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The NSL News barely managed to cover the 4way Open Class competition of the USPA Nationals with the videos of all ten rounds before moving on, and there are several other topics in the Open Class that deserve additional attention. Then there are the Advanced Class and Intermediate Class 4way teams who were also responsible to make it an incredible event this year in Eloy.
There is also the 8way competition, which featured world class competition on a level that no other event has to offer. The team in 4th place at the USPA Nationals 2011, Paraclete XP8, scored as high as the bronze medal winner at the World Cup 2011, Russia's national 8way team Sky Panthers Barkli, who were also present in Eloy.
|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||Golden Knights||26 (-2)||23||19||19||21||20||17||23||24||20||212||21.2|
|2||Sky Panthers Barkli||22||24||16 (-2)||10 (-4)||19||17||15||18||19||17||177||17.7|
All three teams competed again at the World Cup this year in Germany where France and USA switched their positions after a dramatic 1-point finish. Russia took the bronze medals once again and scored lower than in 2010, while the Golden Knights continued to increase the team's meet averages, from 18.9 at the USPA Nationals 2009 to 19.6 at the World Meet 2010 and 19.9 at the USPA Nationals 2010.
The 2011 season showed the Golden Knights with the 20.7 average at the World Cup in Germany and the recent 21.2 average at the USPA Nationals for a perfect progression (18.9 - 19.6 - 19.9 - 20.7 - 21.2) over the last three years and since the team was formed.
|World Cup 2011||Round 1||Round 2||Round 3||Round 4||Round 5||Round 6||Round 7||Round 8||Round 9||Total||Avg|
|3||Sky Panthers Barkli||17||15||14 (-2)||17||16 (-3)||15 (-1)||19||19||15 (-2)||147||16.3|
However, Sky Panthers Barkli is on the way up and had several very strong rounds in Eloy. The same lineup changed a few exit positions after the World Cup, which seems to have great results for the Russian 8way team. In fact, the Sky Panthers increased their meet average between World Cup (16.3) and USPA Nationals (17.7) more significantly than the Golden Knights (20.7 - 21.2) at the same meets.
Of course, this is more difficult on a higher scoring level, but it still indicates that Russia is eager to catch up with the currently best 8way team in the world. The French 8way team is planning to catch the Golden Knights next year when the focus in France will be even between 4way and 8way. This year, the 4way training had priority, and the results showed at the World Cup. More French 4way scores will soon follow from Dubai where NMP-PCH Hayabusa is once again challenging Aerodyne Aerokart.