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Did You Know...

... that Chimera will not come back as a 4-way team?

Chimera delegation in DeLand 2016
posted Jan 24th, 2023 - The AAA Class leaderboard of the British Indoor Nationals 2022 offered a surprise of a different kind. Scores and positions turned out to be mostly as expected, with NFTO once again in the top spot of the AAA Class leaderboard.

However, the strongest NFTO opponent of the past seven years, Chimera, were not present to defend the indoor title that the British national team in 4-way Open won for the first time in February 2022. Chimera have been so much a consistent and competitive factor on British and international leaderboards since 2016 that the team's absence at the British Indoor Nationals was the event's biggest surprise.

The easiest explanation could have been the proximity of Round 10 at the FAI Outdoor World Championship 2022 on October 27th and Round 1 of the British Indoor Nationals on December 2nd. However, NFTO, who won the team's first FAI 4-way Women gold medals in Eloy, made the transition from outdoor to indoor competition and won their next British indoor title, even with a new lineup.

Chimera were just as successful as NFTO in Eloy, as they won the world's unofficial amateur title with the 5th place behind the full-time teams, after an exciting 10-round battle with Papea from Spain and Sweden's Echochamber. The 5th place at a world championship is currently the maximum achievement for an amateur team, and Chimera decided that this peak position is the best conclusion of the 7-year team career.

British Indoor Nationals 2022
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 Total Avg
Rank AAA Class O,P,22,1 19,L,F,4 7,10,D E,14,17 6,9,13 A,5,21 12,18,15 H,G,3,M B,2,N,Q J,11,16 Total Avg
1 NFTO UK 23 26 25 23 29 29 19 24 32 25 255 25.5
2 Meraki UK 22 23 22 24 24 24 19 31 32 23 244 24.4
3 FCGB Weembi UK 21 20 23 20 24 22 17 28 29 22 226 22.6
4 Apex UK 22 18 19 22 24 24 15 27 27 21 219 21.9
5 R4MJ UK 17 19 18 22 21 21 14 23 21 19 195 19.5
6 Ginette Weembi FR 20 20 18 17 22 18 14 21 22 17 189 18.9
7 Peregrines UK 15 16 16 14 16 13 11 17 17 13 148 14.8
8 4Reigners UK 14 13 13 16 15 15 11 13 17 14 141 14.1
9 Boomentry UK 15 12 11 12 13 12 8 11 14 7 115 11.5
10 Silver Linings UK 14 10 13 12 12 8 9 13 14 7 112 11.2
11 Say It Again But Slowly UK 12 11 11 11 11 11 6 12 13 9 107 10.7
12 Omni UK 11 11 9 8 10 10 9 13 15 10 106 10.6

Chimera at the World Challenge in 2018 and 2019
British indoor champions 2022: Chimera
The complete 2022 season was the best one in the Chimera history, with the British indoor and outdoor championship titles both, and the 5th place finish at the FAI Outdoor World Championship. The team confirmed this decision in an official statement:

"It's been an incredible 7 years for us in Chimera, culminating in 2022 where we won the indoor and outdoor British National Championships, and came 5th at the World Championships - the highest ranking for a non-professional team in the open category. 2022 was the final year for us as a team. Having trained so hard for so long, we're all so grateful for everything we've achieved together and feel the time is right to pursue other goals that we have, both in and out of skydiving. We've achieved our 4-way dream and it's time for us to find our next dreams??"

The Chimera time has come to an end, while the team members will continue in different ways, including the option of more training, competition and coaching. Chimera also gave the team's coach, Arizona Airspeed's Nikle Hemlin, special credit:

"No thank you is complete without mentioning our coach, friend and mentor Niklas Hemlin of Arizona Airspeed, who continues to teach us, inspire us, disgust us and make us laugh so hard we can barely breathe. You've always believed in us and we love you very much."

FAI Outdoor World Meet 2022
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 Total Avg
Rank 4-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 Arizona Airspeed US 21 -1 28 27 27 31 23 21 20 32 31 261 26.1
2 NMP-PCH Hayabusa BE 20 -1 25 -2 21 23 28 20 -2 19 17 29 26 228 22.8
3 Qatar Tigers QA 19 -2 23 -1 22 -1 21 -1 26 18 17 -1 17 28 28 219 21.9
4 France 4-way Open FR 19 23 -1 22 23 27 20 -1 18 15 -1 20 -5 27 -1 214 21.4

5 Chimera UK 16 21 -2 19 19 -1 18 -5 18 -1 16 14 -1 23 -1 24 188 18.8
6 Papea Masculino ES 17 -1 20 -1 18 -1 21 21 -2 18 15 15 21 -1 20 -3 186 18.6
7 Echochamber Oceanside SE 14 -1 21 19 19 20 -1 17 16 15 24 -1 20 -1 185 18.5
8 Airbus Oceanside Illertissen DE 16 18 -2 19 16 -1 20 -1 13 -3 15 14 19 -2 22 -1 172 17.2
9 Agera FS 2022 NO 16 16 -2 17 -1 17 18 -1 15 15 13 -1 18 -3 21 166 16.6
9 4Astrophe CA 15 -1 20 19 15 -2 21 15 15 -2 14 16 -3 16 -2 166 16.6

11 Out of the Blue NL 16 16 -3 17 17 14 -2 17 12 -1 13 -1 21 -1 18 161 16.1
12 Ripper AU 14 -1 16 -1 18 16 -1 21 15 12 10 -3 19 -1 19 -1 160 16.0
13 Sky4Four PL 13 -1 14 -3 14 16 16 -2 12 -1 12 13 21 18 -1 149 14.9
14 HF Flying Circus CZ 13 10 -7 16 15 -1 18 -2 12 -1 13 11 -3 16 -5 17 -1 141 14.1
15 Sequenz DK 10 -2 16 15 14 -1 17 -1 12 -1 12 11 -1 17 -1 11 -3 135 13.5
16 INIT-Y BR 12 -2 14 -1 14 -1 13 -4 16 11 -2 10 -3 12 17 -1 15 -3 134 13.4
17 HSV Red Bull Aerodynamix AT 10 -2 16 14 15 15 -1 8 -3 9 -2 10 -1 15 -1 13 -1 125 12.5
18 Adventure Flyers PY 9 -1 13 12 -1 11 16 11 10 9 14 14 -1 119 11.9
19 Equinox LT 10 -1 12 -2 12 12 -1 13 -1 10 10 9 -1 12 -4 14 -1 114 11.4
20 Tina & The Dinosaurs NZ 5 8 -1 4 9 9 -1 8 5 4 -2 10 8 70 7.0
21 La Playa GT 2 -1 7 -2 5 -1 3 -3 7 5 3 -1 5 - - 37 4.6

Chimera at the British Outdoor Nationals 2022 and the FAI Outdoor World Championship
British outdoor champions in 2022: Chimera
Chimera will not try to defend the amateur top spot at the next outdoor world championship, which opens the door for a national 4-way Open Class team of a different country in Israel 2024, unless the next British 4-way champion team will try to follow the Chimera steps.

Spain (Papea) and Sweden (Echochamber) were already a part of the battle for the 5th place, and Germany's Airbus 4-way team have launched their next 2-year period, as the NSL News reported on January 11th. Norway's 4-way Open Class team Agera could also become a top contender for the 5th place if the team continues after competing on home turf at the FAI Outdoor World Cup 2023. Canada's family team 4Astrophe was exactly on the Agera level in October last year.

The 5th place seems to continue being the best position for an amateur team, as the Top 4 keep training and competing with the same lineups for the next two years. United States (Arizona Airspeed), Belgium (NMP PCH HayaBusa), Qatar (Tigers) and France are so far ahead of all the best teams from other countries, and two more years with the same lineups will only create more distance. However, Chimera's successful last year pays back for the seven years of training and competition, which brought more than enough additional fun and experiences:

"We've learned so much on our journey. Through developing our 4-way skills, we've become better skydivers. Through developing as team mates, we've become better in so many aspects of our lives. It's been an honor and a privilege to spend 7 years together and we feel very lucky to have had so much support from so many of you."

The same counts hopefully for all teams, between the 1st, 5th and 21st place on the 4-way Open Class leaderboard...

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