Team Chimera Takes Gold at British Indoor Skydiving Nationals
The four-person team will now represent the UK at the FAI World Cup in Belgium this April.
Image Credit: Left to right – James Woods, Will Cooke, Sarah Ashworth and Laura Hampton
Crack skydivers Laura Hampton, Sarah Ashworth, James Woods, and Will Cooke, “Team Chimera,” clinched a gold medal at the British Indoor Skydiving Nationals last week.
“Winning the gold medal was really a dream come true!” Hampton told Newark Advertiser. “Ours is a sport that requires a huge amount of dedication and we’ve all been working hard to improve our own skills and our skills as a team for years.
“To be able to say we’re the British champions is amazing,” she said.
The national competition saw over 50 competitors duke it out at iFLY Basingstoke (one of the United Kingdom’s five active wind tunnels), in eight categories: Freestyle, 2-way Dynamic, 4-way Dynamic, and various subsections of Formation [FS] and Vertical Formation [VFS] flying.
Now, Team Chimera will take their bodyflight skills to Charleroi, Belgium for the much-anticipated FAI Indoor Skydiving World Cup and European Indoor Skydiving Championships in April.
They’ll be joined by the USA’s first all-female indoor skydiving team to compete internationally, US current Junior Freestyle Champion Sydney Kennett, and the top-notch Singapore team, among over 400 other flyers from around the world. The Singapore team, which has been on a tear recently, includes 19-year-old Kyra Poh, widely recognized as one of the best indoor and outdoor flyers in the world right now.
Team Chimera doesn’t just fly in the tunnel, either. They also compete outside (training indoors from November to April, and outdoors from May to October). The quartet is currently training for the biannual 2022 Parachuting World Championships in Arizona, USA this coming October, and have scored several top-place finishes at the British Skydiving Championships.
The group of four, in addition to their longtime photographer Pete Harries, who flies above them during skydiving jumps, has been competing together for over seven years, but each member of the team has between 14 and 20 years of flying experience.
Team Chimera is based out of Skydive Langar at the Langar Airfield, near Nottingham.
“We’re very proud of Chimera and so pleased to see their hard work pay off in this way,” said the dropzone’s manager of operations, Josh Carratt (You can use our sister publication’s dropzone locator to find a site like Langar near you).
“As well as training at Langar, the team also provides coaching to jumpers, from those learning formation skydiving skills from scratch, to other teams, to larger skydiving groups,” he said.
You can listen to Chimera’s interview with the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) following their win to learn more about this talented team of flyers.
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Published: February 21, 2022 | Last Updated: February 21, 2022