It is not the first time that Hayabusa defeated the French national team at an outdoor competition. It happened the first time at the World Cup 2007 after a jump-off Round 11 that Hayabusa won by one point. Roy Janssen, Andy and David Grauwels competed with Luc Verstrepen in the Center Inside slot by then, while France had the lineup in Russia that would place 2nd at the World Meet 2008 and win the gold medals in 2010.
The Belgian - French duel was only randomly joined by Arizona Airspeed, the US national team since 2007. Airspeed won the gold medals over France and Belgium at the World Meet 2008, defeated France at the Shamrock Showdown 2009, and then also Hayabusa and France again at the World Games 2009.
Airspeed won again over both rivals at the 1st Dubai Championship in January 2010 and then lost to France at the World Meet 2010 in Menzlinsk, Russia. It was the first and only time so far that France beat the complete Airspeed lineup at an outdoor competition since 2007. Hayabusa has not accomplished this to date. In fact, the current Airspeed lineup has won each attended outdoor competition so far.
The NSL News met with the NMP-PCH Hayabusa members after the completion of the Paraclete XP Outdoor Championship to discuss the situation after the meet. The Belgian team has moved closer than ever to Airspeed at an outdoor competition, and the team members know that they are finally in reach of the gold medals in Dubai this year. Team speaker Roy Janssen said that Airspeed is "beatable" now.
NMP-PCH Hayabusa Rounds 1 to 10 - NSL Talk with NMP-PCH Hayabusa
First 2012 meet - Highest outdoor average ever
How critical is the situation for Airspeed? The NSL News once again crunched the numbers and scores of the years ever since the Hayabusa 3way (Roy Janssen, Andy and David Grauwels) launched their project to get to the top of the world in 2003. Different US teams (DeLand Majik, DeLand Fire) were the opponents in the earlier years, and Arizona Airspeed had two different lineups that have fended off the Belgians so far.
Eliana Rodriguez, Craig Girard, Andy Delk and Mark Kirkby felt the Belgian heat when Hayabusa cut the distance of the earlier years significantly in 2008 and 2010. The new Airspeed lineup (Thomas Hughes, Josh Hall, Niklas Hemlin, Mark Kirkby) created more space in the beginning and are now under Hayabusa pressure, as well.
Hayabusa does not seem to accept any limits, as the numbers show. Even the extremely fast competition draw at the World Meet 2010 is not the highest Hayabusa average any longer, which is still the case for Airspeed. The Belgians launched this outdoor competition season with the highest meet average in team history. They are dangerously close, no doubt.