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Did You Know...

... that the German skydiving club FSC Remscheid sends two national teams to the World Meet 2006?

FSC Remscheid's line-up for the World Meet 2006
posted May 7th, 2006 - The status of the German 4-way Open and 8-way national teams in Formation Skydiving competition has been relatively unchallenged in the recent years. Teams EADS (4-way) and FSC Remscheid (8-way) have been dominating the FS competition in the host country of the upcoming World Meet. The situation is different in the Women's Class.

The Chicas dominated the competition in the female category as much as EADS and FSC Remscheid did in 4-way Open and 8-way. However, the Chicas with Petra Baerenfaenger, (Center Outside), Marion Thomas (Tail), Sylvia Maier (Center Inside) and Ruth Nietsche (Point) were unthroned at the German Nationals 2005, and FSC Remscheid's women make up the German national team for the World Meet 2006.

FSC Remscheid at the World Meet 2001
The FSC Remscheid skydiving club formed the first female line-up in 2000 when club president Klaus Mathies, a German businessman and skydiver himself, began the recruiting process shortly after the International Parachuting Commission (IPC) had introduced the new female 4-way category.

Birgit Powell and Kristina Monsees of the current line-up signed up for the very first FSC Remscheid team, and there was actually no other all-female team in Germany in 2000 and 2001. The Remscheid line-up with Kristina Monsees, Birgit Powell, Cindy Cooper, Frauke Lympius, Thomas Friess (Video) and Marion Thomas (Alternate) represented Germany at the very first official World Meet 2001 with a female 4-way category in Spain and finished in 8th position with an 8.3 average.

FSC Remscheid's President Klaus Mathies
Club President Klaus Mathies, the longest standing supporter of Formation Skydiving competition teams in Germany, saw the opportunities that the new event would offer, and his company "Deutsche Spiralbohrerwerke" (DSW) sponsored the new female line-up of the FSC Remscheid from the very beginning.

Things changed for FSC Remscheid in 2002 when Sylvia Maier, Petra Baerenfaenger, Ruth Nietsche and Anja Bodtländer formed the Chicas. The new all-female team made 150 training jumps and won the DFV Cup 2002, which was the qualification event for the World Meet 2003 in France. FSC Remscheid competed with the same line-up as in 2002 and ended up behind the Chicas.

Chicas at the World Meet 2003
The German Nationals 2003 was scheduled before the Chicas would compete at the World Meet in France the same year, and it would be the qualification event for the next World Meet in Croatia 2004. The FSC Remscheid team was eager to win back the status of the German national team in the Women's Class.

The Chicas had the same line-up as in 2002, while the FSC Remscheid line-up changed in May due to an injury. Kristina Monsees, Birgit Powell, Susanne Fleig and Katrin Schreyer began the training of the 2003 season with a winter camp in DeLand. The line-up in early 2003 was identical with the current 2006 line-up. However, the change in the line-up came when Susanne Fleig had to be replaced by Antje Prochnow after the injury in May 2003.

FSC Remscheid in 2005
FSC Remscheid did not catch up early enough, the Chicas won the German Nationals 2003 and competed later the same year at the World Meet in France. FSC Remscheid's new Center Inside, Antje Prochnow, served as the alternate for the Chicas at the World Meet in Gap.

The Chicas were already qualified as the German national team for the World Meet in Croatia 2004 after winning the German Nationals in 2003. However, they replaced Anja Bodtländer with Marion Thomas for the 2004 season. FSC Remscheid continued in 2004 and had to replace Birgit Powell who left Germany to live with her husband Rickster Powell in DeLand, Florida. Susanne Fleig had her comeback with the team after the injury in 2003.

Chicas with coach Gary Smith at the Malevsky Cup 2005
FSC Remscheid and Chicas never competed directly with each other in 2004. FSC Remscheid competed at the DFV Cup and took the 4th place in the Open Class with a 10.7 average. The Chicas competed at a regional competition in Berlin and then traveled to Russia for the Malevsky Cup 2004 and to Croatia for the World Meet 2004. This time, Remscheid member Katrin Schreyer served as the alternate for the Chicas in Croatia.

The 2005 season brought the most dramatic event for both teams. The Chicas with the same line-up as in 2004 competed once again at the Malevsky Cup 2005 and had a strong showing, which confirmed the team's favorite position for the upcoming German Nationals 2005, the qualification event for the World Meet in Germany 2006.

FSC Remscheid in action
Things did not go well for the Chicas one month later. Point Ruth Nietsche had a serious blackout in round six of the competition and had to stay on the ground for the remainder of the meet. In fact, she gave up skydiving completely after the scary experience in round six of the German Nationals 2005.

The Chicas completed the meet with Anja Bodtländer who came back as the alternate for the team after becoming a mother in 2004. It was her first jump with the Chicas since she left the team in 2003. The Chicas did well for the remainder of the meet and did not give up any more points. However, the damage was already done, and FSC Remscheid won the German Nationals 2005 and qualification event to the World Meet 2006.

Antje Prochnow grounded after the injury in DeLand
The dramatic events carried over into the 2006 season. This time, the Chicas continued with a new line-up, even though FSC Remscheid was the new German national team in the female category. The team needed a new Point, and Susa Serra, who used to pack parachutes for the Chicas and the German 8-way team, made a few test jumps with the Chicas. It worked out well, and the team made plans for the 2006 season, which included the first winter training camp in DeLand, Florida.

The Chicas winter camp in DeLand coincided with the first 2006 training camp of the same FSC Remscheid line-up in preparation for the World Meet in Germany 2006. The NSL News used the opportunity to collect information for this story when a new injury problem occured for FSC Remscheid after a hard landing of team member Antje Prochnow.

FSC Remscheid line-up before the injury
FSC Remscheid's Point thought that she would be grounded only for a little while when the NSL News visited with the teams at Skydive DeLand. However, a press release from Germany provided new information a few weeks later. The press release mentioned a "tragical figure in the German national team", Antje Prochnow.

The provided information explained that the injury turned out to be more serious than it looked like in February. The team was forced to make a tough decision how to move on in the year of the World Meet on home turf. It did not seem as if Antje Prochnow would be back early and strong enough, and FSC Remscheid decided to ask former team member Kristina Monsees back into the team's 2006 line-up.

FSC Remscheid's Club President Klaus Mathies and the team thanked Antje Prochnow in a personal letter for her "unconditioned efforts for the team, her skydiving club and Germany".

Chicas with the new line-up
This means that the current 2006 line-up is now identical with the line-up in the beginning of 2003: Susanne Fleig (Point), Kristina Monsees (Center Inside), Katrin Schreyer (Tail), Birgit Powell (Center Outside), Wolfgang Hagedorn (Video). The team is still supported by FSC Remscheid and has also found a corporate sponsor with the German weekly news magazine "Focus".

FSC Remscheid will represent Germany on home turf this year, and the Chicas will continue as planned. The World Meet 2006 is the major event of the 2006 season. However, the Chicas have meets of the German/European Skydiving League and the Malevsky Cup 2006 on the agenda.

Both teams maintain the natural rivalry and still enjoyed a friendly relationship during the training camp in DeLand. They will have to wait until September 2006 until they might have the first direct confrontation this year. The DFV Cup 2006 is the qualification event for the next international competition. Germany is one of the very few countries that have a separate female 4-way category at the major events, the German Nationals and the DFV Cup. The NSL News will follow both teams on their way through the 2006 season.

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