Back in 2009 I was hired by Coffs City Skydivers in Gold Coast, Australia to organise in a boogie, teach, coach, speak and all that stuff. FAI had just set some ideas for recognising wingsuit formations so we decided to try to break a record (or set one, I cant even remember if there was one in our category at the time). I was just doing my job, organising nicely flying neat formations in safe manner and the video pilots filmed our performance. We included anybody who was able to do the job and had some most memorable flights of my life in one of the most beautiful backdrops in the world.
I have never been a person who is after trophies, titles and records. I understand the use of them and their importance but I also recognise the ego-tripping trap. I simply think that since every situation is a unique set of all of this stuff this realm is made of, its a bit unfair to always compare everything and everybody against some set of parameters somebody else determined. We are all pretty much living World Record makers at every moment we exist. We just choose to recognise some over others.
For the record attempts we had a team of pilots of which four were BMCI's (BirdMan Chief Instructor), three were BMI's (BirdMan Instructor) and two were experienced pilots with merits of their own as well as the camera pilots (who are always just as integrated and important members of the team as the rest) .. and we were all more than 40 years old, so we were all POPS (Parachutists Over Phorty Society), a rarity of sorts within the sport.
We were lucky to have a FAI judge on a site but although we thought we got the record, the evidence needed to be submitted to FAI still, so nothing was official. However, we were happy with our performances and the vibe was high (and so contagious that even my wife made a tandem, something she had not even considered of doing before). Long story made short, after the boogie, I forgot about the record, I never heard anything about it and life went on.
Until two days ago, May 21 2019, Neil Fergie BMCI # 8, contacted me and told me the news, we got it! The paperwork and video evidence had got lost somewhere in the process and the case was not reopened until recently.
My sincere congratulations to everybody involved: Neil Fergie, Jari Kuosma, Glenn Singleman, Lawrence Hill, Mark Rainey, Shin Ito, Greg Cox, Elaine Cox, Rod Milner, James Throsby, Glen Hoyes and the support crew, friends and family.
So with that said, all records are made for breaking and we should always thrive for the optimum for any given situation. But recognition for a record sets a standard for others to beat and this can be a driving force for others which in turn kicks the ball rolling. So thank you FAI, you guys are doing important work!
BMCI #1 and proud POPS World Record Holder ;-)