LAST weekend saw the Gran Hotel Bali once again make good use of its status as Europe’s tallest hotel by hosting the world base jumping championships.
Base jumping comprises jumping off a static object … with a parachute. The word itself is an acronym of the words “B”, buildings, “A”, antennae, “S”, span, and “E” earth, being from where one can base jump. Basically anything that doesn’t fly, and the word was first coined in 1978.
Twenty base jumpers from fifteen countries participated in the event, with the winner was Frenchman, Danniel Witchalls.
The parachutist has only three seconds to open the chute, and then had to guide themselves as near as possible to land on a target area marked out on the hotel’s front terrace below them. The height of the Bali hotel is 160 metres, and although this may seem high it is does not give much time or room for error, which is what makes base jumping so dangerous.
As well as gaining points for being as close as possible to the centre of the target, the jury also award marks according to the overall time of the fall and the time of the opening of the parachute. The later you leave it, the more points gained; a true sport for daredevils, or maniacs, depending on ones point of view; but one heck of a spectacle