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Did You Know...

... that the French teams will keep up with heart, soul and passion?

Jerome David with French 4-way Women team at the FAI World Cup 2005 in Eloy
posted Oct 27th, 2005 - The NSL News had the opportunity to spend more time with the French national coach Jerome David in Eloy who has already kindly provided the NSL audience with updates from France several times in the past. The NSL News spoke with Jerome David in the morning of the third day at the FAI World Cup 2005.

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.

French 8-way team in Eloy
The NSL News was even more interested in the general progression of his team building process in France. Jerome confirmed what he had already explained earlier. France does not have a national 4-way team at this point and will not have one until after the World Meet next year.

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.

French national coach Jerome David with one of his 8-way competitors
The last step in the selection process of the next French generation of A-Teams in 4-way Open, 4-way Women and 8-way will take place after the World Meet 2006 in Germany. The current A-Team members (8-way, 4-way Women) and the 14 members of the B-Teams will all be candidates for the new A-Teams of the three events.

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.

French 8-way team at work
The NSL News discussed the training conditions and opportunities with Jerome David, as well. The French national coach was impressed with the current conditions for Arizona Airspeed, which are almost perfect:

"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.

Airspeed tunnel training at SkyVenture Arizona
Airspeed Odyssey shows at the World Cup how efficient and successful this combination can be. Craig Girard said that the team has trained a lot since the USPA Nationals 2005 in September, 4-way almost exclusively in the SkyVenture Arizona wind tunnel, 8-way mostly from planes and also in the wind tunnel.

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.

Jerome David observes jump preparations of the French 8-way team
The NSL News was wondering how France plans to keep up with the US conditions in the future. Jerome David believes that there is more than only the training conditions: "We will use our heart and soul and passion to make up for the physical disadvantage."

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.

US leader Perris Synchronicity at the boarding area before round eight
Jerome's guidelines for his 4-way Women team on Wednesday were very successful. France LaPalisse/Maubeuge used the two jumps on Wednesday to reduce the distance to the US team Perris Synchronicity from seven to two points. It is an open race for the gold medals again in this event, while the Russian Ladybirds shared a mediocre day with the US team and fell further behind the two top teams.

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.

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