September 26, 2009: 181 women all united (click to enlarge)
In 1999, some really motivated women got together a bunch of really top-notch women skydivers and set the world record for the largest number of women together in a freefall formation: 118. This picture above shows the fourth time that they have gathered the best women skydivers in the world together to make a record. Last Saturday, 181 women were connected for the regulation 3 seconds in this formation to raise awareness for breast cancer research. These women also collected over $900,000 to contribute to the City of Hope. This effort is called Jump for the Cause and more information, pictures, and videos are all available on this website.
Although I have the technical knowledge to have competed to be on this skydive, I decided instead to contribute money and not try out for it. Years ago I was on a 100-person record attempt, and I found that I did not enjoy the kind of pressure that is put on the skydivers. Some people do really well when they are under pressure to perform, but I am not that person. Even if I know I can do something really well, if 200 other people are counting on me to do it right, I don't perform well. Competition does not come naturally to me.
Each of the jumps that the women attempted prior to this successful one must have cost hundreds of thousands of dollars each: figure the cost for each participant in the plane, the pilots, ground crew, etc. Each previous jump had to have cost more than $100,000 each. The women paid their own way to Perris, California, bought their jumps and jumpsuit, and contributed as much money as they could each raise for JFTC. Women came from all over the world, from 31 countries, to be involved in this effort.