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DeLand Majik would not compete at the FAI World Meet 2003 and traveled to Russia instead, where they won the Malevsky Memorial Cup a month before the world meet. Sinapsi PD competed in Stupino, as well, before the next world meet trip to Gap in France. The Russian national 4-way team of 2003, Wild Wind, also attended both events.
The Sky Panthers were actually the best Russian team at the Malevsky Cup 2003. However, the team members were preparing for their 8-way competition at the world meet in Gap, where they won the gold medals after the 11-round battle with Arizona Airspeed. Some of the 2003 world champions are still in the current Tanay lineup and will try to win their next gold medals at the FAI Mondial next year.
Doug Park's impressions after coming back from the Malevsky Cup were related to the Russian host who presented a first-class event. Russia is hosting her second world meet next year, after the Menzelinsk event in 2010. The Malevsky Memorial Cup became an annual event in Stupino until 2007.
NSL NEWS: Did this all happen after the event was over? DOUG PARK: That was the awards ceremony. NSL NEWS: How was the meet management throughout the competition? DOUG PARK: Andrey, the meet director and a good Majik friend did a great job on all fronts, even in the sky with us. He managed everything from doing tandems to coordinating the competition. The meet ran very smoothly and quickly.
NSL NEWS: Which plane did you jump? DOUG PARK: We jumped a Turbolet 410 with a left door, which is narrower than a Twinotter and a little bit taller.
NSL NEWS: Doug, lets get to the athletic part. Were you happy with Majik's performance in Russia? DOUG PARK: Winning made me happy, but I think that having Solly's gear not arrive until the day we left presented some new challenges. Majik fell pretty slow. Solly had to borrow a bright red jump suit and a bright green gear that made him fall faster and made the pictures look very different. The rest of the team was wearing weights to keep up with the fall rate. I felt that we were off the pace a little bit.
Malevsky Memorial Cup 2003
|4||Wild Wind Kuzbass||RU||14||22||13||19||23||15||15||19||16||14||170||17.0|
NSL NEWS: The Russian team Sky Panthers was only one point behind Italy. Was Sinapsi scoring below capability, or were the Russians so sharp? DOUG PARK: The Russians had a good meet and had some of their best jumps. Sinapsi was a little bit off their game but skydived some rounds very well.
NSL NEWS: Sinapsi beat Majik in one round. Were you surprised? DOUG PARK: No, I was not surprised. Right now, we were just starting to re-do Block 6 (Stardian – Stardian). And Sinapsi is very good with that block. We were also very close to the next point, just by a frame.
NSL NEWS: The Sky Panthers beat Majik in Round 4, was that a surprise? DOUG PARK: It did surprise us. The Sky Panthers were having a great meet. We had a separation penalty in Round 4. And we took memory for the rear piece. Most of the memory goes to the front piece in our plan.
FAI World Meet 2003
DOUG PARK: Russian 4-way is becoming very competitive with many former members of the 4-way and 8-way national teams taking player-coaching positions. NSL NEWS: Did you hear anything about the Russian 8-way team? DOUG PARK: Most members of the gold medal team in Spain are now back together and are training hard for this year's world meet.
NSL NEWS: How much do they train? DOUG PARK: They just finished a two-week camp when we got there. This Monday, they are on their way to Spain for two weeks Porter training. I believe that the team will be very strong, and I am looking forward to seeing their results in France.
NSL NEWS: Give me the top five at the world meet. DOUG PARK: DeLand Norgies, Golden Knights, France Maubeuge, Sinapsi PD, Sebastian XL, and this is not not in placing order. NSL NEWS: Alright, now in placing order. DOUG PARK: Majik first. NSL NEWS: And then? DOUG PARK: I do not want to predict the order. But I think that the French team has an advantage due to their home turf and exits from the Porter. They are jumping in their own country for the gold medal. However, the top five teams have all trained extremely hard. Any given day any of the top teams can win.
NSL NEWS: Let's wrap up Russia. What would you think about the whole event? DOUG PARK: Russia is an incredible country with an incredible drop zone that rivals the larger skydiving centers in the U.S.A. The closing ceremony looked and felt like a rock concert. Nothing has been like this before. From tours in Moscow to chopper rides to go swimming - it was great. Majik looks forward to go again next year. NSL NEWS: Thank you, Doug.