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Did You Know...

... that Gary Smith knows Arizona Airspeed better than anybody else?

Qatar coaches Jeremie Rollett and Gary Smith
posted Mar 3rd, 2019 - The NSL News reported on 14 December 2018 that Qatar's team coaches in 4-way and 8-way, Gary Smith and Jérémie Rollett, had switched their jobs. They explained together how it came to the new plans for the next two years.

The story on February 15th followed up on the same topic when the Qatar Falcons visited Skydive City in Florida for an outdoor training camp and then traveled to North Carolina for indoor training and the Paraclete XP Indoor Championship.

Gary Smith had his first competition test with the Qatar Tigers even earlier at the Wind Games 2019, where his team competed with and against NMP PCH HayaBusa, the 4-way indoor and outdoor world champions, who he had guided towards the top position in the world as the team's coach.

The Qatar Tigers did not make the trip to Paraclete XP, and Gary Smith was following the event action only from the distance. However, he was naturally very interested in results and performances at Paraclete XP, as the best U.S. team will become the next opponent for Qatar Tigers and NMP PCH HayaBusa at the FAI Indoor World Meet in April, and then at the outdoor world meet in Tanay 2020.

FAI World Meet 1997
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 Total Avg
Rank 4-way Open - Top 10 13,Q,D,9 5,K,F,12 1,14,22 H,M,11,7 A,E,3,G 15,18,3 20,L,23 O,19,4 17,10,J 6,C,21 Total Avg
1 Arizona Airspeed  US  26 20 18 23 27 15 20 16 21 24 210 21.0
2 France  FR  25 19 17 22 25 16 20 21 20 21 206 20.6
3 DeLand Equanimity  ZA  25 20 16 20 20 15 17 20 21 19 193 19.3
4 Russia  RU  24 18 17 17 23 14 12 19 17 19 180 18.0
5 Sebastian XL  UK  24 17 14 21 19 13 16 19 15 18 176 17.6
6 DeLand Norgies  NO  20 14 12 18 20 12 14 17 16 18 161 16.1
7 Switzerland  CH  21 15 13 17 18 13 14 16 16 16 159 15.9
8 Australia  AU  17 17 14 17 19 10 14 17 17 16 158 15.8
9 Spain  ES  21 16 13 13 19 13 14 16 18 14 157 15.7
10 Daedalus  DE  19 14 13 17 20 12 12 16 15 17 155 15.5
Gary Smith has his eyes on the female 4-way competition, as well, where he has been working with the British national team NFTO for a while. The winner in 4-way Women at the Paraclete XP Indoor Championship will also compete at the indoor world meet in April, and XPG4 has already confirmed the trip to France.

He took the time on Thursday last week to discuss the situation after the most recent indoor competition, and the conversation began with the U.S. race for the one slot in the Formation Skydiving delegation and the indoor world meet.

The NSL News was specifically interested in his observations of the Airspeed performance, as the Arizona team has been Gary Smith's main opponent for many years.

In fact, his regular confrontations with the different Airspeed lineups go back to the time when he was still competing with the South African national 4-way team DeLand Equanimity.

Gary Smith was the direct opponent when the original Airspeed lineup won the FAI 4-way gold medals in Turkey 1997. Equanimity won the bronze medals for South Africa at the same event.

USPA Nationals 2003
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 Total Avg
Rank 4-way Open 8,A,Q,F 15,3,G 4,N,22 J,7,B,H O,13,17 16,K,1 21,D,L,14 6,5,2 12,P,11 10,19,18 Total Avg
1 DeLand Majik 26 19 17 32 23 20 21 19 19 17 213 21.3
2 Golden Knights Gold 26 18 19 32 23 21 19 17 19 17 211 21.1
3 Airspeed Vertical 27 18 17 34 18 19 21 19 18 19 210 21.0
4 Airspeed Dragon 19 15 17 30 20 14 18 17 15 14 179 17.9
5 Golden Knights Black 20 15 16 27 15 17 17 16 16 14 173 17.3
6 Perris School Boys 21 15 14 25 18 13 16 14 12 12 160 16.0
7 DeLand Synchronicity 18 15 14 23 15 14 15 15 14 12 155 15.5
8 The Ranch Team 17 14 13 22 15 16 12 14 13 12 148 14.8
9 Teiwaz 17 13 13 17 15 14 15 13 11 11 139 13.9
10 DeLand Chikara 16 12 11 19 14 12 13 13 13 9 132 13.2
11 Optik Kurves 16 11 11 22 12 12 14 10 11 9 128 12.8
12 Elsinore Illusion 16 6 12 22 14 9 14 13 12 9 127 12.7
13 4 Something 14 9 9 16 7 9 11 8 9 9 101 10.1
14 Wingspan 11 10 7 14 9 10 9 7 7 8 92 9.2
15 Guy Chuck JP Billy Mike 7 7 8 9 8 4 0 7 3 6 59 5.9
DeLand Majik at the USPA Nationals 2003
The direct duel between Gary Smith and Arizona Airspeed continued when he moved to the United States and formed DeLand Majik with his South African team mate Solly Williams. DeLand Majik defeated Airspeed Vertical by two points at the USPA Nationals 2003 and won the FAI gold medals for the United States in Rijeka 2004.

The DeLand Majik lineup discontinued, while Gary Smith was not done yet with Arizona Airspeed. He joined DeLand Fire and won the U.S. qualification once again at the USPA Nationals 2005, this time over Golden Knights and Airspeed Odyssey. DeLand Fire then won the FAI 4-way gold medals in Germany 2006.

The second FAI gold medal was the end for Gary Smith's active career as a high-level 4-way competitor, and he began to focus mainly on coaching when he moved to the Netherlands. However, his competition with Arizona Airspeed continued in a different way when he became involved with coaching NMP PCH HayaBusa and now the Qatar Tigers.

He has battled with Arizona Airspeed as the HayaBusa coach since 2012 and lost the first duel by one point in Dubai 2012. Then he and the Belgians followed up with three consecutive FAI 4-way outdoor gold medals in 2014, 2016, 2018 and also added the indoor success. The indirect battle continues, and nobody knows Arizona Airspeed better than Gary Smith...

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