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Did You Know...

... that Airbus member Thomas Spielvogel won his next national title 31 years after his first one?

8-way coach Marco Arrigo with Airbus 8-way team
posted Sep 8th, 2019 - Oceanside AtomiX won the German Outdoor Nationals without too much trouble, even though Airbus Illertissen's 4-way team offered more opposition than expected. It still turned out to be a 9-point difference after Round 10.

It was much more exciting right behind the two German 4-way top teams. Dark Energy had finished in 3rd place last year and had the same opponent for the same ranking spot, Bardarbunga 2.0 with one half of the Airbus Illertissen 8-way team.

Both teams had different lineups in this year's battle. Airbus 8-way coach Marco Arrigo replaced Luc Vereecken for Dark Energy and was the direct opponent for the four Airbus 8-way members. Carl Enders took his 8-way team mate Olaf Biedermann's slot for Bardarbunga, who competed only in 8-way. Both teams had new videographers, as well.

Dark Energy won the previous battle last year only because Bardarbunga had to forfeit a score for the last round to accommodate the more important 8-way agenda. This year, both teams completed all ten rounds, while Dark Energy once again got some help from Bardarbunga, this time in the form of six video penalties.

German Outdoor Nationals 2019
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 Total Avg
Rank AAA Class E,G,M,2 B,4,1 9,K,L,O 13,15,14 22,16,3 21,6,D 5,J,12 P,17,7 10,H,C,11 8,F,19 Total Avg
1 Oceanside AtomiX 26 19 26 15 15 17 19 24 18 16  195 19.5
2 Airbus 22 18 28 15 14 15 18 21 16 19  186 18.6
3 Dark Energy 18 14 20 11 13 16 14 17 13 14 150 15.0
4 Bardarbunga 2.0 20 14 22 13 8 11 14 17 13 16 148 14.8
5 Skynamite 18 14 17 11 11 14 12 17 12 14 140 14.0
6 NeVa FSZ Saar 19 14 15 10 11 13 13 15 11 14 135 13.5
7 HorschD FSZ Saar 18 12 14 10 10 12 10 9 11 11 117 11.7
8 Join Up 13 13 15 11 7 12 10 14 10 11 116 11.6
9 Airgrips 10 9 13 5 7 10 8 9 10 9 90 9.0
10 4Motion 10 9 13 8 7 8 3 9 6 9 82 8.2

Bardarbunga 2.0 at the German Nationals 2019
It was the video damage in Round 5 and a strong Round 6 for Dark Energy that turned Bardarbunga's 6-point advantage after Round 5 into a 4-point deficit, which Dark Energy defended successfully in the last four rounds for a 2-point finish. In fact, Bardarbunga won or tied all other rounds and lost the bronze medals only in the two rounds in the middle of the meet due to the video troubles.

Dark Energy finished with exactly the same meet average (15.0) as in 2018, while Bardarbunga dropped from 15.7 in 2018 to 14.8 at the end of last month. All team members of both teams confronted each other again in 8-way, where Marco Arrigo switched sides and guided the Airbus 8-way team as the coach to the 2nd place behind Qatar Falcons and the German 8-way title defense.

Petra Bärenfänger, Uwe Soppa and Henning Stumpp have been Veloce QRF members for a while, where Martial Ferre is coaching and managing the 8-way team. Marco Arrigo is frequently working together with Martial Ferre, and all Dark Energy members have also competed together for Veloce QRF in the past.

It was a completely new Veloce lineup in Germany, even though all team members were well trained 8-way competitors from different lineups.



Thomas Spielvogel with Daedalus in 1998
The Bardarbunga and Airbus 8-way lineup included the most experienced Formation Skydiving competitor in Germany, Thomas Spielvogel. He won the next one of his numerous national 4-way and 8-way titles. His uniquely successful national career began with the first 4-way and 8-way gold medals in 1988, and he has been a member of the German national teams ever since.

He found a video of the Daedalus 4-way team in his own archives, which dominated 4-way competition in Germany between 1991 and 1999. Thomas Spielvogel, Dieter Kirsch, Christoph Aarns and Pitt Weber performed a very similar sequence 21 years ago, which was drawn for the German Nationals 1998 in Schweighofen.

Airbus Illertissen posted the 28-pointer highscore for the fastest sequence (9-K-L-O) at this year's national championship in Round 3, and Thomas Spielvogel compared the 2019 performance with the video of his own Daedalus team in 1998.

The 1998 sequence was not exactly the same (O-Q-9-J) and slightly easier. However, Daedalus was able to tie Airbus Illertissen's 28-pointer at the national championship 21 years earlier...

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