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Did You Know...

... that "pick-up teams" are on the top of the 8-way leaderboard?

Arizona Airspeed
posted Sep 10th, 2007 - The 8-way competition of the USPA Nationals 2007 is already in full swing. Round 3 is in progress, and the two "pick-up teams" on the top of the leaderboard are posting world-class scores on a 20-point average level. Two other "pick-up teams" are not too far behind the top scorers.

It sounds funny, but the these four teams have in fact hardly any training jumps together - at least not recently. Arizona Airspeed's line-up consists of the four Odyssey members, plus Jack Jefferies, Dennis Rook, Brian Johnson and Dan BC. Will Pesek is filming the team.

Jack Jefferies is hardly skydiving at all, is doing business in New York City and has only hours of 8-way visualization in his current logbook. He only comes back to the DZs for the annual Airspeed reunions. However, he has several world titles in 4-way and 8-way under his belt and has become a skydiving legend.

His former teammate and original Airspeed member Dan BC is fully involved in skydiving training - but mostly as a coach with headquarters in Perris. Another original Airspeed member was supposed to compete at the USPA Nationals 2007. Unfortunately, Paraclete XP manager Kirk Verner recently injured his neck and can only follow the reunion on the internet.

Dennis Rook won the FAI 8-way gold medals with Airspeed at the World Meet 2004 in Croatia and at the World Cup 2005 in Eloy. Brian Johnson won the same gold medals for Airspeed in 2005 and was a member of the team at the World Meet 2006 in Germany. The 2007 line-up in Ottawa has still only made together the three training jumps on Sunday.

Knight Trax consists of the Golden Knights Black team and three members of Fastrax Red. Solly Williams fills the slot for Niklas Hemlin. Knight Trax invested a few days in September and completed approx. eight training jumps before the 8-way competition at Skydive Chicago.

The list of other former Airspeed members continues and makes the annual reunion of 2007 even more interesting. The Ace 8 line-up includes six additional former Airspeed members: Andy Honigbaum, Todd Hawkins, Christopher Irwin, John Hamilton, Gary Beyer and John Eagle. Steve Simar and Kai Wolf complete the line-up, Steve Novak is filming the team.

Knight Trax
The 14 former Airspeed members in these two 8-way teams represent the whole Airspeed history ever since the Airspeed project was launched in 1994. Mark Kirkby, Jack Jefferies and Dan BC competed together in 1994 - and compete together again today and tomorrow.

The two French 4-way teams, Nice Maubeuge Holidays and Aerokart, joined forces for the 8-way competition, as well. However, the line-up at the USPA Nationals 2007 is not the reigning 8-way world champion team. Only two of the French competitors in Ottawa won the 8-way gold medals for France in Germany: Emmanuel Sarrazin and Clement Martin St. Leon. Erwan Pouliquen was only the 8-way coach last year and joined the line-up for the 2007 and 2008 season.

Ace 8
This French line-up has not more training jumps together than the other "pick-up teams" on the top of the leaderboard. The five young and new members in Ottawa train and compete with their national B-Teams and will be officially recruited for the new national 8-way team after the World Meet 2008.

Lock it up, currently in 5th place after three rounds, is another pick-up team for the meet and consists of the four Mass Defiance members, plus Scott Latinis, Melanie Curtis, Julie Richter and Gary McDonald.

Only the 8-way line-ups of the Perris Fury project have trained in 8-way and have probably completed around 100 training jumps. The all-female Perris Moxie line-up has the most training jumps of all the 8-way teams in the Open Class. The 8-way competition is on a weather hold after three rounds.

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