China’s Wingsuit Flying World Championship

Oct 18, 2012 5:16pm

 

Jumping off a cliff 4,593 above sea level is all a part of the game for the men and women participating in this year’s Wingsuit Flying World Championship in Zhangjiajie, China.

Using only a special jumpsuit called a wingsuit as a flying mechanism, fifteen of the world’s best competed in the championships over the past two days, jumping from the Tianmen Mountain in central China’s Hunan Province.

The suits have fabric between the arms and legs to increase the surface area and make gliding possible. A parachute is also attached to the suit, but may only be used for landing.

The participants were required to complete a looping flight in the valley and glide across a designated area before deploying their parachutes and landing at the finish line. The competitor with the fastest time took home the prize.

This year, South African flyer Julian Boulle won first place with a world record of 23.41 seconds. A Norwegian, Espen Fadnes, came in a close second at 23.55 seconds and British competitor James Boole took third place with a time of 23.84 seconds.

Wingsuit flying is one of the most challenging of the world’s extreme sports. Eight flyers participated in the final day of the World Championships today and no more than 20 wingsuit flyers are qualified to participate in the competition worldwide, according to the Associated Press.

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