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Jerome David supervises and manages the whole Formation Skydiving competition for the French skydiving association. He is also the technical coach of the French female 4-way team, while Erwan Pouliquen works directly with the 8-way team. The NSL News asked him first for feedback regarding the performance of his 4-way Women team.
Jerome David was quite happy with the three rounds of the first day. The French team was tied in first place with the US team Perris Synchronicity by then. He did not like the whole second day when his team made several mistakes and performed significantly below potential, as coach Jerome David explained. His guidelines for the third day, beginning with round seven, was simply to re-focus on execution of the basic skills and techniques.
The current 8-way team and the Women's team are the official A-Teams, all 4-way line-ups are B-Teams and a part of the selection process. The group of currently 20 skydivers, who form the five line-ups of the B-Teams, consist of 13 male and 7 female members. This group will be reduced to 14 members in November this year.
Everything is possible by then. Jerome David may even pick current 8-way members for the next 4-way team. All members of the A-Teams and the B-Teams are training and competing to be the best they can be before their talent will be put into a specific team and event in August 2006.
"Yes, Craig Girard can bring his kids to school in the morning, then make a good number of 8-way training jumps, train 4-way in the wind tunnel for an hour or so, and pick up the kids from school. That is very efficient."
Jerome said that the French teams do not use the wind tunnel in Paris, France, very much at all. He thinks that it is not very efficient for training, and the quality of the air is not realistic enough. France does not have a location with the beautiful combination of drop zone and wind tunnel at the same place.
Many people see the possibility that the combination of drop zone and wind tunnel will finally take the 4-way scores to a new level. The top level of 4-way scoring has been flat for quite a few years, and now it seems as if the new progression might have begun. Airspeed Odyssey will probably finish this meet past the 23.0 average level, and it might only be the beginning of a new phase.
However, Jerome David will send his teams to Skydive Arizona more often next year to use the same efficient combination. The French association bought 6000 jump tickets and 70 hours of tunnel time in Eloy. It would be no surprise to the NSL News if there will soon be plans for a wind tunnel at one of the major skydiving centers in France.
Jerome David was pleased to see his two A-Teams performing well and in contention for the gold medals. He will spend another week in Arizona and California for a vacation with his wife. The Pacific coast, Los Angeles and the Grand Canyon are on the travel agenda for his wife's first visit to the USA. The taste of vacaton will probably be even sweeter if the French teams finish with success in Eloy.