By MAGGIE MCMURRAY
Moapa Valley Progress
A local tour business is about to bring a whole new experience to the community. Earlier this year, Skydive Fyrosity won a bid to host the 2017 World Cup of Wingsuit Flying. That event will take place from November 2-8 at Perkins Field airport. The best of the best in wingsuit flying from all over the world will be traveling to Moapa Valley to participate in the competition.
Skydive Fyrosity owner, Sammy Vassilev explained that the World Cup is an international event. Every participating nation in the world has a national air club that represents that country in the FAI (World Air Sports Federation), he said. Each country has a national competition where the winners are selected for the national team. These are the fliers who will be coming to Moapa Valley this week to compete in the World Cup.
Wingsuit flying incorporates two different disciplines. The first event is called performance flying. Fliers are judged in the categories of speed, distance, and time. Each category is judged over three rounds, making a total of nine jumps per competitor. Each jumper wears a GPS device that collects data from a specific area of the jump.
“Wingsuit fliers exit the plane at about 13,000 feet,” Vassilev explained. “But they are only judged for 3,300 feet of the jump. The judging area begins at about 9,000 feet and they exit it at 6,000 feet to prepare for a safe landing.”
When they land, they turn their GPS devices over to the judges who download the data for judging.
The second event is the acrobatic division. Acrobatics are judged on a combination of compulsory and freestyle rounds. Teams have two competitors and a cameraman. The teams perform seven jumps throughout the week. The footage of each jump is provided to the judges for scoring. The winners in both categories receive a World Cup gold medal.
Vassilev is very excited to bring the event to Moapa Valley. He said that community members are welcome to come to the airport, meet the competitors and see what it is all about. But he also warns that there is not a lot to watch because the events take place high in the sky.
Vassilev alerts residents that sometimes in the competitions the first parachute gets tangled and has to be cut away. So there may be parachutes that come down in some yards. But not to worry.
In addition, wingsuits are not as precise as parachutes so some competitors may also come down in local yards or fields by mistake. “We just want everyone to know that there aren’t aliens landing in your backyard so don’t worry,” he said. “The jumpers would probably love a ride back to the airport, but no need to call anyone unless they are hurt, which we hope won’t happen.”
The event will also provide volunteers to pick up stray parachutes and jumpers.
Vassilev is looking for a number of volunteers from the community to come and help things run smoothly. Those interested in volunteering can fill out a volunteer sheet at www.skydivefyrositylasvegas.com. Click on the World Cup tab at the top and then on the volunteer tab.
Local volunteer coordinator Evonne Burris is also taking volunteer names and answering questions. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.