Pro BASE Wingsuit Race
Having just been part of the ‘Mission to the Eiger’ filming for The Royal British Legion, Jump4Heroes team member Alastair Macartney competed in the Pro BASE Wingsuit Race, flying his Phoenix Fly Vampire 3 Poppy wingsuit.
The race dominates and closes the competition season and pits some of the best pilots in the world against each other in this high-octane, adrenaline-fuelled championship. Held in Switzerland, 2 wingsuit pilots race head-to-head against each other, leaping from a 700 metre high platform perched on the sheer cliff edge. Similar to an athletic sprint, the wingsuit pilots must fly approximately 900 horizontal metres to cross a pre-determined finish line, reaching speeds of around 180 Km/h!
Clear and stringent safety rules were in place to minimise risks and ensure the competition proceeded safely. Pilots faced immediate disqualification for low parachute openings and other dangerous manoeuvres.
This year it was clear that, even amongst the best in the world, pilot skill and wingsuit technology had improved dramatically. The best of the best were pushing the limits; every split second counted. Competitors were flying as close to the line as possible in order to gain every possible advantage; this carried its own risk with a number of disqualifications as they then struggled to deploy at the altitude defined with the competition safety limits.
J4H team member Alastair Macartney, who posted the fastest time during the official practice, was pitted against fellow Brit Max Mcleod, a talented young flyer, for the qualification rounds. A safe but strong performance put him in 9th position as he moved into the semi-final, flying against three-times World Champion Oliver Furrer. A fast start and strong finish allowed him to inch across the line just ahead of Oliver in the first semi-final round. However, a disastrous finish on the next round, his worst time of the whole competition by far, dropped him down too far and effectively threw him out of the competition, finishing in 11th place.
In all, it was a championship dominated by some truly impressive flying from some of the top names in wingsuit flying and a great close to the BASE jumping competition season.