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The USPA Nationals had a total of 59 teams in all traditional 4-way events in 2019, including the guest teams, 65 in 2021, and down to 48 this month. It was the lowest number in the history of USPA Nationals. The event was canceled in 2020, due to the implications of the corona virus crisis.
The ESL Championship had an even longer break of two years, after the record participation of 30 teams in 2019. The event was not even scheduled for the 2020 season, and the situation did not change in the second year of the worldwide health crisis.
ESL organizer Mike Pennock decided this year that it is time to bring back the event, even if it were only to remind the 4-way community in Europe that the popular competition with its different format would be brought back to full swing in the coming years.
ESL Championship 2022
Three Belgian teams (Ayro, The Loop, Air Flux) had just competed at their national championships a week earlier and came back to secure the ESL Spirit trophy for the Belgian delegation that the British teams had taken home in 2019. No other country had enough teams on site this year to oppose the Belgian home team.
AAA Class winner Ayro confirmed the 16+ average that the team had posted first time a week earlier at the Belgian national outdoor championships and did not face any serious competition. Thyra from Norway had Agera FS2022 member Julian Frayne in the lineup, who then traveled to DeLand, Florida, with his own team for the last training camp.
Thyra was missing a team member of the new all-female lineup. In fact, Thyra was actually planning to compete for Norway in 4-way Women at the FAI outdoor world meet, which is not going to happen, as one team member is too young of age. The NSL News will follow up soon with more details of the Thyra plans.
ESL Championship 2019
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|5||British Army Volt4ge||UK||8||19||9||7||7||7||7||9||6||-||71||8.9|
Organizer Rogier Carper told the funny story how the team came together. Videographers of the participating teams decided to join the competition with their own lineup. Meet Director Mike Pennock accepted the very late registration.
The Camera Flyers were still one team member short, and they were asking local skydivers to join the team. They found a "Neal" who was willing to step in. They promised him to "engineer all formations around him" under the assumption by the Camera Flyers that he did not have a lot of 4-way experiences.
When new NMP PCH HayaBusa member Neal Willems put on his yellow Javelin gear and the HayaBusa jumpsuit, he was finally identified. The Camera Flyers ran out of money after Round 4, and Neal Willems will travel to Florida now for his next HayaBusa training camp at Skydive City.