ProBASE World Cup Final
The final competition of the ProBASE World Cup starts this week in Stechelberg, Switzerland where the best of the best are lining up to fly their wingsuits in a head-to-head race. The pilot that crosses the finish line first will be crowned champion.
Piloting skills continue to advance and we’re anticipating some record breaking times at this event. In previous years, getting times between 21 – 23 seconds while flying the course were pretty good. This year, I suspect, getting a a time of 22.5 seconds or greater will put them out of the top ten.
Not only have piloting skills improved but so has the wingsuit technology. There are new Squirrel suits, Tonysuits continue to innovate and Phoenix-Fly have added the V5 to their line up. For me, I’m still going to be flying the suit that I know, by trusty V3. It might be a few steps behind technology but I haven’t had time to learn the detail of a new suit this season. I plan to stay safe (there have been too many fatalities recently), fly what I know and make my body do the work.
We also have more high-calibre competitors competing. Some of the top pilots are new to the ProBASE series of World Cup competitions. As the series has grown on the international stage the best of the best have joined the tour to compete for the crown.
What’s great about this series is that all the competitions are different and require a changing skill set. We’ve had competitions that require a turn around a marker and the last event had a high course that permitted diving techniques. This is a flatter course and will favour a different style of flying. These differing courses really challenge the pilots to bring out their range of skills.
I’m currently training in Switzerland. Yesterday, I raced Mike Swanson and Julian Boulle from the Skydive Dubai Wingsuit Team. They took the first and second places in the last race. Flying against them was really pushing me and was great training. Mike just pipped ahead of me at the finish line and Julian had a great start and must have been a full second ahead. These guys are flying really well and their professionalism and currency really shows.
I know what I need to work on and, if the weather holds out, I plan to improve my times. The competition qualifiers are on Thursday with the main event on Friday. I’ve got some time and plan to battle hard at this final race for the season.
This year, I’m the ‘Poster Boy‘ for the competition. Little did I know, an image of me flying my Jump4Heroes Poppy wingsuit would be emblazoned on the event poster. So fingers crossed I can live up to the poster image and cross that finish line flying my absolute fastest.