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SDC Rhythm XP has received the most attention of all top contenders so far, and there are good resons for that. The impressive performance and the drama of the last two rounds was naturally a very exciting part of the AAA/Open Class competition. The announcement that Center Inside Rob Radez steps back added breaking news to the interesting Rhythm coverage.
However, it is still not really fair that the winner, Arizona Airspeed, had to wait so long for the first NSL News story. Reason for that is probably the fact that the most convincing victory did not surprise anybody and was clearly expected by the NSL News audience, according to the results of the poll questions prior to the event.
|USPA Nationals 2011||Rd. 1||Rd. 2||Rd. 3||Rd. 4||Rd. 5||Rd. 6||Rd. 7||Rd. 8||Rd. 9||Rd. 10||Total||Avg|
|1||USA Arizona Airspeed||25||19||19||22||26||24||21||26||31||30||243||24.3|
|2||USA Golden Knights Gold||18 (-1)||17||18||21||24||23||19||21||29||28||218||21.8|
|3||USA Perris Fury||20 (-2)||17||16||21||26||22||15||21||29||29||216||21.6|
|4||SDC Rhythm XP||22||17||18||21||24||20||19||22||26||26||215||21.5|
|5||USA Paraclete XP4||21||16||16||20||23||19||17||22||26||28||208||20.8|
The 24.3 average doesn't seem to be anything exciting, as Aerodyne Aerokart from France (25.5) and NMP-PCH Hayabusa from Belgium (24.9) posted significantly higher averages at the World Cup 2011 in August. However, the competition draw logically makes a difference, and the one in Eloy was not a fast one.
Airspeed's progression in 2011 becomes more visible when compared to other teams that attended the same meets. The NSL News took a closer look at the scores at the Shamrock Showdown 2011 to get a better understanding of the recent Airspeed performance level.
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It is surely much easier to increase the scoring level coming from a lower average. Airspeed started the 2011 season on a very high level, with 25.0 at the Valentine's Meet 2011 and 24.9 at the Shamrock. The lack of competition in the USA does not help much either, as all Airspeed members mentioned.
Any potential pressure was already completely gone after Round 1, which Airspeed won by three points. Two more points were added to the Airspeed lead in Round 2, and the other teams knew by then that Airspeed was out of reach. The scores of Round 1 were also the beginning of the Rhythm drama, as the underdog took the sole 2nd place and defended it successfully in the slow sequence of Round 2. The NSL News will add the sequence of Round 2 (21,14,22) to the collection of slow sequences and follow up on this topic soon.