Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 24 August 2019

Burj Khalifa is base jumpers’ dream

French duo tell how Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed made it possible for them to jump from the world’s tallest building.
Base jumpers Vince Reffet, left, and Fred Fugen at the Vision-X conference in Dubai. Christopher Pike / The National
Base jumpers Vince Reffet, left, and Fred Fugen at the Vision-X conference in Dubai. Christopher Pike / The National

DUBAI // Two record-breaking Base jumpers say they would love to repeat their spectacular leap in April from the top of the Burj Khalifa.

Known as the Soul Flyers, Frenchmen Fred Fugen and Vince Reffet’s jump from the building’s summit at 2,717 feet eclipsed the previous world record by 500 feet.

They say their Burj Khalifa feat was among their most challenging and worthwhile efforts, including their jump from Mont Blanc, the highest mountain in the Alps in May.

“It would be the dream of any Base jumper because it’s the world’s tallest building and it really gives you time to do your stunts,” said Fugen on Wednesday.

The duo are in Dubai for the Dubai International Parachuting Championship that began at Skydive Dubai on Wednesday. But they will not be competing in the championship, which ends on December 7.

“We had been planning the Burj jump for about three years, and thanks to the help of Sheikh Hamdan [bin Mohammed, Crown Prince of Dubai] and Skydive Dubai we were able to do it,” said Reffet. “If it was up to us we would jump it every day.

“If we could do another Burj jump we would probably do some more difficult stunts.”

The duo fell in love with the sport when they were children, thanks to their parents.

“Both our dads were skydiving instructors and we just naturally wanted to follow in their footsteps,” said Fugen. “We started off doing basic zone drops and progressed from there.”

The Frenchmen are already planning their next big jump.

“We have a number of ideas in mind but we’re keeping it a secret until we have things finalised,” Fugen said.

The feeling and thrill of Base jumping has no comparison, they said. “It’s a pure rush you get when you jump off the platform and there is nothing like it,” Fugen said.

nhanif@thenational.ae

Updated: November 26, 2014 04:00 AM

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