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Did You Know...

... that Paraclete XP8 won USPA 8-way gold for the first time?

Qatar Falcons at the USPA Nationals 2018
posted Sep 27th, 2018 - The 8-way competition at the USPA Nationals 2018 was more exciting than ever for an unfortunate reason.

The absence of the Golden Knights was caused by Hurricane Florence threatening the U.S. Army's headquarters in North Carolina. The Golden Knights, 8-way world champions of 2012, 2014 and 2016, would have won the USPA gold medals without any chance for other 8-way teams to get anywhere close. However, the new situation at the national championships allowed three teams to go after the 1st place in the 8-way competition this year, and two of them were eligible for USPA medals.

The Qatar Falcons visited Chicagoland Skydiving Center for a competition test before traveling to Australia for the FAI World Meet 2018, where they will pursue the first set of FAI medals for their country in the history of the sport.

It is not new in USPA 8-way history that two teams would battle for the national top spot, as Golden Knights and Arizona Airspeed have taken turns as 8-way champions since the 90's. It is the first time though that neither won the USPA gold medals in 8-way Open. Paraclete XP8 claimed the title for the first time.

USPA Nationals 2018
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 Total Avg
Rank 8-way Open 8,B,6 P,3,C,M 1,18,Q 22,E,16 11,17,H L,12,13 7,A,20 19,14,9 J,5,4 G,15,10 Total Avg
1 XP8  US  17 20 19 17 14 13 17 14 21 17 169 16.9
2 Arizona Airspeedish  US  13 22 19 18 15 15 15 13 16 19 165 16.5
3 Qatar Falcons  QA  16 21 18 14 15 15 16 13 17 16 161 16.1
4 Amphibious Attack Tigers  US  12 14 13 14 10 9 10 9 14 13 118 11.8
5 French Monsters  US  10 9 10 10 9 10 5 10 10 11 94 9.4
6 Blocksmiths XP  US  10 10 10 6 6 6 8 7 10 7 80 8.0
Paraclete XP8 at the USPA Nationals 2013
Paraclete XP8 has sported strong 8-way lineups in the past and has won USPA medals before. It has still never been enough for more than an 8-way bronze medal at the national championships, and this year's 1st place is the biggest outdoor success in the Paraclete 8-way history.

Even the Golden Knights would not have changed this Paraclete success, as the silver medals would still be the best finishing since Paraclete began sending an 8-way lineup to the USPA Nationals. Golden Knights and Arizona Airspeed have always taken the first two places on the 8-way leaderboards.

It was a new and very strong lineup that matched the highest 8-way average that Paraclete XP8 has ever posted, the 16.9 at the USPA Nationals 2013. John D’Annunzio, Andy Delk, Josh Hall, Eric Heinsheimer, Brian Johnson, Brian Krause, Kirk Verner, Solly Williams were in the 2013 lineup, with Matt McLean on camera.

John D’Annunzio, Josh Hall and Kirk Verner were back this year, together with five new members: Jeana Billings, Michelle Karamon, JaNette Lefkowitz, Thomas Hughes, Steve Lefkowitz and Elliot Byrd on camera.

FAI World Meet 2018
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 Total Avg
Rank NSL Power Rankings 8-way Open TBD TBD TBD TBD TBD TBD TBD TBD TBD TBD TBD Total Avg
1 Golden Knights  US  - - - - - - - - - - - - -
2 Tanay  RU  - - - - - - - - - - - - -
3 Qatar Falcons  QA  - - - - - - - - - - - - -
4 MicroClim8  UK  - - - - - - - - - - - - -
5 Airbus  DE  - - - - - - - - - - - - -
6 JYR8  AU  - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Paraclete XP8 at the USPA Nationals 2018
image by: USPA/Omniskore
The 2018 lineup was showing the 8-way strength already at the Paraclete XP Indoor Championship 2018 in February, where six XP8 members competed with Brian Krause and Chris Halsan. Thomas Hughes and Josh Hall, 4-way world champion team mates of 2012 with Arizona Airspeed, joined the XP8 lineup for the USPA Nationals.

Arizona Airspeed had their own very colorful lineup at Chicagoland and offered very strong opposition with the untrained team. Ben Liston (Mass Defiance) and Christy Frikken (Perris Fury - Perris Force) had their Airspeed 8-way debut, and Niklas Hemlin and videographer David French were the only current members of the national 4-way team.

Three Airspeed Odyssey members (Eliana Rodriguez, Craig Girard, Andy Delk) were the backbone of the Airspeedish 8-way team. Original member Dan BC, former 4-way and 8-way world champion, and Nick Grillet completed the lineup. Airspeedish finished only four points behind XP8 at the end of this 10-round battle.

The Qatar Falcons will meet the Golden Knights soon in Australia, while the U.S. 8-way teams will have to wait for the defending world champions until next year...

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