150 Australian skydivers aiming for new heights with national record


Joseph Clarke is one of 150 Australian skydivers heading to California in May to break the Australian national record for largest freefall formation. Picture: Andrew Ritchie
Joseph Clarke is one of 150 Australian skydivers heading to California in May to break the Australian national record for largest freefall formation. Picture: Andrew Ritchie

ONE hundred and fifty thrill-seeking Australians are getting ready to freefall from 21,000 feet above California.

A team of skydivers from around the country will head to Perris Valley in May to try and break the Australian national largest freefall formation record.

One of those skydivers will be East Perth’s Joseph Clarke, who was part of the previous 2015 record of 119 people.

“We’ll be jumping out of seven or eight aircraft – the aircrafts are available in Australia, but not this many operating together,” he said.

“The pilots are very experienced and can fly in close formation.”

Mr Clarke said every arm and leg grip was crucial to success.

“We have to hold the formation long enough for the freefall camera flyers to secure a clear photograph, which will be judged by a team of qualified Australian and international judges,” he said.

The skydiver, who is a health and safety manager back on land, has been jumping for almost five years.

“Many years ago I went for a tandem jump, and decided I wanted to do it myself,” he said.

“One day I decided to learn it and I haven’t looked back since.”

Mr Clarke will head to California with the Aussie Bigways team for two weeks: training before the record attempt will see the skydivers do around 30 to 40 jumps in the span of a week and a half.

“I’m really excited, I think this is an opportunity that won’t happen for another 10 years or so,” he said.

The record attempts will take place between May 31 and June 3.