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Terrifying Wingsuit Four-Cross Is Only For The Brave

Picture of Luke Bradshaw
Sports Editor
Updated: 22 November 2016
Wingsuit flying looks frightening enough as it is. However, there are a select few who feel the need to up the ante even more.

Held in the Phoenix desert in Arizona, the Red Bull Aces wingsuit four-cross championship sees four competitors at a time flying at 160mph through the sky, 8,000ft above the ground, slaloming through a course of mid-air gates.

The wingsuits that the competitors wear are specially developed to factor in the sheer speed and aggressive turns and dips that need to be done as they scream through the course – it is, after all, the fastest non-motorized aerial sport in the world.

For the uninitiated, the course is approximately 1,310m in length, with four 30-meter-long air gates positioned at descending levels, each of which is suspended by a helicopter. The athletes jump four at a time from a helicopter and race between the gates, with the winner based on not only how quickly the finish gate is passed, but also on how many gates he/she correctly passes through, before making a parachute landing.

All the gates are equipped with GPS positioning, and the competitors wear GPS transmitters to determine whether they pass through the gates properly. Computer systems on the ground receive the information in real time, making the judging immediate.

After finishing as the runner-up two years in a row, Noah Bahnson won his first ever championship, finishing ahead of fellow American Will Kitto.

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