History of Skydiving Championships
Parachuting dates back to medieval days. Historical archives found in Peking, China suggest that parachute-like devices were used as early as the 12th century. However, Leonardo da VinciÕs 1495 design of a pyramid shaped parachute stands as the first pictorial evidence of what would become a long and
spectacular history between people and parachuting.
In 1951 the first World Parachuting Championships were held in Yugoslavia. Five European nations were represented in the Championship. Since that competition in 1951 Championship events have been conducted every two years in different countries around the world. The number of participating countries in recent times has increased to up to 42. Australia hosted one of these Championships in 1977, the second 'Relative Work Championships' which was held in Gatton, Queensland. This was the last time Australia hosted a world parachuting event until now.
In 1991 the term "Relative Work" was officially changed to "Formation Skydiving". The World Cup is the second most prestigious skydiving event and that is held in alternate years to the world championships. In 1998 the World Cup was held in Portugal and involved multiple teams from approximately 38 countries. The next World Cup will be held in the year 2000. Skydiving competitions have also come a long way and now include a variety of actual parachuting events facilitied for both individuals and teams.
These new events have been introduced to expand the adrenalin junkies athletic abilities and prowess. In 1975 freestyle (free fall), skysurfing/skyboarding and formation skydiving competitions were introduced.
Freestyle (free fall) is an individual event which today includes various acrobatic and dance moves whilst in the air and is judged on style, accuracy and canopy formation. Skysurfing / skyboarding refers to the use of a small surfboard or snowboard attached to the feet which allows some radical maneuvers in freefall.
Formation skydiving is the pinnacle of team sports for those seeking to flock together. For a spectator, formation skydiving is the most exciting to watch. In Corowa this year, there will be an attempt to break the
Australian record of 100 people in a formation skydive. It is expected they will jump from the back of a Hercules plane to attempt this challenge. The World Skydiving Championships coming up in Corowa in October this year will rewrite the history books and records are expected to be broken.