Unfinished Business—Skydivers Over Sixty Members Set Two World Records
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Unfinished Business—Skydivers Over Sixty Members Set Two World Records

Unfinished Business—Skydivers Over Sixty Members Set Two World Records

Tuesday, June 27, 2023

Above: Photo by Norman Kent.

A team of determined skydivers arrived at Skydive Perris in California on April 12 to settle unfinished business: The year before, their effort to set a large formation world record for jumpers age 60 and above came up just shy of success on multiple attempts. But the uniting trait of this team of more than 100 jumpers was persistence. Each persisted as a skydiver for decades, jumping, competing and setting records year after year. They were determined that the Skydivers Over Sixty World Record for Largest Formation Skydive would not elude them.

The level of commitment was apparent when every member of the 40-way base team showed up a day early for practice jumps. In addition, 45 other team members were on hand to do pre-event prep jumps. This meant that more than 80 percent of the team was so determined that they arrived early to ensure they would deliver their best.

The event was orchestrated by a high-powered P3 team led by International Skydiving Hall of Fame members Dan Brodsky-Chenfeld and Kate Cooper-Jensen. Rounding out the leadership team were internationally regarded organizers Larry Henderson, Scott Latinis and Patrick Passe. The video team was equally strong and included Hall of Famers Gustavo Cabana (being inducted this year), Craig O’Brien and Norman Kent. Equally important but less visible were the pilots, packers, dedicated DZ staff and manager Jen Wallace Domenico.

Success came to the team in sets of three. Before the event started, the 40-way base team made three practice jumps, all of which completed with time to spare.

Although the official first day of the event included energy, smiles, camaraderie, laughs, it also included clouds, and no jumps occurred. The afternoon of day two, the skies opened. As is common practice, jump one was a calibration jump to allow the team to assess fall rate, approaches, proximity and colors, and most of the jumpers outside of the 40-way base were not authorized to dock. Rolling into day three, three bona fide attempts preceded a record, then ... bang! The jumpers set an SOS large-formation world record with a 101-way, crushing the previous 75-way record.

The persistent lot now turned to pursuing an SOS sequential large-formation record. Again, an SOS World Record—a two-point 95-way—followed after three attempts.

Not only had the team finished the business it started the year before with a new large-formation world record, it set a second record along the way. That evening, the team learned of an unexpected additional honor: International Skydiving Museum Trustee Marylou Laughlin announced to SOS founder Pat Moorehead that SOS would be the 2023 recipient of the museum’s Path of Excellence award!

The persistent, devoted and experienced jumpers both performed and were being recognized for it. The team met and exceeded its goals. Persistence prevailed. Business finished.


Photo by Norman Kent.

Photo by Norman Kent.

Photo by Norman Kent.

Photo by Norman Kent.

TopPOP—James Davis Receives SOS Accolade

During the debriefing of the 101-way Skydivers Over Sixty World Record jump, SOS founder Pat Moorehead surprised the leader of the Parachutists Over Phorty Society, SOS’s parent group, with the SOS Certificate of Meritorious Service. In the 31-plus years of SOS’s existence, this is only the eighth time the group has bestowed this recognition. TopPOP James “Guido” Davis was extremely appeciative of the honor and received a standing ovation from the SOS record holders in attendance.





About the Author

Jim McCormick, D-12379, is a Colorado skydiver, author and organizational consultant. He has earned numerous state, national and world large formation records. McCormick is also the director of development for the International Skydiving Museum & Hall of Fame.

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