Jeb Corliss has joined forces with Redbull to propose the first round of the World Wingsuit League in China this coming October.
Wingsuit racing started in 2008 in Norway with the ‘BASE Race’ where two pilots would race against each other side by side. The difference with the WWL is the course is not a straight line so more skill is required to pick the optimum line and maintain good speed while cornering. It’s a time trial so pilots fly individually to reduce the risk. Also the prize money is due to be significantly more than any other BASE jumping event (the exact amount TBC). The idea is to hold events at multiple locations around the world, stream it live on internet TV and give pilots the opportunity to go professional and earn ‘real’ money like other top end athletes in more mainstream sports.
In an interview with Joe Spring, Jeb emphasized the importance of safety with the event. He said “For us, safety is the top priority, so a lot of the rules are set up so that pilots make good decisions above bad ones. If they get too close to something, they get disqualified. If they cross certain lines, they get disqualified. If they fly bad lines, they get disqualified. If they fly over the cable car, they get disqualified.”
One of the key questions in the Wingsuit World will be how to select the pilots? It seems the most fair way of doing this is to have an open competition so the best pilots get a chance to shine.
Jeb Corliss is one of the key activists pushing the boundaries of the Wingsuit World. His outrageous flights have stunned many, some going viral on the web. Perhaps the most famous of them all was Grinding the crack . When I saw this footage, my first thought was “wow, that’s really pushing it, if he keeps doing that he won’t be around for long!” Months later doing a similar stunt, Jeb actually clipped a ledge while trying to touch a balloon, he did a couple of summersaults and managed to pull his parachute seconds before landing on the ground. He was lucky to get away with it, and only broke both his legs.
To read more about Jeb Corliss and the WWL