Johannesburg, 24 November 2009
Skydiving Takes Sports to the Extreme with International Competition!
5th FAI World Cup in Canopy Piloting to be held at the Johannesburg Skydiving Club from 1 – 6 December 2009
South Africa's ultimate adrenaline sport, skydiving, will command the skies this December as competitors from across the globe gather in Carletonville (Merafong City), to partake in the 5 th FAI World Cup in Canopy Piloting. This prestigious international event, hosted by the Johannesburg Skydiving Club (JSC) on behalf of the Aero Club of South Africa, will take place from 1 – 6 December 2009.
The World Air Sports Federation (FAI) sanctioned event, tagged 'Swoop for Gold', will see over 70 international competitors from more than 20 countries, including Australia, Brazil, Canada, Germany, Italy, Russia, South Africa, Spain, UK, USA, and Venezuela, pushing their canopy flying skills to the limit! Approximately 40 international officials have been appointed to oversee this years' competition.
"The worlds finest and fastest skydivers will compete for gold, silver and bronze medals in this prestigious competition. We are honoured, as South Africans, to have won the bid to host this international event." states Eugene Potgieter, Chairman of the Johannesburg Skydiving Club.
The FAI World Canopy Piloting Championships was held in South Africa at the Wonderboom Airport last year. This event saw two South Africans place in the top fifteen competitors and a third competitor in the top thirty. History was made when the bid was awarded to JSC for the 2009 competition, making South Africa the first ever country to host the same event consecutively.
The Johannesburg Skydiving Club, located near Carletonville, a small gold mining town less than 100km from downtown Johannesburg , is the proud host to this year's international event. JSC has been operational for over 14 years and is considered to be one of the biggest and most professional skydiving clubs in South Africa.
"Boasting its own runway, turbine aircraft and internationally regulated facilities, JSC is more than capable of handling the 1000 canopy flights that will be executed by competitors during the training and competition days." continues Potgieter.
Skydiving (Parachuting) has evolved rapidly over the last 20 years. Canopy Piloting (also referred to as 'Swooping') sees the canopy pilot deploying their canopy immediately after leaving the aircraft and then flying their canopy to an "execution" point over the course, turning into a rotating dive which dramatically increases the canopy's speed. Maximum speeds regularly reach in excess of 145 km/h. The swoop course falls directly over a large body of water (swoop pond) making the discipline even more challenging.
"With Canopy Piloting, Skydiving has become a spectator sport. Spectators can actually see the skydivers exit the aircraft at 5000ft above them and live through the thrill of the 450 or 720 degree turns. It's very exciting to watch!!" says Potgieter.
Spectators are invited to rub shoulders with the world's star skydivers, feel the adrenaline rush of competition firsthand and discover the JSC drop zone culture at its best over the competition days which run from 2 - 6 December. Entrance is R20/adult and R10/children u/12. Public viewing areas will be available in a fun family friendly atmosphere. Refreshments and skydiving gear will be available to purchase. In addition, a pure gold Krugerrand valued at over R9000 will be raffled off to a lucky winner.
More information on the competition and event is available at www.swoop4gold.co.za
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