Grantham-born wingsuiter helps create world record
A former Grantham lad was one of 100 daring wingsuiters who plunged to the ground in a bid to create a world record - and they succeeded.
Wearing their wingsuits - and looking remarkably similar to flying squirrels - the group jumped from five separate planes at 13,000ft above Perris Valley in Southern Califonia.
Former King’s School pupil Simon Repton was one of them, travelling for more than two miles at speeds of up to 80mph.
Simon, 38, said: “I was very pleased to take part, it was an honour to be invited.”
He was asked to take part in the record attempt, the first for a wingsuit formation dive, after having participated in a similar but smaller formation.
The 100-strong group, from 21 different countries, formed a diamond as they dived towards the ground wearing specially made suits. Wingsuits are made from a fabric which stretches between the skydiver’s arms and legs. Their death-defying antics will see them enter the Guinness World Record Book.
Simon was born and raised in Grantham, moving to America in 1996. He now lives in a ski town called Breckenridge in Colorado. However, Simon visits his hometown regularly to visit his mother, brother and extended family.
The daredevil began skydiving in 1998 and wingsuiting in 2008. He and his wife run a wingsuit rental company.
Talking about preparing for the challenge, he said: “It is a lot of hard work. They are busy days in the heat and we practice a whole lot more on the ground than we spend in the air.
“At the end of the day it is very rewarding. The team has to come together to make it work by over coming personal differences.”
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