It’s All About Three Seconds, Part 3

We are starting to build formations in the 250 plus range. We are so very close to popping off the big one. At this point the team is down to 259 skydivers, we complete the entire formation, every one in the proper position, but by the time the last person takes his grip, we are only holding it for two and a half seconds.

We are one-half of a second away from holding a world record. The only solace here, the 259-way is the largest formation ever built in the state of Illinois smashing the old record of 144. Everyone is physically and mentally exhausted after such an emotional week. The goal is in front of our face; we are just having a difficult time grabbing it!

Sunday is a crisp cool morning; this is the last day of our record attempts. We are down to 246 skydivers. Everyone has a look of determination in their eyes. By 8:30 am we are in the air, getting ready to jump. I fly in to my slot, which is on the outside of the entire formation. In my head I am counting ever so slowly, “One, Two, Three, Four, Five.” I look at my friend Paul, who is flying right next to me, and we smile at each other through our helmets. Electricity races through the complete formation creating a feeling only world record holders know. I keep counting until I reached fifteen. 246 of us know we are setting a new world record!

Jubilantly, all of us land screaming and yelling. The aircraft roars by in a fabulous formation, honoring our record.

The judges review the tapes from the air, and declare an official world record for the largest skydiving formation of 246 people.

The dive held an astonishingly long 7.3 seconds until the breakoff signal was given. The team is flying high as we are truly the champions of the world at this moment in time. All the hard work paid off and the world record is ours! We dedicate it to the one who lost her life attempting to achieve this goal, Sandy Wambach.


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