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Did You Know...

... that Team Bodyflight was closer to Aerokart Deep Blue than the leaderboard shows?

March showdown in DeLand: Spaceland Blue and Aerokart Deep Blue
posted May 6th, 2010 - The NSL News now goes back to the third and youngest category of IPC Formation Skydiving competition, the female 4-way event. The story on 23 March 2010 had covered the situation in this category after the FSL Shamrock Showdown 2010. The US national team Spaceland Blue, silver medalist of the World Meet 2008 in France, and the French bronze medalist of 2008, Aerokart Deep Blue, competed directly with each other in DeLand in March.

France won this duel with a 20.1 average, Spaceland Blue finished with a 16.7 average. It was the start of the 2010 season for the US Blue with a new lineup, while the French Deep Blue is in the team's 3rd year with the same lineup. Both teams prepare for the World Championship of Formation Skydiving 2010.

Spaceland Blue's coach Thomas Hughes explained in a live interview with XL members on 29 April 2010 that he and his team were neither surprised no discouraged by the results at the Shamrock Showdown. He is convinced that his team will be able to catch up in the time remaining, as the US team did in 2008, and then give the French team a good competition.

New UK lineup at the World Challenge 2010: Team Bodyflight
Aerokart Deep Blue has moved forward in the meantime and focused on the next opponent, the defending world champions in the female category from the United Kingdom. The French team knew that the British tunnel experts would be waiting at the World Challenge 2010 to check out their own position in the race for this year's gold medals at the World Meet in Russia and to challenge Deep Blue as much as possible at this point in time.

Team Bodyflight, with Tarnya Hollis, Amanda Kemp, Liz Matthews and Sarah Smith-Cannon in the lineup, is in the same situation as the US team. The lineup was put together late in the game and has one competition season to get ready for the showdown in Russia.

It will be just as much an intense time period for the British team as it is for the US team. Aerokart Deep Blue was obviously significantly ahead of Team Bodyflight, as well (27.2 - 24.6) in Bedford, and the competition videos of both teams will be uploaded very soon. However, the French team knows that both challengers will be much closer in Russia in August and will not rest in the meantime.

Strong indoor performance in Bedford: Aerokart Deep Blue
In fact, Team Bodyflight showed at the World Challenge 2010 here and there that the team will be competitive in Russia and try to defend the British gold medals. Team Bodyflight tied the well trained French team's scores in two rounds (4 and 9) and kept in very close contact in a few other rounds.

The UK team also lost six points due to infringements, while Deep Blue was one of the cleanest teams of the meet and lost only one point. The French team won the fast Round 2 by ten points (59 - 49) and created a big lead early in the meet.

This was a surprise, as the British team members are very well trained in the tunnel and were expected to score much higher in a round with only Random Formations. Considering the 10-point difference in Round 2 and the penalty situation the two opponents are probably much closer to each other than the leaderboard of the World Challenge 2010 actually shows.

Scores of Aerokart Deep Blue and Team Bodyflight at the World Challenge 2010
21-point average as the goal: Aerokart Deep Blue
Despite all speculations and interpretations of the final leaderboard in Bedford Aerokart Deep Blue is on track to win one of the three sets of gold medals this year in Russia. The French team has competed directly with the strongest opponents and has gained confidence meet by meet.

Deep Blue is also more an outdoor than a tunnel team and will probably be even stronger with exits from the Turbo Let door in Russia compared to any windtunnel entry. The team members mentioned in the live interview with the NSL News on 23 March 2010 that their next goal is the 21-point average level.

This French goal also defines the benchmark for Spaceland Blue and Team Bodyflight in Russia. The next NSL News update in the female 4-way category will feature both teams' videos from Bedford and introduce the other female lineups at the World Challenge 2010.

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