The view’s great from up here: Aylesbury skydiver on top of the world

Picture: Stik Kos
Picture: Stik Kos

A skydiver from Aylesbury made history when she was part of the first all-female ‘eight-way’ team to compete at the Skydiving World Championships in Dubai, writes Jonathan Mudd.

Maria Russell has completed more than 2,000 skydives in a career spanning 11 years and is part of the ‘Brit Chicks 8’ team that earned the right to represent Great Britain at the biggest skydiving competition in the world.

Maria and her team-mates completed nine rounds of competition in Dubai and were scored on the number of mid-air formations they could make in 50 seconds.

They jumped from an altitude of 12,500 feet over the iconic cluster of islands called ‘The Palm’.

The strong performance of Maria and her team-mates netted the Brit Chicks eighth place out of 16 teams in the final championship standings.

“We were really proud just to get to the world championships because that had never been done before by an all-female team like ours,” 34-year-old Maria explained.

“But to then go on and finish so strongly in the final standings was incredible and I think it’s really shown a lot of people that we’re not a novelty team, we’re a group of talented skydivers that are capable of competing at the very highest level.”

Maria is hoping to take the momentum from her world championship showing into her next competition phase.

She has now started training with the four-way team she also competes in and is aiming to win the British National Championships in 2013 so that she can compete in the 2014 World Championships in both the four-way and eight-way categories.