Photo: Michael Lovemore
3rd FAI European Speed Skydiving Championship
4th FAI World Cup of Speed Skydiving
Dunkeswell, Great Britain - 12-15 August, 2019
Speed Skydiving is a new skydiving discipline with as simple a definition as it gets. Achieve the fastest speed possible over a given distance.
It has developed over the last few years and represents the fastest non-motorized sport on Earth. In essence, speed skydiving is the discipline where only one aspect of skydiving counts – freefall speed.
The speed achieved by a human body in free fall is conditioned of two factors, body weight and body orientation. In a stable, belly to earth position, terminal velocity of the human body is about 200 km/h (about 120 mph). A stable, freefly, head down position has a terminal speed of around 240-290 km/h (around 150-180 mph). Further minimizing body drag and streamlining the body position allows the skydiver to reach higher speeds in the vicinity of 480 km/h (300 mph).
After a day of official training jumps the Opening Ceremony took place on Monday evening, and in the true spirit of the discipline's name it was "Speedy".
The morning started with rain and low clouds, and the weather forecast was not great.
Suddenly, at around 11 o'clock, the clouds cleared and the Meet Director manage to get one round completed before the clouds were back.
The competitors are released until 5.00 pm. For a while it looked like there was going to be one more round, the plane took off, but unfortunately had to land with all competitors on board.
the results from round one predict a very exciting competition. It is very close at the top - the first six competitors have results between 480 and 489. Max Hurd and Jimmy McCarthy, both competing for GBR are at the top.
Anything could happen and it will be interesting to follow the next rounds and see who can keep their nerves under control.
For the first time there will be a Female category, seven females from Europe, Australia and the USA are here to decide who is the fastest. The top three are also close, with Lucy Lippold from Germany taking the lead with 386.54.
There is a 40 year difference between the youngest and oldest competitor, showing that Speed Skydiving is for everyone. Both answering the question "Why Speed Skydiving?" with 'There it is, you and the elements, nothing else'.
The competitors are released until 12.00 o'clock. The second day of competition is still suffering from bad weather, as you can see from the plane in the mist. To make some progress the Speed Skydiving Committee decided to take advantage of the time and had a competitors meeting with all the committee members on site.
Topics that were discussed were the throwaway round, placement of the measuring device and how to make sure the maximum exit height is not exceeded.
The Speed Skydiving Committee is going to create a Facebook Group where they can post information and suggestions to interact with competitors.
The weather was still giving cause for concern but this morning but by mid-day Round 2 had been jumped and then Rounds 3, 4 and 5 - and by 16.00 hrs we were into Round 6 . With FlySight and Paralog you can follow each competitor's exit and descent graph. Go to the results page, click on the round score for each competitor and then the picture icon and it will take you to the graph for that flight.
The fastest overall male so far is Max Hurd, UK with 500.17 km/h and the fastest female Mascia Ferri, Italy with 418.25 km/h.
CONGRATULATIONS TO BOTH COMPETITORS these flights are NEW WORLD RECORDS.
The competition is tight at the top and before round 6, which will probably be the last round, there was a change when Max Hurd dropped into 2nd place with Luc Maisin, Belgium taking the lead. After round 6 again there was a change. Luc Maisin, Belgium, still in first place while Dmitry Gmyzin from Russia advanced to 2nd place putting Max down into 3rd. As they say "It is not over until it's over".
For the first time there was also a Team Competition with Germany taking Gold. The team members were very consistent in their speeds, 2nd place to Russia with Austria in 3rd.
Go and check out the final standings on our results page. (link at the top of this page).
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