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NSL Cloud Mondial 2020

Did You Know...

... that Andrew Starr connected the need for competition practice directly to Round 1?

Golden Knights 8-way lineup
image by: Paraclete XP
posted Jul 29th, 2020 - The NSL News has had several conversations with Golden Knights team captain Andrew Starr in the past, even increasingly when he began training and competing with SDC Rhythm XP, after JaNette Lefkowitz announced that she would step back from her inside center slot for a while.

The last NSL Live Talk with Andrew Starr was posted on May 10th. The situation had changed once again after the cancellation and rescheduling of the FAI Mondial Tanay 2020. He could not continue with his double duties between the Golden Knights and SDC Rhythm XP for an additional year and had to withdraw from his 4-way commitment to the U.S. national 4-way team for the next world meet.

The NSL News visited North Carolina this month for new updates from some of the best U.S. teams, which began with the first NSL Live Talk with the complete new Arizona Airspeed lineup on July 17th. Golden Knights team captain Andrew Starr was available when the NSL News came back to North Carolina a week later.

As many other Formation Skydiving competitors, Andrew Starr is a passionate golfer, and the next NSL Live Talk conversation took place at a different golf course in the area. He and his team mates have been working on individual skills with members of the Golden Knights Formation Skydiving team, and the Gold and Black lineups were back together in the Paraclete XP flying chamber the next day. The new video is showing both teams in training action.

NSL News Live Talk with Andrew Starr - Golden Knights Indoor Training
Golden Knights Gold
image by: Paraclete XP
Andrew Starr explained in an earlier NSL Live Talk with his 4-way and 8-way team mates Jennifer Davidson and Jeshua Stahler during a winter training camp at Skydive City that the Golden Knights were planning a new and different approach to their training plans.

He confirmed that the new strategy was still the same. Jeshua Stahler added later that the new approach also included more breaks and different methods in other areas, such as mental training and physical relaxation and preparation.

All 8-way members were actually in 4-way training the next day, and individual skills drills were a part of the same indoor training day.

Andrew Starr said that there has not been much 8-way training at all this year. It was not only the new training plan that kept the Golden Knights from doing more 8-way indoor and outdoor training. He explained that it is difficult to have all nine team members always available at the same time.

The U.S. Army team cannot reach out to any top competitor at any time to help out when injury or sickness is grounding a team member. 8-way training for the Golden Knights is only possible under perfect circumstances, and the chances of having the complete lineup together are half of a 4-way team, or even less.

Paraclete XP Indoor Championship 2020
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 Total Avg
Rank 4-way Open 21,15,10 7,5,G 13,L,11 3,K,B,6 19,8,9 M,P,14,C N,A,17,1 20,16,Q F,22,D,H 0,2,4 Total Avg
1 Arizona Airspeed US 22 34 27 27 27 32 35 27 37 27 295 29.5
2 SDC Rhythm XP US 23 35 26 25 26 34 31 25 35 27 287 28.7
3 Golden Knights Gold US 21 28 24 24 25 28 29 22 29 24 254 25.4
4 Skydive Midwest NEXT US 17 24 20 23 21 29 24 20 27 19 224 22.4
5 Befokte Dose ZA 15 24 20 24 19 28 23 20 27 19 219 21.9
6 XPG4 US 16 24 21 23 19 30 20 18 24 20 215 21.5
7 Aviatrixx US 16 22 18 21 20 23 20 18 24 19 201 20.1
8 Golden Knights Black US 16 20 18 17 18 22 20 14 22 18 185 18.5
9 Air Force Apollo US 15 18 14 17 17 20 18 14 22 14 169 16.9
10 Air Force Angels US 13 18 16 15 15 22 17 15 19 15 165 16.5

Golden Knights Gold and Golden Knights Black at the Paraclete XP Indoor Championship 2020
Golden Knights Black
image by: Paraclete XP
All 8-way teams are in a similar situation, and it is much more challenging to manage an 8-way team successfully, compared to a 4-way team. The currently five best 8-way teams in the world all had their own obstacles, almost at the same time, and beginning with the Qatar Falcons in 2019. The Russian Tanay 8-way team, FAI World Cup winner of 2019, had to train with alternate Alexey Minaev when Andrey Barabash broke his leg at the beginning of the year.

The French national 8-way team, silver medalist in Eloy last year, was facing a personnel change this year, when Clementine Praet decided not to continue with the French national teams in 8-way and 4-way Women.

The U.S. national 8-way team Airspeed XP8 have not had much training with the complete lineup yet. Matt Davidson, who joined XP8 together with his 2019 Airspeed team mates in 4-way, Niklas Hemlin and Mikhail Markine, had to step back after some indoor and outdoor training to get ready for his hip surgery.

Last and not least, Andrew Starr also had his own answers to the same question that the NSL News has asked the Formation Skydiving celebrities. Without knowing the follow-up topic of Round 1 he connected the need of competition practice and experience directly to the most challenging competition round...

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