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Did You Know...

... that Michele Silvi is the newest NMP PCH HayaBusa member?

Italian 4-way indoor champion 2019: Amnesya FlyX
posted Jun 3rd, 2019 - The preview of the Italian Indoor Nationals on May 31st was indirectly related to breaking news coming from Belgium this morning.

The story had mentioned that both Italian top contenders, Amnesya FlyX and ex3MO, would compete with new lineups. Michele Silvi and Mario Fatturoso did not come back for Amnesya this year, and Michele Silvi had a special reason for making new and very different plans. He is moving to Belgium.

The NSL News had received a request for a new NSL Live Talk from NMP PCH HayaBusa's inside center David Grauwels, without revealing the topic of the interview. Plans were made, and the complete active lineup came together in front of the camera at the end of a training day in Moorsele at the end of last week.

Only team videographer Luc Van Britsom was not present this time, while an additional person joined the conversation. He could not be identified when he took his place in front of the camera, as his face was hidden by a motorcycle helmet. NMP PCH HayaBusa had prepared a surprise visit by a new team member for this NSL Live Talk. The helmet was finally removed, and it was former Amnesya member Michelle Silvi in the center of the NMP PCH HayaBusa meeting.

Italian Indoor Nationals 2019
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 Total Avg
Rank AAA Class E,7,5 10,8,M 6,14,F 13,H,19 4,22,2 K,P,3,O A,15,J,20 16,9,D 17,Q,L,11 21,C,G,B Total Avg
1 Amnesya FlyX 32 21 27 28 21 34 29 29 25 31 277 27.7
2 eX3MO 29 18 21 21 17 28 20 26 22 26 228 22.8
3 Ketchup ADV 25 16 23 23 18 25 20 25 22 24 221 22.1
4 Synergy 22 17 20 19 15 17 20 21 17 22 190 19.0
5 Oxygen 20 14 16 17 13 14 17 17 17 19 164 16.4
6 Iconic Cool Girls 18 14 17 16 13 14 15 18 15 18 158 15.8
7 QQ4 15 11 12 14 11 15 13 12 10 14 127 12.7

Military full-time team: NMP PCH HayaBusa in 2007
David Grauwels explained that he and his current team mates had agreed last year that he would continue with NMP PCH HayaBusa until next year's FAI World Meet, where the Belgians will try to make history by winning the 4-way Open Class title for the 3rd consecutive time with the same lineup.

Then he will step back and probably take the position of the team videographer. Luc Van Britsom retires from the Belgian military services next year and will not be able to compete for HayaBusa any longer.

The HayaBusa members said that they began silently to look for potential candidates for the open slot, first only in Belgium. It turned out to be difficult to find talented 4-way competitors who would be willing to subscribe to military services, which is the most basic requirement for a current HayaBusa slot.

Original members David and Andy Grauwels had made the same step after the FAI World Meet 2006, together with original member Roy Janssen, as the NSL News had reported on 5 March 2007. Sven Ibens, 4th original HayaBusa member, could not commit to the new plans with the Belgian military services, and Luc Verstrepen became the new inside center of the full-time military team.

Current NMP PCH HayaBusa lineup: Jeroen Nollet - David Grauwels - Andy Grauwels - Luc Van Britsom - Dennis Praet
David and Andy Grauwels remembered that it was a big step, and it was no surprise that it was difficult to find a new HayaBusa member at any time.

Roy Janssen, David and Andy Grauwels were fortunate to always find Belgian soldiers as new team mates for their military lineups, beginning with Luc Verstrepen in 2007.

Waedong So became their new team mate in 2009 after Luc Verstrepen retired, and soldier Dennis Praet joined HayaBusa in 2011. Jeroen Nollet replaced Roy Janssen in 2014, after NMP PCH HayaBusa won their first FAI gold medals.

Videographer Danny Jacobs, who had been filming the team since they joined the military, retired after winning his second FAI gold medal in 2016.

The current situation was initiated when Luc Van Britsom told the team that he would retire after the FAI World Meet 2020 in Tanay. The team had to begin with plans for the following time period, and the mission of finding a new HayaBusa member began silently.

David Grauwels, who will become a father this summer, also knew that he would slow down soon. However, he still has a longer commitment to the military services and would be available for the camera slot.

Amnesya with Michele Silvi (2nd from right) at the FAI Indoor World Cup 2018
The current team members began to widen the territory of their silent recruiting efforts when they had to realize that there were no candidates on the Belgian list who would make the big step to become full-time soldiers. They found one of the youngest and most talented Italian 4-way competitors, Amnesya member Michele Silvi, who they had known ever since Amnesya appeared on the international 4-way stage, and since he joined the Amnesya lineup in 2016.

Michele Silvi made no secret that he would like to become a 4-way world champion, and that he would do whatever it would take. David and Andy Grauwels were reminded of their own desire in 2006, and the first connection was naturally in place.

However, there were serious formal and logistical obstacles that needed to be overcome if HayaBusa would invite an Italian competitor to join the team. The Belgians had their own experiences, not only with turning into a full-time team by joining the military services. They also had a foreign team member in their original lineup, Dutchman Roy Janssen, who is now competing for the French delegation.

It was even more complicated this time, as Michele Silvi had to match all the requirements by the Belgian military forces, as well. It was somehow the easy part for him to discontinue with Amnesya and accept the waiting time required by the FAI/IPC rules. The Belgian military services approved his status today, and the first boot camp will follow later this year. This story will surely be continued...

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