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As usual, the teams went straight to work after the draw, which seems to be on the slower side. Engineering and dirtdiving took place at the same place where opening ceremony and competition draw were held, at Skydive Arizona's spacious facilities.
The opening ceremony included a special feature that went by almost unnoticed. Demo jumps and an aerobatic performance caught most of the attention of the audience, while a special event happened at the same time. The NSL News noticed a side event on the top of the firetruck, which was leading the parade of the countries' delegations to the stage of the opening ceremony.
It was the Fun Flag that was flying largely exposed and waved by the current owner, even if it was only for a minute. Norwegian VFS competitor Derek Broughton had the courage to climb the firetruck right in front of the eyes of the police authorities and let the Fun Flag fly just long enough to catch some attention and follow the requirements of the unwritten Fun Flag rules. Then he ran with the flag, and the NSL News caught up with him and his VFS team mates at the end of the opening ceremony. The Fun Flag game is on...
The 8-way teams can almost guarantee an even more exciting competition than in 4-way, where the reigning world champions from Belgium and the Qatar Tigers are absent. All the best 8-way teams in the world are in Eloy, and the battle for the top spot seems to be wide open. Russia's Tanay 8-way team could be considered the top contender after winning at the USPA Nationals. However, Paraclete XP8 was only four points behind a few weeks ago.
There is hardly a doubt that the new French 8-way team will also be close enough to the 8-way top spot level that Tanay 8 and XP8 set at the USPA Nationals. An exciting battle for the medal positions can be expected.
That's not the end of the 8-way thrill. The legendary Airspeed 8-way lineup will probably give the Qatar Falcons a very hard time behind the medal positions. The Qatar Falcons are the reigning FAI 8-way bronze medalists. The Amphibious Attack Tigers will challenge the German national 8-way team Airbus Illertissen, and British team Groomed will try to get ahead of the 4th U.S. team, a new Monster lineup. The 8-way teams will launch the world cup competition on Tuesday morning, together with the VFS teams. The 4-way competition is scheduled for the afternoon.
FAI Outdoor World Cup 2019 - NSL Power Rankings
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