Jerome David currently spends time with his national teams for a winter training camp at Skydive Arizona. The plans for this camp were already made last year, as Jerome David mentioned during the interview with the NSL News at the World Cup in October 2005.
"We will send one 4-way Open Class team to Germany. This will be the 4-way team that wins the French Nationals in Vannes at the end of July. I think that this team should be able to place between 3rd and 6th place in Germany." The other French national teams in the 4-way Women's Class and 8-way seem to be on track with their progression at this point in time. Jerome David provided a brief update of the French Women's team:
Jerome David was not too surprised about the withdrawal of Synchronicity in the Women's event: "I understand their decision and their personal reasons. I liked the team, they did great things. However, I am sure that the new US team (Select) will be strong, and the competition will be tight with the Russian team (Ladybirds), the UK team (Airkix), and with our team."
The French 8-way team did not train in February and has not copied the competition draw of the Valentine's Meet in training yet. However, the 8-way team completed one training camp after the World Cup 2005, and the March camp is scheduled for two weeks and 140 training jumps.
Jerome David also confirmed that France will send at least one team to the European Skydiving League Championship in September this year. This will be the first year for France to join the ESL network in Europe. Parts of the French Cup will also be connected with the ESL events this season.
She confirmed Jerome David's recent comments already in October 2005: "France plans to join the European Skydiving League next year. The French Cup event series has already consisted of three meets since 1994. We may increase the number of events to four or five competitions in 2006. 40-50 teams usually do the whole cup in France."
Some of the rules of the French Cup are different though and would require synchronization efforts between France and ESL. The Intermediate Class in France has a set kind of sequences, and the dive pool consists of 20 Random Formations and 12 Blocks. The 5- or 6-point sequences do not include mirror images and memory. The first formation of each sequence is always the Star, which neutralizes the exit. The working time begins five seconds after the exit or with the break of the Star. The five best teams have to move up to the AAA/Open Class at the end of the French Cup season.
There is obviously a very good chance that the names of French 4-way teams will appear on the NSL on-line scoreboard after meet weekends with both NSL and ESL teams competing at the same time.