SKYDIVING STATE RECORD WEEKEND AT SKYDIVE MIDWEST
Over July 7th, 8th, and 9th, close to 80 skydivers from across the country gathered in Sturtevant, WI for an attempt to set multiple state skydiving records. There were 2 groups of jumpers being organized by Skydive Midwest’s resident teams; NEXT (Formation Skydiving Team) and Chemtrails (Vertical Formation Skydiving team).
Hosting an event of this kind is a huge undertaking. Normal tandem jump operations continued throughout the record attempts and Skydive Midwest’s customers and local community were treated to a spectacle of dozens of colorful canopies filling the skies over the dropzone.
The number of record participants exceeded the capacity of a single aircraft. Additional aircraft were brought in and dedicated to flying for the record attempts. The aircraft had to fly in tight formation and coordinate to drop jumpers at the same time, in close enough proximity for the skydivers to meet up in freefall. The timing and precision of this kind of flying takes some truly exceptional pilots.
Chemtrails led a group of talented athletes toward eclipsing the current Head-up State Record for largest formation. They were attempting to build a 36-person formation with all the flyers in an upright orientation. The body position of each flyer has the appearance that they are standing or sitting on the air, plummeting feet-first, toward the ground. The skills required for this type of flying take a long time to develop.
NEXT oversaw coordinating a group of 38 jumpers in a unique type of record called a Total Break Sequential (TBS) in a belly-to-earth orientation. There was no existing record of this kind in Wisconsin, so the flyers would be the first to achieve this record. A TBS involves building a predetermined formation, then releasing all grips and achieving total separation between each flyer, then completing a second formation. A TBS is also one of the more challenging records to achieve. The difficulty lies in breaking all grips between each formation. Holding on to one another in freefall helps manage proximity and rate of descent. When flying solo, each individual jumper must manage their fallrate and proximity with extreme precision. This is incredibly difficult without the aid of holding on to one another.
Both record groups completed 5 jumps on the first day of the event. Some weather delays on the morning of day 2 held up progress but both groups eventually completed 4 jumps for the day.
On the last jump of day 2, NEXT’s group achieved a new WI state record! They accomplished a 2-Point, Total Break Sequential. This is the 3rd largest record of this type in the United States! The group wasn’t satisfied to stop there. NEXT’s participants continued jumping into Sunday, working toward a 3-point Total Break Sequential; building an additional formation with total separation in between.
The Chemtrail’s Headup team achieved a 27-person Head-up formation on day 3, making it the largest formation of this kind ever built in the state of Wisconsin. They effectively eclipsed the previous record, a 16-person formation built at Skydive Midwest in 2021.
Skydive Midwest is proud to host this event and support these incredible athletes. We would like to extend a sincere thank you to the participants for trusting us with their goals. We would also like to express our appreciation for our local staff and crew including NEXT, Chemtrails, videographers, pilots, parachute packers, manifest, office staff and instructors. All of whom not only supported the event but kept our regular operations running safely and smoothly. Special thanks to the United States Parachute Association for ratifying the records and keeping track of all the records across the country.
Congratulations to the new record holders!