226 Pecan Street
Deland FL 32724
tel: (386) 801-0804
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Up Close & Personal
name: David Grauwels
family & marital staus: Single
number of jumps: 9,000
years in Sport: 25
teams: Low Pull, EFS, Hayabusa
slot(s): Outside Center/Point 1999-2010, Inside Center/Tail 2011-2016
favorite competition: Mondial Dubai 2012
funniest moment in skydiving: Brother Andy on his stretcher in Stupino, 2005, after winning the European Championships for the first time with HayaBusa. After the hegemony of France, at that time we believed that we would never be able to achieve another stunt like that, and he missed out the celebration because of Russian Wodka...
skydiving mentor(s): John Eagle, Jack Jefferies, Julien Losantos, Sven Ibens
hobbies: Soccer/Futbol and several other sports
favorite book(s): James Rollins books
favorite music: Rock - Dance - Deephouse
favorite movie(s): Top Gun
favorite place: Nou Camp Barcelona Futbol Stadium
Where will you be ten years from now? Family life - The one thing I've been blocking out throughout all these years, while chasing my ultimate dreams.
best kept secret: The addiction to 4-way was so big that I was living at the border of bankruptcy for many many months when I was 21 - 22 years old, and I felt embarrassed about it, and for what caused it: The love of the sport and Formation Skydiving...
"There is no "I" in team work"
David Grauwels is the perfect example for a skydiver who got addicted and then went through whatever it would take to become a world champion. What separates him and his brother Andy from most other skydivers with the same or similar goals is a simple fact: They really became 4-way world champions...
David and Andy Grauwels grew up in a skydiving family, beginning with their grandparents in the early 70s. Then Father Alex and his brother and sister were skydiving in the late 70s, before it was time for David's and Andy's turn.
Nobody had to twist father Alex Grauwel's arm to get his first son in the air. David Grauwels remembers that now "the ball was rolling and I was sold in an instant, as many others before and after me".
Three years later, and barely 19 years old in 1999, he attended his first national championships in Belgium. There was only the AAA Class competition for all teams at that time, and David Grauwels' first team finished with a 4.5 average: "We were stoked with our results." 15 years later, David and his brother Andy Grauwels won 4-way gold medals at the World Championship of Formation Skydiving in Prostejov 2014.
David Grauwels may have given up a similar athletic career in soccer/futbol when he got addicted to 4-way competition. It is still one of his favorite sports, and his favorite place is the Nou Camp Barcelona Futbol Stadium. He could have made more money in Futbol too, as he also lifted a secret in his profile:
Hayabusa was founded by Andy and David Grauwels, Sven Ibens, Roy Jannsen and Bruno Van Den Eede on camera in 2003.
They picked the team name after a bird of prey that is considered one of the fastest in the world and can reach a speed of over 200 mph.
Speed became one of the Hayabusa trademarks, and they eventually became the fastest team in the world and in history.
The original lineup became the Belgian national 4-way team in 2004, and Hayabusa has represented the small European country at all six world meets ever since.
The end of the 2006 season brought another significant change in the life of the Grauwels brothers.
The three original Hayabusa members wanted to pursue their ultimate goal and they joined the Belgian military to become full-time competitors.
Sven Ibens could not continue with the original lineup any longer, and Officer Luc Verstrepen joined the team for the military 4-way career. He was previously Hayabusa's opponent with NMPV, Belgium's previous national 4-way champion team.
The 2011 - 2014 lineup was the most successful one so far, and the three original Hayabusa members finally fulfilled their own ultimate goal and won the first 4-way gold medals for Belgium. Roy Janssen then left the team, while the Grauwels brothers still cannot get enough of 4-way competition.
Hayabusa recruited a new Tail, and David Grauwels had to bring his new piece partner, Jeroen "Bob" Nollet, up to speed. He did this very successfully, of course with great support by coach Gary Smith, and the new lineup never fell behind Arizona Airspeed, despite the personnel change, neither at any indoor nor outdoor meets in 2015.
Hayabusa had won the European Championships for the first time after years of dominance by France, and the team members celebrated:
"At that time we believed that we would never be able to achieve another stunt like that, and Andy missed out the celebration because of Russian Wodka..."
David and Andy Grauwels are out for more, and they will probably share new funny and successful moments with each other...