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Did You Know...

... that the NSL-TV audience can compare Hayabusa's and Odyssey's Block 18 directly?

FAI World Cup 2007 champion Hayabusa Defence
image by: Danny Jacobs
posted Sep 24th, 2007 - NSL-TV has already shown all ten rounds of the new FAI World Cup 2007 champion in 4-way, Belgian's Hayabusa Defence. However, the most exciting jump of the FAI World Cup 2007 was Hayabusa's jump-off round with France, which has now been uploaded.

Hayabusa Defence and France Maubeuge had gone neck-to-neck throughout the whole 10-round competition, and the Belgian team was one single point ahead of France going into the last regular round of the meet. There was a lot of pressure, and Hayabusa Defence did not do too well, as the team commented the judging and viewing of Round 10:

Viewing area in Stupino, Russia

A real thriller - Not for us

"At the hangar, everybody inside, they judged the jump of France. They almost funneled the exit but still scored a 20. Now us. Everybody knew, if we have 20, we win. Do we get a 19, then we have a jump-off tomorrow. Our jump wasn't clean enough, after the 3rd page we got into some trouble after the completion of Block 12, then to C and Q.

Pffff, after 35 seconds, first score on the board is a 20. But the judges had to review the jump again, and again. Hard being us now, everybody is watching you, saying congrats, but it wasn't judged yet. So after 5 minutes (loooong minutes), the final decision is a 19. We got one bust.

Shit, tied with France. What a feeling, everybody was going over the limit. WHAT A SHOW, A REAL THRILLER. Yeah, for them, but for us - a little bit less..."

Round 11 was scheduled for the next morning, and the Hayabusa Defence members were much happier when the scores of the jump-off round were posted. The Belgian team won the round and the gold medals 22 - 21 over France. The 23.0 average after ten rounds was a new official Belgian record, and Hayabusa had arrived at the very top of the 4-way world.

The team provided a very detailed report of the situation next morning. There was one night to recover from the disappointing Round 10. Three other teams had outscored Hayabusa Defence (Black Cat - 23, Sky Panthers - 22, France Maubeuge - 20). It was a challenging night and morning for David Grauwels (Center Outside), Andy Grauwels (Point), Roy Janssen (Tail), Luc Verstrepen (Center Inside) and Danny Jacobs (Camera).

Hayabusa action in Russia
image by: Danny Jacobs

Hayabusa Defence - Round 11

6.00 am, couldn't sleep anymore, heartbeat over 130. At breakfast, couldn't eat my sandwish. I had no appetite and wasn't hungry. In the bus we were all very concentrated, with our 'pump up music' in our ears. First thing at the dropzone, getting our gear, checking our parachute, stretching after the warm-up and then creeping. At 9.30 am we were in the first plane together with France and a British 8-way team.

Door opens, heartbeat is at 140. The French team jumped first, then it was up to us. Ok, relax, move to the door, bring the heartbeat back to 110 (my normal beat is 80 in the door). Exit. First pages were very good. After the 3rd page, suddenly our Opal opened just before starting the block. This put us in a situation where we had to wait to pick up the grip and then start from the mis-shaped formation all over again.

It caused distraction for me. After the arrival from the second Opal, I had to build the Bow, but instead I already had the grips for the Unipod. Shit, get me back in place, Shorty. Ok, total separation and built the Bow and then the Unipod, pffff... This was a bad feeling, but ok, keep going hard.

We picked up our speed again and continued until the end. However, since all the other jumps were so very close with the French, we thought it was over and out. That was the first feeling we had when we landed.

To make it even more exciting, the French team had a bad feeling as well. They had a brainlock somewhere in their dive. I didn't find that very hard to believe with Block 18 in B-slots. So ok, everything was back to normal and the live judging is the only place to find out who would win this event.

Hayabusa Defence's Round 11 at the FAI World Cup 2007
The hangar was crowded. We didn't know the scores of the French team, and vica versa. First team on the screen is Hayabusa Defence. Exit. The timer is running down from 35 seconds. Everything is very clean, and in the beginning we had a very good and fast performance.

But then it started. Block 5 (Opal - Opal), indeed, the grip opened but got closed again, yes. Finish of the block. Shit, my brainlock. But Bow and Unipod were built correctly. Now keep on going till the end. End of Block 18 (Zircon -Zircon) was clearly in.

Review by the judges. And another one, and a 4th one, pffffff, this is taking toooooo long. Final score 22, cleanly marked scoresheet; YEEEEEEEEESSSSSSSSs. Oh man, this is kicking...

To make it even more exciting, the French team had a bad feeling as well. They had a brainlock somewhere in their dive. I didn't find that very hard to believe with Block 18 in B-slots. So ok, everything was back to normal and the live judging is the only place to find out who would win this event.

The hangar was crowded. We didn't know the scores of the French team, and vica versa. First team on the screen is Hayabusa Defence. Exit. The timer is running down from 35 seconds. Everything is very clean, and in the beginning we had a very good and fast performance.

But then it started. Block 5 (Opal - Opal), indeed, the grip opened but got closed again, yes. Finish of the block. Shit, my brainlock. But Bow and Unipod were built correctly. Now keep on going till the end. End of Block 18 (Zircon -Zircon) was clearly in.

Review by the judges. And another one, and a 4th one, pffffff, this is taking toooooo long. Final score 22, cleanly marked scoresheet; YEEEEEEEEESSSSSSSSs. Oh man, this is kicking...

France Maubeuge - Round 11

Ok, now the French team. Exit. Smoothly out the door, very nice buildings of the randoms, some long distances in the B-slot 18's, and a completion of the Opal was tricky, as well. But at the freeze frame, their last formation didn't seem to be within working time, which would make it their 22nd point.
Competition Draw at the USPA Nationals 2007
Review by the judges. It still isn't inside. Another review, they are only a few centimeters from their grip. And there is the final score for France Maubeuge 21 points. JOEHOEEEEEEE. WE WON, WE WON, WE WON. We scored one point more than France over 11 rounds. WOW, what a feeling.

Andy Grauwels' recollection does not need any additional commenting, and the NSL-TV video, provided by Hayabusa Defence and team videogrpaher Danny Jacobs, shows exactly what Hayabusa's Point was talking about. The celebration of the greatest success in team career was next on the Hayabusa agenda in Russia.

It did not take too long until the Belgian World Cup champion was back in action. The ESL Championship 2007 was on the agenda at the beginning of September. Hayabusa Defence was eager to compete again and compare the team's scoring and performance level with the best US teams, which competed on the same weekend at the USPA Nationals 2007.

The competition draws were not synchronized, and the European teams completed only three rounds in the AAA Class due to bad weather. Hayabusa Defence could only follow the US action from the distance and evaluate the scores and some of the videos.

Airspeed Odyssey's Round 3 at the USPA Nationals 2007
NSL-TV has now uploaded a new Airspeed Odyssey video. Round 3 at the USPA Nationals 2007 included Block 18 (Zircon - Zircon), the same block that Hayabusa Defence and France Maubeuge had to deal with at their jump-off round. The competition draw in the USA also brought the same situation to Airspeed Odyssey as it was at the World Cup in Russia. Block 17 (Danish T - Murphy) added memory to the sequence of Round 3. Hayabusa Defence and Airspeed Odyssey both had to accept A- and B-slots for Block 18 and the whole sequence. The NSL-TV audience has the opportunity this time to compare at least portions of the jumps directly.
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