... that an injury stopped Spa Hayabusa after six rounds last weekend?
posted Jun 29th, 2006 -
Last weekend's competition also included the second meet of the Belgian Skydiving Trophy 2006. Four NSL News stories had already covered the first BST meet on April 29. It was the competition with the fast draw, which allowed Spa Hayabusa to score an unoffical world record with the 45-pointer in round one.
The fast sequence (J-O-A-H-F) can still be viewed on NSL-TV. Spa Hayabusa finished the 6-round competition with a 21.3 average, which was also the highest result in the team's history and a new inofficial Belgian record. The Belgian Army team NMPV finished in second place with an 18.2 average in April.
The next BST meet was supposed to be the national championship of Belgium and was scheduled for May 25-28. This event would have been the official qualifyer for the World Meet 2006 in Germany. Unfortunately, the NSL News story on May 27 included the bad news that the competition in Belgium was completely weathered out.
There was no official Belgian 4-way champion at this point, and the selection of the national team for the 2006 season was postponed until the next BST meet. This BST event was a part of last weekend's international competition, and things became a little bit complicated once again.
This time, the weather in Belgium was not in the way. However, observers of last weekend's leaderboard have probably already detected that all Belgian teams completed ten rounds - except Spa Hayabusa and the only Rookie Class team in the field, Spa Take Off. The reigning Belgian 4-way champion withdrew from the meet after the completion of six rounds.
Hayabusa's Center Inside, Sven Ibens, injured his thumb at a block maneuver in round three, as team member Roy Janssen reported: "His thumb got hit very hard, and today he is going to the hospital for X-rays. He continued for three more rounds, but with lot of pain. Sunday he was not able to jump anymore."
Spa Hayabusa did not want to increase the possible damage on the injured thumb and decided to withdraw after six rounds. Usual 4-way business at a competition does not allow a team to withdraw without accepting a zero as the score for each missed round. The alternate, if officially registered for the team, is supposed to take the place of an injured player.
Eventually, Spa Hayabusa ended up in second place with a total of 115 points after the team's six rounds. NMPV, the challenger for the gold medals, finished with a total of 176 points after ten rounds and officially won this competition, which was the alternate Belgian qualifyer for the World Meet 2006.
However, the Belgian association and Spa Hayabusa had already considered the options before the team finally withdrew from the competition last weekend. Willy Boeykens, the Belgian founder and manager of the European Skydiving League, provided the NSL News with the details of last weekend's situation:
"The Belgian Federation decided that, even after the withdrawal, Spa Hayabusa is a stronger team than NMPV. Spa Hayabusa still scored higher than NMPV, even after Sven's injury. This, and the scores at the previus meets in the last two years proves that Spa Hayabusa has the best chances to score higher at the world meet, and the team was therefore selected for the world meet in Germany."
Willy Boeykens added more details of the actual injury, as well: "Sven went to the hospital today to check it out. However, after a quick visit yesterday with Dr. Eric De Coster we knew already that the thumb was stable. Later today, we'll get more news how the X-rays look like."
Dr. Eric De Coster is known as the "wonder doctor" for the Belgian skydiving community. He is specialised in skydiving injuries and has already operated on many US skydivers, including Kate Cooper, Derek Thomas and others.
Sven Ibens does not have much time to recover. The first competition day of the World Meet 2006 is scheduled for Sunday, August 6. Spa Hayabusa surely wants to get past last weekend's experience as soon as possible. A funneled exit in round one and the injury caused a low energy level throughout the meet, as Roy Janssen explained.
The team will get back into the final training routine as soon as Sven Ibens will be ready to go. The next competition jump for Spa Hayabusa will probably be round one of the World Meet 2006.