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The meet in Raeford featured once again two of the US top teams in the AAA Class, Airspeed Odyssey and the Golden Knights Black. It was obviously a most exciting race, which was decided by one single point on a world-class performance and scoring level.
The meet in Raeford was still only one part of last weekend's events. The current leaderboard actually shows a total of 47 teams in the AAA Class, five teams in the AA Class, nine teams in the A Class and eight Rookie Class teams.
Nice Autrement Basik (Charles Graveleau, Paul Grisoni, Thomas Perrin-Gachadoat, Erwan Pouliquen, Fabrice Rieu on camera) is one of the three French B-Teams, wich competed already two weeks ago at the last event of the Coupe de France 2007 event series.
Aerokart Seloger.com in 5th place (Guillaume Bajolet, Clement Martin-Saint-Leon, Julien Olek and Emmanuel Sarazin) competed already at the World Challenge 2007 in April and is also a part of the French national teams' structure.
The fact that a B-Team, Nice Autrement Basik, ended up three points ahead of the national A-Team is irrelevant for the selection of the French national team. The national 4-way team for the World Championship of Formation Skydiving 2008 has already been selected by the national coach, and the meets are just providing competition experience for the new line-up.
Both US teams in Raeford were ahead of the best French 4-way teams after five rounds last weekend. The teams jumped the same competition draw, and it was probably the only opportunity this year to compare the scores directly.
The timing of the World Cup 2007 did not fit to the schedule of all US contenders for the gold medals at the USPA Nationals 2007, while the Malevsky Cup 2007 and the Paraclete XP Money Meet allowed the teams enough time for the final preparations.
However, the field of teams for the upcoming event in Stupino, Russia, promises world-class competition in all three events. The best European teams from Russia, Belgium and France would have the capability to challenge the best US teams, and they will surely post world-class scores beginning this weekend.
Three teams from Russia (Sky Panthers, Black Cat, Crossroads) already posted world-class averages at the Malevsky Cup 2007. Each French 4-way team will be able to keep up and win World Cup gold medals. Hayabusa Defence from Belgium is ready to make the final move to the very top of the leaderboard, as well.
Four teams from four different nations are also registered for the 4-way competition in IPC's female category. Russia's new national team, the JetBats, are eager to post the team's first scores. The new French national team will also show how far the new line-up has come so far. The German Chicas have already attended four meets in Germany this year, with a 14.0 average on the high side.
Germany and Italy will continue the exciting race of the past years. This time, both national teams have the opportunity to win medals. There is no 8-way team from the USA, and Russia has not registered an 8-way team, as well. Italy comes back with the Ex3mo line-up, while Germany has a new 8-way team. FSC Remscheid lost last year's qualification, and the EADS/Next Generation combination has given the 8-way event priority.
The competition draw in Russia is scheduled for Sunday evening, and the competition begins on Monday. The NSL News will provide as much up-to-date information as possible.