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Did You Know...

... that NSL-TV presents the 20-point elite club videos?

posted Sep 17th, 2009 - The NSL News has some real eye candy for the audience.

The story on 3 September 2009, when the NSL News reported live from the FAI World Cup 2009 in the Czech Republic, included a mention that Arizona Airspeed has been the only team in the hostory of Foramtion Skydiving competition that has managed to score 20 or higher for every single round in a 10-round competition.

The correction of this statement came three days later with the story on 6 September 2009. DeLand Majik's 4-way world champion of 2004, Solly Williams, had informed the NSL News that his team had already achieved the same incredible result at the Malevsky Cup 2002 in Stupino, Russia.

Airspeed Vertical 2002 lineup
In fact, Craig Girard and Mark Kirkby, Center Outside and Tail of the current Airspeed lineup, witnessed the unique DeLand Majik performance, as they competed with Airspeed Vertical at the same competition. John Eagle (Point) and Neal Houston (Center Inside) completed the Airspeed lineup of 2002.

DeLand Majik consisted of Solly Williams (Tail), Gary Smith (Point), Doug Park (Center Inside) and Joey Jones (Center Outside). The Majik record remained untouched for amazing five years, while other world class teams, such as Airspeed, Golden Knights, France Maubeuge, Black Cat, Sky Panthers, Sinapsi, DeLand Norgies and XL competed during the same time period.

Airspeed Odyssey 2007 lineup
It was also an interesting coincidence that Craig Girard and Mark Kirkby had to go back to the same place to copy the Majik record five years later. Eliana Rodriguez and Andy Delk now competed with them for Airspeed Odyssey at the Malevsky Cup 2007. It was the first year for the current 4-way world champion lineup, and the 26.0 average has been the highest outdoor average ever since. The lowest Airspeed score was a 21-pointer.

Airspeed's result at the Malevsky Cup 2007 initiated a long stretch of meet jumps where Airspeed never scored below 20 points for a single round. It lasted into the FSL Shamrock Showdown 2008 where it ended in Round 8.

Team Fastrax at the Malevsky Cup 2007
The deeper research of the 20-point topic also brought to light that the NSL News has ignored another team that achieved the same impressive result over a 10-round meet.

Team Fastrax gave Airspeed a most exciting race in 2007, and both teams also competed at the Malevsky Cup 2007 in Russia.

The Fastrax 2007 lineup (John Hart - Tail, Niklas Hemlin - Point, Thomas Hughes - Center Inside, Doug Park - Center Outside, with Steve Redinbo on camera) finished "only" in 2nd place with a 24.7 average. However, Fastrax scored 20 and higher in all ten rounds and became a member of this elite club at exactly the same time as Airspeed. The NSL News will follow up with the Fastrax videos at a later time.

Airspeed Odyssey and Team Fastrax in Russia
Both teams then repeated the same masterpiece at the USPA Nationals 2007. The ranking order was the same, as Airspeed won and qualified as the national team for the World Meet 2008 in France. Only the meet averages (Airspeed - 25.3, Fastrax - 24.4) were slightly lower. The Golden Knights finished 3rd with a 23.0 average and missed the elite club membership with one 19-pointer in Round 9.

Another interesting aspect is the fact that Doug Park is the only 4-way competitor who achieved this very special feat three times in two different teams. He was also flying two different slots, the Center Inside position for DeLand Majik in 2002 and the Center Outside slot for Team Fastrax in 2007.

In addition to that, DeLand Majik member of 2002, Gary Smith, was also somehow a member of the Fastrax 2007 lineup, as he was coaching the team to its peak performance that year.

French delegation at the World Cup 2009
No team managed to score 20 and higher only at any 10-round meet in 2008. Black Cat at the Russian Nationals 2008 and France Maubeuge at the USPA Nationals 2008 came the closest with one 19-pointer each. Both teams still only finished in 2nd places at these events. The Sky Panthers won in Russia and Airspeed in Eloy. Airspeed missed the 20-point series with one 18-pointer in Round 7.

The French national 4-way team, with Guillaume Bernier, Mathieu Bernier, Julien Degen, Jeremie Rollet and Fabrice Rieu on camera, needed another year to score 20 and higher at a 10-round meet. The commanding performance at the FAI World Cup 2009 was probably a result of more specific 4-way training, as only Mathieu Bernier is still a member of the French 8-way lineup. All four Aerodyne Cypres Maubeuge members trained and competed in both events in 2007 and 2008.

France was the only 4-way team that scored 20 and higher in each round at the World Cup 2009. The World Cup winner of 2009 now has another year to prepare for the World Meet 2010 in Russia. It will be interesting to see which sequences for a round can still slow down the top teams enough to have a score with a 1 at the beginning.

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