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Did You Know...

... that the complete first round of the Shamrock Showdown is now on NSL-TV?

    USPA 2012 silver medals for SDC Rhythm XP
posted Mar 21st, 2006 - SDC Rhythm XP's team story is a long one and has been covered by the NSL News numerous times and from the very beginning. The young and new team project has made headlines year after year and moved from the grassroots to the 4way top level as if there were no limitations and obstacles.

But there were obstacles, plenty of them, and the latest Rhythm news break puts another one in the way of the 4way shooting star to the top of the leaderboard. Rhythm founders JaNette and Steve Lefkowitz just posted a good-by note to Thiago Gomes and Chris Farina who are leaving the team: "Rhythm wishes Thiago and Chris the best as they move on to new things. Thank you for being such great teammates. Rhythm is currently recruiting. Contact JaNette or Steve if you're interested."

It's a short and dry message with a strong impact on the Rhythm plans. The team's 2012 lineup had just won USPA silver medals in the Open Class for the first time, and only Arizona Airspeed was left between Rhythm and the number one position in the United States and potentially in the world.
USPA Nationals 2012 Rd. 1 Rd. 2 Rd. 3 Rd. 4 Rd. 5 Rd. 6 Rd. 7 Rd. 8 Rd. 9 Rd. 10 Total Avg
Rank 4way Open Class 3,B,K,H F,7,22 O,4,D,13 A,M,11,8 N,P,G,19 L,20,1 5,16,J 6,21,12 18,17,10 E,C,Q,15 Total Avg
1 Arizona Airspeed (US) 30 28 24 23 34 22 28 19 20 37 265 26.5
2 SDC Rhythm XP (US) 30 24 23 24 25 21 25 17 19 30 238 23.8

The first meet video of the FSL Shamrock Showdown 2006 was posted yesterday and featured the unofficial world record jump of DeLand Fire in round four. The NSL News promised to follow up with the complete first round of the meet, and the jumps have been uploaded this morning. They can be viewed by clicking on the little icon next to the score.

SDC Rhythm XP scoring progression    
SDC Rhythm XP was also consistently catching up with the US team that has been dominating 4way competition in the United States since 2007. Rhyhtm was formed at the end of the 2006 season, just at about the same time when Arizona Airspeed recruited a new lineup after DeLand Majik's and DeLand Fire's time was over.

Rhythm competed for the first time at the USPA Nationals 2007 when Airspeed won and qualified as the US national team. Airspeed would move on to win the 4way gold medals at the World Meet 2008 in France, while Rhythm was still competing in the Advanced Class at the USPA Nationals 2008.

JaNette and Steve Lefkowitz had their vision and high goals and were not discouraged by the long distance between the 2008 world champions (24.2) and their own performance level (16.9) in 2008 and at any time. They just moved forward every year, which required personnel changes on a regular basis.

    Sinapsi PD's round one at the FSL Shamrock Showdown 2006 - see video

SDC Rhythm XP's 2011 lineup    
Even the personnel changes did not keep Rhythm from making progress year by year, and the distance to the very top of the Open Class leaderboard became shorter with the same consistency. Finally, the 2011 lineup turned Rhythm into a full time project. Rob Radez and Thiago Gomes trained and competed with JaNette and Steve Lefkowitz for a very successful 2011 season.

Rob Radez left at the end of his second year, and Perris Fury's world class Center Inside Chris Farina completed the rear piece with Tail Thiago Gomes, and the 2012 season became even more successful than any other previous Rhythm year. The distance to Arizona Airspeed was as small as never before at the USPA Nationals 2012, and Rhythm's new 2012 lineup outscored Airspeed's 2011/2012 lineup for the first time in a round. The USPA silver medals rewarded the impressive Rhythm efforts.

The scoring progression indicated that it seemed to be only a matter of time when Rhythm would eventually be able to give Airspeed a competition for the top spot. Then came the recent news of new personnel changes.

The actual scoreboard does not show any deductions for infringements. However, each video file begins with the announcement of the featured team, including competition class, team name, round number and score. Any point deductions appear as a number in parenthesis behind the posted score.

    Getting closer: Direct competition with Arizona Airspeed
The "new things" for Thiago Gomes and Chris Farina that the recent Rhythm announcement relates to are still open at this point in time. Both are probably not planning to retire.

JaNette and Steve Lefkowitz can move forward in the meantime. They are used to similar situations and will probably find a way once again to fill the gaps successfully. SDC Rhythm XP is recruiting, and the NSL News will probably cover a new tryout very soon.

Arizona Airspeed has other topics at the moment that are more important. NMP-PCH Hayabusa and Aerodyne Aerokart are ready to demand Airspeed's full attention and energy at the Mondial 2012...

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This means that the home judging can begin right away. DeLand Fire obviously lost a point in round one. It will not be too difficult to find it. Block 18 (Zircon - Zircon) on the second page did not have a correct completion when one grip slipped after a short contact. Fire was still "in synch" and moved on, however, the judges did not agree with the completion.

The mediocre jump for DeLand Fire and the point deduction came along with a great meet opener of Sinapsi PD. The Italian team mentioned in an interview with the NSL News how important the good start was. The live interview in the NSL office two days after the event will be uploaded soon.

    Monkey Circus at the Shamrock Showdown 2006
Sinapsi PD with a 19-pointer was already three points ahead of DeLand Fire, Fastrax and Norway Arcteryx after only one round. It was the first time that the Italian team took the lead in an international meet with a strong field after a good first round.

Round one was also the start of a 10-round marathon on Saturday for the Austrian team Monkey Circus. Thomas Haber (Inside Center, Christian Royer (Tail), Ewald Salcher (Outside Center), Horst Scheiber (Point) and Roland Habel (Video) had to fly back to Europe on Sunday and agreed to complete all ten rounds of the meet on Saturday.

Monkey Circus had only twenty minutes of preparation time between each competition jump. They also could not spend much time with their coach, DeLand Fire member Shannon Pilcher, who has been working with the Austrian team for a few years and competed with his own team.

Team Fila at the Malevsky Cup 2005    
However, Monkey Circus seemed to like the pressure and finished this year's Shamrock Showdown with the best meet average in team history. Monkey Circus had also attended the Shamrock Showdown 2005 and posted a 12.1 meet average after ten rounds last year. The 16.1 average last weekend was not only caused by a fast competition draw, it was also a totally different Austrian team that competed at the Shamrock Showdown 2006.

The situation in Austria this year is very similar to the 4-way competition in the small country last year. Three teams perform almost on exactly the same level and have a horse race for the medals every year: Team Fila, Monkey Circus and Matrix.

Team Fila is already qualified as the Austrian national 4-way team for the World Meet 2006 after winning the national championship in 2005. Matrix represented Austria at the World Meet in Croatia 2004 with a 13.4 average tied in 15th position. Team Fila competed at the Malevsky Cup 2005 and finished in 16th position with a 14.2 average.

    Austrian 8-way team with Team Fila and Monkey Circus at the World Meet in Croatia 2004
The 16.1 average after ten rounds is a new benchmark for Austrian 4-way teams, as well as the 33-pointer in round four is a new inofficial Austrian record for a single round. The Monkey Circus performance will probably inspire the other Austrian top contenders to step up to the same new performance level.

Monkey Circus will still travel to the World Meet in the neighbouring Germany in August. Team Fila and Monkey Circus have already decided to join forces in 8-way and compete at the World Meet.

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