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Did You Know...

... that SDC Rhythm XP finished with a new team record average at the Wind Games?

New team record average: SDC Rhythm XP at the Wind Games 2019
image by: Windoor
posted Feb 6th, 2019 - The Wind Games 2019 also included a new U.S. showdown between Arizona Airspeed and SDC Rhythm XP at the beginning of the 2019 season, which concludes in the United States with the USPA Nationals in September and the qualification for the next FAI World Meet 2020 in Tanay, Russia.

The FAI World Cup 2019 will still follow in October on Airspeed home turf at Skydive Arizona. However, the scores at the national championships determine the U.S. national teams for the next year. The U.S. delegation for the FAI World Cup 2019, with four eligible teams in each event, is selected by the results at last year's nationals.

The NSL News reported earlier that Rhythm's tail Doug Barron was back in action at the Wind Games, and the same update mentioned that his team was within reach of the first 30+ average in team history after Round 8.

SDC Rhythm XP finished two points short of the next benchmark with a 29.8 average two rounds later. However, the combination of Doug Barron's successful comeback and the new team record average was an encouraging result of the Rhythm trip to Spain and an impressive start into the 2019 season.

Wind Games 2019
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 Total Avg
Rank AAA Class F,21,6 L,H,22,7 C,8,19 9,D,5 16,N,14 13,20,G 4,N,J,M 11,17,Q 3,O,K,E A,12,2 Total Avg
1 NMP-PCH Hayabusa  BE  33 37 31 50 31 26 46 34 39 27 354 35.4
2 Weembi High Rollers  FR  29 33 26 47 31 28 44 32 34 29 333 33.3
3 Arizona Airspeed  US  28 34 28 46 29 25 37 30 31 26 314 31.4
4 Qatar Tigers  QA  31 29 27 39 26 24 39 29 32 24 300 30.0
5 SDC Rhythm XP  US  29 29 23 41 27 26 37 27 35 24 298 29.8
6 Echochamber  SE  25 26 23 37 23 23 35 28 31 26 277 27.7
Arizona Airspeed - SDC Rhythm XP - Qatar Tigers at the Wind Games 2019
Awards at the Paraclete XP Indoor Championship 2017
NMP PCH HayaBusa is currently out of reach for the U.S. teams at indoor competition, and the Belgians finished far ahead of the Weembi High Rollers, as well, even though the French national indoor team won two rounds over the reigning indoor world champions.

There is no doubt that Arizona Airspeed are orienting themselves by looking at the Belgian and French scores, while the U.S. challenger still has an earlier target. In fact, SDC Rhythm XP have to get beyond Arizona Airspeed first, before representing the United States at an FAI World Championship of Formation Skydiving.

However, other events, including this year's FAI World Cup in Eloy, allow other teams to compete with and against national teams from different countries. SDC Rhythm XP met most of the world's best 4-way teams at the Wind Games, while the domestic duel with Arizona Airspeed is still the major challenge.

The highest indoor average in the Rhythm history brought the team significantly closer to Airspeed. The 1.6 difference (31.4 - 29.8) is the closest since Arizona Airspeed's first competition with the new lineup at the Paraclete XP Indoor Championship 2017, where Rhythm finished in 1st place.

Indoor competition between Arizona Airspeed and SDC Rhythm XP since 2008
Chasing FAI medals: Qatar Tigers at the Wind Games 2019
image by: Windoor
Arizona Airspeed does not only have U.S. challenger SDC Rhythm XP charging from behind, while trying to get closer to NMP PCH HayaBusa and Weembi High Rollers at indoor competition. The U.S. national team is already very close to the top spot at outdoor competition, as the outcome at the FAI World Meet 2018 in Australia was showing.

The Qatar Tigers are currently the world's best outdoor 4-way team behind the FAI medal positions, and they surely have Arizona Airspeed as an indoor target, just the same as SDC Rhyhtm XP. The 30.0 average is the first indoor number with new 4-way coach Gary Smith, and it is only slightly behind the team's 30.3 record average at the World Challenge 2018 with a faster competition draw.

The Qatar Tigers did not compete at the FAI Indoor World Cup 2018, where a 30+ average would have won the bronze medals. Gary Smith now has little over two months to move the Tigers even closer to Arizona Airspeed and to the medal positions at the FAI Indoor World Meet at Weembi Lille in April.

Qatar coaches Gary Smith and Jeremie Rollett will both be in France for the event, which includes an 8-way competition, as well.

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