Coast man captures world record measured in seconds
ABOUT 18 months of hard work, planning, travelling, and training came together in a spectacular diamond of 44 skydivers that lasted only seconds.
And Sunshine Coast veteran skydiver Brett Higgins was there to document it.
Mr Higgins, the tandem instructor at Skydive Ramblers at Sunshine Coast Airport, travelled to Nagambie in central Victoria for a week-long series of final practice runs leading up to two new Australian records - one with 40 skydivers linked together and one, the next day, with 44.
Mr Higgins didn't take part in the attempt itself, most of the organising for which was done by one of the nation's most highly-regarded skydivers - Jules McConnel of Moruya on the NSW South Coast, instead acting as the group's photographer, jumping with the those attempting the record to photograph and film them on their way down.
However, Mr Higgins has had his share of record-breaking jumps - he was one of 100 skydivers about eight years ago to set a world record that still stands today.
Skydiving record attempts such as these require minute planning, he said. To link up, each skydiver must wrap one or both of their legs into the outer lines of the parachute beneath them.
If that sounds scary, the speed of the skydivers must also be precisely managed with those at the centre moving faster than those on the wings to prevent the formation crashing in on itself.
"It has some pretty amazing engineering involved in it," he said.
Now this record has been nailed, Mr Higgins and others among the nation's skydiving elite are already planning the next one.
Mr Higgins said that bid would probably come in another two years and involve 64 skydivers, because "it's a good number".
Detailed work for that effort would begin in about six months and would involve about 18 months of planning and travelling around the country running training sessions with people interested in taking part.