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York chemist in world skydiving contest

Posted on 1 February 2013

Edward Monteith studying for an MSc in Green Chemistry and Industrial Sustainable Technology took part in the World Skydiving Championships.

The World Championships, held in Dubai from 28 November to 9 December 2012, are the most prestigious competition for a skydiver. In 2012 the championship was a mondial, which meant every event/discipline within skydiving would compete along side each other.

Edward Monteith competing in the World Skydiving Championships.

Approximately 1200 competitors took part from 56 countries. Edward was representing Ireland and competing in Canopy Piloting event which had 132 competitors.

Canopy Piloting has three rounds of three events which all involve leaving the plane or helicopter at 5000 feet and opening the canopy within 5-15 seconds and then flying to a point above the ground and starting a diving turn to build speed. Once you have finished your turn and level off at ground level you can be reaching speeds of 70-90 mph. In the Speed event you fly through a carving course of 75 meters as fast as possible. For the Distance event you have to fly through and drag your foot through a set of gates 5 feet/1.5 meters high then go as far as possible. The final event is Accuracy, this has 4 water gates worth 50 points in total, you score points by dragging your foot through each gate then 6 landing zones ranging from 0-50 points. The aim it to score as many points as possible up to a maximum 100.

The facilities were by far the best in the world. Everyone was accommodated in a 5 star hotel and provided with 3 buffet meals each day, the pond built for swooping cost millions of pounds and was filled with and constantly topped up with millions of liters of fresh water!

Edward started competing 11 months before and had been placed 4th in the British nationals, 3rd in the Irish nationals and 21st in the German open. There was one freestyle round held in Dubai, it was unofficial as it has not been approved for competition, but Edward had a very good run and scored very highly. In the main competition he finished 120 out of 132.