The trip to Turkey in 1997 was much longer. The distance between Turkey and Portugal is the longest one possible on the east-west axis of Europe. The 4-way team from Portugal finished in 31st place this time, with a 7.0 average.
Two years later, Portugal even had a 4-way team at the World Meet 1999 in Australia. The 7.9 average made the 21st place on the leaderboard.
Eleven years later, Portugal will now be back with a 4-way national team at the World Championship of Formation Skydiving 2010.
It will not be a Portugese surprise visit in Russia. A brand-new team project began already in 2008 when Luís Mamão and his team mates founded their Atmosfera G4 lineup with the plan to develop 4-way competition in Portugal.
Atmosfera G4's team name appeared for the first time on the leaderboard of the World Challenge 2009 (33rd - 14.6) and then again at the World Cup 2009 (23rd - 10.5) in the Czech Republic. A second Atmosfera lineup (10th - 8.6) also competed in the AA Class competition of the World Challenge 2009.
The Atmosfera lineups (G4 and Nutry) have been visiting Bodyflight Bedford on a regular basis for their own training and to help others. The team members are also coaching for free at other skydiving centers in Portugal.
The original 2-team project already turned into three teams at the national championship last year. Eventually, the two Atmosfera teams also formed an 8-way lineup in 2009. Italian Marco Arrigo was working with this 8-way team.
Atmosfera G4 has already completed the first training camp this year in Portugal. Three more outdoor camps will follow before the the team will compete for Portugal at the World Meet in Russia.
The next one begins next week and will be held again in Portugal (Skydive Algarve). The jump plane is a Turbo Let, which will also be used at the World Meet this year.
The 8-way lineup has also completed the first camp this year with coach Marco Arrigo last month. The third 4-way lineup, Devils, is also beginning with the 2010 training but will not compete at the World Challenge 2010. Only Atmosfera G4 and Atmosfera Nutry will make the same April trip to Bedford as last year.
Both teams train and compete with the same lineups. Atmosfera Nutry will work with coaches Pete Allum and Steve Hamilton, depending on their availability. The second Atmosfera lineup won a session of free XL coaching at the World Challenge 2009.