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The FAI/ISC indoor events do not include 8-way competition at this point in time, even though the sanctioning organization of Formation Skydiving competition has been working on dive pools and rules for 8-way teams, as the NSL News reported on January 17th. The U.S. delegation has not yet fielded a national team in 4-way Junior.
Senior U.S. 4-way teams have to compete in 4-way Open if they plan to qualify for FAI events. The rules for FAI/ISC world cups allow up to four teams per nation to compete at indoor and outdoor world cups. Arizona Airspeed, Golden Knights, SDC Rhythm XP and XP4 are now eligible for the 4-way Open Class competition at the indoor world cup in 2024, and three teams (XPG4, Greenlight, SNE Fly Girls) could join the U.S. delegation in 4-way Women.
There has not been much competition for the U.S. top spot in 4-way Women in the past, and XPG4 did not not have any opponents at last year's qualification for the indoor world championship. It was different last weekend.
Paraclete XP Indoor 2023
|3||SDC Rhythm XP||US||20||23||25||52||19||32||23||25||30||27||276||27.6|
|6||Skydive Midwest NEXT||US||19||20||19||45||18||32||19||18||26||24||240||24.0|
|10||SNE Fly Girls||US||10||15||16||36||12||17||15||14||20||14||169||16.9|
Two former XPG4 members, Jeana Billings and Morgan Womble, then formed Greenlight for the national indoor championships, with Christine Bruchac and Jill Stephenson completing the strong lineup. It turned out that there was a competition in 4-way Women for the first time.
Both teams did not have much time to get ready for the event. XPG4 have been in the middle of the preparations for the indoor world championship in April and had to adjust their training plan after the personnel change. However, the XPG4 3-way was well trained in the second year together, and Shannon Catalano had already been on the list of candidates when Morgan Womble stepped back. The new XPG4 lineup handled the strong Greenlight pressure very well and finished with the team's highest indoor average since the FAI Indoor World Championship 2019.
World Tunnel League February 2023
|2||HF Flying Circus||25||22||27||25||23||22||23||30||21||22||240||24.0|
|3||HF Flying Rebels||24||19||26||25||21||21||20||26||16||22||220||22.0|
France (Nephtys), Great Britain (NFTO), Germany (Piteraq) and Czech Republic (HF Cubs) have very competitive teams. Nephtys and NFTO won gold and silver in 4-way Women at Weembi Lille 2019, where XPG4 placed 3rd with Jeana Billings and Morgan Womble in the lineup.
The 25.4 average of the new XPG4 lineup last weekend seems to be enough to challenge one of the current medal contender in 4-way Women, HF Cubs from the Czech Republic, 4-way Junior world champions of 2019 and world cup winners in 4-way Women at the FAI Indoor World Cup 2022, even though the Super Sequence in Round 4 boosted the averages of the U.S. teams.
The Czech 4-way Women team mastered a very slow competition draw this month with a 24.5 average, after 27.0 at the January meet of the Czech Tunnel League. They had won the indoor world cup last year with a 28.5 team record average. XPG4 and HF Cubs both seem to perform well under competition pressure, which promises exciting ten rounds in Slovakia.