FREDERICKSBURG, Va. – America’s most exciting aerial action sport returns to the area this fall for the largest annual skydiving competition in the world: the 2013 United States Parachute Association (USPA) National Skydiving Championships.
The event will run Sept. 12 to 24 at Skydive Chicago in Ottawa, which last hosted the event in 2010.
More than 500 of the country’s elite aerial athletes will flock to the Chicago area to take the plunge and push their skydiving skills to the limit, competing for gold, silver and bronze medals in five spectacular disciplines: Formation Skydiving (4-way, 8-way, 10-way and 16-way events), Artistic Events (which include stunning Freeflying and Freestyle), Freefall Style and Accuracy Landing (also known as “the classics”), Canopy Formation and Vertical Formation Skydiving.
Skydive Chicago, an expansive 220-acre skydiving resort located in Ottawa, along the banks of the scenic Fox River, will host this exhilarating showcase of parachuting proficiency.
Look for high attendance and drama this year, as the top teams vie for slots on the elite U.S. Parachute Team that will compete at the 4th Dubai International Parachuting Championships later this year.
The pressure will be on for those competitors trying to hold onto their long winning streaks: In 4-way formation skydiving, Arizona Airspeed will be going for its seventh consecutive national championship. And in style and accuracy, USPA’s Director of Competition James Hayhurst will have to be on his game to win a ninth consecutive overall champion title.
The championships are free and open to the public. From sunrise to sunset each day, sports fans and spectators can catch the action happening thousands of feet above the drop zone, as well as view hundreds of colorful canopies filling the sky and thousands of dramatic landings as competitors swoop swiftly, gracefully back to earth.
Between jumps, visitors can experience the rush of competition first-hand and hang with the pros as they train and practice choreographed moves on the ground in whatr are called “dirt dives.”
The schedule of events/competitions, many of which will be held concurrently during 12 intense days of nonstop action, includes (subject to change based on weather and flying conditions):
• Sept. 12-15 — Freefall Style and Accuracy Landing
• Sept. 13-16 — Vertical Formation Skydiving
• Sept, 14-20 — 4-Way and 8-Way Formation Skydiving
• Sept. 18-21 — Artistic Events (Freeflying and Freestyle)
• Sept. 18-22 — 10-Way and 16-Way Formation Skydiving
• Sept. 20-24 —Canopy Formation
Founded in 1946, the United States Parachute Association is a nonprofit association dedicated to the promotion of safe skydiving nationwide, establishing strict safety standards, training policies and programs at more than 220 USPA-affiliated skydiving schools and centers throughout the United States.
Each year, USPA’s 35,000 members and hundreds of thousands of first-time jump students make more than 3 million jumps in the U.S. USPA represents skydivers before all levels of government, the public, and the aviation industry and sanctions national skydiving competitions and records.
For more information on making a first jump or to find a skydiving center near you, visit http://www.uspa.orgor call 800-371-USPA.