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The battle for the gold medals was just as exciting, even without a jump-off. It actually took place between the winner, TSC Cadence, and silver medalist SDMW X. SDC Rhevolution XP, who finished one point behind TSC Cadence in 2nd place on the AA/Intermediate Class leaderboard, is not eligible for USPA medals.
TSC Cadence and SDMW X were tied in 1st place after Round 6. The next round created a disaster for SDMW X, after six deductions and a 4-pointer on the leaderboard. The first three points did not count due to the video angle, and additional infringements later on made the damage worse.
However, SDMW X seemed to have reasons for a re-jump, as the team had ended up in a different Twin Otter than scheduled for Round 7, which had a different handle for the videographer. Meet Director Jimmy Hayhurst sent the team back up for a re-jump, and the jury later confirmed the decision.
USPA Nationals 2018
|2||SDC Rhevolution XP||13||22||11||11||15||-3||12||14||16||-1||12||11||-||137||13.7|
|7||The Mostly Asians||9||-1||17||-1||12||9||13||10||10||15||10||9||-||114||11.4|
|8||Carolina Ice XP||9||18||12||8||-1||13||9||9||15||9||11||-||113||11.3|
|10||TSC Off Cadence||9||14||10||9||13||10||7||-2||10||-1||7||-1||8||-||97||9.7|
The 4-pointer remained on the leaderboard for a while, and the teams in contention for the medal positions did not know the correct standings until the conclusion of the competition on Sunday evening.
The 9-point advantage for TSC Cadence in Round 7 before the re-jump (13 - 4) turned into two points when SDMW X replaced the 4-pointer with an 11. In the meantime, TSC Cadence had followed up with a strong statement and sole highscore for Round 8 before any new SDMW X scores were posted.
It became interesting again when TSC Cadence's next round was the weakest one of the meet, after trouble with the exit setup. The 8-pointer could have re-opened the door for SDMW X if the re-jump had produced a good score for Round 7.
TSC Cadence did not flinch though and closed the account with another sole highscore for Round 10. The new USPA Intermediate Class champions were eventually six points ahead of SDMW X and had a 1-point advantage over SDC Rhevolution XP when all scores were finally posted.
The AA/Intermediate Class competition could still not be concluded with the award ceremony, as Cali4nia Kids and Hands Free were tied in 4th place and 3rd for the USPA bronze medals. The extra round was scheduled for Monday morning and the award ceremony for the afternoon.
Gary Smith has the opportunity at Chicagoland Skydiving to watch the Golden Knights and other strong U.S. 8-way teams while the Qatar Falcons get serious competition practice before the FAI World Meet 2018 where they will meet the Golden Knights again.
He can also check the latest scoring numbers that Arizona Airspeed has to offer before traveling to Australia. Airspeed and Aerodyne Realfly from France will be the strongest opponents for the reigning Belgian 4-way world champions. Airspeed has posted the first scores on the AAA/Open Class leaderboard at Chicagoland on Monday morning.