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|THINGS ARE LOOKING UP –IN DELAND|
Parachutists will be floatingdown as part of the kickoff of this year’s Florida Skydiving League ShamrockShowdown to be held at the DeLand airport March 19-20. The DeLand Majikis one of the feature entrants. The Majik won the World Championship ofFormation Skydiving 2004 competition in Croatia. As the current U.S. champion,the “Majik” will represent the U.S. at this year’s World Cup in Russiaand at the World Air Games in Germany. Top challengers from here also willcompete including the U.S. Army Golden Knights, and teams from Germany,Belgium, Norway and Denmark. Competition begins at 9 a.m. Saturday concludesSunday afternoon.
|DeLand Majik world championslaunch 2005 skydiving season on home turf|
The World Championship ofFormation Skydiving in 1985 was the last time that a team from DeLand,Florida, won the most important gold medals. The "DeLand Air Bears" competedin former Yugoslavia that year and defeated the rest of the skydiving world.
It took almost 20 yearsuntil another team from DeLand climbed up to the top of the world and broughtgold medals to their DeLand homes. "DeLand Majik" with Solly Williams,Gary Smith, Joey Jones, Doug Park and Graham Harding on video won the WorldChampionship of Formation Skydiving in September 2004. The location ofthe world meet in Croatia 2004 was very close to the place where the AirBears succeeded in 1985.
It was a long road for DeLandMajik to become the reigning world champions. Teams from DeLand continuedto dominate the U.S. competition between 1985 and 1993 but were unableto take the top position in the world, which was held by France. "ArizonaAirspeed", the arch rival of the best FL teams from the U.S. west coast,finally took away the top position in the U.S.A. in 1993 and then dominatedthe event for many years. The Arizona teams also managed to beat Franceat the world meets several times and bring gold medals to their home inEloy, AZ.
DeLand Majik decided in2002 to take on the challenge and bring back the national and world titlesto DeLand. The team was formed in the spring of 2002 but missed the qualificationas the U.S. national team for the 2003 world meet in France by only a fewpoints in September 2002. The U.S. Army team, the "Golden Knights", wonthe 2002 qualification and traveled to France as the U.S. national teamin 2003. The French national team won the world title over the U.S. Armyteam, and the Golden Knights came home with silver medals.
Majik did not give up afterthe missed qualification in 2002 and continued to prepare for the nextU.S. championship, which was scheduled for October 2003 in Lake Wales,Florida. The 2003 season turned out to be most successful for the DeLandteam. Majik won the World Cup 2003 in Russia in July with a new world recordand was well prepared for the tough competition in Lake Wales a few monthslater.
The U.S. Army's defendingnational champions and Arizona Airspeed gave DeLand Majik as much resistanceas they could. However, the DeLand team was too strong and finally wonthe honors to represent the U.S.A. at the 2004 world meet.
The 2004 season added toDeLand Majik's top achievements and brought back the world champion titleto DeLand. The Florida Skydiving League's Shamrock Showdown 2004 in Marchgave Majik the early opportunity to send a message to the rest of the worldwith a dominating victory over several world class teams in DeLand.
Majik once again traveledto Russia for the World Cup 2004 in July and won the cash purse of $10,000.More importantly, the DeLand team met directly with the reigning worldchampions from France who would try to defend their title a few monthslater in Croatia. France seemed to be impeccable after an extraordinaryperformance at the world meet in 2003 on their home turf.
The competition in Russiawas as close as it can get, and DeLand Majik finished one single pointahead of the French world champions (228 - 227) in a horse race over tenexciting rounds. However, Majik had won only the first battle.
Both teams met again forthe ultimate and final confrontation at the World Championship of FormationSkydiving 2004 in Croatia in September. Putting the pressure on the Frenchteam early in 2004 worked well for the DeLand team. Majik did not evengive the defending world champions a chance in Croatia and won by eightpoints (227 - 219). The world champion trophy returned to DeLand after19 years of waiting.
The Majik line-up changedafter this ultimate success. Gary Smith and Joey Jones did not continueafter years of hard work and intensive training in DeLand. Solly Williamsand Doug Park filled the two open slots with new world class competitorsfrom Florida. David van Greuningen and Robert Healy joined DeLand Majikfor the 2005 season.
The new DeLand Majik line-upoffers the same talent and experience, and the training began already earlythis year. The U.S. championship and qualification event for next year'sworld meet in Germany is scheduled for September 2005 in California. Fiveother U.S. top teams are getting ready to challenge DeLand Majik this year,including once again the Army's Golden Knights, Arizona Airspeed with twostrong line-ups, a new top contender from Indiana, Team Fastrax, plus anew and very strong local rival, DeLand Fire.
The first serious test forDeLand Majik is coming up soon. Two of these five strongest challengers,the Golden Knights and Team Fastrax, will visit DeLand this month to challengeMajik early on the team's home turf at Skydive DeLand, while DeLand Firedoes not have to travel far to join the FSL Shamrock Showdown 2005 on March19 - 20.
Several other top teamsfrom all over the world will use the opportunity to eye-witness the earlyU.S. challenge and join the world class competition in DeLand. The nationalteams from Italy, Belgium, Norway, Sweden, Denmark and Germany have alreadysigned up as guest teams, as well as other U.S. teams. The host expectsa field of over twenty 4-way teams in DeLand.
Event: Florida SkydivingLeague Shamrock Showdown 2005
Location: Skydive DeLandat the DeLand Municipal Airport
Date: March 19 - 20, 2005
Presentation: Friday, March18 at 6:00 pm with reception,
team introduction, competitiondraw and press conference
at the DeLand Holiday InnConvention Center