VIDEO: Wingsuit world champs take off
Thu, 18 Oct 2012 8:25a.m.
The first Wingsuit Flying World Championship opened on in Zhangjiajie, central China's Hunan province, with the top 15 wingsuit fliers in action.
The rules require competitors to jump off a cliff 1,400 metres above sea level on top of the Tianmen Mountain, complete a loop-like flight in the valley and glide across the terminal of the cableway before they open their parachute and land at the finish line on the mountain road.
The competitor who finishes the whole course in the shortest time is the winner.
Six of the 15 top fliers are from the United States and there are three air photographers.
eb Corliss from the US has already conquered the a number of famous landmarks like the Cristo Redentor statue in Rio de Janeiro and Eiffel Tower in Paris and succeeded in flying through the 131.5-metre-tall, 57-metre-wide, 60-metre-long Tianmen Hole of the Tianmen Mountain last year.
Anthony Stepney, the oldest among the competitors, is a 59-year-old British flier with a record of 11,000 flights.
Johnathan Florez from Colombia claims four Guinness world records.
Livia Mary from New Zealand is the only female competitor after Roberta Mancino withdrew from the competition.
Wingsuit flying is a sport in which a participant flies in the air wearing a special jumpsuit, called "wingsuit," which increases the surface area of the human body to generate a significant lift.
A parachute is added to the end of the wingsuit to provide proper altitude for gliding through the air.
Wingsuit flying is considered the most challenging in the world's extreme sports. No more than 20 wingsuit fliers worldwide are qualified to participate in competitions.
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