Jumpers complete point two of the 112-way and set an Illinois record. Photo by Elliot Byrd.
It all started in October of 2021: Christy Frikken and Doug Barron were sitting in a captains’ debrief at a P3 formation skydiving event and saw that so many people in the big-way scene had put in hard work yet still hadn’t achieved an elusive triple-digit formation. So, they decided to create an event to make that happen! They chose Skydive Chicago in Ottawa, Illinois, as the host drop zone and set the dates for August 20-24, 2022, which happened to coincide with the Vertical World Record Attempts. They soon assembled an all-star organizing team consisting of Gorka Amian, Keith Conner, Dan Brodsky-Chenfeld, Louis French, Craig Girard, Larry Henderson and Scott Latinis, and applications to participate started rolling in.
Point one of the of the two-point 112-way builds. Photo by Elliot Byrd.
The event began with smaller group warm-up jumps on Saturday and Sunday, with the 100-plus-way attempts starting on Monday. Every jump showed improvement, and on the second jump on Tuesday the group completed a successful 111-way! With the goal of the event achieved early, a quick glance at the record books showed that the group could break the Illinois State Record for Largest Two-Point Formation Skydive with a 112-way. On Wednesday morning, the group met at 7 a.m. to prepare for the two-point 112-way. Remarkably, on its first declared attempt, the group achieved the record! The build of the first point was incredibly smooth for such a large formation, and the team held the second point for more than 4 seconds.
Adding to the excitement was that 73 of the participants completed their first 100-plus way formation at this event in only six attempts, then completed a two-point 112-way only two jumps later! This was also the first successfully completed 100-plus way formation in the United States since 2019. Jumpers who would like to see additional photos and video provided by Byrd’s Eye Studio can visit the All American Big Ways Facebook page.
Doug Barron | D-30343
Rock Hill, South Carolina
The “100-Way Club” gathers for a group photo. Photo by Elliot Byrd.