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Did You Know...

... that the current two sequences on NSL-TV are very similar?

    Last meet with Arizona Airspeed in Dubai January 2011
posted Mar 24th, 2005 - The NSL News mentioned earlier that the two 4way teams from Dubai, Asaar Red and Asaar Gold, are registered for the AA Class competition at the World Challenge 2012. This did not happen by mistake. Coaches Eliana Rodriguez and Craig Girard had good reasons for signing up their teams in the easier competition class at the indoor competition.

The NSL News story on 31 December 2011 brought the Advanced Class leaderboard of the USPA Nationals 2011 and the Open Class leaderboard of the 3rd Dubai Championship 2011 up to the attention of the audience and pointed out that the meet averages of the two Dubai teams were significantly lower on home turf compared to the results in Eloy.

The explanation was simple and easy to understand. Eliana Rodriguez and Craig Girard have not been player coaches any longer since the USPA Nationals. Dubai competitors are in their slots now, and both teams had to learn to help themselves in freefall without the professional guidance.
USPA Nationals 2011 Rd. 1 Rd. 2 Rd. 3 Rd. 4 Rd. 5 Rd. 6 Rd. 7 Rd. 8 Rd. 9 Rd. 10 Total Avg
Rank Advanced Class M,5,13 21,14,22 12,20,D 11,Q,16 O,C,10,K P,L,19,8 18,6,2 15,9,G 7,F,17 A,B,N,J,3 Total Avg
1 Qatar Tigers 13 13 12 14 14 13 12 15 18 16 140 14.0
4 Qatar Falcons 12 8 11 13 14 14 11 15 16 16 130 13.0
7 Dubai Red 14 9 10 11 13 13 12 15 14 15 126 12.6
12 Dubai Gold 11 9 8 10 11 9 11 11 12 13 105 10.5

The current NSL-TV offers the most exciting footage. All six top contenders of the AAA Class can be viewed at the same time: the Golden Knights, Airspeed Odyssey and Airspeed Velocity with round five of the SSL Valentine's Meet 2005; DeLand Fire, the Golden Knights, DeLand Majik and Team Fastrax with round one of the FSL Shamrock Showdown 2005. The Shamrock TV offers in addition the footage of Italy's Sinapsi PD and several other international top teams.

Not Dubai player coaches any longer: Craig Girard and Eliana Rodriguez    
The Advanced Class teams at the USPA Nationals 2011 and the Open Class teams at the 3rd Dubai Champoionship both had AAA Class competition draws, and the Paraclete XP Outdoor Championship 2012, which is the next competition for Asaar Red and Gold in March, offers only the AAA Class competition for all teams this year, including the two Dubai teams

However, the World Challenge 2012 will be the first indoor competition for Red and Gold. Eliana Rodriguez and Craig Girard were first planning to send their teams into the AAA Class field in Bedford. Then they studied the AA Class lineups and scores of the past years and realized that the AA Class would be a better home for the first indoor competition, as Eliana Rodriguez explained:

"With this being their first tunnel competition, I don't think the guys will be at such a high level yet, so we thought that the AA Class would be better for them than the AAA Class. I think this will give them more of the competition feeling, which is now more important to us. We also looked at some of the other participants in the AA Class of the past years, and there are people with a whole lot more experience, jump numbers, tunnel time and years in the sport than our guys have."
3rd Dubai Championship 2011 Round 1 Round 2 Round 3 Round 4 Round 5 Round 6 Round 7 Round 8 Total Avg
Rank AAA Class L,C,P,20 K,M,6,15 G,19,H,11 2,10,E 13,9,5 O,7,3 B,21,16 4,1,22 Total Avg
5 Qatar Tigers 18 15 14 13 10 18 16 11 115 14.4
6 Qatar Falcons 17 15 14 12 14 14 14 12 112 14.0
10 Dubai Red 14 10 10 11 10 12 9 8 84 10.5
11 Dubai Gold 13 10 11 10 8 10 11 10 83 10.4

    Golden Knights Black's round five, see video

Dubai Asaar Gold at the USPA Nationals 2011    
The former Arizona Airspeed world champions know that a good competition and a tough battle is a more important learning experience than winning by a lot of points. They expect a real battle for the top spots more in the AA Class than in the AAA Class: "What is more important for us is to show them how it feels like when they are competing hard, like they are in a fight, like they are playing to win, and they definitely won't get this in the AAA Class competition."

Eliana Rodriguez explained that some of their Dubai team members will still have only been in the sport for 11 months at the time of the World Challenge 2012, and the others just a little over a year: "Even though they have done a lot of training, they are still so young to the sport, to competition and completely new to tunnel competition. We have pushed them to do the AAA Class blocks in the first year mainly because of the Dubai meet, and now we're pushing them to learn the AAA Class blocks in 8-way at the same time."

That's a big load of work, and the Dubai 8way team will have its first competition at the Paraclete XP Outdoor Championship 2012 in DeLand, in preparation for the World Championship of Formation Skydiving 2012, again on their home turf.

Most interestingly, round five of the Valentine's Meet and round one of the Shamrock Showdown are almost identical. Both sequences include the same two Blocks (11 and 16), plus one Random Formation. The Blocks are in different order, and the Random Formation is a different one in each sequence (A-16-11 in Eloy, 11-16-J in DeLand).

However, it is well worth looking at the videos of both meets and compare the techniques and its execution directly. Especially both jumps of the Golden Knights invite a closer evaluation and seem to confirm the conclusion of the NSL News story on March 22 that there was a significant progression for the Army team between the two meets.

    Dubai Asaar Red at the USPA Nationals 2011
At the beginning of February 2012, Asaar Red and Gold both had not done one single training jump since the Dubai meet in December. The coaches gave them a 3-week break after the competition, January was too windy for jumping, and then the 8way training began with indoor training in Bedford: "We took them to Bedford, and they learned all the 8-way random formations, plus half of the blocks, and it went very well."

4-way was secondary at this indoor camp and served only to break things up here and there. Then it was windy again back home in Dubai after the trip to the United Kingdom, and the few opportunities for jumping were still used for 8way training. The first 4way training week was scheduled to begin on February 7th.

The Dubai teams will have a few days of training before the Paraclete XP Outdoor Championship 2012 in DeLand and will then try to improve their own AAA Class outdoor scores of December 2011. The World Challenge 2012 will most likely see them in the battle for the top spots of the AA Class competition.

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Golden Knights Gold's round five, see video    

The sequence of the Valentine's Meet was the faster one since it had the Random Formation A (Unipod) as the exit formation and a very fast transition to the Compressed Accordeon of Block 16 as the following maneuver on the hill. Block 16 is also faster compared to Block 11 and was the first Block of the sequence in Eloy.

The slow Block 11 as the first maneuver of round one in DeLand and the Random Formation at the end of the sequence made it more difficult for the teams in DeLand to score high. However, the Golden Knights finished the faster round five in Eloy with a score of 21 points and posted 21 points for the slower round one in DeLand, as well. DeLand Fire tied the Army Team's score for the same round with 21 points.

    Air Force Prodigy's round five, see video

The new round of the Valentine's Meet had a different sequence for the AA Class competition. Block 16 has memory and needed to be replaced by another Block. Canadian T - Canadian T (Block 8) took the place for Block 16, while Photon - Photon completed the sequence as in the AAA Class draw (A-8-11).

No Use PA's round five, see video    
The Golden Knights Gold, Arizone Divewerkz and Elsinore Equinox finished this round in the same order as they would finish after the six rounds (10 - 9 - 8 points). The A Class sequence had the shorter version of the AA Class (A-8), and both Air Force teams tied the highest score of eight points for this round.

The A Class team "No Use PA" turned this round into a real fun jump when the exit funneled and Block 8 did not go that well. The team members finally decided to spin the pieces of Block 8 a little bit more than required and added some freestyle to the freefall fun. It shows that 4-way competition can also be done and taken on the lighter side. Enjoy the new round of NSL-TV.

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