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Did You Know...

... that Russia's VDV project began in the A Class of 2016?

AAA Class awards at the Russian Indoor Nationals 2020
posted Jan 28th, 2021 - The NSL News covered the Russian Indoor Nationals 2020 with a few updates, which included the VDV team of the Russian Air Force. The 30.4 average catapulted the unknown team in the western skydiving community to the world's top rankings of 4-way indoor competition.

The exciting and unexpected duel for the top spot in Russia between IFS Moscow and VDV caught the NSL News attention naturally. Russian FAI/ISC delegate and IFS Moscow member Egor Gusev and VDV coach and Russian Thunder member Georgy Miroshnichenko then kindly provided the NSL News with more information of the team history and the plans for the future.

Georgy Miroshnichenko and the VDV members met in 2015 when they were still far from 4-way competition. They trained and competed in the traditional military disciplines, Style and Accuracy. However, Georgy Miroshnichenko suggested one day to launch a Formation Skydiving project, as well, which was well received by his team mates.

Georgy Miroshnichenko already had some 4-way experiences with weekend teams coached by the Russian Formation Skydiving legends Oleg Shalamykhin and Vladimir Pavlenko. Eventually he presented the 4-way project idea to the military management and did not find much support from the traditional Style and Accuracy competitors.

Russian Indoor Nationals 2020
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 Total Avg
Rank AAA Class 22,9,11 6,12,N 16,L,7 B,F,P,21 4,K,G,8 O,C,H,3 17,5,E J,10,20 A,1,D,14 18,19,M Total Avg
1 IFS-Moscow 25 26 34 42 29 35 39 22 29 27 308 30.8
2 VDV 25 26 34 37 24 37 41 24 28 28 304 30.4
3 Russian Thunder 25 24 34 38 26 34 37 20 26 26 290 29.0
4 Bubbles 21 23 27 33 25 29 37 22 25 23 265 26.5
5 Team 42 18 19 26 32 22 27 25 19 26 23 237 23.7
6 Antitela 20 20 26 27 19 29 29 17 23 23 233 23.3
7 DDW-Team 20 17 25 31 17 29 33 17 22 18 229 22.9
8 No Limits 16 17 24 28 20 27 26 17 20 20 215 21.5
9 Quatro 19 18 21 24 17 26 29 16 18 21 209 20.9
10 5th Element 19 15 21 28 20 24 27 13 18 15 200 20.0
11 Bumblbee 14 15 21 24 17 23 23 14 19 14 184 18.4

2-way outdoor training and competition at the beginning
Georgy Miroshnichenko's group of military 4-way fans did not give up on the idea and even began with ground training. By 2016 all potential team members had their own equipment and had made creepers for their ground work. They started training and soon participated in 2-way competitions after approx. 5 - 7 hours of indoor training and 50 jumps.

4-way training eventually began in 2017 with the A Class dive pool and the CISM program. The new military 4-way team of the Air Force attended their first competition in December 2017 at the Russian Indoor Nationals, where they won their first A Class title right away. Sergey Seregin, Evgeny Shatnenko, Arthur Kindzer and Sergey Yalpayev were in the first lineup. Sergey Yalpayev is now a member of the Tanay 8-way team.

Georgy Miroshnichenko, who initiated the team project, was not in the first lineup. He had committed earlier to the 4-way AAA Class team "Partners", and Sergey Yalpayev replaced him a month before the 2017 championship.

The Air Force team was back with a new team member (Alexander Izmalkin for Sergey Yalpayev) at the next Russian indoor championship in May 2018, where they took the 2nd place on the A Class leaderboard. Once again, Georgy Miroshnichenko was not in the lineup, as he was now training and competing with "Russian Thunder" and player-coach Sergey Shenin. However, he continued with guiding the Air Force team and could forward valuable 4-way information and experiences to them.

IFS Moscow and VDV at the Russian Indoor Nationals 2020
VDV 4-way teams at the Russian Indoor Nationals 2019
The resources were still limited for the 4-way project in 2017 and 2018, and VDV completed 10 - 15 hours of indoor training per year and around 100 training jumps, paid for by the team members. At that time, the military school in Ryazan had started building their own wind-tunnel. Finally, the team got permission to use it early in 2019, and the Air Force command officially agreed to include a 4-way team.

VDV instantly started with indoor training and won the next Ruusian Indoor Nationals with a 34.3 average, once again in the Russian A Class (Star exit, all 16 random formations, blocks 2,4,6,7,9,14,15,21) and with the same lineup as in 2018. VDV followed up at the national outdoor championships in Tanay with a 25.6 in the A Class.

However, VDV had now begun with training of the AAA Class dive pool and were planning to attend their first competition in this category at the indoor championships in December. In the meantime, new military 4-way fans (Rodion Pashkanov, Andrey Rybakov) had joined the project, and a second team was put in place, with Arthur Kindzer and Denis Erokhin completing the lineup.

The VDV lineup, again with substitute Sergey Yalpayev for Russian Thunder member Georgy Miroshnichenko, were ready for their first AAA Class competition in December and finished in 3rd place with a 23.9 average. VDV-2, with Arthur Kindzer, Denis Yerokhin, Rodion Pashkanov and Andrey Rybakov competed in the A Class and took the 2nd place with a 29.5 average.

NSL Cloud Mondial January 2021
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 Total Avg
Rank AAA Class 11,10,22 16,H,D,8 13,5,F A,9,2 Q,14,J,P B,19,G,7 17,O,L,21 1,N,6 12,M,20 18,4,3 15,C,K,E Total Avg
- VDV-1  RU  - - - - - - - - - - - - -
- Agera FS 2022  NO  - - - - - - - - - - - - -

VDV-1 Footage of the NSL Cloud Mondial January 2021
VDV-1 in action at the Russian Indoor Nationals 2020
The 2019 season was a continuation of the project's progress and success. The two 4-way teams finally received support from the military command with the official status and sufficient training time in the wind-tunnel. They spent about 40 hours indoors and added about 100 more training jumps, mostly still on their own account.

The VDV teams remained on the upside in 2020, even throughout the time of the corona virus crisis. VDV-1 won the national outdoor championship in Kolomna with a 21.0 average after the six completed rounds. VDV-2 won the A Class competition.

Then came the indoor championship in December, where VDV-1 battled with IFS Moscow for the 1st place and indoor championship title and posted the 30.4 average. VDV-2 won the A Class with a 35.6 average.

Georgy Miroshnichenko said that VDV-1 plan to participate in the NSL Cloud Mondial January 2021, and the videos of the eleven rounds have been uploaded. The InTime judging procedure will begin on February 1st, and the slower competition draw will make it hard for VDV-1 to beat their own indoor record average. The next 4-way meet in Russia is the Russian 4-way Cup event in April.

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