The Real Meaning of 'Awesome'!
We hear the word ‘awesome’ used more these days than ever before, particularly when describing something we think is really out of the ordinary! Well this weekend it was definitely the right word to be using if you were in the United States.
Whilst the dark evenings are now upon us here in Wiltshire, we have been watching the clear blue skies of Northern California with interest this weekend. The reason being, that our own Spike Harper has been competing in the Red Bull Aces Championship.
Wingsuit racing isn’t new, but the Red Bull Aces format is definitely revolutionary. It’s the world’s first-ever wingsuit four-cross competition, with athletes racing four at a time through a one-mile slalom course made of five 112-foot-long gates suspended thousands of feet in the air. Athletes jump in heats of four from a helicopter at 8000ft and weave between the five gates positioned at descending levels between 6500ft and 3500 ft.
All the gates are equipped with GPS positioning, and each competitor wears a GPS transmitter to determine whether they passed through the gates properly. The winner is determined by how quickly the finish line was crossed and how many gates the pilot correctly passed through.
Seeing the competitors steer themselves through the course on race day is to say the least ‘awesome’! Their brightly coloured wingsuits looking like a flock of tropical birds is something to behold!
Spike did us proud as always and came first in the qualifying. Race day eventually came and there was stiff competition from the forty competitors from eighteen countries! These guys are absolutely the best in the world and Spike was amazing, coming overall 17th out of 40. Another British competitor, Tony Uragallo, who, lives and works in the US, came 10th, so a great result for the British duo.
To even start the extreme sport of Wingsuiting you have to have made at least 200 jumps. So, if you really want to do something different and even more exhilarating, then that’s the path you need to take. The sport is not for the faint hearted – it’s like F1 in the air! Ask Spike he’s been bringing back silverware all year and we think the word ‘awesome’ can be justifiably contributed to him and all those competitors racing in the blue skies above California this weekend!
Check out the video footage here : www.redbull.com/aces
“I had a truly awesome experience yesterday, in every way. I was absolutely terrified but felt totally invincible afterwards and I even fell in love with your cameraman, Mike! Cam was lovely too and if I decide to do it again it would have to be with him. It was all very professional, from start to finish. They were a great bunch and I will recommend this to anyone and everyone. I jumped for the MS Trust and secured £723 in sponsorship so far with promises of more to come. It is great to feel alive again.”
“First ever tandem skydive for worthing churches homeless project today, loved it. Special thanks to my instructor Jay and the cameraman trevor who both made me laugh a lot and really relaxed me! definately want to jump again Thanks guys for a great day!”
"First charity tandem skydive done here last Saturday. Despite being extremely scared, the instructors made me feel completely at ease and in safe hands. Highly recommend anyone doing a jump, to do it here. Would definitely consider doing another skydive off the back of this experience despite my fear of heights and flying. Brilliant day and life experience. Thank you."
"First ever tandem skydive....amazing!!! Massive thank you to my instructor Gary u were fab!!!"
"Amazing Day, looked after from start to finish, great people, very friendly, relaxed atmosphere, Pete my tandem partner.. TOP BLOKE he was very professional and experienced. HIGHLY RECOMMEND this to anyone."
"Wow first ever tandem skydive today for oakhaven. Raised over £1000, so thank you all ... with my daughter Leah lopez, amazing surreal, nothing else like it. Thank you to Gary and Jay...... Leah now wants to do more and do a single jump!! Eeek!"