Diving into the New Year

Skydiving into the history books from 10, 000 feet above ground

A group in New Zealand wants to jump into the record books with another millennium "first". The first to jump from one millennium to the next.

Three members of the Taranaki Skydiving Club are timing out their skydiving jump to take place just a few seconds before midnight. That way the group will be free falling when the clock strikes midnight.

Club members Doug Telfer, Stefan Anderson, Regan Sorensen, and Bruce Thompson plan to fly to 10,000 feet, jump at 10 seconds before midnight, free-fall for 20 seconds then parachute to safety the last three to four minutes before landing.

The jump’s timing must be exact and because it will be pitch black outside the jumpers must make sure their eyes are adjusted to the dark. The group must also look out for other jumpers in the area that could have the same idea being the "first" to free-fall this New Year.

The Taranaki club was hoping to make a bigger splash with their New Year's Eve skydive. The club had planned for 10 people to jump and land at a racecourse party just before the fireworks display. However, the group wasn’t able to get the funding for such a jump and then scaled down their plans.

The group believes it will be the first to jump because someone jumping in an earlier time zone could only surpass their jump. That would be difficult to do because then the jumpers would have to land in the sea. However, there is the possibility that other jumpers will equal the group and jump at the same time.

"If anyone else in New Zealand is doing it, they can equal us, but they can’t beat us. The only thing that will stop us is the weather" club president Doug Telfer told the Daily News.

If you’re wondering about the champagne celebration, that will take place after the jump. The skydivers have no plans to partake in the bubbly before their jump. They did say once they hit the ground the real party would begin.

Source: The Daily News

DATE: 12/9/99

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