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Did You Know...

... that SDC Rhythm XP might be much closer than expected to USPA medal positions?

Latest NSL Poll results: Underdog SDC Rhythm XP
posted Oct 21st, 2011 - The USPA Nationals 2011 are only a week away, and the NSL News will focus more and more on the next major event of the 2011 season. Top subject is apparently not the question who will win the meet. However, there are more than enough other interesting aspects of the upcoming competition.

The NSL News took another closer look at the last results of the NSL Poll that is now looking more at the teams who will be in contention for the silver and bronze medals, as Arizona Airspeed seems to be the winner of the gold medals before the meet has even started. The latest results still show Paraclete XP4 quite clearly in 2nd place, while Golden Knights and Perris Fury are locked into the race for the bronze medals.

SDC Rhythm XP is the underdog so far even though the youngest of the top teams has very different goals and has shown the potential to be much better than what the audience expects at the moment. 4way meet experience seems to matter more than talent and motivation, and the USPA Nationals 2011 will be an interesting battlefield for the teams with those two different approaches.

Shamrock Showdown 2011Rd. 1Rd. 2Rd. 3Rd. 4Rd. 5Rd. 6Rd. 7Rd. 8Rd. 9Rd. 10TotalAvg
RankAAA ClassN,H,3,1J,4,C,137,17,19B,20,1512,22,MF,18,2E,16,9G,8,21P,A,11,1410,Q,D,LTotalAvg
4USA Paraclete XP4 18 (-4) 21 20 19 (-1) 16 (-1) 20 24 18 (-1) 23 20 (-1)19919.9
6SDC Rhythm XP 18 (-2) 19 (-1) 20 21 15 18 (-1) 24 19 20 2319719.7
SDC Rhythm XP scoring progression
In fact, Rhythm is the the only team of the Top 5 that weighs in talent and motivation, not counting the "pickup team" with Katie Woods and Ari Perelman that the NSL News recently mentioned. This situation was interesting enough to use 2010 and 2011 data and footage for another specific preview of the upcoming 4way Open Class competition.

The scores of Paraclete XP4 and SDC Rhythm XP at the Shamrock Showdown 2011 don't really confirm the current results of the NSL Poll. XP4 outscored Rhythm clearly at the Paraclete XP Indoor Skydiving Championships 2011 in February. That was not really a great surprise since the Paraclete members are arguably the most experienced and skilled indoor experts in the world, both in 4way and 8way.

However, the outdoor results in DeLand in March showed a different picture and are more realistic. As Arizona Airspeed member Niklas Hemlin mentioned after the World Challenge 2011: "You don't win a world championship in a flying chamber."

Click on the banner for 4on4 tunnel camp information
SDC Rhythm XP at the USPA Nationals 2010
Both teams did not meet each other again after the first two meets early in the 2011 season and the 2-point affair at the Shamrock Showdown. They went their own ways in preparation for the USPA Nationals and only crossed their paths at the Paraclete XP windtunnel for team training and tunnel camps.

There is no hard evidence that XP4 pulled ahead of Rhythm as much as the results of the NSL Poll indicates. In fact, Rhythm has continued with the same progression that the team has shown since it was founded in 2007. The chart shows that the first results of the 2011 season were on a significantly higher level compared to the first meets last year. There is a pretty good chance that the Rhythm results at the end of the US season, in this case the USPA Nationals 2011, could be similar to the ones after the progression in 2010.

This would bring Rhythm to a 23.1 average by the numbers, after launching the 2010 season at the Shamrock Showdown with a 17.5 average and finishing with a 20.5 average at the USPA Nationals. The same formula would turn the table between Rhythm and XP4 this year. The Paraclete team started with a 19.7 average at the Shamrock Showdown in 2010 and posted a 21.2 average at the USPA Nationals 2010. The same progression would bring XP4 to a 21.4 from the 19.9 average at this year's Shamrock Showdown. SDC Rhythm XP might be much closer to the medal positions than currently expected. But then again - these are all only numbers, and nothing is posted on a scoreboard yet...

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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