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Did You Know...

... that DeLand Majik was the first team with only 20-pointers and higher?

New 20+ Club member: France Aerodyne Cypres Maubeuge
posted Sep 6th, 2009 - The NSL News mentioned in the story on 3 September 2009 that only Arizona Airspeed has managed to score 20 or higher in each round of a 10-round competition. The same story speculated that chances are very good that France will copy Airspeed's unique record.

Eight rounds of the 4-way Open Class competition at the FAI World Cup 2009 were completed at that time. France Aerodyne Cypres Maubeuge followed through and posted 22 and 31 points in the last two rounds to complete this amazing performance.

There was a time period in 2007/2008 when Airspeed Odyssey never scored below 20 points at a competition. This incredible series started with Round 10 of the Shamrock Showdown in March, included the Malevsky Cup in July, the Paraclete XP Money Meet in July, the USPA Nationals in September and ended after 35 outdoor rounds with 20-pointers or higher at Round 5 of the Valentines Meet 2008.

Reigning world champions: Arizona Airspeed
However, all these Airspeed 20-pointer meets and France's results last week were still not the first ones in the history of Formation Skydiving competition where a team would score 20 or higher in a 10-round meet. Solly Williams kindly reminded the NSL News of the Malevsky Cup 2002 where DeLand Majik finished with a 23.1 average and a 21-pointer as the lowest score of the meet.

The dive pool still had 24 blocks at that time, and there was an extra deduction of a penalty point for an infringement. 20 of the 24 blocks were drawn, two of the ten sequences had three blocks. DeLand Majik (Solly Williams, Gary Smith, Joey Jones, Doug Park) did not suffer any point deductions in Russia that year.

Airspeed competed at the same Malevsky Cup in Stupino with the Vertical lineup (Craig Girard, Mark Kirkby, John Eagle, Neal Houston) and almost achieved the same record already by then. Two 19-pointers, one caused by a penalty and the according 2-point deduction, were in the way of the 20-point special.

Scores at the Malevsky Cup 2002
DeLand Majik
Neither team won the USPA Nationals later in 2002. The Golden Knights beat both and represented the USA at the World Meet 2003 in France. DeLand Majik eventually won the USPA Nationals in 2003 and took the gold medals to DeLand after the World Meet 2004 in Croatia.

It took four more years after the Malevsky Cup 2002 until the Airspeed Odyssey lineup successfully avoided any scores below 20 points at several 10-round meets. France Maubeuge is now the third team joining this elite club of the best 4-way teams in the history of Formation Skydiving competition.

The NSL News reported from the Malevsky Cup 2002:

DeLand Majik and Airspeed Vertical

Malevsky Cup 2002

Round ten of the Malevsky Memorial Meet in Russia was held last Saturday. After nine rounds were completed on Thursday, the teams had a whole day to prepare for the final round. The NSL audience knew on Thursday that DeLand Majik was six points ahead of Airspeed Vertical. However, the Fat Lady would not sing before Saturday evening.

Round ten did not change much anymore. Actually, it made things only worse for Airspeed and better for Majik. Both teams raced to 25 points in time. But Majik was clean, while Airspeed had to swallow two more penalties in the last round. One Phalanx was incomplete, and the following transition did not show clean separation as a consequence of the first mistake.

Maybe Airspeed tried to make it up as close as possible to Majik and took chances. Maybe Craig Girard's ill stomach bothered the team performance. However, it was the second time in a meet this year that Airspeed had to come from behind. And it did not work out well.

Gary Smith and Doug Park with the Malevsky Cup
Airspeed was down by only one point after eight rounds. With two more rounds to go and a very solid performance by Majik, Airspeed was forced to attack. The following round nine was the first disaster for Airspeed. They lost five more points in that one round, including a penalty. Majik was now six points ahead. Realistically, the meet was over after round nine.

Solly Williams indicated in his message from Russia that Majik would still have to perform well to post a new world record average score above the benchmark of 23.0 points. Obviously, Majik was not planning to take the safe road and just carry the gold medal home.

They had the new record in mind. With both teams probably having different goals in mind for this round, the pressure was still on. And Majik handled it well again. The new record score was posted on Saturday. And Majik ended up ten points ahead of Airspeed - with an impressive result.

DeLand Majik exit
Airspeed surely did not perform on their top level. However, the new record average of 23.1 shows that it was not only a suffering Airspeed performance that gave Majik the victory in Russia. Majik just seems to be in great shape. Even Golden Knights team captain John Hoover was impressed. He informed the NSL News that the Golden Knights were not invited to the meet in Russia. And he mentioned that "...Majik are obviously the favored team going into the Nationals." The momentum surely seems to be on Majik's side.

The Majik team members will all be back in town on Tuesday to begin the final training session before the U.S. Nationals 2002. Skydive DeLand owner Bob Hallett plans a welcome and record celebration party Tuesday night at his Perfect Spot restaurant. And the NSL TV will hopefully be able to obtain Majik footage from Russia.....

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