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Did You Know...

... that the British A Class teams kept up well with the AA Class teams in Round 1?

4-way teams at the UKSL July meet
image by: Rob Lloyd
posted Jul 15th, 2018 - The conclusion of last weekend's British leaderboard after the July meet of the United Kingdom Skydiving League (UKSL) comes with more details of the A Class and Rookie Class competition.

The A Class competition began with an interesting round. The sequence of Round 1 (J,M,7) was the same as for the AA Class teams at Skydive Northwest in Cark. All teams in these two categories had the opportunity to compare their scores directly.

The A Class teams held up very strongly, and the combined leaderboard for Round 1 is showing the A Class winner, Cloudbusters, only one point behind the best two AA Class teams and tied with Nexus in 3rd place. A Class team Flying Fossils is in 5th place, another single point behind. Two more A Class teams share the 6th place with Alchemy.

There are only eight blocks in the A Class dive pool when teams leave the Rookie Class behind. This allows them to get familiar step by step with block techniques and piece-flying. AA Class teams have to train 16 of the 22 blocks, and they cannot give each block as much attention compared to the smaller dive pool in the A Class. This brings teams of both categories closer together whenever the sequences are identical.

UKSL 2018 - July
1 2 3 4 5 6 Total Avg
Rank A Class J,M,7 B,O,K 19,A 8,E L,G,P Q,2 Total Avg
1 Cloudbusters UKSL 13    14    8    6 -2 8 -1 10 -1 59 9.8
2 Flying Fossils UKSL 12    11    5    4    7    6    45 7.5
3 Volt4ge UKSL 10    8    7    4 -1 6    4    39 6.5
4 Rubix UKSL 6 -1 9    4    6    5 -1 7    37 6.2
5 Nebula UKSL 10    8    4 -2 6 -1 2 -3 5    35 5.8
6 4 Foot Snake UKSL 6    4 -1 0 -2 4    5 -1 4    23 3.8
There were also two identical sequences between A Class and Rookie Class teams in Round 2 and Round 5. The more experienced and better trained A Class teams are very familiar with 3-point sequences that consist only of random formations and usually don't allow Rookie Class teams to get very close.

UKSL 2018 - July
Round 1
Rank AA/A Class J,M,7
1 Manticore  AA  14   
1 RAF 100  AA  14  
3 Cloudbusters  A  13   
3 Nexus  AA  13   
5 Flying Fossils  A  12   
6 Volt4ge  A  10   
6 Nebula  A  10   
6 Alchemy  AA  10   
9 Rubix  A  6 -1
9 4 Foot Snake  A  6   
11 Vertigo  AA  0   

None of this year's AA Class teams competed in the A Class events of 2017, while Flying Fossils attended the UK Nationals last year and won the bronze medals in the Rookie Class. They have attended all three UKSL meets this year in the A Class and improved the meet averages each time. Event judge Lucy Westgarth pointed out that Flying Fossils were the only team without any point deductions.

She also gave A Class team Volt4ge special credit, the British Army Formation Skydiving Team, who have increased their meet average by one point at each UKSL meet this year and won their first set of medals at Skydive Northwest: "They have the confidence to throw some wildly difficult exits out of the door that AAA teams would struggle with."

Nebula was the only A Class team who launched the 2018 season at the World Challenge. The team won a special judges award for "best camera geeking on climb-out".

UKSL 2018 - July
1 2 3 4 5 6 Total Avg
Rank Rookie J,M,N B,O,K A,F,C E,H,D L,G,P Q,J,B Total Avg
1 Funnel the Tunnel UKSL 10    5 -1 12    8    5    6    46 7.7
2 Jersey Beans UKSL 8    6 -2 9    9    3    5    40 6.7
3 RAFSPA Poseidon UKSL 5 -2 6    8    7    5 -1 0    31 5.2
4 Sky Monkeys UKSL 9 -1 3    4    2 -1 3    3    24 4.0
5 4Gone Conclusion UKSL 3 -1 5    4    0    3    4    19 3.2
Rookie Class winner Funnel the Tunnel was the only team in this category who started at the World Challenge with a set of bronze medals. MAD Team from Poland and WeR4
from Ireland finished ahead of Funnel the Tunnel in Bedford this year.

The same lineup then turned to outdoor competition two months later and attended the UKSL meets in June and July. Lucy Westgarth said that one team member had just over 50 jumps when they won the Rookie Class competition last weekend.

Jersey Beans in 2nd place on the Rookie Class leaderboard and Enthusiatic Confibularities shared another prize awarded by the BPA judges, this one for “excellent camera work, fast downloads after landing and seeking advice on how to further improve their camera flying”.

Last and not least, Lucy Westgarth also pointed out another new team in the Rookie Class. 4gone Conclusion had scored only a total of six points at the first UKSL meet in Langar, and the new team more than tripled their total number of points a month later at Cark.

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