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Did You Know...

... that France will send an Open Class 4-way team to Germany?

French national coach Jerome David
posted Mar 8th, 2006 - The last time the NSL News received information and feedback from the French national coach, Jerome David, was at the FAI World Cup 2005 in Eloy. The NSL News story on October 27, 2005, provided insights of the French preparations for the World Meet 2006 in Germany.

Jerome David currently spends time with his national teams for a winter training camp at Skydive Arizona. The plans for this camp were already made last year, as Jerome David mentioned during the interview with the NSL News at the World Cup in October 2005.

Last French 4-way Open Class team France Maubeuge at the World Meet in Croatia 2004
The French national coach provided the NSL News with an update before he left France to travel to Arizona. He had some new information, which will probably make the 4-way Open Class competition in Germany even more exciting. France had originally not planned to send an Open Class 4-way team to the World Meet this year. This has changed, as Jerome David explained:

"We will send one 4-way Open Class team to Germany. This will be the 4-way team that wins the French Nationals in Vannes at the end of July. I think that this team should be able to place between 3rd and 6th place in Germany." The other French national teams in the 4-way Women's Class and 8-way seem to be on track with their progression at this point in time. Jerome David provided a brief update of the French Women's team:

French Women's 4-way team at the World Cup 2005
"The girls did not stop training since the World Cup. It is still the same line-up, and the team already completed 150 training jumps after two camps in Ampuriabrava, Spain, and one camp in Eloy. My personal goal for the team is to reach a 19-point average."

Jerome David was not too surprised about the withdrawal of Synchronicity in the Women's event: "I understand their decision and their personal reasons. I liked the team, they did great things. However, I am sure that the new US team (Select) will be strong, and the competition will be tight with the Russian team (Ladybirds), the UK team (Airkix), and with our team."

French 8-way team at the World Cup 2005
The French 8-way team still has the eyes set on the first set of gold medals in 8-way history for France, as Jerome David confirmed after evaluating the scores of the SSL Valentine's Meet 2006: "The Airspeed 8-way team will be very strong, as usual. But the French 8-way team will be ready to fight for its first sword in 8-way, this is a great challenge."

The French 8-way team did not train in February and has not copied the competition draw of the Valentine's Meet in training yet. However, the 8-way team completed one training camp after the World Cup 2005, and the March camp is scheduled for two weeks and 140 training jumps.

Jerome David also confirmed that France will send at least one team to the European Skydiving League Championship in September this year. This will be the first year for France to join the ESL network in Europe. Parts of the French Cup will also be connected with the ESL events this season.

French IPC Delegate Gillian Winter
Gillian Winter, the French IPC Delegate and President of the French Sporting Commission, was also on site at the World Cup 2005 in Eloy and took some time to update the NSL News of the French plans related to the European Skydiving League efforts in 2006.

She confirmed Jerome David's recent comments already in October 2005: "France plans to join the European Skydiving League next year. The French Cup event series has already consisted of three meets since 1994. We may increase the number of events to four or five competitions in 2006. 40-50 teams usually do the whole cup in France."

Some of the rules of the French Cup are different though and would require synchronization efforts between France and ESL. The Intermediate Class in France has a set kind of sequences, and the dive pool consists of 20 Random Formations and 12 Blocks. The 5- or 6-point sequences do not include mirror images and memory. The first formation of each sequence is always the Star, which neutralizes the exit. The working time begins five seconds after the exit or with the break of the Star. The five best teams have to move up to the AAA/Open Class at the end of the French Cup season.

There is obviously a very good chance that the names of French 4-way teams will appear on the NSL on-line scoreboard after meet weekends with both NSL and ESL teams competing at the same time.

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