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Skydivers break Finnish formation record

A group of 80 Finnish parachutists successfully broke the Finnish record for formation skydiving on Wednesday in central Europe. The divers said their feat was to commemorate Finland's 100-year anniversary as an independent state.

Suomalasiten laskuvarjohyppääjien kahdeksankymmentähenkinen kuvio Tsekin taivaalla.
Image: Jussi Määttä

Finland's record for formation skydiving was shattered this week Wednesday when a group of 80 parachutists jumped successfully in a pattern over the Czech Republic town of Klatovy.

The previous Finnish record was from 2009 in Spain, when 63 skydivers took part. The new record-holders say their successful jump was in tribute to Finland's centennial celebration.

The skydivers jumped simultaneously from a height of five kilometres, from four different planes.  During the jump, the parachutists successfully formed a pre-determined pattern.

Laskuvarjohyppääjiä taivaalla.
Image: Jussi Määttä

The weather threatened to ruin their efforts: sunny skies in the beginning of the week turned partly cloudy, so nine attempts were necessary before the group received the official authority's approval that the record had been broken.

"Everything came together on our last jump Wednesday, when we finally broke the record," the group's press release said.

Laskuvarjohyppääjien ryhmäkuva.
Image: Jussi Määttä

"It was great to achieve this just as Finland celebrates its centennial. We couldn't be happier," says the jump's main organizer Petri Mastola.

Finns from the cities of Helsinki, Jyväskylä, Turku, Tampere and Oulu took part in the record-breaking feat, ranging in age from 27 to 71. All of the skydivers were very experienced parachutists, with between 200 and 6,000 jumps behind them.

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