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Write from the Heart

In my blog I will write about whatever has my attention on the day I write, sometimes it will be funny, sometimes packed with information that I hope will prove useful for those living in Spain.

EWC World Base Jumping Championships in Benidorm
10 June 2015 @ 14:05

If you like to watch extreme sports then The Gran Hotel Bali was the place to be on June 5th and 6th.

 

The Gran Hotel Bali is the tallest hotel in Europe. Bali played host for the 8th consecutive time to the Annual EWC World Base Jumping Championships.

 

Base jumping is when base jumpers wearing a parachute or in some cases a wingsuit jump from a fixed structure of some sort.

 

Base Jumping is sometimes written as B.A.S.E. Jumping.

 

Written this way, B.A.S.E. is an acronym that stands for the types of fixed structures that they jump from.

 

B - Buildings (such as the Gran Hotel Bali)

 

A - Antenna

 

S - Span

 

E - Earth

 

It seems that when it comes to extreme sports Base Jumping is the most extreme of all the extreme sports.

 

The Gran Hotel Bali is the tallest hotel in Europe at 186 metres high. But the Bali still doesn't look to 

me that it is high enough to launch off from.

 

It just doesn't look high enough for a parachute to inflate in time to safely deposit you back on Terra firma in one piece.

 

Jumpers were not even launching themselves from the roof of the hotel. Instead, they were jumping from the observation deck. At a height of 160 metres, the observation deck is even closer to the ground than the roof.

I know that I said that 160 metres didn't  seem high enough to jump from. But I would not even be able to stand on the launch platform like these guys never mind jump off of it. 

When you view the 160-metre launch pad from the observation deck, you can get some idea of  how high 160 metres really is. Notice that most of the Jumpers seem to be wearing the extreme sports type of video camera fixed onto their helmets. 

No doubt they will be able to re-live their jumps at leisure from the comfort and safety of their armchair as many times as they want.

Obviously, 160 metres is high enough because though these jumpers may be crazy they are not suicidal. They would not jump at 160 metres if their chutes could not open fully in time to safely deposit them back on Terra firma in one piece. 

Though watching them jump you can see there is precious little wiggle room. Looking at the photo you can see that the chute drogues are pulling the chute out of its pack almost at the same time as they jump.

 

This is the target that the jumpers are aiming at when they launch themselves off the building.

Not all of them manage to hit the spot as you can see from this next photo.

 

 

Much to the surprise of the hotel guests who were     swimming in the pool at the time, this jumper lands     in the hotel swimming pool. 

Though taking into account how hot it is here on the  Costa Blanca at the moment, the pool might well have been his intended target.

My son has just informed me that when this jumper was a couple of hundred feet from the ground the jumper shouted "I am going for the pool." So it seems his aim was not off after all. 

 

 

Two jumpers Dean Potter and Graham Hunt died recently while practising this extreme sport. This just goes to show how dangerous and extreme this sport really is.

 

The organisers and the jumpers taking part in the World Championship would be paying tribute during the championship to these two young men.

 

No matter how many precautions you take there is no getting away from the dangerous nature of this sport.

 

In 2013 a 22-year-old Austrian girl called Maria Steinmayr had a close brush with death. A closer brush with death than I suspect even a dare devil like her would want.

 

When Maria launched herself off the Bali her chute failed to open correctly. What happened next could have easily resulted in her death.

 

Fortunately Maria, whose failing parachute threw her against the side of the Bali, had a miraculous escape. If you want to see how lucky she was you can. It is on YouTube follow this link http://dld.bz/dGjjn

 

When you watch dangerous sports such as extreme base jumping you just cannot know what will happen next.

 

Extreme Base Jumping is extreme for a reason. What these jumpers do is extremely dangerous.

 

The difference between a good jump and a fatal accident can something as simple as an unexpected gust of wind.

As if this sport was not dangerous and extreme enough already, there are always some that want to take it one step further.

Some base jumpers, I am sure that they were not official competitors, were climbing onto the roof of the Bali's outside lift.

Guests arriving at the hotel from the airport stood open mouthed on the pavement. Wondering just what these young men were doing climbing onto the roof of the lift.

These  unofficial jumpers rode on top of the lift roof to the top floor and launched themselves off the roof of the lift. The photo on the left is one of these unofficial jumpers floating down towards the pavement in front of the Bali.

These feats of daring drew gasps from the crowd of guests watching from 186 metres below.

 

On Friday, there were only nine jumps between 7am and 8 am. This was because the gusting wind. After the wind got up the organisers suspended further jumps until the wind died down. Later that day at around 8:30 pm only one more jump was made.

 

They call people who take part in extreme sports adrenaline junkies. I don't know what kind of high they experience, nor am I ever likely to either.

But just watching them can get the spectators adrenal glands pumping too.


There were 30 competitors from around the world taking part this year's championships. The winner was Maurizio Di Palmer from Italy who is usually known as Maury.

 

The photographs to the right show Maury leaping from the launch platform. If you look above and to the left of Maury you will see the small DJI phantom drone camera which was recording the jumps.

How neat is the new technology available today? 

 

Winner of the 

2015 EWC World Base Jumping Championships 

Hotel Gran Bali Benidorm

  

 

Maurizio Di Palmer

 

If you would like to see photographs taken at this year's championships at the Bali then please go to maggs224.com

 

On the maggs224.com website, you will find around 180 photographs of the base jumping.

 

The maggs224.com website has a photo archive full of free to use photographs for your blogs and websites. There is even a special section for Spain.

#2015 #EWC #World-Base-Jumping #Championships #Hotel-Gran-Bali #Benidorm



Like 0




4 Comments


barbarab said:
11 June 2015 @ 13:04

What an exiting thing you got to see Maggs! Excellently written article, made me feel as if I were watching it with you!


maggs224 said:
14 June 2015 @ 01:31

Thanks Barbara, I m glad that you enjoyed it, I think that you are the only one who has read it lol...


hunnypot said:
19 June 2015 @ 15:53

Excellent....great article. I personally think the people that do this are very brave.
When i was a teenager the idea of diving into the pool off the diving board was terrifying and yet i did it and enjoyed it, but it was the standing on the edge and seeing the distance between me and the pool. The adrenaline rush is amazing and im sure they must feel the same before doing the jump.


maggs224 said:
16 July 2015 @ 03:09

Thank you hunnypot for taking the time to leave a comment. I must admit I am not that fond of heights and so I have to content myself with watching others do the daring deeds lol...


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