... that the NSL News received updates from the United Kingdom?
Thomas "Spieli" Spielvogel (left) with other German skydivers at team mate Henning Stumpp's wedding this year
posted Jan 25th, 2006 -
The bad luck continues for the German delegation at the Mondial 2012. This time, an unrelated accident has its impact on the EADS 8way lineup.
National coach Mathias Maushake followed up on the final cancelation of ISB Air Remscheid and the new lineup in the female 4way category with bad 8way news. Thomas "Spieli" Spielvogel, the most experienced German Formation Skydiving competitor, will neither be able to train with the German 8way team nor attend the Mondial 2012 in Dubai.
As with ISB Air Remscheid's Sarah Hajooze the accident happened in a different environmet and was not related to skydiving. Thomas Spielvogel fell from a semi-trailer truck and damaged one knee and leg very badly. He said that he will need approx. six months to recover and hopefully come back to skydiving.
Sebastian XL at the Mondial 2003
There were times when team news from the United Kingdom made the NSL News on a regular basis. It was the aera of Sebastian XL, the British national team for many years, that fought tough battles with Norway for bronze medals at the international top events. It was also the time when V-Max made it to the top of the world in the Women's 4-way competition.
The last XL line-up with Pete Allum, Thomas Hughes, Steve Hamilton, John McIver and Rob Stevenson on camera discontinued after the 4th place at the Mondial 2003 in Gap, France, and the team members went different ways. The NSL News audience knows well that Pete Allum joined the Italian national team Sinapsi PD, and that Thomas Hughes has now become a new Airspeed 8-way member.
Spieli's first World Meet in Spain 1989
Thomas Spielvogel's Formation Skydiving competition career in the German national 4way and 8way teams began in 1988 when he won his first German national championship titles in both events. Jan Rojek, Alwin Ampssler and Kurt Gaebel were his team mates by then, and he followed up by competing at his first World Championship of Formation Skydiving in 1989 in Spain. He has missed only one World Meet ever since, and the Mondial 2012 will now be the second one.
His first years were mostly focused on 4way competition until his 4way team EADS retired at the end of the 2006 season. The Paratec-Saar lineup took over the German top spot in 4way from then on, and EADS continued only in 8way. The EADS 8way lineup won the German Nationals in 2007, and Thomas Spielvogel competed for the first time in the 8way event of a World Meet in Maubeuge 2008.
Paratec-Saar, Spieli's EADS 8way partners, then decided to focus only on 4way in 2010, and Germany did not send an 8way team to the World Meet in Menzelinsk. Thomas Spielvogel missed his first World Meet since 1989.
Steve Hamilton sets base for tunnel fun
What happened to John McIver and Steve Hamilton? John McIver visited the USA last year and competed with Perris Fury at the USPA Nationals filling the slot for the injured Dan BC. Other than that, both former XL members are now based in the United Kingdom.
Steve Hamilton updated the NSL News in October 2005 about life and skydiving back home: "Whilst we miss all our friends and the weather in Florida, we are excited to announce that we are planning to build a 'project' for British skydivers. This has been of interest to us for several years, but, due to lack of support, has not been possible until now."
1st place in 8way at the German Nationals 2012
His bad luck continues with the accident, as he will definitely miss the Mondial 2012 in Dubai. However, the German skydiving federation will still send the EADS 8way team to Dubai, as German 4way champion Paratec-Saar competes in both events this time. National coach Mathias Maushake confirmed that Uli Sehrbrock will take Spieli's slot.
It is good luck for the German 8way team that an adequate substitute was instantly available. Uli Sehrbrock is also one of the most experienced Formation Skydiving competitors in Germany. He is a passionate 4way fan and has won several national medals over the years, never a gold medal though. However, he has even more experience in 8way competition.
Uli Sehrbrock was a member of the German 8way lineups at the World Meets in 1999, 2001, 2004 and 2006. Then he went back to his favorite event where he trained and competed with X-Ray Remscheid and other German top teams. Now he was called back to 8way duties.
Hamilton and McIver both supervise the new training project from their headquarters at the wind tunnel in Bedford, and they currently work with up to four 4-way teams of varying experience. The line-up of teams include a junior team, intermediates and two open class teams with John McIver and Steve Hamilton as player coaches.
Steve Hamilton explained that the idea of the project is to fill the gap left behind in the United Kingdom after teams such as XL stepped out of the 4-way arena: "We have such a depth of ability in this country, so it would be nice to channel the talent and build something good for UK teams in the future, with the more experienced members passing down their knowledge to the juniors."
4th place with Uli Sehrbrock (left) at the World Meet 2004 in Croatia
He will probably be able to witness an 8way World Meet with new record participation. Australia, Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, France, Germany, Great Britain, Netherlands, Qatar, Russia, South Africa, Singapore, Switzerland, United Arabian Emirates and the Unites States have registered teams in this event, which gives 8way competition a new boost.
Germany has never won a medal in in the modern age of Formation Skydiving competition since 1985. The 8way lineups of 1997, 2004 and 2008 placed 4th, which is the best finish so far. The 2012 medal positions are all taken (Golden Knights, Aerodyne Maubeuge, Sky Panthers Barkli) and another 4th place will be the best the Germans can achieve this year.
It will not come easily though. The Swiss 8way team VIVA was close to Germany at the World Cup 2011 and has continued with 8way training this year. The EADS 8way lineup has not trained much at all, and the meet average has slightly dropped. There are also other 8way teams taking a closer look at the positions behind the medal rankings...