Doncaster woman bids for British skydiving record

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A Doncaster skydiver will be going to great heights this weekend in a bid to secure a new British record.

Shell Meakins, 37, from Bessacarr, will be among scores of women skydivers attempting to create a giant butterfly in the skies above Nottinghamshire as part of an attempt organised by Brit Chicks.

In excess of 100 Brit Chicks of all ages, backgrounds and experience will meet at Skydive Langar, to attempt the new UK record.

She said: “It is a great honour to have been selected for the Brit Chicks team and to help raise awareness of female skydivers in the UK.

“I am very much looking forward to this event, welcoming more ladies to the Brit Chicks and breaking our existing record!”

If successful, this will be the fifth British record for Brit Chicks, who in 2007 built a 68-woman formation in the shape of the British Red Cross to raise awareness for the charity.

Prior to that, they built a 60-way flower in 2004, and a 50-way and 40-way in 2002.

This year the pre-selected skydivers will jump from 13,000 feet, which is over two miles high.

They will use six aircraft, flown in close formation. Cameraflyers will video the action for the judges to validate the attempt, which must be complete to qualify as a new national tecord.

Brit Chicks is an altruistic organisation that unites the talents of UK female skydivers. The most experienced share their expertise to coach the up-and-comings.

Their aims are to improve skills, share knowledge and grow the percentage of women in the sport.

Since Brit Chicks began in 2002, female participation is up from 12% to 20%.

Although the women are outnumbered, 4 to 1 in the UK, the only British skydiving World Champions are female. In the last decade the UK has won half of the female world events and now has a remarkable 12 women World Champions.

Brit Chicks 8-way recently became the first all-female team to compete, on an equal footing with men, at the 2013 World Championships in Dubai. They now lead the British Record event, aiming to build their team emblem Butterfly, which embodies their flying skills, their patriotism and their femininity.

Shell, who works at Thales CIS in Doncaster, took part in the 68-way record in 2007 and was part of the Women’s World record skydive in 2009 in Perris, California.

She has just got back from Bosnia at the skydiving World Cup where she represented GB and got a Bronze medal in 8 way with the team Brit Chicks8.