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Did You Know...

... that the Perris AirKix meet video has been added to the last NSL-TV show?

posted Jun 5th, 2006 - The NSL-TV studio had not reviewed the SSL meet video tape thoroughly enough when the NSL News mentioned in last week's story that the Perris AirKix jumps could not be found. The tape was was sent by Southwest Skydiving League Director Erin Murphy, and she sent a note that the missing footage was dubbed at the end of the tape.
Perris AirKix' round one at the May meet of the Southwest Skydiving League 2006 - see video
This puts the NSL-TV audience in the fortunate position of having all meet jumps of UK's national 4-way team in the Women's category available soon. Round one has already been added to the other SSL videos and can now be viewed, either on the NSL-TV page or on the event page of the SSL May meet.
Perris AirKix 2006 line-up
The first story after the event mentioned already that the Perris AirKix results on May 27 puts the UK team where the NSL News expected AirKix to be at the World Meet 2006: in contention for the gold medals. The NSL News story on May 24, three days before the SSL meet in Perris, commented that "...France and the UK team AirKix fight it out for the gold medals".

What are the reasons that the race for this year's gold medals in the Women's category might only have these two top contenders involved? The NSL News stories on February 14 and February 23 explained that the former US national team and reigning world champion, Perris Synchronicity, will not defend the title in Germany.

France at the World Cup 2005
Elsinore Select, the team that will now represent the USA at the world meet, has performed strongly and shown great progression. However, the 2006 season began with a new line-up for Elsinore Select, while France and AirKix continued with the same line-ups as in 2005.

Four of this year's medal contenders competed at the World Cup 2005 (Archives > Leagues > Special Events) at Skydive Arizona in October, as well. The scores of this event in combination with these teams' plans for the 2006 season and the progress this year offer insights of what might happen at the World Meet 2006.

Russia's Ladybirds at the World Cup 2005
Perris Synchronicity (16.7) and the French team (16.5) had a horse race at the World Cup 2005 and were both far ahead of the Russian Ladybirds (15.4), UK's AirKix (15.2) and Fastrax Select (15.0) by then. Perris Synchronicity is out of the race, which puts France actually in the sole top spot. There is no doubt that the French 4-way team is the team to beat in the Women's category this year. However, Perris AirKix seems to have caught up and might have become a serious challenger.

The Russian Ladybirds could have become the top challenger for France this year. Unfortunately, the Russian was not able to train much at all and has probably not increased the scoring level enough to be a serious threat for France. The situation is completely the opposite for the UK team.

Perris AirKix with Dan BC
Perris AirKix has trained a lot ever since the World Cup 2005, and the SkyVenture AirKix wind tunnel in the United Kingdom has surely helped to push the team performance. Former Airspeed 4-way world champion Dan BC, who has had a lot of coaching success with teams of the Women's category, has continued his work with AirKix, and the results show.

The 16.0 average at the relatively slow 6-round meet on May 27 speaks its own language. Only eight of the 16 Random Formations were drawn, and the remaining rounds of a 10-round draw would probably have increased the scoring average for Perris AirKix and the other SSL teams.

V-Max with AirKix member Claire "Sparky" Scott at the World Meet 2003 in France
It is probably still a long way for the UK team to catch up completely with the French team, which is expected to score up to an 18.0 average level in August. However, it is very much possible that France might have to work harder than expected to win the gold medals.

The United Kingdom has had previous success in the Women's category, and one of the AirKix team members already has gold medal experiences. Claire "Sparky" Scott won her first gold medal with V-Max at the World Meet 2003 in France after an exciting race with the Norwegian team, the Norgie Girls. The winning average was 16.5 in 2003.

Perris Synchronicity won with a 16.9 average at the World Meet 2004 in Croatia where France took the silver medals with a 16.4 average. The French team finished with a 16.5 average one year later at the World Cup 2005, and that's about the scoring level where Perris AirKix was on May 27.

Elsinore Select 2006 line-up
Last not least, there is this year's US team, Elsinore Select. The team's 2006 line-up surely has the talent to keep up with the other top contenders. However, the new line-up with Kris Byrne (Point), Michelle Carlstrom (Tail), Tammi Rettig (Outside Center) and Brianne Thompson (Inside Center) did not have enough time to train and can probably not catch up with the two top contenders.

Select competed at the SSL April meet and finished the 6-round meet with a 13.3 average. There might be enough time for Elsinore Select to catch up with the Russian Ladybirds above the 15.0 scoring level. However, the gold medals seem to hang higher this year, and they might be in reach only for France and the UK team.

Round two of the SSL May meet will be posted soon, and it will include Perris AirKix.

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