way Women, and the FAI gold medals are almost guaranteed, while the French 4-way Open teams has a lot of work ahead to catch up with NMP PCH HayaBusa and Arizona Airspeed. However, there will most likely be French medals in these two 4-way Formation Skydiving competition events.

Shamrock Showdown 2018
RankAAA ClassB,J,17,20M,10,O,3Q,22,2A,D,P,F,16N,12,1415,9,CK,4,G,E21,1,137,6,11H,5,19TotalAvg
1Arizona AirspeedUS 28(-1) 26 24 34(-1) 21 29(-2) 31 20(-1) 23 28264(-5)26.4
2SDC Rhythm XPUS 27 23 23 33(-1) 18 27 29 20 23 25248(-1)24.8
3Aerodyne RealflyFR 27 24(-1) 21(-1) 28(-4) 17 28 31(-1) 19 23 27245(-7)24.5
4Aerodyne Weembi GirlsFR 26(-1) 23 21(-1) 33(-1) 15(-2) 26 27 19 22 23(-1)235(-6)23.5
5Qatar TigersQA 25 23 22 29(-2) 17 25 26(-2) 18 21 23229(-4)22.9
6FL DefianceUS 16 14(-1) 8(-4) 15(-3) 12 16 16(-1) 13 15(-1) 15140(-10)14.0
7SCZ ZEUSUS 12 12(-2) 12 12(-1) 9(-1) 12 13 11 11 10(-1)114(-5)11.4
8Adventure FlyersPY 11 11 9 14 9 11 10(-1) 6(-1) 9 10100(-2)10.0

French gold medal team mates in 2006 - 2010
There are only two nations who have never missed a set of 8-way medals at an FAI World Championship of Formation Skydiving: United States and France. Missing this year's world meet would be the first time that the French delegation does not compete in 8-way since 1985.

France has collected three sets of gold medals in 2006, 2008 and 2010. Only the U.S. delegation has collected more gold medals. France has eight sets of silver medals in the collection, which were always for 2nd places behind the U.S. teams, either Golden Knights or Arizona Airspeed.

Six times, French 8-way teams had to settle for the bronze position, and Russia collected all other 8-way medals, with one exception in 2008 when Italy finished 3rd.

The absence of a French 8-way team would be an extremely unusual situation and bring the Qatar Falcons into the position of the top contender for bronze medals, while only Russia and United States were in the game for the top spot in Australia.

French 8-way history since 1985
Friendly coaching rivalry: Mathieu Bernier - Jeremie Rollett
France has more than enough potential to field a medal contending lineup at any time. In fact, it would not be the first time that the French delegation would put together more or less a pickup team with very little training.

There have been earlier years when France was mostly focused on 4-way competition and gave 8-way lower priority. However, the wealth of 8-way experiences and skills has always been enough to fend off any other new potential medal contenders, and the French 8-way teams would still win medals for their delegation.

It is still early in the world meet year of 2018, and the French delegation has enough time to put together a strong lineup.

National coach Mathieu Bernier has been a part of the French 8-way history since 2006 and has won his own three gold medals in this event. He and his 4-way and 8-way team mate in the French gold medal era (2006 - 2010) had the opportunity to discuss the current situation in DeLand, where Jeremie Rollett was coaching the Qatar Tigers. They had their own little coaching rivalry, and Mathieu Bernier won - in 4-way...

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