October 2019 proved to be a banner month for sequential skydiving, as two separate groups of jumpers achieved world-record performances, one in full-break sequential formation skydiving and the other in canopy formation skydiving. Sequential records are relatively new on the world stage: The Féderátion Aéronautique Internationale (the governing body for world air sports) approved the category in 2013. These records required a percentage of the jumpers to break grips for each sequential point. The FAI then added the full-break category (in which all jumpers must make a move between points) in 2019. Clearly, jumpers from around the world were ready for the challenge.
The first record setter of the pair was the ambitious international team that flew a two-point 130-way and made a full break between points on October 14 during the Sequential Games event at Skydive Perris in California. The accomplished team—led by Milko Hodgkinson from Great Britain, Dieter Kirsch from Germany and Patrick Passe from France——achieved the record on its very first attempt and then went on to other challenges, such as building a 128-way jewel. As the very first record in the new FAI full-break category, the team certainly set the bar high for future teams!
Not to be outdone, a team of canopy formation skydivers followed on the heels of the formation skydivers at Perris and on October 17 flew a four-point 43-way formation. The jump, organized by Canopy Formation Specialists, set the world record for largest two-, three- and four-point canopy formation skydive. The jump not only broke the two-point 37-way record set by CFS World Team at Skydive Sebastian in Florida in March and the three-point world record set by 25 skydivers at Skydive Lake Wales in Florida in 2017, it also set the world’s first four-point CF record. It was a stunning achievement.
The same trio of judges—Rina Gallo, Marylou Laughlin and Gillian Raynor—certified all of the records and have submitted the preliminary claims to the FAI.