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Did You Know...

... that there will be extra pressure on Airspeed XP8 in Tanay next year?

Storm damage in Rijeka 2004: Meet director Patrice Girardin
posted Jun 7th, 2020 - The FAI Mondial Tanay 2020 has been facing many different circumstances, compared to other FAI World Championships of Formation Skydiving. There were other events that had their own challenges, however, the upcoming one in August 2021 is bringing a new and unique situation.

It happened once that world championships were held in two consecutive years (Gap 2003 - Rijeka 2004) when FAI/IPC changed the rotation of world meets and world cups on purpose. Weather situations interfered with the completion of 10-round meets, especially in Gera 2006 and Maubeuge 2008.

Russia was literally on fire in Menzelinsk 2010 where all ten rounds in all events were still completed. Even tornadoes ripped apart the competition site in Rijeka 2004, and the FAI Tent City had to be relocated overnight into a large hangar. Yet only the 8-way teams missed one round. Another tornado in Maubeuge 2008 spared the competition site just by a few miles, while the weather situation still did not allow the completion of all rounds.

The whole competition site was even relocated overnight to another town in 1989 (Gerona) when the infamous Tramontana winds started to blow at Empuriabrava in Spain. Meet director Roland Hilfiker was prepared for this regular occurrence, and a few rounds were completed in Gerona before the meet moved back to the original competition site. It has never happened that a world meet could not take place at all and had to be canceled and rescheduled.

Medal winners in 4-way Open at FAI World Championships of Formation Skydiving since 1985
Weather situation in Gera 2006
There are more unusual circumstances not related to the corona virus crisis, which caused the current situation. The FAI Mondial Tanay 2020 in August next year will also be the first world meet since 1985 where neither Arizona Airspeed nor the Golden Knights will compete for the U.S. delegation.

This has happened only once in the modern era of Formation Skydiving competition. It was the first world meet with the new dive pool system in 1985 when the Coors 8-way team and the DeLand Air Bears won the FAI gold medals for the United States. The Golden Knights then competed for the U.S. delegation between 1987 and 1997, and again between 2010 and 2018.

Arizona Airspeed competed at the world meets in either 4-way or 8-way, or in both events, between 1995 and 2018. The USPA Nationals 2019 were the qualification event for the FAI Mondial Tanay 2020, where Paraclete XP8 and SDC Rhythm XP won their respective events.

The cancellation and rescheduling of the world meet did not change the U.S. delegation for 2020/2021, as USPA Director of Competition, Steve Hubbard, explained for the NSL News on April 29th.

Medal winners in 8-way Open at FAI World Championships of Formation Skydiving since 1985
FAI 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
3 Aerodyne Realfly  FR  29 -1 19    24 -2 23    24    52 -3 20 -3 17 -3 24    19     251 25.1
Rank 4-way Women 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 Aerodyne Weembi Girls  FR  29 -1 20    24    22    25    56 -1 23    18 -2 22    18 -1  257 25.7
2 NFTO  UK  20 -3 15    22 -1 19    18    38 -2 18    17    19    16     202 20.2
3 Team X  SE  17 -3 10 -3 18    16    14    36 -3 15 -3 13    18    12 -1  169 16.9
Rank 8-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 Golden Knights  US  24    21    18    24    19 -2 29    21    18 -1 17    33     224 22.4
2 Tanay  RU  21 -1 21    17    22 -1 20    28    16 -1 18    18    28 -1  209 20.9
3 Qatar Falcons  QA  19    16    15    18 -1 14 -1 21    16    14 -1 14    23 -1  170 17.0
Most diversified Formation Skydiving leaderboards since 1985
Tornado damage in Maubeuge 2008
There will be a lot of pressure on the new and very different U.S. Formation Skydiving delegation, especially on the national 8-way team, Airspeed XP8. There have been only two world meets since 1985 when the U.S. delegation did not bring home any gold medals, including the 4-way Women event that was added to world meets in 2001.

France (4-way), Russia (8-way) and Great Britain (4-way Women) won the gold medals in Gap 2003, and France won all Formation Skydiving events in Menzelinsk 2010.

SDC Rhythm XP have a long way to go to get close enough to NMP PCH HayaBusa, and Aviatrixx is not in a much better position in 4-way Women. That puts the whole gold medal responsibility on the shoulders of the new Airspeed XP8 lineup, who are facing the toughest opposition of all events. The 8-way teams seem to gear up for an extremely exciting battle for gold in Tanay next year.

The United States is also the only Formation Skydiving nation with at least two sets of medals at each world meet since 1985. Even this streak apparently requires work. The last world meet in Australia 2018 had teams from seven different countries in the medal rankings of the three events (4-way Open, 4-way Women, 8-way). It was the most diversified combination of national teams in history on the podiums in Australia. It could be a similar situation in Tanay next year.

Medal winners in 4-way Women at FAI World Championships of Formation Skydiving since 2001
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