World Team didn’t complete a FAI sanctioned world record today. The final jump was almost completed, but it fell short by two skydivers that were unable to link up. We are celebrating the 20th anniversary of World Team with this final event Fly It Forward, the way we started it in 1994, in Bratislava, Slovakia. The goal back then was a one-point 222-way and we completed an unofficial 216-way record. World Team’s history is now set, like an oreo cookie, the cream was in the middle. Three major world records were set in the midterm of World Team’s career. In 1999 World team completed a one point, FAI world record, a 282-way. In 2004 we completed an official one point 357-way, FAI world record. In 2006, we beat our own record, with the FAI world record that still stands, a 400-way.
The record we attempted to set this week was extremely difficult. In 1994, the goal was just a ONE point 222-way. Today, twenty years late we achieved TWO almost complete 221-way formations in one skydive. Only two skydivers were out, making the final attempt an unofficial 2-point 219-way.
The spirit right now is still great. Everyone gave their best. Skydive Arizona was an incredible host. They supported us with 10 aircraft that were flown by their outstanding cadre of pilots in perfect formation. The Alpha team, or bench, stood by all week and for the final jumps, contributed several members to the main team. The nine cameramen on the team shot amazing video and photographs. There were numerous support personnel who supported the team with administration, aircraft maintenance, transport from the various landing areas, packing, food, massages and most importantly – team spirit.
There is great camaraderie between these sportsmen and women who worked so hard this week. They maintained through difficult weather delays, which cost the team at least six jumps and the tragedy of an accident to one member of the team. They did some amazing flying and created some incredible skydive formations. The gauntlet has now been passed to the next generation of skydivers.
Text: Gulcin Gilbert
Photo: Andrey Veselov, Mansur Mustafin
Video will be available on our vimeo site: Fly It Forward 2014