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Did You Know...

... that Germany won FAI 8-way medals first time in 1977?

Airbus 8-way team at the FAI Outdoor World Meet 2022
image by: Omniskore
posted Nov 9th, 2022 - The NSL News covered the obstacle course of the British 8-way team in the run-up to the FAI Outdoor World Meet 2022 on November 4th. The situation of the French national team in 8-way Open, Mojo Annecy-Clermont, was the topic of the preview on June 10th.

The British and French 8-way teams both were expected to compete for the FAI bronze medals at Skydive Arizona, together with Germany's Airbus 8-way lineup. Mojo was sanctioned late by the French federation and was not expected to win medals or perform on a similar level as the French national 8-way teams in the past.

It was an unexpected surprise that Mojo, with former 8-way world champion Emmanuel Sarrazin in the lineup, could have been in the race for bronze medals. It did not happen, and France ended up in 5th place. It was the first time since 1985 that France did not win a medal in 8-way Open at an outdoor world meet, disregarding Australia 2018, where no French 8-way team competed at all.

MicroClim8 had outscored Germany's Airbus 8-way lineups twice, first in Ottawa 2016, and again in Australia 2018. The run-up to this year's outdoor world meet was too difficult for MicroClim8, and the British 8-way team just had to watch and accept the last part of the story with the happy end for the Germans.

FAI Outdoor World Meet 2022
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 Total Avg
Rank 8-way Open 20,16,B P,D,21,13 17,K,11 E,A,19,22 2,9,M C,14,F,12 3,6,18 4,10,1 8,Q,O,H 5,7,J Total Avg
1 Paraclete XP8 US 25 -1 20 20 -1 18 -1 18 19 -1 23 26 -1 16 -2 20 -2 205 20.5
2 Qatar Falcons QA 21 -1 14 -2 16 -1 17 16 15 -1 19 -1 20 -1 14 -1 12 -4 164 16.4
3 Airbus DE 18 14 14 13 4 -1 12 -2 16 16 12 14 133 13.3
4 MicroClim8 UK 16 9 -2 12 10 11 -1 7 -3 15 16 11 12 -1 119 11.9
5 Mojo Annecy-Clermont FR 15 10 11 10 11 10 -1 8 -5 13 9 10 107 10.7

Airbus - MicroClim8 - Mojo at the FAI Outdoor World Meet 2022 - Video Footage Courtesy of FAI/ISC and OmniSkore!HD
Airbus 8-way at the German Outdoor Nationals 2018
The 8-way stories of both 8-way teams have a lot of similarities. There has been a consistent foundation of 8-way competitors who started the team projects with the first lineups, Airbus/EADS in 2007, MicroClim8 in 2011. They recruited new 8-way team mates whenever it became necessary, year by year.

The first Airbus/EADS lineup at a world championship (Maubeuge 2008 included four team members (Olaf Biedermann, Goeran Meyer, Thomas Spielvogel, Max Thiele) who just won the first FAI medals for Germany, 14 years after their first world meet.

Max Thiele's brother Joern, who was also in the 2008 lineup, won this year's German 8-way title when Max was not available. Olaf Biedermann could neither make the national championships this year, and Airbus 4-way member Alex Prendinger was helping out. He was in the 8-way lineup until the end of the 2021 season and very familiar with the dive pool and slots. All other six members of the active lineup in Eloy won the German 8-way competition again in September.

Team videographer Erik Lorenz missed the national championships, as well, after an injury, and he did not have much time to recover before Round 1 in Eloy. However, he made it and delivered once again the video quality on the highest level that has backed up the Airbus performance for many years.

Participation of German 8-way teams at FAI World Championships of Formation Skydiving since 1985

Airbus 8 at the FAI Outdoor World Meet 2022 - Produced by Team Videographer Erik Lorenz
Airbus 8-way at the German Nationals 2007
The current lineup has been training and competing together with very small changes since the complete 4-way lineup of team Eyjafjallajokull joined the Airbus 8-way team in 2018. The other four slots could always easily be shared between the available Airbus 8-way veterans of many years. The combination of the experienced 8-way competitors and the complete Eyjafjallajokull 4-way lineup could never be matched by any other German 8-way team.

Last month, the current lineup combination was even strong and consistent enough to win the first medals for Germany at any FAI World Championship of Formation Skydiving since 1985. The dominance over MicroClim8 and Mojo in Eloy was still challenged once in Round 5, when the Swiss Bear in Block 2 bit Airbus badly, which resulted in a 4-pointer on the leaderboard.

MicroClim8 and Mojo were still close enough, and a down-spiraling performance after the Block 2 accident could have changed the final outcome. Airbus did not blink and recovered like a world-class team with the next highscore over the two opponents.

The 8-way bronze medal for Germany was actually not the first time in history that a German 8-way team finished in a medal position. The national team of 1977 won silver medals behind the United States with skydiving legend Jerry Bird. However, the current rules and regulations were introduced in 1985, which is also the start of the modern era of Formation Skydiving competition for the NSL News...

8-way Leaderboard of the FAI World Championship of Formation Skydiving in 1977
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