On January 1st, 2016 the “Army West Point Break-Up Six” set a new national collegiate record for speed and won the gold medal in the six-way speed formation at the United States Parachute Association’s 2015 National Collegiate Parachuting Championships.
The members of the team are all cadets at West Point. The “Break-Up Six” who jumped in this competition are all juniors. They are part of the West Point Parachute team, also known as the Black Knights, the United States Military Academy’s Freefall demonstration and competition team. The Black Knights and Golden Knights are two demonstration teams, dubbed the Gold Team and Black Team, in reference to the official Army colors. Both are known world-wide and hold several world records.
In the six-way speed competition the teams jumps from 11,000 feet. The event is timed and must be completed within 40 seconds. Time starts when the first competitor crosses the start line and stops when the formation is complete. The formation must be made within 35 seconds and held for a minimum of five seconds. The score is the time it takes the team to complete the formation, in seconds. A videographer also jumps with the team to film the jump for the judges to review.
During the 2015 National Championships in Florida the Break-Up Six took only 5.91 seconds from the time they left the plane to the moment they created their first formation. According to Head Coach Tom Falzone, the team set a cumulative score record for three rounds that beat out seniors from the Air Force team, and even the seniors of their own Black Knights. The formations they created were the “Dog Bone,” the “Star,” and the “Snowflake”.
It is quite impressive for a junior team to do so well in a national competition. You can watch a video of the jump here. Congratulations to the Break-Up Six on their gold medal and new national collegiate record!
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