The winner of the international wingsuit competition has just been named in China’s Hunan Province. With a result of 23.410 seconds, South Africa’s Julian Boulle has flown to the championship spot.
Boulle became a skydiving photographer at the age of 21. He has made more than 11,000 skydives and 1,600 wingsuit flights. In this competition, eight of world’s best fliers plunged off Tianmen Mountain, from a height of 1,400 metres.
This is the first time the competitors were judged on their speed. Wingsuit flying is certainly not a sport for the faint hearted. Competitors propel themselves through the air using a special jumpsuit, which adds surface area to the human body to enable a significant increase in lift. Modern wingsuit designs create surface area with fabric between the legs and under the arms.
An international wingsuit competition is taking place right now in central China's Hunan Province. Eight of world’s best fliers who just advanced to today’s final, are going to plunge off Tianmen Mountain, from a height of 1,400 metres.
This is the first time the competitors will be judged on their speed. Let’s go live to this spectacular event.
The wingsuit fliers are required to finish a circular routine in the valley and land on the mountain road. The fastest will be the winner. They will each have the chance to perform the routine twice, and the better record will be taken as the final results.
Wingsuit flying is certainly not a sport for the faint hearted. Competitors propel themselves through the air using a special jumpsuit, which adds surface area to the human body to enable a significant increase in lift. Modern wingsuit designs create the surface area with fabric between the legs and under the arms. They also go by the names of a birdman suit or flying squirrel suit.
The difficulty and danger involved in this sport means very tough standards. And today’s competition is the most difficult and challenging one that has been ever held in recent years.
Here’s a look at the competitors.
Michael Swanson from the US, is a four-time national champion and three-time world champion. He has a record of 18,000 skydives, and more than 1,000 of wingsuit flights. He also took part in the production of the movie Transformer III.
Jonathan Florez is from Colombia. At 29, he is also the youngest among the 8 competitors. During his 10-year career, he has taken more than 3,000 skydives and 2,000 wingsuit flights. He also set four Guiness World Records.
Jon Devore is both a wingsuit flyer and coach. He has done more than 17,000 skydives. And he also was involved in the production of Transformer III.
Anthony Stepney, the oldest among the competitors, is now 59 years old. He is also one of the creators of this sports, and witnessed the birth of the wingsuit. He has a record of 11,000 flights.
Jeffery Adam Nebelkopf, has 8-year experience in skydiving, having taken more than 5,000 flights. He is one of the founders of the most famous skydiving suits brand in the US. And he has trained over one hundred wingsuit fliers from more than 30 countries.
James Boole is from the UK. He has been skydiving for more than 10 years. And his record is more than 2,500 wingsuit flights, and over 4,000 skydives. He also has been awarded many times both in the UK and in the world.
Espen Fadnes is a competitor from Norway. He has 11 years experience of skydiving, and a record of more than 500 wingsuit flights.
The 38-year-old Julian Boulle is from South Africa. He is a world renowned cameraman for aerial acrobatics and wingsuit flying. He became a skydiving photographer at the age of 21. He has finished more than 11,000 skydives and 1,600 wingsuit flights. And has taken the winning title in these two activities 8 times.