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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 2011||Rd. 1||Rd. 2||Rd. 3||Rd. 4||Rd. 5||Rd. 6||Rd. 7||Rd. 8||Rd. 9||Rd. 10||Total||Avg|
|4||USA Paraclete XP4||18 (-4)||21||20||19 (-1)||16 (-1)||20||24||18 (-1)||23||20 (-1)||199||19.9|
|6||SDC Rhythm XP||18 (-2)||19 (-1)||20||21||15||18 (-1)||24||19||20||23||197||19.7|
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."
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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...