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Did You Know...

... that the NSL News received updates from the United Kingdom?

Sebastian XL at the Mondial 2003
posted Jan 25th, 2006 - There were times when team news from the United Kingdom made the NSL News on a regular basis. It was the aera of Sebastian XL, the British national team for many years, that fought tough battles with Norway for bronze medals at the international top events. It was also the time when V-Max made it to the top of the world in the Women's 4-way competition.

The last XL line-up with Pete Allum, Thomas Hughes, Steve Hamilton, John McIver and Rob Stevenson on camera discontinued after the 4th place at the Mondial 2003 in Gap, France, and the team members went different ways. The NSL News audience knows well that Pete Allum joined the Italian national team Sinapsi PD, and that Thomas Hughes has now become a new Airspeed 8-way member.

Steve Hamilton sets base for tunnel fun
What happened to John McIver and Steve Hamilton? John McIver visited the USA last year and competed with Perris Fury at the USPA Nationals filling the slot for the injured Dan BC. Other than that, both former XL members are now based in the United Kingdom.

Steve Hamilton updated the NSL News in October 2005 about life and skydiving back home: "Whilst we miss all our friends and the weather in Florida, we are excited to announce that we are planning to build a 'project' for British skydivers. This has been of interest to us for several years, but, due to lack of support, has not been possible until now."

Team Optic in Bedford
Hamilton and McIver both supervise the new training project from their headquarters at the wind tunnel in Bedford, and they currently work with up to four 4-way teams of varying experience. The line-up of teams include a junior team, intermediates and two open class teams with John McIver and Steve Hamilton as player coaches.

Steve Hamilton explained that the idea of the project is to fill the gap left behind in the United Kingdom after teams such as XL stepped out of the 4-way arena: "We have such a depth of ability in this country, so it would be nice to channel the talent and build something good for UK teams in the future, with the more experienced members passing down their knowledge to the juniors."

South Parc at the World Cup 2005
The tryouts for the training project were held in the Bedford wind tunnel and included several complete teams, such as Optic, the European Skydiving League Champion of 2004, and South Parc, one of the teams that competed for the United Kingdom at the World Cup 2005 in Eloy.

The current national 4-way team of the United Kingdom is the British Army team with Dave Tyler, Al Macartney, Dane Kenny, Aaron Faith and Spencer Hogg on camera. All members are full time in the military service and part time 4-way competitors,as team speaker Dave Tyler recently reported. Each of the team members has either served in Iraq or Afghanistan within the past three years.

This British Army Team will represent the country at the World Championship of Formation Skydiving 2006 in Germany. The team just completed a training camp with coach Shannon Pilcher in DeLand and made 72 jumps in six days. Dave Tyler mentioned that the team is also supported by the wind tunnel in Bedford where Steve Hamilton and John McIver run their project.

British Army Team at the World Cup 2005
The British Army Team plans to add 250 jumps between now and the World Meet in August for a total of approx. 350 jumps, plus ten hours of tunnel training time. The team goal is set for 16.5 average and higher. The British Army Team finished with a 15.3 average after eight rounds at the World Cup in October 2005. Several of the competition jumps at the World Cup 2005 can still be viewed on the NSL-TV page of this event. Dave Tyler also provided the video of a jump at the last training camp in DeLand, which can be viewed by clicking here.

The British Army Team plans to be back in DeLand with coach Shannon Pilcher on 13 April, and the team wants to compete at the second Florida Skydiving League of the 2006 season that weekend. The team members were also recently interviewed by the Armed Forces TV channel, BFBF, and the NSL News will try to capture the interview next week.

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