... that the Paraclete XP Outdoor Championship 2013 includes one again the internal US showdown?
Winner in 2012: Arizona Airspeed
posted Mar 5th, 2013 -
The second outdoor competition of the 2013 season is coming closer, the Paraclete XP Outdoor Championship 2013, which begins next week with Round 1 on Friday morning (March 15).
The Clarion Hotel DeLand is hosting once again the opening banquet with the competition draw and the introduction of the participating teams on Thursday evening. Paraclete XP is back as the main event sponsor and puts up again the same cash jackpot as last year - $5,000 for the first three places and additional $2,000 for the annual Shamrock Showdown Skins Game where each AAA Class team can win $400 per round (6 - 10) after handicap.
Teams from eight nations have signed up for the event so far. It is an "off-year" for the national teams who compete for their countries at the World Championship of Formation Skydiving, but it is very much a qualification year for most of the teams who want to compete at the World Meet in Prostejov 2014.
US teams have to win the USPA Nationals in the year prior to the World Meet if they want to qualify. This means that this year's event at Skydive Chicago serves as the qualifyer for Prostejov 2014. There are only two serious top contenders in the USA this year, Arizona Airspeed and SDC Rhythm XP, and the 2013 season begins for both teams with the final lineups in DeLand next week.
The Paraclete XP Outdoor Championship has a very important history regarding the qualification as the US national team. Every US team who won the event in March ended up with the gold medals at the USPA Nationals the same year and as the US national team at the World Meet next year. This tradition has been consistent ever since the event was created in its current format in 2002.
This amazing consistency has not only repeated itself in the US qualification years. The best US team at the Paraclete XP Outdoor Championship has always won the USPA Nationals, year by year (DeLand Majik in 2003-2004, DeLand Fire/Groove in 2005-2006, Arizona Airspeed since 2007). The same counts on the international level for the 4way world champions in the "on-years".
Closer than ever: SDC Thythm XP with Solly Williams
The consistency of this outcome adds extra spice to this year's upcoming competition. Both US top contenders will be present in DeLand. Arizona Airspeed is the reigning 4way world champion and undisputed top favorite. However, SDC Rhythm XP has moved closer to Airspeed year by year, and the recent personnel changes on both sides have changed the picture.
Airspeed is still the number one contender for the upcoming competition as well as for the USPA Nationals 2013. However, there could be more domestic pressure on the two world champions (Mark Kirkby, Thomas Hughes) and the two new members (Chris Farina, Thiago Gomes) than at any previous event.
SDC Rhythm XP with Center Inside Solly Williams was closer than ever before to Arizona Airspeed's lineup at the Paraclete XP Indoor Championship 2013, and Rhythm is eager to close the gap even more. Other than that, both US teams will also face very tough competition from Russia (Sky Panthers Barkli) and Canada (Evolution)...