Skydivers swoop on medals

Published on CPL Mark Doran (author)

Location(s): Perth

Topic(s): HMAS Albatross, HMAS Farncomb (S74), Events, Skydiving

ADF team conducting aerial tricks over Western Australia. (photo: Unknown)
ADF team conducting aerial tricks over Western Australia.
Navy personnel soared across the skies near Perth to win medals during the Australian National Skydiving Championships in late March.
Lieutenant Gerard Vejrych, of HMAS Albatross, won a silver medal for distance in canopy piloting while the 'Terminal Velociraptors' placed second in four-way formation skydiving.
The 10 members of the Defence skydiving team also competed in the eight-way formation skydiving and, for the first time, a Defence member competed in the newly recognised discipline of wingsuit performance racing.
Canopy piloting creates spectacular action as parachutists whizz across the surface of the water leaving a plume of spray behind them.
Lieutenant Vejrych said it involved a series of tasks to test a parachutist’s ability to control the canopy and fly accurately through gates situated over water.
“The parachutist must complete the course in the shortest time, therefore having the highest speed, complete the water section and then land on a target as accurately as possible, or achieve the longest distance from the entry gate before touching down,” he said.
Petty Officer Electronics Technician Submarines Matthew Holmes, of HMAS Farncomb, was a member of the four-way formation team and said he was proud to represent the Australian Defence Force on the national stage and finish the competition so strongly.
“Our flying has stepped up this year,” he said.
“We’re looking forward to advancing to the top division and the chance to represent Australia and Defence at the 2018 World Parachuting Championships on the Gold Coast, which for the first time is to be held in Australia.”