The participation in Germany this year is identical with the number of teams that competed at the World Meet in Croatia 2004 at this point. The 4-way Open Class will have a field of 21 teams, including the top contenders from the USA, Italy, Russia, France, Belgium and Norway. The whole line-up of all teams can be found at the event page.
The Belgian Nationals 2006 are coming up this weekend. There is not much doubt that Spa Hayabusa will win and compete for Belgium in Germany a few months later. The situation is similar in France where the winner of this year's national championship in July will become the national team for the World Meet. The NSL News covered this topic with stories on April 5 and on April 12.
It seems as if there are three 4-way teams that will compete to become the national team this year. Black Cat was the Russian national team last year and competed at the World Cup 2005 in Eloy. The Sky Panthers was the national team at the World Meet in Croatia 2004, where they won the bronze medals, and the team did not compete in 2005.
The Russian national competition in 8-way has been just as tight as in 4-way in the past years. The 8-way situation reminds on the days when Arizona Airspeed and the Golden Knights competed every year for the one slot as the US national team at the World Meet.
Only the Russian competition in the Women's 4-way event does not seem to have any open ends. The Ladybirds have not trained much this year, however, they will have no difficulty to qualify as the Russian national team in this event.
The competition in the 4-way Women's Class matches exactly the number of teams in 2004, as well. Ten teams from ten nations will most likely see France and the UK team AirKix fight it out for the gold medals. The Russian Ladybirds will probably be the strongest team to defend their own bronze medals.
Several of the registered teams have already competed in the past and this year. These team pages are already set up and offer the team profiles. Additional team pages and information will be uploaded as soon as possible. The NSL News will also follow up with information of the upcoming national qualification events in Belgium, France and Russia.