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Did You Know...

... that the United Kingdom Skydiving League was founded in 2004?

posted Jun 11th, 2018 - The United Kingdom Skydiving League (UKSL) held its second outdoor meet of the year last weekend. The first one in May in Dunkeswell had attracted 19 teams, including the national team in 4-way Women, NFTO.

The UKSL was launched as a part of the European Skydiving League, which joined forces with the National Skydiving League with draw and rules synchronization in 2003.

The first UKSL meets were held in 2004, and Optic became the first team to compete for the British delegation at the ESL Championship 2004.

Andrew Scott, member of the British national 8-way team Connextion, was the British Parachute Association's (BPA) representative for Formation Skydiving competition by then. He was interested in a closer cooperation with the NSL and the European Skydiving League and prepared the synchronization of the dive pools and schedules for the 2005 season.

The British "Grand Prix" event series of 4-way and 8-way competitions were already around even earlier and go back to the 2003 season. The NSL News mentioned the Grand Prix for the first time with a story on 15 July 2004, which explained the format of the events and the competition classes.

ESL Championship 2004

NSL News in April 2004

"The upcoming competition weekend brings the first international meet of the 2004 season. The European Skydiving League launches the new season with events at three different locations.

Skydiving centers in Belgium, Austria and Spain are hosting the 4-way competitions in Europe, while the Georgia Skydiving League and the Colorado Skydiving League open their 2004 competition season at the same time.

This year, the competition draw will be synchronized between the NSL leagues and Europe from the very beginning of the season. Several meets of the 2003 season had already applied the same AAA Class competition draw across the USA and the Atlantic Ocean.

NSL and the European Skydiving League used the winter break to synchronize the dive pool for the A Class and the Rookie Class, as well. Only the AA Class has not been adopted by the European Skydiving League at this point. However, the three classes will use exactly the same competition draw and create an international atmosphere at the events.

17 teams have already signed up for the AAA Class competition at the three locations in Europe, including world class teams as the ESL Champion 2003, Hayabusa from Belgium, and Empuriabrava Red Bull, the Spanish national 4-way team. 11 other teams will compete in the A Class.

This number seems to confirm already that the new class for the ESL will have its place in the European competition format. One team has signed up for the Rookie Class at this point. ESL organizer Willy Boykens will try to post as many scores as he can collect throughout the meet weekend. The NSL News will follow up with scores and meet reports."

European Skydiving League scores in 2004
NMP PCH HayaBusa lineup in 2004
The NSL News followed up with the first scores a few days later, which included NMP PCH HayaBusa on the very top of the leaderboard.

"Some results of last weekend's competitions are already available. Weather was a factor in parts of Europe and also in the USA. The Belgium Skydiving League had a flawless event in Schaffen where a total of eleven teams completed eight rounds. Austria had two events scheduled, the one in Wiener Neustadt was weathered out, and seven teams completed four rounds in Hohenems.

High winds interfered in Empuriabrava, Spain, where two teams still completed six rounds. Weather was also in the way for a successful competition in Colorado. Information from Georgia has not been available at this point.

The Belgian ESL 2003 champion, Hayabusa, came out on top of the AAA Class competition and the currently available scores with a 16.8 meet average."

The NSL News found the HayaBusa story in the archives too and will follow up with it soon while waiting for more scores from Europe and last weekend's UKSL meet in Langar...

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