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On the other hand, the competition for the last cut position in 10th place was not really close. Teams had already settled in their slots throughout the earlier rounds. Spain's team Empuriabrava Red Bull was nine points ahead of South Africa in 11th place. It would be impossible for South Africa or any other team to pass the Spanish team.
Australia had actually not been a part of this 4-team competition from the very beginning. The Aussies' lowest score of the meet in round one put the team in the third lowest position with only Iceland and Kazakhstan behind. The uphill battle for Australia was successful and consistent and was rewarded with the 13th place.
The next group of teams competed very hard for the 15th place and consisted of Netherland's R-Fource, Austria's Matrix and the team from New Zealand. The Dutch and the Austrian team knew each others scoring level after several meets of the European Skydiving League. New Zealand's performance was unknown until Croatia.
The remaining teams in the 4-way Open field competed for the best scores. Croatia, the home team, finished with an impressive 12.3 meet average. Slovenia improved the average the team had posted at the Malevsky World Cup 2004 (7.1) by more than three points (10.6) and wins the honor of the most improved national team.
The sun was already on its way down when the best ten teams continued the competition with the semifinals of round nine. In fact, the judging and viewing on the large screen outside was coming along with the most beautiful sunset of the week. Many of the cameras went back and forth between the screen and the sunset. The evening temperatures are on the lower end in Rijeka. Some of the Aussies kept themselves warm with adult beverages and showed everybody that it really helps while waiting for the next jumps on the screen...
Only the best six teams would continue into the finals and make round ten. However, the semifinal round nine would not change the rankings any longer since the situation was the same as for the qualification to the semifinals. Germany's EADS and Belgium's Hayabusa had both already created enough distance to the teams behind them. It was obvious that round nine would be the last jump for Switzerland, Norway, Denmark and Spain. These four teams would use round nine to settle the last open business within this group of teams.
Germany and Belgium moved on into round ten and the finals. Hayabusa tried once again to reduce the distance to the German team EADS and succeeded by winning back one point with the third highest score of the round. Majik's 19 was the highscore, France, Russia and Italy all had 18 points in time, Russia and Italy lost two points due to penalties for a score of 16 points.
Hayabusa could have had a much tighter race with the German team had they not lost too many points earlier in the competition. While the German scores page is the cleanest of all top teams with no deductions at all, Hayabusa has lost a total of 11 points with penalties and non-judgeables. However, the penalties are a part of the game, and Hayabusa now uses the last jumps to show where they could have been. Rounds six through nine were very close between Germany and Belgium, and Hayabusa has won back two points.
All teams are on a weather hold Thursday morning. Stay tuned.