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Did You Know...

... that French national coach Jerome David tried to avoid the problem ahead of time?

French national coach Jerome David
posted Sep 20th, 2004 - French national coach and team manager Jerome David provided the NSL News with the first feedback on the Block 12 affair Sunday evening. David manages the whole French Formation Skydiving delegation, including the 8-way team, the 4-way Open team and the 4-way team of the Women's class. However, he is technically involved as a coach only with the 8-way team and the female team. France Maubeuge is self sufficient and makes any technical decisions independantly.

David explained to the NSL News that he had made his own effort to fix the Block 12 issue ahead of time. Approximately two months ago he suggested to the IPC's Formation Skydiving committee that this block should not be in the dive pool for the upcoming world championship, due to the obvious problems in the past. The FS committee did not agree with the suggested solution.

As a result, the French 4-way team from Maubeuge decided to prepare for Block 12 in a very special way. Two different team videographers became team members, one of them was specialized and trained to film only Block 12 from a certain angle and according to the applied block technique. This videographer was also filming the French 8-way team.

France Maubeuge in Croatia
Things became complicated for France Maubeuge when the specialized videographer was injured three weeks before the start of th world meet in Croatia. There was not much time to train the replacing videographer for the special Block 12 move, who had to train with the 8-way team at the same time.

When time came for the showdown in Croatia, France Maubeuge had to make a decision whether to use their usual team videographer, who films the rest of the dive pool, or to work with the new Block 12 specialist in round five. The team decided to do what they had trained for, which obviously did not work out the way they had planned it. The video angle was supposed to be slightly on top of the formation, while yesterday's angle was much too flat for most of the time.

David and the French team easily accepted the penalties his team received. There was no room for arguing the judging calls, the infringements of the rules and their current interpretation were too obvious. However, David mentioned that he thought the additional penalty for the build of the Zipper was not correct. David also acknowledged that the Block 12 penalties for DeLand Majik were incorrect.

He does not see great chances for Majik's protest to go through since he believes that judging calls cannot be argued. The jury has accepeted the protest and will make a decision later today. David has solutions for the future of Block 12 though: "There are two options. You can throw the block out of the dive pool. Or you can define the directions of the turns for the pieces differently, as in Block 10 (Diamond - Bunyip) or in Block 16 (Compressed Accordeon - Box). Cogging the pieces would not allow the current vertical technique."

The NSL News will collect more feedback and post it later today.

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