... that Eliana Rodriguez and Craig Girard have a battle plan for Asaar Red and Gold?
Last meet with Arizona Airspeed in Dubai January 2011
posted Feb 25th, 2012 -
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.
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."
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.
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.