If it wasn’t a challenge we wouldn’t do it.Skydiver Helaine Rumaner on setting a new women’s skydiving record in Texas.
- Why It Matters: 40 women in Texas broke the record for the largest women’s freefall formation.
- The women came from 13 U.S. states as well as England, Ecuador and Brazil with the goal of not only breaking the record, but empowering women in the sport of skydiving.
- After jumping from two different airplanes, the women — exceeding speeds of 120 mph — linked arms and feet, creating a "75-foot diameter snowflake-like figure" mid-air.
- The whole endeavor took 3 days to accomplish, but in the end the formation happened in just about a minute or so — as Rumaner says, "7 months of planning for a 70-second record breaking skydive."
Email interview with SmartHER News:
How does it feel to break this record? This was a special event for me, it was all women and it was the first time I've organized an all female record before. I've organized formations this large and helped with other record skydives in the past but this was just the ladies. Celine and I put the team together, designed the skydives and coordinated everything. I had the opportunity to co-organize with a dear friend who is even more special to me now.
How hard was it to accomplish? If it wasn't a challenge we wouldn't do it. From getting the talent together, (it's not just the skydive skills but it's women we can spend three hot, very hot days in the sun and in a hot, loud plane) to getting the skydive designed for the skill level and putting each person in the position where they are using their strengths.
Did you feel worried it wouldn't happen!?! No, I wasn't worried — we had two different records we were trying to set. One we did, one we didn't. Everyone left feeling positive and a winner. I knew we'd get one record, the second is much more difficult.
What did you learn from this experience? How much more patience and flexibility I need. After we finish a jump we watch the video to see what we need to improve or change either as a group or individuals. I have to cut down on the details during that debrief so we can get more time practicing for the next jump.
Why did you want to attempt to do this? In part to break and set new Texas skydiving records but also to empower these lady skydivers and create a supportive team atmosphere. Both Celine and I are involved in a few different female skydiver groups working toward promoting women in skydiving and this is another avenue for newer jumpers to see what they can aspire to.
What's next? I have a Texas co-ed record in November I am co-organizing (me and three men), in October I will be participating in a world record skydive, and in September I will be a judge at the US national skydive competition. Celine will have to give you her plans. As far as another women's record, I think we'll rest for a couple of years and develop the next group of jumpers so we can go bigger on the next record.
by Jenna Lee,