The world’s greatest indoor tunnel flyers will descend on Dubai next week when the UAE plays host to the 2015 Clash Of Champions, the world’s richest indoor tunnel flying event, from November 26-28.
To be staged at Inflight Dubai under the patronage of HH Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai, the three-day tournament will feature international teams from across the globe - including national teams from the USA, Canada, Russia and France - as they battle for a share of $200,000, the richest prize in the history of indoor tunnel flying.
Inflight Dubai will host the global high flyers at its state-of-the-art 5.03m x 20.73m indoor tunnel - the tallest and largest in the world - located on the Dubai-Al Ain highway at the Sky Dive Dubai Desert Campus.
And Event Director Freddy McDonald is expecting a closely fought-battle between teams widely recognised as the world’s best in their particular field.
“Since we launched the biggest and best indoor tunnel in the world, we have been determined to attract the sport’s best to compete in Dubai,” said McDonald. “Dubai is already firmly established as a key player on the skydiving scene thanks to the success of the Dubai International Parachute Championships, which were inaugurated in 2010.
“This year we aim to underline Dubai’s growing reputation as a centre for the sport with a tournament featuring the world’s greatest international performance tunnel flyers as well as the best local competitors. In addition to national teams from countries such as the USA - represented by the world-famous ‘Golden Knights’ from the US Army - we will also be able to witness the collective skills of flyers from Belgium, France, Russia and Canada as well as the best of the best from the UAE and around the Gulf.”
The three-day festival of indoor tunnel flying will see the competitors fight it out in a number of disciplines with their performances monitored by a panel of judges each world-renowned in tunnel flying.
As well as four and eight-way Formation Skydiving (featuring four and eight flyers respectively), there will be competition in the Dynamic Skydiving category (two and four-way) as well as a Best Trick discipline.
In addition to the big boys and girls of the sport, Clash of Champions will also feature young tunnel flyers of all ages including teams from Singapore and Dubai’s very own Mini Maktoum team, featuring some of the finest - and youngest - wind tunnel athletes in the UAE.
“There is no age limit in this competition, which means we will see the best skydivers of the future as well as those who currently dominate the sport,” added Inflight Dubai CEO Carlos Euribe. “While we are excited at the prospect of seeing the world’s top competitors flying in our Inflight Dubai tunnel, we are also looking forward to seeing the progress of our own home-based athletes in what will be for many of them the biggest event of their lives.”
USA National Champions for the past six years, the Golden Knights will be one of the star attractions particularly after setting a new World Record score for a single eight-way jump - a record that had stood since 1997 - at the US National Championships in October.
“Every one of us is excited at the thought of competing in Dubai,” said team spokesman Matt Davidson. “Inflight Dubai is the premier facility in that part of the world with some of the best and most experienced world-class instructors and coaches from around the globe. As at every competition, we aim to push our performance to new levels, to break records, and to win gold while displaying the high levels of teamwork, discipline, dedication and excellence exemplified by all soldiers in the US Army.”