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It surely is different this time, as the 8-way competition could not be much more exciting than it is. The three top teams are closer to each other than ever before. However, the 4-way re-match between new U.S. champion SDC Rhythm XP and Arizona Airspeed offers everything that could be expected just on the first day and the first three rounds.
The reigning 4-way world champions from Belgium, NMP PCH HayaBusa, are not attending the meet and have made their statement at the USPA Nationals 2019. There is still a HayaBusa presence in Eloy, as team member Dennis Praet is visiting Arizona to support his wife, Clementine Le Bohec, in her effort to master the French double duties in 4-way and 8-way.
He has been packing his wife's parachute and walking her to the boarding area with kisses and love. She is probably getting valuable advice for her point slot from the HayaBusa point, as well, Dennis Praet also shares his thoughts and observations with the NSL News whenever he has time available.
FAI Outdoor World Cup 2019
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The French Weembi Girls are in 1st place after Round 3 with a 4-point advantage over the strongest opponent, British national 4-way Women team NFTO. The new French 8-way team is in 2nd place, one single point behind Russia's 8-way team from Tanay. Both French teams are in very different situations. The French Weembi Girls try to defend their gold medals with the new lineup against the British challenger with as little effort as possible. It works so far.
The new 8-way team is competing for the first time, and Mathieu Bernier has almost a whole year after the starting point this week in Eloy.
Paraclete XP8 members Kirk Verner and John D'Annunzion are aware of the French potential. Kirk Verner said that his team will pick up the pace very soon and make the next step to a higher performance level that France will be challenged with. XP8 is dealing with double duties, too. Steve Lefkowitz and Andrew Happick are competing with SDC Rhythm XP this week and next year in Russia, which puts France and United States in a very similar situation.
FAI Outdoor World Cup 2019
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There are still more double duties this week in Eloy. Niklas Hemlin and Mikhail Markine compete with Arizona Airspeed in 4-way and in 8-way, while they will miss the next world meet completely. Eliana Rodriguez and Craig Girard are in the same Airspeed 8-way team and compete for 4-way Open Class bronze medals with Airspeed Odyssey.
Nick Grillet is another Airspeed 8-way member who competes in 4-way with Defiance. There he tries to win the same bronze medals that his Airspeed 8-way team mates are aiming at. He volunteered his 8-way slot in Round 3 to his Defiance team mate Ben Liston, who competed with Airspeed's 8-way team at the USPA Nationals 2018. He is the Airspeed 8-way alternate this week.
Their Defiance team mate James "Bu" Klinge switches back and forth between 4-way and 8-way as a member of the Amphibious Attack Tigers. Lauren Byrd is the only 4-way Women competitor other than the French Weembi Girls who compete in both events - Phoenix XP in 4-way Women and Monster in 8-way.