Falling with style
At first glance there are not a lot of similarities between defense logistics and formation skydiving, but in actual fact, there are – both need a good team behind them, are high-risk and require precision planning in order to succeed, and whether attempting a skydiving World Record or supporting military supply chains in Afghanistan, the similarities are critical to the success of the operation.
IFS supports the MOD’s partner, Babcock Marine, to deliver maritime support into the main HM Royal Naval Bases at Clyde, Devonport and Rosyth and, as part of its sponsorship programme supporting excellence in operations relating to land, sea and air, IFS sponsored Lieutenant Genevieve “Freddie” Huntley in a skydiving World Record attempt. Freddie has been a Lieutenant in the Warfare Branch of the Royal Navy since 2008, and was part of the team that broke two Fédération Aéronautique Internationale (FAI) World Records in Perris Valley, California last year.
Last year Freddie and the team broke the FAI World Record for the largest, all-female, sequential freefall skydiving formation, and the open record too after completing a two-point 117-way formation on the first jump of the day – an achievement made even more impressive considering that only 15 percent of those taking part in the sport are female.
She still holds the official FAI Record for the women’s sequential formation, but the open record was beaten by a 2-point 122-way sequential at SkyDive City, Florida back in March, prompting Freddie to pack up her parachute one more time.
This month, a year on from breaking those records, Freddie has gone a step further and was part of a 202-person multi-point formation team trying to break the previous open record. Unlike last year where applicants could apply to be part of the event, this is an ‘invitation-only’ event due to the high risk factor of the size of the formation with participants strictly selected including former World Champions from smaller competitive events.
And after just a few days of practice, Freddie and the team hit the record books.
In her own words:
“We did it! On the second jump, we did a 2-point 201 way where one poor diver didn’t make it in, but the rest of us managed both points. Then on the next jump we set the new world record – a 2 point 202 way,” said Freddie, “Interestingly they have been trying to do a sequential formation bigger than 200 for about six years and in five attempts in that time they have never managed it – then we have just done four 2-point 202 ways in two days! I have had a fantastic event, the atmosphere has been incredible.”
And Freddie isn’t stopping there. She also has an eye on the military freefall record, something which Freddie hopes her previous World Record achievements will inspire people to take part in with her next year, especially women.
Freddie has been parachuting for over 15 years now and is keen to encourage other would-be skydivers to have a go – alone or in tandem. Find out more on the APA website or look at the British Parachute Association website to see how you can take part.
To see the World Record attempt in full, watch the video here.
Click here to learn more about the IFS Aerospace & Defense Center of Excellence.