Zoukout Party Skydive
Zoukout, what a party, this is Asia's biggest beach party, held annually on Sentosa beach in beautiful Singapore. 26 000 party goers flock to Sentosa & boogie to live music being performed from three beach stages. The music's pumping, the artists are giving their all, the crowd responds in dance to the rhythm. At 11.55pm a new beat appears...louder than the walls of speakers & amps, the noise cannot be ignored. Now lit from the ground by searchlight, the Red Bull branded Russian built Mil 8 helicopter flies slow orbits, just in front of the crowd, out over the dark sea.
Yep, this is my ticket to the Zoukout Party. I'm peering from the heli down into the darkness for any tell tale clues as to the wind conditions on the ground. An active system of fronts has been traversing the area causing strong, changeable winds. My landing area is 8m x 11m, crowd on three sides, sea on the forth with a good offshore breeze ready to blow the unwary out into the inky waters. There's no doubt about it, display skydives of this nature are full on!
After three low passes for the crowd, the Latvian heli crew climb to 3000 feet above the beach & begin the run in. I can see the edge of the beach clearly against the shimmering sea from the massive tailgate of the heli. Time to turn on all my body mounted lights to make my demo a spectacular light show. I'm wearing two halogen driving lights on my helmet to light up my parachute, a strobe is also fitted to flash my way through the night sky.
5, 4, 3, 2, 1....my countdown comes from the ground on the stroke of midnight. Yeeharrrrr, the time has come. One step backwards & I'm falling away from the noisy heli into the comfortable darkness above Sentosa's partying crowd. Crack, my parachute opens & I deploy an illuminated windsock to add to the light show. My landing area looks super small from 2000 feet up but I steer in & land on the Red Bull target to the roar from the Zoukout crowd. What a way to get to an event, this is how Bond would have done it....except I did it without the stunt guy! There's something special about doing these stunts for real.
Many thanks to the Singapore Red Bull team for getting me involved, Randy & Darryll were excellent hosts.