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Did You Know...

... that Niklas Hemlin shares his 27+ experiences with the new Airspeed front and rear pieces both?

27.9 as inside center at the FAI World Meet 2012
posted Dec 1st, 2019 - The discussion of the new Arizona Airspeed lineup is far from over, as new thoughts from different angles keep coming from all regions of the Formation Skydiving competition world.

Niklas Hemlin's Airspeed XP8 team mate Michelle Karamon recently pointed out that he is the only 4-way competitor in history who has posted 27+ averages with different lineups and in different slots. In fact, he was in both different pieces, inside center of the rear piece with Mark Kirkby in 2012, and outside center of the front piece with Ari Perelman in 2018.

The 2012 lineup won the FAI gold medals by one point over NMP PCH HayaBusa with a 27.9 average, and the 2018 lineup placed 2nd and two points (27.7) behind the same HayaBusa lineup.

Niklas Hemlin's 27+ averages in both pieces is not only a unique achievement. It also has an extremely important value, especially at a time when new members are joining the team. The team seniors are in a situation where they have to forward as much information and experiences as possible to the juniors. The best teams in the world are naturally experimenting with ways how to improve the performance, as there is nothing to copy and no other teams to learn from.


FAI Outdoor World Meet 2012
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 Total Avg
Rank 4-way Open 5,12,E 6,D,B,K O,8,7 N,13,18 10,21,M 19,H,11 C,G,1,A 20,9,15 16,F,P,Q 2,J,4 Total Avg
1 Arizona Airspeed  US  27    34    27 -1 22    23    23 -2 32    25    40    26     279 27.9
Roster: Josh Hall (Point), Niklas Hemlin (Inside Center), Thomas Hughes (Outside Center), Mark Kirkby (Tail), Bill Schmitz (Video)
2 NMP-PCH Hayabusa  BE  25 -1 34 -2 27 -1 21 -1 23    24 -1 32 -1 27    40    25 -1  278 27.8
3 Aerodyne Aerokart  FR  26    30 -2 27    21    23    25    29 -1 23 -2 37    24    265 26.5


FAI Outdoor World Meet 2018
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 Total Avg
Rank 4-way Open 21,L,B,G 22,18,17 19,7,O J,16,12 10,A,D,15 Q,M,F,C,N H,20,P,13 6,14,11 E,2,5 4,1,3 Total Avg
1 NMP-PCH Hayabusa  BE  32    21    27 -2 24    22 -3 62 -2 22 -2 20 -1 27 -1 22     279 27.9
2 Arizona Airspeed  US  26 -5 21    27 -1 24    24 -1 60 -1 26    22    27    20     277 27.7
Roster: Ari Perelman (Point), Niklas Hemlin (Outside Center), Thiago Gomes (inside Center), Mikhail Markine (Tail), David French (Video)
3 Aerodyne Realfly  FR  29 -1 19    24 -2 23    24    52 -3 20 -3 17 -3 24    19     251 25.1

27.7 as outside center at the FAI World Meet 2018
Niklas Hemlin is in the unique position where he can forward 27+ experiences and knowledge to both new team members, Joey Marshall as the point in the front piece, and Chris Kuhlmann currently as the inside center of the rear piece.

Point Ari Perelman was Niklas Hemlin's piece partner in 2017 and 2018, and together they went from the first defeat against SDC Rhythm XP in February 2017 to the 2-point 4-way battle with NMP PCH HayaBusa in Australia 2018.

Matt Davidson became Niklas Hemlin's new front piece partner when Ari Perelman left three months before the USPA Nationals. The new Airspeed front piece partners worked together so efficiently that they almost won the USPA gold medals after the personnel change. A few weeks later, the new lineup then won the FAI Outdoor World Cup.

Joey Marshall will now benefit from all the information and experiences that Niklas Hemlin will share with him. It will not be a big surprise if the new Airspeed front piece will show a similar progression that Niklas Hemlin had with Ari Perelman and Matt Davidson.


NMP PCH HayaBusa lineups between 2004 and 2019
SDC Rhythm XP with Christy Frikken and Mikhail Markine in 2015
Chris Kuhlmann will get even more feedback. His new piece partner in the tail slot, Mikhail Markine, spent three years with Christy Frikken in SDC Rhythm XP's rear piece (2013 - 2015) before joining Arizona Airspeed in 2016. He has been the team's tail in the last three years, after one year in the point slot.

Mikhail Markine will fine-tune the rear-piece-flying with Chris Kuhlmann, while Niklas Hemlin can provide insights for the inside center slot. He and Mark Kirkby spent two years together in the rear piece (2011 - 2012) and finished as 4-way world champions in Dubai 2012.

Both pieces will benefit from the wealth of experiences that Niklas Hemlin collected while moving up to the 27+ performance level with both lineups. The potential and the history of bringing new team members up to speed quickly could have added to the confidence in recruiting two new Airspeed members.

Other top competitors have made similar experiences. HayaBusa's David Grauwels moved from the front to the rear piece in 2009, and JaNette Lefkowitz was outside center for SDC Rhythm XP before moving to inside center and the rear piece in 2016. However, nobody else has 27+ experiences in both pieces...

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