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Did You Know...

... that the USPA 4way Open Class Poll had the wrong question?

First results of the poll with the wrong question...
posted Oct 14th, 2011 - Okay, it was not the correct question. There does not seem to be a doubt who will win the USPA Nationals 2011 in the 4way Open Class competition. Arizona Airspeed was written all over the poll results that the NSL News included with the story on 12 October 2011.

The question and the poll has now been defined differently to make it more interesting for the audience. The new poll, which is also open at the 4way Open Class page of the USPA Nationals 2011 coverage, allows the voter to pick the three teams who will be in the medal positions at the end of the meet. The same five teams are the available options while it is not only about the winner this time.

What is it that has made Arizona Airspeed the only serious top contender for the gold medals this year? The NSL News mentioned in the previous story that Mark Kirkby is the only team member who has won a USPA 4way gold medal before. Paraclete XP4 has two former US 4way champions (Kirk Verner, John Eagle), and the Golden Knights have another one (Kurt Isenbarger). Still nobody else seems to have a chance this year.

Click on the banner for 4on4 tunnel camp information
Airspeed with top challenger Spaceland Force in 2009
It would be an unusual situation at USPA Nationals, and it is difficult to imagine that one team could really be so far ahead of all others. There has always been tough competition in the 4way Open Class, at least in the years when the event was the qualifyer for the next World Championship of Formation Skydiving. That's the case at the end of this month when the winning team will most likely become the US national team for Dubai 2012.

Space Center with Joey Jones gave Airspeed a hard time in the late 90s and in 2000. The Golden Knights won in 2002 after a battle with Arizona Airspeed and DeLand Majik. DeLand Majik had to work very hard to shake off Golden Knights and Airspeed in 2003. DeLand Fire and Golden Knights needed a jump-off in 2005. Fastrax challenged Airspeed in 2007, as Perris Fury and Spaceland Force did in 2009. Could it really be a walk in the park for Airspeed this year?

The poll also includes a forum where comments and additional thoughts can be added to this year's 4way Open Class story...

Airspeed after the World Challenge 2011: "You don't win a world meet in the tunnel chamber..."
Mark Kirkby seems to have picked his new team mates so carefully that it apparently gives the impression of dominance over all other US 4way teams. There surely is enough evidence for Airspeed's powerful position. Only NMP-PCH Hayabusa has managed to beat the new lineup so far at the World Challenge 2011. Airspeed is undefeated after the team's two outdoor meets, and the scores (24.9 - 25.0) have been impressive.

However, Airspeed's last competition was the Midway Battle in June where only SDC Rhythm XP competed of the five top contenders and reduced the distance compared to the Shamrock Showdown. Airspeed's four meets this year with the new lineup is still more competition than any other top contender had in 2011, except Rhythm with four meets too.

The situation will become even more interesting when the USPA Nationals 2011 are over and Airspeed has really won the gold medals as clearly as it seems to be expected. Then two of the other four teams will compete for the USA in Dubai at the end of this year since Airspeed is not eligible according to the USPA rules. Maybe the competition for the gold medals in the 4way Open Class will be more exciting than it is expected at the moment. At least there will be a great race for the 2nd place...

USPA Nationals 2011 - 4way Open

Who will be in the three medal positions this year?

Arizona Airspeed
Perris Fury
Golden Knights
Paraclete XP4
SDC Rhythm XP
 Current Results

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