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Did You Know...

... that there are many well known 4-way teams competing in Croatia?

Weather situation in Croatia
posted Sep 22nd, 2004 - The whole competition in Croatia is on a weather hold Wednesday morning, teams are on a stand-by status. The original plan for today was the conclusion of the world meet in all events. This will not happen. The local forecast seems to offer a chance for some jumping later on. However, there is no chance to complete the remaining rounds today any longer. Locals are also afraid that the famous wind, the "Bora", will blow hard to push the front through. Teams and competitors experienced this weather situation already right before the start of the competition last week. The host keeps teams and competitors on competition site to make sure that he would be able to use any opportunity. It does not look very good for the upcoming Friday.
Italy's Sinapsi PD in Croatia
Several of the national teams competing in Croatia are already well known to the NSL audience and have competed earlier at competitions of the National Skydiving League and leagues in Europe. DeLand Majik, the current leader of the 4-way Open class competition, is the reigning NSL Champion of 2002 and 2003. Synchronicity, the current leader of the 4-way Women's event, has not attended many league meets yet. However, the team used the August competition of the Southwest Skydiving League as a test for the world meet.

Italy's Sinapsi PD is currently in fourth place and one point behind the Russian team Sky Panthers in the bronze medal position. The Italian team has attended several meets of the Florida Skydiving League in 2003 and 2004, including the FSL Shamrock Showdown 2004. The NSL News has written several stories and updates on the history and progression of the Italian national team.

ESL Champion 2004 Hayabusa in Croatia
Sinapsi PD's bid for medals at a world meet is the second one after the Mondial 2003, and the team is much closer this time compared to last year's situation in Gap. The current 21.9 average after seven rounds is also significantly higher than in 2003. However, the Russian team offers the same resistance to Sinapsi as it did already at the Malevsky World Cup 2004. Even the 21.9 average performance by Sinapsi does not shake off the Sky Panthers.

The German team EADS in fifth place currently holds this position as the "amateur champion" over all the other non-professional teams with an 18.7 meet average after seven rounds. EADS has not participated consistently in the German "Deutsche Sky Liga" (DSL). However, the same team has used competitions of the Florida Skydiving League in past winter training camps to get additional competition practise. EADS also attended the Nuggets Cup 2004, which was a part of the DSL league series. The team considers to become more involved with the German 4-way league in the future.

Norwegian team Arcteryx in Croatia
One slot behind the German team in sixth place waits the European Skydiving League Champion 2004, team Hayabusa from Belgium. The NSL News has introduced the team and updated the progression with several stories. Hayabusa was expected to be a very strong contender for the amateur title at the world meet after posting a 19.3 average at the ESL Championship 2004 two weeks ago.

EADS seemed to be prepared for the tough challenge, even though Hayabusa gave the German team a tough competition in the beginning of the meet in Croatia. Both teams were tied after three rounds. Germany pulled away by three points after an excellent round four, and then Hayabusa was hammered by Block 12 penalties in round five. The Belgium team lost a total of seven points in this round and fell almost hopelessly behind EADS.

Canadian team Stratosfear in Croatia
Hayabusa recovered with great spirits from this desaster and won the last two rounds by one point over Germany. EADS is still eight points ahead of Hayabusa, and the chances are little to catch up. The German team is a very solid performer and hardly makes any mistakes at all. Both teams still perform on a very high scoring and skills level as pure amateurs of the sport.

The Swiss team Endeavour has been a part of the Southwest Skydiving League for several years. Endeavour has always used the team's long winter training camps on the US west coast to attend the SSL meets. The NSL News has kept the audience up-to-date with stories of the Swiss team. Scores of Endeavour's 2004 season can be found at the team page. Endeavour is currently in seventh place and tied with another team that is well known to the NSL audience.

The Danez in Croatia
The new Norwegian national 4-way team, Arcteryx, was formed this year under the supervision of the new Norwegian national coach, Lise Aune. The Norwegian teams have competed at the Florida Skydiving League events for many years. Arcteryx is probably the youngest national team in the Norwegian Formation Skydiving history and attended its first competition this spring at the Florida Skydiving Center in Lake Wales. The 16.3 average after seven rounds in Rijeka is the highest result of the team so far.

Two more teams are in a neck-to-neck race with Endeavour and Arcteryx for the seventh place. Spain is one point behind, followed by Denmark with two points down. Spain's national team is Empuriabrava Red Bull, which has participated at several competitions of the European Skydiving League this year. The Danez are also very well known for the NSL audience. The Scandinavian country has launched a well planned 4-way project, which is supposed to produce world class teams and competitors in the longer run. This is the first world meet for the new national team with this line-up.

Austrian 8-way team with FILA and Monkey Circus in Croatia
The Danez are not very pleased with their performance in Croatia so far. The team had already completed a ten-round meet at the Malevsky World Cup 2004 with a 16.9 average. Denmark is listed in tenth place with a 16.0 average at this point and can do much better. Round seven finally showed where the team actually hoped to be for the whole meet - in direct touch with the teams from Germany and Belgium. The Danez are now eager to use the remaining three rounds for more redemption.

The Canadian national team Stratosfear is currently tied in 13th place with Australia. Both teams hold a 14.1 average at this point. Stratosfear has competed at competitions of the Florida Skydiving League in the past and is a strong supporter of the CanAm Skydiving League. Unfortunately, the CanAm league has not been supported by the weather very well this year and did not allow Canadian teams to be very active. Stratosfear represented Canada at the Mondial 2003, as well, and finished with a 13.0 average after ten rounds.

Flag race of the fans in Croatia
The Netherlands, Austria and New Zealand are locked in a three-way battle for the 15th place. The Netherlands are represented by R-Fource, the 2004 winner of the Dutch Handicap Cup and the national championship. Matrix is the Austrian national team, which caught the attention of the NSL News several times this year after exciting league competitions in Austria with team FILA and the Monkey Circus. FILA won the national championship this year. However, Matrix was already qualified as the national team for Croatia. FILA and Monkey Circus now joined for an 8-way team, and all three teams have a great time at the world meet.

More league teams an be found in the 4-way Women's event. Italy Kewara used Florida Skydiving League events this year to prepare for the season and became well known in the 4-way community after a great performance at Skydive DeLand in May. Kewara currently battles with the Russian Ladybirds for the bronze medal. Belgium's team Diva follows in fifth place. Diva is one of the most improved teams of the 2004 season after attending all events of the Belgium Skydiving Trophy 2004 (BST). Diva's results at the ESL Championship 2004 were crucial to help Belgium win the new ESL trophy, "The Spirit". The current 13.1 average is exactly the same as after ten rounds two weeks ago.

The weather has improved in the meantime, and the competition is already back in full swing. New scores will be posted very soon. The fans have all kind of different competitions, while the teams battle it out in freefall. There is currently a race for the highest flying flag in the boarding and cheering area. It was initiated by the South African fans, and the German fans have taken the lead. Stay tuned.

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