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In the meantime, this year's Dubai Championship has created some waves in the US 4-way community. The USPA Competition Committee decided at the July board meeting that Perris Fury and SDC Rhythm XP will be officially sanctioned to compete for the USA in Dubai in November/December this year.
The rules of the event allow each nation to send two teams to Dubai. Only one team is the official national team, which is eligible to win prize money. The winner in each of the two 4-way events (Open and Women) gets $20,000 and there are also cash prizes for the teams in 2nd and 3rd place ($15,000 - $10,000).
Both teams did not know that things would become complicated as of qualification rules when they regrouped at the end of the 2010 season. Fury member Josh Hall became a new Airspeed member, and only Mark Kirkby continued as a winning member of the 2010 lineup. He recruited three new Airspeed members, and Perris Fury replaced Josh Hall with Todd Hawkins.
Result was a very strong new Airspeed lineup, while Fury had a slow start into the 2011 season due to Uli Steuwe's shoulder surgery. In fact, Fury has attended only one meet this year, the Paraclete XP Indoor Skydiving Championships 2011, where John Hamilton flew the Tail slot for the missing Fury member.
|January 8th, 2011||Round 1||Round 2||Round 3||Round 4||Round 5||Round 6||Round 7||Round 8||Total||Avg|
|1||Belgium NMP-PCH Hayabusa||24||34||30||23||19||22||24||28||204||25.5|
|2||France Aerodyne Aerokart||24||33||33||20||18||25||23||24||200||25.0|
|3||USA Arizona Airspeed||23||33||31||23||19||23||22||25||199||24.9|
Reason for that is the fact that the USPA qualification rules require that a team has 50% of the members in the lineup for the FAI/IPC event that is coming up. Airspeed has only one team member of the 2010 lineup, Fury has three, and SDC Rhythm XP continues with the same lineup as in 2010. Golden Knights Gold and Paraclete XP4, 3rd and 4th last year, did not plan to compete in Dubai this year.
Unfortunately, USPA cannot use the results of this year's national championships as the qualifyer for Dubai 2011, which would have made it very easy to select the best US teams. The USPA rules also say that "the meet from which the results will be used to select the team must be held at least 60 days prior to the World Championships at which the team will compete." The 4-way event at the USPA Nationals 2011 will be completed on November 1st, and the Dubai Championship 2011 begins on November 29th.
The Dubai date changed when FAI/IPC voted for the next World Championship of Formation Skydiving/Mondial 2012 in Dubai, scheduled for November/December 2012. The Dubai management decided to match the Mondial 2012 date and changed the event date of the next Dubai Championship from January 2012 to November/December 2011. Now Airspeed was in trouble with USPA's 60-day rule.
The USPA Competition Committee discussed the topic in length at the recent meeting and decided to apply the rules as they are. Perris Fury is the US national team for Dubai 2011, and SDC Rhythm XP is sanctioned as the second US team. Airspeed only has a chance to compete with the top contenders from France, Belgium and Russia for the 1st place and the $20,000 if one of the two teams decides not to compete in Dubai and if the other teams agrees to offer Airspeed the official status as the US national team.