Wisbech skydiver’s World Cup hopes up in the air

A SKYDIVER from Wisbech faces an agonising wait to see if his team has qualified for the Skydiving World Cup after they finished fifth at last weekend’s British National Skydiving Championships.

Jason Kierman, part of a four-way formation team called Escondido, was still ecstatic with their performance as they took to the skies at the world’s second largest skydiving competition, held in Hibaldstow, North Lincolnshire.

He said: “We were delighted with our performance as it’s our second year in the top category.

“We’re just really happy that we finished fifth. Next year we’ll double our efforts in training so we can score even higher.”

Although the competition is called ‘4-way’ there is a fifth team member who films the action so that judges on the ground can score each skydive.

The team have 35 seconds in which to perform as many formations or moves as possible and Kierman admits his team have been working really hard at their sponsors, Bodyflight Bedford’s, indoor vertical wind tunnel.

Kierman said: “With advice from our team manager and skydiving legend, Pete Gray, we took the unusual decision to do 100 per cent of our training in the UK and it’s worked out really well.

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“Weather is critical in this sport; we can’t jump in high winds or in the rain. It can be quite hit and miss training on this rainy little island but we no longer need to be able to jump from a plane to train.

“We can fit every move and formation into the wind tunnel and it doesn’t matter what the weather is doing outside.

The electrical engineer took up the sport in 2003 and has now completed almost 1,200 jumps becoming British Champion and European gold medallist in the feeder categories on two occasions.

He added: “I just knew it was for me. A tandem skydive looked like a glorified roller coaster ride, you have no control.

“So I chose to go straight onto free-fall training and jumped on my own from 13,000 feet. I haven’t looked back since.”