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Did You Know...

... that Savolo will miss the FAI World Meet 2018?

Savolo at the FAI World Meet 2014 in Prostejov
posted Aug 26th, 2018 - South Africa joined the international 4-way community at the FAI World Meet 1991, after missing the first three events with the new and current format, and made it quickly to the world's top level. It took only six years until DeLand Equanimity won FAI bronze medals for South Africa in 1997, with Gary Smith and Solly Williams in the lineup.

Colin Rothman then transitioned the South African national 4-way teams of the next decade with different lineups and team names to the Voodoo era and competed at the world meets until the FAI Mondial 2012 in Dubai. Voodoo continued in Great Britain after the last world meet for South Africa, and Savolo represented the country in 2014 and 2016.

Savolo was planning to compete again for South Africa this year in Australia after winning the national outdoor championships at the beginning of the 2018 season. in fact, Savolo was already registered for this year's world meet when some problems came up, and things did not work out as planned.

Eventually, Savolo will have to skip this year's world meet and possibly resume the international representation at the next world meet in Tanay, Russia, in 2020.

4-way teams from South Africa at FAI World Meets between 1985 and 2016
Savolo at the FAI World Meet 2016 in Ottawa
Savolo member Debbie Lamsley, who was in the South African lineup at the FAI Mondial 2016, had joined NFTO for the next two years, the British national team in 4-way Open, who also have former Voodoo member Vana Parker in the lineup. The NSL News reported the personnel change on 23 February 2017.

The recent story on 23 July 2018 then broke the news that Debbie Lamsley had left NFTO and Sian Stokes took the open slot.

Savolo's original members Amy Kirtland and Alex Jordaan had already "borrowed" Paul Marcellin and Colin Rothman from Jazz Republic to win the national championships this year, and Andre Van Heerden was supposed to be back in the lineup for the world meet in Australia.

He and Alex Jordaan live in the United States, and Andre Van Heerden has been training and competing with Spaceland Lite, as the NSL News reported on 14 March 2017. Alex Jordaan has his own additional team projects and is currently also a member of SCZ ZEUS.

FAI Mondial 2016
Rank4-way Open12,A,1618,15,O1,F,E,C17,B,1410,2,2021,11,GJ,5,19L,M,K,7D,8,43,13,QTotalAvg
1NMP PCH HayaBusaBE2425352619222739232226226.2
2Arizona AirspeedUS2123312618222740232325425.4
4Black CatRU2220302417212433211923123.1
5Qatar TigersQA2120302417202336171822622.6
7Satori XLUK1819272416182230181821021.0
10Final FireAT1615251712161829171317817.8
12Rotor OutAU1616241413161822141316616.6

Debbie Lamsley with NFTO in 2017
When Debbie Lamsley became available this summer after leaving NFTO, Andre Van Heerden offered her and Savolo his South African slot in Australia, as he would have a very busy schedule with both teams.

Savolo discussed the situation and welcomed Debbie Lamsley back to the team. She was excited that she would still compete in Australia, even though it would not be for medals in 4-way Women with NFTO.

The problems came up when Savolo presented the new lineup to the South African Sports Skydivers Association. Based on the national rules and regulations, a team is permitted to change one member, and Debbie Lamsley was still eligible since she has not represented Great Britain yet in an FAI/IPC Category 1 event after the FAI Mondial 2016.

However, the South African federation subsequently notified Savolo that Debbie Lamsley was still not eligible due to another part in the South African rules and regulations: "Teams/Individuals must be fully paid up PASA (and SSA) members before the close of Official Registration for the National Championship in question." She had not paid her PASA membership fees at the time of the national championships and is not eligible to represent South Africa at a world championship.

South African Nationals 2018
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 Total Avg
Rank AAA Class A,N,21,D 5,13,L 18,4,14 10,15,6 2,12,11 9,3,17 P,1,K,M 20,J,7 16,19,F O,C,Q,22 Total Avg
1 Savolo 18 16 14 11 11 15 22 16 16 16 155 15.5
2 Meraki 18 13 9 11 9 14 17 10 15 16 132 13.2
3 CIAD 10 8 7 6 7 9 11 9 9 11 87 8.7
Andre Van Heerden with Spaceland Lite at the USPA Nationals 2017
Savolo still tried to get Andre Van Heerden back in the lineup for Australia. He gave it some thoughts, but it was eventually too late for him to change plans and schedule for the remainder of the year.

Savolo member Alex Jordaan said that his team had run out of viable options: "We had planned a very short training season with a single camp in Portugal after the USPA Nationals, training alongside HayaBusa, and then a few days training in Australia prior to the meet, which meant we could not effectively bring someone on that needed additional on-ramping time with Savolo."

Savolo was officially not eligible to compete for South Africa, and the slot in Australia was offered to and accepted by Meraki, who had placed 2nd at the national championships. Meraki consists of two married couples, including Bailey Edmunds who competed with Savolo at the FAI Mondial 2016.

Savolo plan to compete again with Debbie Lamsley at the national championship next year and possibly in 2020, as well. The FAI World Meet 2020 in Tanay, Russia, could become a comeback for Savolo at a world meet...

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