posted Apr 13th, 2005 -
Round four of the FSL Shamnrock Showdown 2005
was also the meet's best round for the Norwegian national 4-way team Arcteryx. The Norwegian score of 20 points tied Belgium's national team Spa Hayabusa's result for this round. This means more to the Arcteryx members as it might indicate on the first view.
Belgium and Norway both competed with exactly the same line-up at the world meet in Croatia 2004. Belgium finished in 6th position with a 17.8 average after ten rounds, Norway finished tied in 7th position with a 15.8 average after nine rounds, which compares directly to a 17.4 average for Belgium after the same nine rounds. The difference between the two teams was 1.6 in point average.
Spa Hayabusa showed progression between the world meet in 2004 and the Shamrock Showdown. The team's 18.2 meet average at the slower draw of the Shamrock Showdown indicates that the Belgian team is moving forward. In fact, the Hayabusa scores of some single rounds were much closer to the top of the world than ever before. The Hayabusa peak was round eight with the highest score of all AAA Class teams, including all the U.S. top contenders and Italy's Sinapsi PD.
Norway Arcteryx at the Shamrock Showdown
While Spa Hayabusa earned a lot of attention and respect at the Shamrock Showdown, it went almost unnoticed that Norway's Arcteryx delivered just as impressively as the Belgian team. Tore Buer (Center Inside), Oyvind Buer (Tail), Ole Petter Hjelle (Center Outside), Ditta Valsdottir (Point) and Morten Soendraal (Video) finished the meet in DeLand with a 16.5 average after ten rounds. This is a progression of 2.3 point average between the world meet in 2004 and the slower draw of the Shamrock Showdown.
The distance between Arcteryx and Belgium's Spa Hayabusa remained about the same with 1.7 in March 2005. However, the Arcteryx score of 20 points in round four was the clearest sign of the Norwegian progression. Spa Hayabusa and Arcteryx both easily walked past the German national team EADS, as well. The German team had finished in 5th position with an 18.3 meet avereage after ten rounds at the world meet in Croatia 2004. EADS had delivered ten consistent rounds and an impressive performance in Croatia.
Arcteryx Point Ditta Valsdottir
Even though Belgium and Norway both beat the German team at the Shamrock Showdown they will surely face much more German opposition at the next meet, the Malevsky World Cup in July. EADS arrived on Saturday of the Shamrock Showdown, had no time for warming up and did all ten rounds on Sunday. However, Hayabusa's 18.2 average in DeLand almost tied the EADS average of 18.3 in Croatia, and Arcteryx is obviously charging, as well.
The Arcteryx performance in DeLand might not have found as much recognition and attention as Hayabusa's scores over the ten rounds. However, the team's Point, Ditta Valsdottir, was fully aware of the Norwegian progression: "We were very happy with our performance at the Shamrock Showdown. The team is right on track. However, there is still a lot of work, and we need more competition practice."
Arcteryx at the FSL 2004 meet in Lake Wales
Valsdottir won silver medals with the Norwegian national team of the Women's Class at the world meets in 2001 and 2003, and she knows the value of competition practice and experience. The line-up with two newest members of the Norwegian national team, brothers Tore and Oyvind Buer, has not attended many competitions in the young team career.
Arcteryx currently trains in DeLand and will use the opportunity of another Florida Skydiving League event this weekend in Lake Wales to collect more meet experiences. Last year's FSL meet in April at the Florida Skydiving Center was actually the first competition for the new Norwegian line-up. The team was still missing a fourth member by then, and coach Lise Aune filled the slot in Lake Wales. Arcteryx finished the 6-round meet in April 2004 with a 15.7 average. The 2005 scores of Arcteryx at the same event will be posted this weekend.