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Did You Know...

... that Arizona Airspeed gets faster with slower sequences?

Airspeed Odyssey lineup in 2007 and 2008
posted Jul 23rd, 2018 - Arizona Airspeed's team captain Niklas Hemlin mentioned in the aftermath of the Shamrock Showdown 2018 and the Paraclete XP Summer Classic 2018 that he was happy with the team performance for the slowest sequences at the two outdoor meets.

There is no doubt that the fastest sequences can make the bigger difference at a tight competition and create serious gaps between competing teams. The slowest rounds, which are usually 3-block sequences, still have an important meaning, as they indicate the basic team speed and the quality of the technical skills of a team.

The NSL News has evaluated the lowest scores of the top teams several times in the past, and Niklas Hemlin's recent remarks bring back the interesting topic.

The scores for the slowest sequences became a topic first time on 3 September 2009 after Arizona Airspeed's Odyssey 2008 world champion lineup had posted only 20-pointers and higher at a few meets in 2007 and 2008. The NSL News had to follow up with a correction a few days later. DeLand Majik was actually the first team mastering a 10-round meet with only 20-pointers and higher.

Paraclete XP Summer Classic 2018
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 Total Avg
Rank AAA Class F,M,C,10 14,P,A,15 19,11,9 E,B,22,7 2,K,G,12 3,O,1 4,17,J Q,13,D,6 N,L,8,18 16,21,20 Total Avg
1 Arizona Airspeed 35    25 -1 24    27 -2 25    23 -1 25 -1 26    23    21     254 25.4
Shamrock Showdown 2018
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 Total Avg
Rank AAA Class B,J,17,20 M,10,O,3 Q,22,2 A,D,P,F,16 N,12,14 15,9,C K,4,G,E 21,1,13 7,6,11 H,5,19 Total Avg
1 Arizona Airspeed 28 -1 26    24    34 -1 21    29 -2 31    20 -1 23    28     264 26.4
USPA Nationals 2017
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 Total Avg
Rank AAA Class O,4,9 G,21,A,H N,D,J,14 L,16,12 K,19,6 E,2,10 P,11,15 17,3,22 F,7,1 Q,5,M,20 Total Avg
1 Arizona Airspeed 27    32    29    22    24    22    21 -1 23    29    29    258 25.8
Paraclete XP Summer Classic 2017
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 Total Avg
Rank AAA Class K,20,17 8,7,11 P,G,14,N H,C,9,15 J,F,3,5 Q,E,M,13 2,21,L 6,12,B 22,O,10 A,1,19 Total Avg
1 Arizona Airspeed 24   21   27   33   33   33   21   23   19   24   258 25.8
Shamrock Showdown 2017
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 Total Avg
Rank AAA Class 4,E,P,12 20,5,L J,6,13 N,7,K,C 15,1,F G,B,18,3 8,11,Q H,22,19 14,2,16 M,D,21,O Total Avg
1 Arizona Airspeed 23    22 -2 25    34 -1 22    23    21    20    18    31    239 23.9
First outdoor meet: Arizona Airspeed's current lineup at the Shamrock Showdown 2017
Niklas Hemlin did mention the lowest scores for the slowest sequences related to the earlier NSL News updates and evaluations. His own team's performance level is as much defined by these numbers as the highest-scoring teams in the world at any time.

The current Airspeed lineup had started with an 18-pointer at their first outdoor meet, the Shamrock Showdown 2017. The 23.9 average in DeLand was significantly lower compared to the previous lineup's 26.5 average at the last meet with outside center Thomas Hughes, the USPA Nationals 2016.

However, the 26.5 average in Eloy was boosted by a Super Sequence in Round 7 (K,B,Q,P,C - 47 points) while the Airspeed scorecard also included a 16-pointer in Round 8 (18,10,11) and an 18-pointer in Round 9 (13,21,4). The first 10-round performance of the new Airspeed lineup actually held up quite well, with only one 18-pointer in Round 9 (14,2,16) at the Shamrock Showdown 2017.

Airspeed's second outdoor meet last year at the Paraclete XP Summer Classic in June had a 19-pointer in Round 9 (22,O,10) as the lowest score and included a 21-pointer for a 3-block sequence in Round 2 (8,7,11). The 2017 progression was obvious and confirmed at the USPA Nationals with a 21-pointer as the lowest score in Round 7 (P,11,15).

Only 21+ at the Paraclete XP Summer Classic 2018
The 2018 world meet season began with a 20-pointer in Round 8 (21,1,13) at the Shamrock Showdown in March, this time for a challenging 3-block sequence. The two previously posted lowest Airspeed scores each had a random formation in the 5-point sequences (22,O,10 - P,11,15).

Airspeed was also up at the next meet compared to the 2017 season. The 19-pointer in Round 9 had been the lowest score at the Paraclete XP Summer Classic 2017, and the 21-pointer in Round 10 (16,21,20) was the bottom level this June.

There is another interesting aspect of Arizona Airspeed's consistent progression. All of the five 10-round draws that the new lineup has seen at outdoor meets in 2017 and 2018 had the slowest sequences in the second half of the competition, the earliest time in Round 7 at the USPA Nationals 2017. The fastest sequences were all drawn in earlier rounds.

The current Airspeed lineup also has not seen a Super Sequence at an outdoor competition yet, and the 35-pointer in Round 1 (F,M,C,10) at Paraclete is the highest score so far. Niklas Hemlin mentioned earlier that the NMP PCH HayaBusa world champions still have an advantage with the faster sequences, and his team is now working on the same progression in the speedy area of the dive pool...

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