Sky's the limit for Cumbrian skydiver Ana
Last updated at 12:09, Thursday, 12 September 2013
Hurtling towards the ground at an eye-watering 120mph is not everybody’s idea of fun, but dental technician Ana Budjelan has become so hooked on skydiving that she has completed 850 jumps in seven years
The 39-year-old now plans to put her expertise to good use by joining a daring attempt over the coming weekend that will aim to set a new UK record for an all-female formation parachute jump.
The team of women skydivers – called the Brit Chicks – wants to smash their previous UK record, set in 2007, when 68 of them took part in the jump raising money for the British Red Cross.
The women, some in their late fifties, will meet at Langar Airfield in Nottinghamshire at the weekend, and they plan to include at least 75 sky divers in their jump, forming into the shape of a butterfly as they plummet from 15,000ft.
Ana, of Houghton, Carlisle, explained that it was her fiance Peter Spedding, with whom she works, who first got her into the sport.
She said: “When you reach terminal velocity – when you can not fall any faster – you’re falling at about 120mph.
“It takes about 10 seconds and it’s an amazing feeling.
“Words can’t really describe it but adrenaline is definitely the main factor.”
Ana stressed that the sport, which she practises at Cark Airfield in south Cumbria, is considered relatively safe, though she recalls feelings of “apprehension” when she first got involved in the sport.
“We are aiming to have 75 sky divers in the formation, but it could be as many as 90. They’ll go up in six planes which will fly in formation and then jump together.
“We are not doing it this time to raise money for any good cause. It’s just to set a new UK record.
“There will be pressure on everybody to be in the right place at the right time. There’s no room for error.
“But as we freefall, for just over a minute, we will form the image of a butterfly, a symbol of femininity and flying. It will be fantastic.”
Formed in 2002, the Brit Chicks have set a series of records for formation jumps, starting with a 40-woman jump in their first year.
The jump will be filmed for judges to validate the attempt.
Although female skydivers are outnumbered by four to one in the UK, the only British skydiving world champions are female.
In the last decade the UK has won half of the female world events and now has 12 women world champions. Brit Chicks’ eight-way team recently became the first all-female team to compete on an equal footing with men, at the 2013 World Championships.
A spokeswoman for the group said that Ana was chosen to take part because of her proven determination, skill and commitment to her sport. She was also part of the 68-way female record in 2007.
First published at 12:03, Thursday, 12 September 2013
Published by http://www.newsandstar.co.uk
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