World Wingsuit League - Results
After countless days of rain, several postponements and even a cancellation in one of the events, earlier this week finally saw the World Wingsuit League's Tianmen Mountain Grand Prix Wingsuit Race take place.
The Tianmen Mountain Grand Prix Wingsuit Race has been described by the WWL as "the F1 of the sky", where wingsuit pilots from around the world went up against each other and the clock as they fought for first place. The competition was held near the town of Zhangjiajie in the Hunan province, an area with some amazing scenery. The course was just over a kilometer long and had a vertical drop of around 880 meters. Each wingsuit pilot performed a solo jump, where they would leave the exit point, then look to fly around a ground-placed marker, proceed down the mountain and ultimately end up flying under a tramway cable, which was the designated finish line. There were 2 rounds per jumper in the qualifiers, followed by another 2 in the finals. You can also view a full list of the competition rules and procedures on the WWL website. This is not the first time that The Tianmen Mountains have seen a wingsuit event though, some may remember Jeb Corliss performing a fly-through of one of the caves in the area last year, an event which was widely publicized.
The participants of the competition were 16 of the leading wingsuit pilots from around the world, with names like Jeb Corliss, Chris Mcdougall, Roberta Mancino and Jokke Sommer all taking part. The competition was originally scheduled to span over two days from the 13th to the 14th of October, but due to weather conditions, had to be postponed. The first round of the competition kicked off on Wednesday 17 October with the final round taking place on Thursday 18th.While no official statement on the matter could be found, word was that Roberta Mancino was unable to take part in the finals due to a conflict in schedule caused by the weather delays, which saw only 15 wingsuit pilots taking part.
The event was streamed live online through Chinese television stations, which brought the event live to over 100 million viewers
World Wingsuit League - Qualifiers
The first round qualifies were a shock for many as majority of the 'big names' in the competition ended up without placing in the top 8, while the lesser known wingsuit flyers dominated. This was an elinimation round, where only the top 8 would progress through to the finals on Thursday.
The results of the qualifying round were as follows:
1. Julian Boulle 2. Espen Fadnes 3. James Boole 4. Jeff Nebelkopf 5. Tony Uragallo 6. Jon Devore 7. Jhonathan Florez 8. Mike Swanson 9. Ludovic Woerth 10. Jokke Sommer 11. J.T. Holmes 12. Chris "Douggs" McDougall 13. Jeb Corliss 14. Joby Ogwyn 15. Livia Dickie
This result meant that Livia Dickie, Jeb Corliss, Chris McDougall, Jokke Sommer, Ludovic Woerth, J.T Holmes and Joby Ogwyn were all out of the competition. Which left a lot of people thankful that this isn't a betting sport.
World Wingsuit League - Finals
Weather conditions obliged with the jumpers again on Thursday allowing for the finals to take place. The prizes up for grabs in the finals included Gold, Silver and Bronze medals, as well as $20 000 USD for 1st place, $10 000 USD for 2nd place and a more than useful $5000 US for the third place finisher. A trophy would also be awarded to the wingsuit pilot who managed to perform the fastest single run.
The results of the final round were as follows:
1. Julian Boulle (South Africa) - 23.410 2. Espen Fadnes (Norway) - 23.550 3. James Boole (United Kingdom) - 23.844 4. Jhonathan Florez (Columbia) - 24.154 5. Jeff Nebelkopf (United States) - 24.251 6. Tony Uragallo (United Kingdom) - 24.892 7. Jon Devore (United States) - 24.945 8. Mike Swanson (United States) - 25.137
Congratulations to Julian, Espen and James on their results and for their fantastic racing. While the event had its hiccups in regards to weather delays, the event overall was a success with great viewership and an even greater display of human flight. We trust that the World Wingsuit League can grow from strength to strength in their organization of wingsuit events, and for an inaugural event - one has to be impressed.
About World Wingsuit League
The World Wingsuit League (WWL) was formed to meet the demand of “proxy flyers” for competitions that tested their skills not just against the mountains but against each other. It administers invitational wingsuit flying competition events worldwide in collaboration with event sponsors, venue owners and associated government agencies.
The WWL was founded in 2012 by Iiro Seppanen and Frank Yang, co-owners of Pan Pacific Entertainment, a Hollywood-Based film investment, production and event services company with offices in Los Angeles, Hong Kong and Beijing.
Iiro is an award-winning producer with business and professional relationships around the world. He has produced and financed several film, television and event projects in the U.S. and China. He lives in Los Angeles and travels frequently to China and Europe. He is a retired professional parachutist whose career was cut short by injuries, and he now uses his contact network and resources to “give current athletes opportunities to compete for real prizes, get more visibility through our events for their sponsors, and help them to earn a living doing what they love.”
Frank’s passion for the arts led him to finance and produce several entertainment ventures while living and working in Europe. Born in Beijing, China, he has lived and worked in Europe and North America for decades and travelled extensively throughout the world. Frank currently lives in Beijing, but visits the U.S. regularly to pursue his new-found passion of parachuting. He has more than 20 jumps as of this writing and looks forward “to the day when I too can realize the dream of human flight and fly a wingsuit down Tianmen Mountain.”
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