... that Lithuania had three teams at the World Challenge 2013?
Magic 4 lineup in 2005
posted Jun 7th, 2013 -
The World Meet 1997 in Turkey was the first time that a team from Lithuania competed at a World Championship of Formation Skydiving. Sigitas Augustauskas, Vitalijus Janusauskas, Ugnius Pazusis and Valentinas Banelis, with Vidmantas Zube on camera, finished in 27th place with a 7.6 average.
15 years later, Magic 4 competed for Lithuania at the Mondial Dubai 2012 and finished with a 14.0 average in 23rd place. One of the team members competed at both events, Center Outside Sigitas Augustauskas.
The name Magic 4 appeared on the NSL website the first time in 2005 when the team competed at the World Cup in Eloy, Arizona. Magic 4 has become a very familiar name ever since, and the team from Lithuania was also once again on the leaderboard of the World Challenge 2013 (13th - 19.2) to launch this year's competition season.
Sigitas Augustauskas is not coming back after his 15 years for Lithuania. Magic 4 competed with Dalius Gaika, Zydrunas Mituzas, Darius Kurlinkus and Pavel Kulak in Bedford. Dalius Gaika, Zydrunas Mituzas and Darius Kurlinkus have been competing together since 2006, and new member Pavel Kulak has taken the Center Outside slot.
The World Challenge 2013 was also marking a new era for skydiving competition in the small country in Northern Europe, the largest of the three Baltic states, situated along the southeastern shore of the Baltic Sea, to the east of Sweden and Denmark.
For the first time in history, Lithuania will have 4way teams in the Open Class and in the female category. The Solarflakes confirmed for the NSL News that they are planning to compete at the World Cup 2013, as well, after attending the World Challenge in April.
The Solarflakes could not be found on the female leaderboard at the World Challenge 2013. Jelena Sokolovska, Ruta Mencikovskyte, Inga Vinkeviciute and Valerija Kosova competed in the AA Class, which does not have a female category.
Jelena Sokolovska explained for the NSL News that her team was formed only last autumn and could not be ready in time for the AAA Class dive pool: "We did not manage to prepare for such a high level in such a short time. So we participated in the AA Class at the World Challenge this year."
She added that her team is currently training in Lithuania to prepare for the national championships in July. The World Cup in Bosnia and Herzegowina in August is then going to be the biggest event for the team, and the Solarflakes are very excited: "We will represent Lithuania as a national team there..."
Lithuania had even a third team at the World Challenge 2013. Equinox is not new to the NSL News audience. The Rookie Class team of 2012 was featured on 24 May 2012 and made the headlines a few more times last year.
Equinox has moved up into the A Class this year and opened the competition season with a 10.5 average in Bedford. Team member Algimantas Skuodis recently reported that Lithuania had great weather when the teams in Germany and Finland tried to get in the air for their meet jumps last weekend.
His team managed to make all planned training jumps and only hit a rain cloud once: "This is quite an achievement here in Lithuania..."
Lithuanian delegation at the World Challenge 2013
He added that Equinox needs a lot of training: "After a great start last year and an even better finish in the Rookie Class, one our team members still could not commit for the 2013 season. So we had to look for a new one, and very luckily for us, we did find a new team member who wants to and can jump 4way in a team and with us."
New Equinox member Mindaugas Civilis collected his first 4way experiences last year with Mag J, another Lithuanian Rookie Class team. Equinox still decided to step up into the A Class with the new member. The team was happy with the 10.5 average in Bedford as a starter.
Equinox will compete again at the meets in Lithuania and then travel to the ESL Championship and the ISR Grand Prix.