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Did You Know...

... that Germany's ISB Air had bad luck on a day off in Orlando?

ISB Air with Gary Smith at the World Challenge 2010
posted Mar 15th, 2011 - It was the last day off for several teams today before the start of the Shamrock Showdown 2011 on Friday morning. Some teams enjoyed the day off at the dropzone and even continued jumping (Fast Air), others visited Orlando (NMP-PCH Hayabusa, ISB Air) or other locations in the area.

The trip of the German team to Orlando turned out to end with a very unfortunate accident. Center Outside Sarah Hajooze injured her back and knee seriously when she slipped and fell during the off day. Sad news for the team that was ready to challenge the French Deep Blue Defenders in DeLand.

It was once again very unfortunate timing for ISB Air. The NSL News audience may remember that the NSL News reported Center Inside Pia Weingart's skiing accident last year, which happened right before the World Challenge 2010. Coach Gary Smith filled the slot in Bedford last year. He may have to step in again now.

No day off for Fast Air
The Irish 4-way team Fast Air was extremely careful with today's jumps. It was actually a day off for the team. However, they decided to use the beautiful weather and coach Shannon Pilcher's availability to practise their swooping and canopy piloting skills.

Shannon Pilcher asked them to be cautious under their parachutes. The last thing they wanted on a day off is a bad landing and an injury a few days before the competition begins. Goal was to get familiar with their new team parachutes and learn team flight patterns.

Coach Shannon Pilcher is an expert and world champion in both events, 4-way and Canopy Piloting. In fact, he was one of the first PD Factory Team pioneers who explored different avenues in parachute flight. His experiences will help the Irish team to improve their piloting skills.

Gary Smith breaks the bad news to Bill Legard
New arrivals at the dropzone today were French national manager Jeremie Rollett and UK team Boogie Nights. Jeremie Rollett is still reigning 4-way world champion, as he won the gold medal at the World Championship of Formation Skydiving 2010 together with Julien Degen, Mathieu and Guillaume Bernier. Manu Sarrazin has taken his Center Inside slot for the next two years. The French 8-way expert was also helping the Norwegian 8-way lineup when he had time between his own 4-way jumps.

Jeremie Rollett said that he sees the annual Shamrock Showdown as a very important event at the beginning of the competition season and is here to see how his 4-way teams are doing early this year.

He also meets with team supporters and sponsors in DeLand. Aerodyne president Bill Legard is one of them, and the NSL News asked him for his take a few days before the start of the Shamrock Showdown. Aerodyne is now providing all French national teams with complete skydiving equipment.

Boogie Nights at work in DeLand
UK team Boogie Nights made a late call to join the Shamrock Showdown. The lineup brings together two Boogie Nights member of 2009, Michael Hayes and Vince Lam, and player coaches Steve Hamilton and Katie Woods.

This makes it an interesting internal UK competition between SonicNutz and Boogie Nights at the Shamrock Showdown. SonicNutz is much better prepared and has plans for the whole 2011 season and for 2012 if the team can win the UK Nationals 2011.

However, Steve Hamilton and Katie Woods might be able to bring Michael Hayes and Vince Lam quickly up to a speed that could be competitive for recent UK standards. Boogie Nights has a few more days for training before Round 1 comes up on Friday morning.

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