Tuesday, March 28, 2023

There’s a national competition this weekend, and a local business will host it

VIRGINIA BEACH — Thanks to the success of its first event last year, iFLY Virginia Beach will for the second year in a row host the U.S. National Indoor Skydiving Competition on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday.

Last year’s event brought 147 athletes and their support teams — representing six counties — to the city.

The event is the second U.S. competition and helps decide the makeup of a 25-member U.S Team that will compete in the World Air Sport Federation’s World Cup. That event will be held in Bahrain in October.

“Spectators and locals are more than welcome to come and watch for free,” said Kendall Snyder, marketing and social media coordinator for iFLY Virginia Beach. “But please note that space will be limited as last year, when we reached max capacity of the building.”

A performer in the wind tunnel from last year’s competition (Southside Daily photo/Courtesy of iFLY Virginia Beach)

According to an iFLY news release, the sport of indoor skydiving has seen tremendous growth recently, with 32 indoor skydiving facilities across the nation and more than 80 wind tunnels worldwide.

“Hosting this international event is significant for the city, the region, and the sport of indoor skydiving,” iFLY Virginia Beach CEO Robert Pizzini said. “The feedback from last year’s competition was very positive in that the iFLY Virginia Beach team ran a professional competition, the visitors enjoyed other attractions throughout the area, and our sports/video production was the best to date and viewed worldwide.”

The glass flight chamber at iFLY is 52 feet in height and 14 feet in diameter. It’s powered by four 350-horsepower fans that generate wind speeds of up to 160 mph. More than 90,000 people have flown there since it opened in January 2015.

A schedule of the three-day event can be found online.

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