U.S. Parachute Association Unites Collegiate Skydivers!

The U.S. Parachute Association once again brought together collegiate skydivers from around the country at the 2017 National Collegiate Parachuting Championships, the world’s longest-running collegiate skydiving competition. The Florida Skydiving Center in Lake Wales hosted 82 collegiate skydivers from across the U.S. over the New Year’s holiday for a week of fierce but friendly competition.

The collegiate championships includes skydiving competitions both in freefall and under canopy. The freefall events include teams of two, four and six skydivers racing against the clock to complete pre-determined formations while falling in excess of 120 mph. The canopy events challenge skydivers to steer their parachutes to land as close as possible to a target on the ground.

Traditionally, the military academies-the U.S. Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs and the U.S. Military Academy in West Point, New York-dominate the championships, and this year was no exception. Skydivers from the two academies brought home all the gold medals. Skydivers from many other schools also competed, including Fort Lewis College, Georgia Tech, Iowa State, Kansas State University, Northeastern University, University of Connecticut, University of Georgia, University of Massachusetts Amherst and the U.S. Naval Academy.

This year, a team from the U.S. Military Academy also set a new national record in the 6-way formation skydiving event by completing the six-person formation in a mere 9.16 seconds after exiting the airplane!

Despite the stiff competition, the National Collegiate Parachuting Championships is best known for the camaraderie it generates among fellow collegiate skydivers. The event includes skydivers of all experience levels-those with less than 100 jumps to those with close to 1,000-from collegiate skydiving clubs of all sizes as they come together to have fun in the sky and on the ground.