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The German 8-way team will still post even more current scores at the national championships at the end of August before traveling to Australia. This time, Airbus has to finish only with a 12.5 average to qualify for next year's international events, and this benchmark is not even a challenge any longer after the 13.8 last weekend.
The new NSL-TV videos feature the ten qualification rounds and a special jump for Linda Koeb, who made her 1000th skydive during the last training on Friday before the qualification. Team videographer Erik Lorenz said that she only was not caked because the team was still in the middle of the training. The video also shows the live competition draw with FAI Judge Karla Cole and coach Marco Arrigo in a quite casual atmosphere.
The 8-way transition from Germany to Australia comes also with the fact that the Australian national 8-way team JYR8 are preparing themselves in the meantime for the visit of the other best 8-way teams in the world, and Germany was one of the closest opponents at the last confrontation, the FAI Mondial 2016 at Skydive Chicago.
FAI Mondial 2016
At the time of the last world meet, the 8-way teams did not even know that Australia would host this year's event. The Australian skydiving federation had presented a bid to the FAI/IPC, and Rob Libeau, National Development Manager of the Australian Parachute Federation, was at Skydive Chicago as a visitor and observer.
The Australian 8-way team JYR8 became the home team when Gold Coast was chosen as the host for this year's event. JYR8 is a combination of some of the most experienced Formation Skydiving competitors in Australia, and Airbus München and MicroClim8 both could face more opposition this year compared to the FAI Mondial 2016.
In fact, the eight team members together have accumulated competition experience from more than 25 world meets, with several members competing at their 6th world meet this year.
Russell Blackman competed with the Next Gen 8-way team in Dubai 2012 and in Prostejov 2014, then with Innuendo in 2016. Ann Marie Jarzebowski competed for Sweden in 4-way Women in 1999 and 2001 and 15 years later for Australia in the same event at the FAI Mondial 2016. She will be doing double duties this year as a member of Australia's team in 4-way Women.
Tanya Cale was in Australia's 4-way Women lineup in 2008 and 2012. She has different double duties than Ann Marie Jarzebowski this year, as she was selected for replacing 4-way Open Class team Rotor Out's Steph Bensley who stepped aside after this year's national championship.
Andrew Barker competed in 8-way with Next Gen and Russell Blackman in 2008, and Pete Anderson on camera will have his first world meet experience after 28 years in the sport.
FAI World Meet 1999
The 2018 lineup came together late in 2017 for the sole purpose of putting Australia's best effort into representing the country on home turf. Last time in 1999, Australia placed 4th in 8-way with a 14.7 average, which is still standing as the highest result in Australian 8-way history. There is no doubt that the 14.7 average of 1999 is in the back of this lineup's mind, and the 4th place is in reach again this year.
JYR8 has scheduled eight to nine more hours of indoor training and 150 training jumps leading up to the world meet, and they will all be under the direct supervision of Craig Girard, who is also coaching the Russian 8-way team from Tanay. There is no doubt that the 12.5 average of 2016 will be left far behind. The only question is how close JYR8 will get to the standing national 8-way record average of 1999. JYR8 members Rob Thompson and Richard Strickland own the record and will try to break it 19 years later...