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Did You Know...

... that the ESL Spirit went to the Netherlands this year?

   
    ESL Champion 2005: Spa Hayabusa
image by: Mike Pennock
posted Sep 19th, 2005 - The NSL News briefly covered the European Skydiving League Championship 2005 already earlier, and the scores are still posted at the event page. Additional ESL information can also be found at the ESL website.

The NSL News received more insights from Spa Hayabusa member Roy Janssens, and Mike Pennock from the Netherlands, ESL co-organizer and team videographer for the Dutch team R-Fource, provided photos of the event.

The ESL Championship 2005 was held on September 2-4. The Skydive Center Spa in Belgium hosted the event for the third time. The six participating countries were Belgium, Netherlands, Germany, United Kingdom, Switzerland, the Czech Republic and fielded a total of 28 teams in the three ESL competition classes, which are identical with the NSL AAA, A and Rookie Class.


   
Dutch team Infinity with the ESL Spirit
image by: Mike Pennock
   
The hosting dropzone provided two Cesna Caravans for the competition. The draw took place Thursday evening, and the competition started on Friday morning at 9.00 pm. As in the previous years, the European Skydiving League was lucky with the weather once again, and blue skies were over Spa for all three days. The teams were able to finish the 10-round competition already on Saterday afternoon. Roy Janssens reported that the organizers did a perfect job in keeping everybody happy.

Nine teams competed in the AAA Class, and Spa Hayabusa won the meet with a 20.0 average. This is once again a new Belgian record set by the national team.

Roy Janssens commented for his team: "After scoring this year a 19.4 average at the Malevsky Cup and a 19.8 average at the Belgian Nationals, we finished the season with reaching our team goal for this year."


   
    Dutch delegation with the ESL Spirit
image by: Mike Pennock
The second place went to the Dutch team "Project Punky Fish" with a 14.6 average, and the third place was also taken by a team from the Netherlands, Infinity, with a 11.7 meet average. Infinity is the Dutch national team in IPC's Women's Class, which is neither represented in the ESL nor in the NSL.

Teams from the United Kingdom took the whole podium in the A Class (Helix, Damn Zebra, Evolution), and they outscored all teams of the other ESL countries by far. UK teams (Escondido, D4) won the first two places in the Rookie Class, as well. Only the third place was left for a team from the Netherlands (Whooops).

The annual huge ESL party took place at the dropzone after the competition and kept most people busy through the late night hours. The ESL award ceremony was held just before the start of the party on site, and everybody was in a great spirits to celebrate.

The ESL organizers held a planning meeting for all participants on Sunday morning and evaluated the ESL Championship 2005. The ESL management takes the job seriously and tries to find ways how to make the event even better then it already is. The ESL participants approved that the competiton will be held once again in Spa next year.


The ESL trophy "Spirit" was won by the Dutch delegation this year. This trophy goes to the country with the highest number of total points of its best three teams in the AAA Class. There were additional prizes for the other teams on the podium.

Roy Janssens finished with the hope that the European Skydiving League and its championship event will attract even more teams in general, and that it will also include more national teams of the participating countries in the future.


   
Dutch teams and competitors celebrate the ESL Spirit victory
image by: Mike Pennock
   

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