The third annual Indoor Skydiving Championships will take place in Penrith, Australia, on August 18 and 19, 2017.
Hosted by iFly Downunder, the Indoor Skydiving Championships are expected to be the largest indoor skydiving event to date. The competition will be held over both days and will be live-streamed around the world.
According to its website, “The iFLY Downunder 5-meter-wide glass chamber is one of the world’s largest vertical wind tunnels.” It employs the patented technology of SkyVenture, which is the world’s largest manufacturer of vertical wind tunnels.
“The technology behind iFLY Indoor Skydiving is the vertical wind tunnel (VWT). Vertical wind tunnels have been used for years by the military and professional skydivers as a way to train without having to go up in airplanes. A VWT creates a cushion of air in an enclosed space (a flight chamber) on which people can float. A modern-day wind tunnel, like the ones we use at iFLY, creates a stable, safe, wall-to-wall airflow that makes it impossible to fall off the column of air,” the site says.
Four Macarthur, Australia, residents will take part in the championship: Greg Hamilton, Kurt Gregson, Diego Quevedo and Elise Brown.
Brown will be the youngest skydiver in the group at 17. She comes from a skydiving family and, “pretty much grew up in the drop zone.”
Brown began indoor diving in earnest at 14 years old. When she was 9 years old, she took part in a pilot program that allowed kids under the age of 14 years old to participate in an outdoor tandem jump.
”I was super scared but also super excited,” she said. “On the way up in the plane I was really nervous but I just kept looking out the window at the awesome view.
“As soon as I jumped out of the plane I could just feel the wind in my face and it was so fun. I screamed at first, but after that I was fine and I felt really, really good. Since about the age of seven or eight I wanted to try it, but the limit at the time was 14 years of age.”
Dad Russell Brown, National Operations Manager at Sydney Skydivers, said his daughter had wanted to jump for ages.
“She basically comes to work with me; I knew she had the maturity and understanding to know what she was doing,” he said.
As a result of the success of the program, the minimum age limit for skydivers in Australia was lowered to 12. In the United States, “schools require all participants to be at least 18,” according to the United States Parachute Association.
Elise remained the youngest female skydiver in Australia for three years.
During the championships, she will take part in the freestyle open category, which enables her to express her aerial creativity.
“I pretty much do a routine that’s based on dancing, figure skating and yoga,” she said. “It’s judged on how nice it looks to the eye and the difficulty of each move.”
According to the International Bodyflight Association, which has established the rules for the championship, “The objective for the performer or team is to record a sequence of moves with the highest possible merit. After all completed rounds, champions in Solo Freestyle, 2-way Freeflying and 4-way Freeflying will be declared.”
Brown’s goal is to eventually become an indoor skydiving instructor.