Hayfield daredevil takes part in record skydive attempt

Record-breaker Weed Stoodley, pictured during a skydive in 2013.
Record-breaker Weed Stoodley, pictured during a skydive in 2013.

A High Peak woman was among 164 skydivers who set a new world record for “head-down” formation skydiving.

Weed Stoodley, 56, from Little Hayfield, was one of seven Brits who travelled to the USA after attending an invitation camp in Spain in June.

The mammoth team achieved the record on July 31 at the 13th attempt after they jumped from seven planes, flown in formation above Chicago, Illinois.

She said: “As the oldest person on the record, one of only a few females and relatively inexperienced, I was proud to be part of the record.

Describing the experience, she added: “The event was tough but I tried to stay calm and focused on breathing my oxygen while we took the long ride to altitude.

“Visually it is incredible, with my slot on the outside of the formation I am one of the first to jump, holding on to the outside of my plane before exit, and I can see the full plane formation above and the formation building as I move in to take my grip.”

After jumping from the planes at 19,500 feet, the team joined together in a pre-planned, flower-like formation before breaking off to allow them to safely open their parachutes and return to the landing area.

The record was filmed by cameramen who jump at the same time, capturing the footage for verification from the judging panel.

Weed is already looking forward to her next challenge, being part of the British vertical formation skydiving team who will attend the World Air Games in Dubai in December.