Skydive Perris, located in Perris, CA, hosted the 2017 United States Parachute Association (USPA) National Skydiving Championships from Saturday September 16 until Sunday October 1. Over 500 skydivers competed in the biggest competition in the United States. Medals were awarded to those who placed in the variety of categories the skydivers competed in. In addition, winners of the national competition will be given the opportunity to compete for the U.S. Parachute Team and be a part of the 2018 World Championships to be held in Australia.
Nancy Koreen, the director of sports promotions for the United States Parachute Association, said that this year was a significant year for the competition. “This is our biggest event of the year,” Koreen said. “We have the best skydivers in the country coming together and competing to become the national champion.”
Various competitions took place at the championships including mixed formation jumps and wingsuit flying. Other events included two-way fixed formation, four-way vertical formation, speed skydiving, and artistic free style.
Wingsuit skydiving is divided into two categories – wingsuit acrobatics and wingsuit performance skydives. The acrobatics took place at the competition until Tuesday September 26, and the performance wingsuit dives until Wednesday September 27.
A wingsuit, also known as a squirrel suit, has fabric between the legs and arms that allows the jumper to glide further than they normally would on a traditional skydive with a skydiving suit.
Koreen talked about wingsuit jumping and said that it is growing in popularity.
“The wingsuit flying is one of our new competitions,” Koreen said. “This will be our third year we’re doing it. We see it as one of the fastest growing disciplines in our sport. More and more people are starting to fly wingsuits. The competition is to see how fast and how far they can go flying across the sky.”
Koreen recognizes the skydiving teams’ efforts to take part in the championships. “Teams have been training all year for this,” Koreen said. “Everyone’s super-excited to get to the competition to see what happens and see who comes out on top.”
Spectators were welcomed to watch the competition at the Skydive Perris location on Goetz Road from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. each day.
A banquet was held on Saturday September 30 for those participating in the competition. The following day the competition came to a close.
Describing the process of selecting where the competition will be held, the USPA’s website states, “Following procedures in the Skydiver’s Competition Manual, the national championships are annually awarded through a bid process by the USPA Board of Directors to USPA Group Member drop zones, who then host the championships under USPA supervision.”
The format of the competition can vary each year. Sometimes all of the events occur at a single location, other times there are separate championships. Normally the national championship is held in the late fall each year.
Original story: http://www.pe.com/2017/09/17/skydivers-compete-in-perris/