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The NSL Calendar of Events is not comprehensive, and there have probably been additional indoor or outdoor meets this year, which are not in the NSL records. However, the existing data is showing that three of the 19 listed events were outdoor competitions, including the Shamrock Showdown, while South Africa and Australia held their national outdoor championships during their summer season on the other side of the planet.
However, the NSL News was not done with the Shamrock Showdown, while the other major indoor events required full attention and live coverage from the competition sites. The annual outdoor competition attracted teams from four different nations to DeLand this year, and half of them came from different areas in the Unites States.
Shamrock Showdown 2018
|2||SDC Rhythm XP||US||27||23||23||33(-1)||18||27||29||20||23||25||248(-1)||24.8|
|4||Aerodyne Weembi Girls||FR||26(-1)||23||21(-1)||33(-1)||15(-2)||26||27||19||22||23(-1)||235(-6)||23.5|
It was not the first time for Ben Liston and Jim Rees that they attended a meet together with the international 4-way top competitors. Both original Mass Defiance members competed together in Saarlouis, Germany, last year where the FAI World Cup 2017 took place, even though they regularly do different things at the event sites.
Jim Rees has another 4-way job as an FAI event judge, and he had to skip the USPA Nationals 2017 as a 4-way competitor since he was the Chief Judge for USPA in Perris. Defiance competed with James "Bu" Klinge and Nick Grillet in the lineup, who are both Defiance regulars.
Jim Rees connected with two judging colleagues in DeLand, who are both active 4-way competitors, as well. Claire King and Dirk Venter managed their InTime scoring system at the Shamrock Showdown before they competed with Jazz Republic at the World Challenge 2018. Jim Rees was under their scrutiny this time.
Claire King and Dirk Venter did not spare judge Jim Rees and his team from required point deductions for the highest number of infringements of all teams in DeLand. It is not unusual at all that pickup teams need time to get used to each other, and FL Defiance had only a few training jumps on Thursday before they jumped together at a competition for the first time.
It was not a surprise that the first six rounds of the competition were loaded with point deductions (8 of 10) for FL Defiance, as the lineup was still learning to know each other in freefall competition. The point deductions were painful, of course, while they also kept the meet average at a lower level at that time.
The compensation for the penalty pain came with $400 cash in the Skins Game, which is traditionally a part of the Shamrock Showdown. The reward for the cleaner performance on Saturday did not come instantly, as the French national team in 4-way Open, Aerodyne Realfly, won the second $200 skin for Round 7 in the morning of the second meet day. Then it was time for FL Defiance in Round 8 and Round 9. Judges Claire King and Dirk Venter could find only two FL Defiance infringements in the four rounds of the second day. It is unknown whether Jim Rees may have bought the round of drinks that he shared with his fellow judges after the award ceremony...