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Did You Know...

... that the next 4-way showdown between France Maubeuge and DeLand Majik is coming up?

World Championship of Formation Skydiving in Rijeka, Croatia
posted Sep 17th, 2004 - The NSL News has arrived at the competition site of the World Championship of Formation Skydiving 2004 in Rijeka, Croatia. The updates on last weekend's NSL Playoffs 2004 events have continued in the meantime with meet stories from the Midwest and Carolina, thanks to the league directors. The Texas story will follow next. Then the results of the NSL SkyVenture Competition will be posted.

It is still a busy time of the 2004 competition season. The European Skydiving League just completed its 2004 championship, the NSL Playoffs followed a week later, this weekend features the beginning of the world meet. The league championships of Indiana and Texas are still to come, while DeLand Majik and Arizona Airspeed will have to hurry back from Croatia to make it to the USPA Championship 2004 at the beginning of October. The NSL Championship 2004 will conclude the 2004 season on November 18 - 21 at Fantasy of Flight with SkyQuest 2004.

World champion France Maubeuge with Excalibut at the Mondial 2003
The eyes of the 4-way world will be focused on the world meet in Croatia from here on and for the next week. The 2004 season has been a great build-up to the upcoming event. Each event promises most exciting competition for the medals. None of the three events (4-way Open, 4-way Women, 8-way Open) seems to have a team that could run away with the gold medals.

The 4-way Open event features another battle in the never-ending competition for Excalibur between France and the USA. Italy and Russia will most likely compete for the bronze medals. USA, France and Italy seem to be the most serious medal contenders in the 4-way Women's category. Russia and USA will probably have another neck-to-neck race in the 8-way Open event, where the underdog France might wait for a chance to surprise the top contenders.

DeLand Majik members at the Mondial 2003
4-way Open rivals France Maubeuge and DeLand Majik have made no secret of their current performance levels. France is the defending champion after walking away with the gold medals at the Mondial 2003 on their home turf in Gap. There was literally no competition for the French team that left the Golden Knights and Norway simply in the dust. France Maubeuge had an almost flawless competition over ten rounds in 2003 and earned the sword with the highest meet average at a world meet in history of Formation Skydiving.

The 2004 season has shown a different situation. The USA have a new national 4-way team after DeLand Majik beat both the Golden Knights and Airspeed Vertical at the USPA Championship 2003 in Lake Wales. Majik members were only visitors in Gap 2003. However, they had already had a direct confrontation with France Maubeuge at the World Cup 2002 and finished in first place and ahead of France. Majik was now eager to repeat this success at a World Championship.

Awards ceremony at the Malevsky World Cup 2004
The 2004 season was to prepare France and Majik for the big showdown beginning this weekend. DeLand Majik competed at the FSL Shamrock Showdown 2004 and another FSL meet in May. The scores at both events were impressive and promised the expected performance at the major events later this year. France Maubeuge had signed up for the Malevsky World Cup 2004, where DeLand Majik would try to defend their title. It would be the first showdown between the two best teams in the world this year. Everybody remembers the most exciting competition in Russia with live coverage on site by the NSL News.
France Maubeuge commenting the Malevsky Cup 2004 after the event
The situation is delicate after the Malevsky World Cup 2004. France Maubeuge is the reigning 4-way world champion and still seems to have taken the underdog position after the two defeats against DeLand Majik. The DeLand team has lost only one competition in team history when the Golden Knights won the USPA Championship in 2002. However, Majik has a lot of respect for the French team, and the Majik members do not see themselves in a favorite position.

France Maubeuge on the other hand was still not too impressed after leaving Russia with only silver medals. The team made several mistakes that were never seen at the Mondial 2003. Coach Jerome David is sure that the team can do much better. In addition and to make the point, Maubeuge scored a new world record at the French national championship in August.

Both teams know that everything will be possible in Croatia. The team with the better performance and nerves throughout the upcoming ten rounds of 4-way competition in Rijeka will bring home the 4-way sword Excalibur. The NSL News will witness the race for the NSL audience. Stay tuned.

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