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Did You Know...

... that the right-hand door is coming up soon for Fastrax Blue?

Fastrax Blue at the USPA Nationals 2007
posted Jan 27th, 2008 - The NSL News has already covered quite a few teams of IPC's female 4-way category this year. Norway's new team Fortitudo was introduced on 22 January 2008, the Canadian Cat Women on 14 January 2008. Additional updates included Bodyflight Storm on 12 January 2008 and the French team White and Sea on 24 January 2008.

The last time that the NSL News offered an update of the US national team Fastrax Blue dates back to 9 October 2007 (Archives > 2007 > News > search for Fastrax Blue). Coach Thomas Hughes, member of the US national 8-way team, has been working with Fastrax Blue in the meantime, and the interview with Knight Trax on 18 January 2008 reminded the NSL News that it was time to catch up with Fastrax Blue, as well. Thomas Hughes provided new team information shortly after the last Knight Trax camp was over.

Fastrax Blue tunnel training
Fastrax Blue has not jumped from an airplane this winter yet. The only training took place at the Paraclete XP windtunnel in Raeford, North Carolina. However, Fastrax Blue has completed ten hours of tunnel training in two camps since October 2007 and worked on technical improvements for selected block techniques, as Thomas Hughes explained.

The tunnel training included 2-on-2 sessions with coach Thomas Hughes and his former XL teammate Pete Allum who has competed for the Italian national team Sinapsi PD in the past years. Thomas Hughes reported that Fastrax Blue still has not worked on increasing the speed yet, as he has already mentioned ever since he started working with the team. The main goal is to master all the technical details before the pace will be picked up.

The Fastrax Blue members were challenged mentally and physically at their tunnel camps. They trained in Raeford with their full skydiving equipment, as the video of the recent tunnel training shows. Coach Thomas Hughes put his own camera helmet on and filmed the team from all kind of different angles in the tunnel, which allowed him to provide very special feedback.

Fastrax Blue windtunnel training in Raeford - see video
Sebastian XL at the World Meet 2003 in France
The first skydiving training camp this year will bring the exit challenge to Fastrax Blue, as it has to all other national teams that have to switch from the left-hand door to the right-door exit from the Pilatus Porter. The 4-day exit training begins on February 1 in DeLand.

Fastrax Blue has a great advantage for this upcoming challenge. Coach Thomas Hughes has his own experiences with the same situation. He trained and competed with Sebastian XL from left-hand Twinotter doors and had to switch from left to right at the end of the 2002 season.

The World Championship of Formation Skydiving in France 2003 was held from Pilatus Porters, as well, and Sebastian XL took on the exit challenge together with the DeLand Norgies for the last duel of these two teams. Fortitudo member Lise Nansen can provide the same experiences to her new team, as the recent team story mentioned.

Fastrax Blue at the FSL Shamrock Showdown 2007
Fastrax Blue and Fortitudo will take full advantage of this valuable knowledge, which can make the transition easier and more efficient. Thomas Hughes will work again on the same topic with Fastrax Blue in March. The last training camp before the FSL Shamrock Showdown 2008 will get the team ready for the first competition this year. Norway's Fortitudo has the FSL season opener on the team calendar, as well.

Fastrax Blue will then spend the summer at Start Skydiving in Ohio and train alongside the US 8-way team Knight Trax. The partnership with Knight Trax will allow Fastrax Blue to complete 400 - 500 training jumps this year. The next team update will probably follow after the February camp in DeLand.

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