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Did You Know...

... that Spa Hayabusa aims for World Meet 2006 medals?

Spa Hayabusa at the Malevsky Cup 2005
posted Mar 1st, 2006 - The UK update is now followed by new information from Belgium. The Belgium national 4-way team, Spa Hayabusa, has made the NSL News several times in the past years, due to the team's commitment to live competition. Hayabusa is also the reigning European Skydiving League Champion.

The Belgium national team finished in 6th place with a 17.8 average at the World Meet in Croatia 2004, then posted an 18.2 average at the FSL Shamrock Showdown 2005. The Malevsky Cup 2005 brought a 19.4 average, and Hayabusa finished the 2005 season with a 20.0 average at the ESL Championship 2005.

The progression of the Belgium national team is significant enough to put it into a position as an underdog for a medal position at this year's World Meet in Germany. USA, France, Russia, Italy and Germany finished ahead of Hayabusa at the World Meet in Croatia 2004.

Spa Hayabusa 2006 at the tunnel meet
image by: Willy Boeykens
Germany's national 4-way team, EADS, is seriously challenged by Hayabausa and might not be able to keep up any longer with the Belgium training efforts. France does not have a medal contender in 4-way and might not even send a 4-way team to this year's World Meet in Germany.

This situation would leave Hayabusa in pursuit of only three teams: DeLand Fire for the USA, Sinapsi PD for Italy and one of the Russian top teams, Extreme.RU or Black Cat. A strong Hayabusa performance at the World Meet, along with a weak meet of any of these three top contenders could make something possible that Hayabusa might just dream about.

Spa Hayabusa with coach Doug Park
The Belgium team recently updated the NSL News with the team plans for the 2006 season, and Hayabusa seems to be right on track. Team member Roy Janssen confirmed that Hayabusa still has the same line-up as at the very beginning in September 2003: Sven Ibens, Roy Janssen, David Grauwels, Andy Grauwels and Bruno van den Eede on camera.

This line-up has now completed a total of 725 jumps within these three years and accumulated approx. 30 hours of team training time in the wind tunnel. Hayabusa stopped skydiving after the 20.0 average at the ESL Championship 2005 and bridged the winter time with team training and coaching in the wind tunnel in Paris, France.

Work done at the Malevsky Cup 2005
The 2006 season began for Hayabusa with a training camp at Skydive Arizona in Eloy in January. The team staid for six days, completed 58 training jumps and added five hours of tunnel training at SkyVenture Arizona. New Fastrax member Doug Park continued to work with Hayabusa and was coaching Hayabusa during this camp.

The next training camp is scheduled for the end of March and will be held again in Eloy. Roy Janssen said that the team plans to add 84 jumps and two more hours of tunnel time to the team's logbook and will work with Doug Park, as well. After this camp Hayabusa will resume the training at the home dropzone in Spa, Belgium. The schedule at home will only allow weekend training, with one exception in May. Hayabusa will train for a whole week prior to the Belgium national championship 2006.

Roy Janssen with Italy's Arianna de Benedetti on the Red Square in Moscow 2005
The team goals make no secret of Hayabusa's pursuit of a medal position in Germany. Roy Jenssen offered an insight of what the Belgium team has in mind for this year: "Our goals for this year include about 400 jumps before the World Meet, depending on the Belgian weekend weather. We want to have a consistent average of 20.0 and try to get on the podium in Germany. Even if we all know that this is very hard to achieve, we believe we stand a fair chance if we can reach the 400 jumps mark."

Roy Jenssen mentioned that his team felt already stronger at the training camp in January 2006 compared to the 2005 season: "We know that we can still get even much better then this, but of course we are still no professionals and have to live with our limited resources. However, we still enjoy very much to train and compete, and we are highly motivated. It is too early to predict what will happen with us this year, or how much we can bring up our average. There are so many factors that can influence all of this. But one thing is for sure, we will give our best at all times and keep training as hard as possible and try to reach our goals."

Block 12 Inter in Paris, France
image by: Willy Boeykens
The Hayabusa winter training once again included the annual "Aerokart International Indoor Challenge 2006", a wind tunnel competition in Paris, France. This year, the event was held on February 25 - 26. Teams from Holland, Belgium, Germany, Italy, England and France had signed up for the competition. The format included two categories, a 3-way competition for beginners and the open competition for 4-way teams.

A total of 19 teams competed in the 3-way event, additional 15 teams signed up for the 4-way tunnel competition. Open slots in any line-ups were filled by members of the current French 8-way team who were on site just for this purpose. They were also available for free coaching.

Aerokart award ceremony
image by: Willy Boeykens
The competition was set up as an 8-round meet. Six rounds were completed on Saturday, and the remaining two rounds on Sunday morning. Each team was allowed to practice the new sequence for one minute in the wind tunnel. At the end of the warm-up minute the team had to show a Star, and the clock started running with the breaking of any grips of the Star.

The teams had to go through the sequence three times. The completion of the third page stopped the clock and provided the scoring time for the round. Infringements were penalized with seconds added to the scoring time. The maximum scoring time was 60 seconds for the three pages.

Hayabusa dirtdive in the tunnel
image by: Willy Boeykens
Spa Hayabusa had the lowest scoring time at the end of the 8-round meet and won the event for the fourth consecutive time. However, there was serious competition for the Belgian team, as the tunnel instructors had put together a strong team. Veloce Gap Aerokart consisted out of former French world champions (Martial Ferree and Thierry Boitieux). Manu Ars was a member of the French 8-way team until 2003, and Bruno Perin currently trains and competes with the French 8-way team. Veloce Gap Aerokart competed as a guest team.
Hayabusa at tunnel work
image by: Willy Boeykens
Maubeuge Pedibus consisted of three members of one of the young French project teams, together with Julien Degen who is a current French 8-way member and the player coach. The Italian Spin Team competed with three of its original team members and player coach Davide Moy, France Maubeuge 4-way world champion in 2003. The Spin Team also competed at SkyQuest 2004 and plans to attend the FSL Shamrock Showdown 2006 in three weeks.

Spa Hayabusa won the 4-way event 14.3 seconds ahead of Veloce Gap Aerokart after eight rounds. The Spin Team took the official awards for the second place. The three French teams, Maubeuge Pedibus, Aerkart and Maubeuge Pedivore, battled it out throughout the whole event for the bronze medals.

The 3-way competition saw another Belgian team from Hayabusa's home dropzone in Spa on the top. "" took the first place, followed by Mac Fly and Exisenciel. The prizes for the winning teams included gloves, t-shirts, discount coupons for hotels, karting and the wind tunnel. The event also included an inofficial karting competition on Saturday evening for all the competitors.

4th International Aerokart Challenge
1Spa Hayabusa26.726.424.218.224.924.131.321.3197.224.7
2Veloce Gap Aerokart25.726.529.221.525.626.629.527.0211.526.4
3Spin Team29.932.630.523.127.328.532.127.1231.128.9
4Maubeuge Pedibus30.130.932.125.626.929.932.024.3231.929.0
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