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Istanbul ProBASE World Cup

Jump4Heroes team member Spencer Hogg leaps to win the Silver medal from the 236m Istanbul Sapphire building in the ProBASE World Cup.

Jump4Heroes team member Spencer Hogg leaps to win the Silver medal from the 236m Istanbul Sapphire building in the ProBASE World Cup.

The Pro BASE World Cup took place last weekend in Turkey.  49 competitors from 16 different countries were vying to be crowned champion as they leapt from the 781′ building in downtown Istanbul. Istanbul spans the Asia/Europe border.  The day before the competition the jumpers took a boat to the Asian side where they undertook a practice jump from a 460′ tethered balloon.  Spectators, on their daily commute to and from work, got quite a sight as the BASE jumpers flicked off the balloon, landing amongst them.  Especially when one jumper got hung up on a lamp post!

Jump4Heroes Team member Alastair Macartney lands on the target after BASE jumping from the Istanbul Sapphire building.

Jump4Heroes Team member Alastair Macartney lands on the target after BASE jumping from the Istanbul Sapphire building.

The competition took place Friday – Sunday and competitors were scored on their freefall delay (between 2.5 and 4 seconds), opening heading performance and accuracy landing.  Three rounds were conducted as qualifiers.  The conditions were extremely tough with strong turbulence and rotors as the winds swirled around the building in between the thunderstorms. Despite this, the rounds were completed and the scores reset to zero for the top 16.The semi-finals kicked off on the Sunday morning and, with tricky conditions again, the top competitors from the qualifiers were pushed out of their previous podium positions.  The top 9 (top 8 but there was a tie at 8th place) moved through to the finals.  Unfortunately, Aussie hopeful Chris ‘Douggs’ Mcdougall had to leave and, despite being in first place, couldn’t compete in the final round.

Some of the top BASE jumpers from around the world layed it down for a really amazing final.  Each competitor really performed.  It was all on this jump and it was clear that those that were still in the competition had earned their places- the freefall delays were almost spot on, heading performance was great and the accuracy landings were dialled in.

The podium for the ProBASE World Cup in Istanbul in May 2012.  Left to right: Alastair Macartney, Miles Daisher and Spencer Hogg.  Red Bull and Jump4Heroes athletes dominating.

The podium for the ProBASE World Cup in Istanbul in May 2012. Left to right: Alastair Macartney, Miles Daisher and Spencer Hogg.

The prize giving kicked off with no-one really knowing what the exact positions were.  In the end it was Red Bull Pro Athlete Miles Daisher taking the gold with his consistent performance.  He was flanked by the Jump4Heroes Poppy boys with Spencer Hogg in Silver and Alastair Macartney in Bronze.  The guys, both veterans from Afghanistan, were out there raising awareness for military charities and flanked both sides of the podium as well.

All in all it was an amazing competition and a must-do experience.  See the ProBASE World Cup website here for more information and their schedule of future events.

Find out more about Jump4Heroes, The Royal British Legion Extreme Human Flight Team, by visiting their new website  or checking them out on Facebook.

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