Skydiving: Falling to victory in Europe

WISBECH skydiver Jason Kierman and his four-way team, Wingnutz, have conquered Europe! It follows their triumph in the British National Skydiving Championships, last month. The European championships, held in Spa, Belgium, brings down the curtain on the c

WISBECH skydiver Jason Kierman and his four-way team, Wingnutz, have conquered Europe!

It follows their triumph in the British National Skydiving Championships, last month.

The European championships, held in Spa, Belgium, brings down the curtain on the competitive season and attracted a record entry of 35 teams in four classes of competition.

Jason, 32, and the Wingnutz team faced stiff competition from 13 top teams across Europe in the A Class finals, but the British team got better and better throughout the 10-round event and won gold.

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Four-way sequential skydiving comprises a team performing as many different moves as possible in a 35-second, 120mph free-fall from 10,500 feet.

Wingnutz performed well in the early rounds to open up a six-point lead over Belgium and with only two rounds remaining, the destination of the gold medals was hanging in the balance.

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However, as the other teams felt the pressure, Wingnutz rose to the challenge and, thanks to their first ever 20-point competitive skydive in the final round, took the title by 16 points from Belgium.

Jason, who runs Wisbech electrical engineering company, Empower Control Systems Ltd, said: "We are absolutely delighted with the result and it is a great way to end the season. Our final two rounds were excellent and they proved to be the big difference between us and the other teams."

Next year, Jason and Wingnutz will move up to the advanced AA Class, where teams are expected to complete more sequences of moves.

Jason said: "It will be a challenge to take part in the advanced class but the team are looking forward to it and from there, we can consider a move to the highest AAA Class where the very best senior teams in the world compete."

However, performing sequences of moves at 120mph is not easy, as Jason explains: "You have to part of a very close team where everyone trusts each other implicitly.

"The most important part of the whole dive is the exit from the plane. It is very easy to fall on top of each other so it is important to get it right and get in to the sequence of moves straight away."

The Wingnutz team will now take a couple of months off before starting winter training at the Bedford Bodyflight wind tunnel.

There was more success for the home nations in the European championships when UK team Phobia won the Rookie Class, showing the strength in depth of British skydiving.

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