posted Jun 10th, 2005 -
The NSL-TV coverage of the FSL Shamrock Showdown 2005
slowly comes to the end. Round nine is currently featured, one more round to go. The timing seems to be just right. The end of the Shamrock Showdown coverage will be very close to the beginning of the Malevsky Cup 2005, which will offer the next world class 4-way competition on NSL-TV. However, there is not only the world class level that deserves attention. Great competition happens on several different scoring and performance levels. It is well worth to check out the videos of the other competition classes, too.
Back to the Shamrock Showdown situation in March 2005, round nine was a quite turbulent round. The AAA Class sequence included the new Block 12 (Bundy - Bundy), which had just made its way into the dive pool this year. Many teams had never seen this new block in freefall, only a few were already familiar with the technique.
Logically, it is no surprise that the viewer will see several situations where the front piece over-rotated or had difficulties to identify the final position. The same counts for the rear piece that has less work but still has to approach the right person to connect to in the center. There were even broken front pieces due to the speed of the rotation.
The fact that Block 18 (Zircon - Zircon) was in the same sequence for round nine (12-18-A) made it the overall slowest round of the whole meet in DeLand. The cumulative score of all AAA Class teams for round nine was 177 points. The previous sequence of round eight (22-2-1) had been the slowest jump with 182 points before.
There were only a few teams that made it through this sequence without any problems at all. DeLand Fire missed the completion of Block 18 two times within working time. The Golden Knights missed it once, as well. Sinapsi PD missed the completion of the subterminal Block 12. The Italian team also accepted a significantly slower average time for the free transitions due to a swing move that avoided the memory (1.60 seconds compared to the 1.28 - 1.36 seconds of the other four top teams). Fastrax Select and Sweden 42 preferred the same swing move, as well.
Only DeLand Majik and Team Fastrax did not have any major flaws, which gave the current 4-way world champion another highscore with 16 points. Fastrax missed the 16th point only by 0.60 seconds and showed one more time the potential to contend for a top position this year.
Thomas Hughes shooting video for DeLand Fire at the Shamrock Showdown
Once again, there was a sixth team that quietly made it into this group of world class top contenders, which were all separated by only one point in round nine. Belgium's Spa Hayabusa had already earned a lot of respect in the earlier rounds, including the sole highscore in round eight after a re-jump. The 15 points in round nine kept the Belgium team close to the very top level one more time.
Two teams, Germany's national team EADS and Fastrax Select, used the slower vertical technique for Block 18, where the center people begin with the first vertical transition. All other AAA Class teams used the shorter and theoretically quicker vertical technique for the same block, including DeLand Fire with two members of the NSL Champion 2004, Arizona Blade.
Thomas Hughes and Natasha Montgomery applied the longer technique for Block 18 throughout the whole 2004 season, including the NSL Championship 2004. Hughes explained the logic of this technique last year in the NSL Forum. He concluded: "Above a 19 avg though I think it needs to be changed, we will see what happens next year!!"
Well, next year came for Hughes and Montgomery with Fire in DeLand and well above a 19.0 average. The technique for Block 18 has changed to the fastest one. There is still work left for the completion of the block. However, the 16 Fire points for round nine still tied the highest score for the round, together with the Golden Knights and DeLand Majik.
The prizes for the FSL Shamrock Showdown's Skins Game of round nine were provided by Sun Path Products ($300 cash) and Fused Image (five necklaces). Teiwa-Z-Hills took advantage of the slow sequence and won round nine after handicap, which made it the second skin for the same team. Enjoy the new NSL-TV show.