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World Parachute Championships kicks off in Dubai

Published: Updated:
The World Parachute Championships kicks off from Nov. 28 to Dec. 9, where spectators can go to the drop zone to catch the glimpse of the action-packed event at Skydive Dubai, a local newspaper reported on Wednesday.

The champions of the parachuting world, consisting of 1,600 people from 57 countries, have been under training ahead of the competition.

Known to be the biggest parachuting event worldwide, the World Parachute Championships Mondial 2012 culminates in 11 days’ time with a closing ceremony featuring superstar singers Katy Perry and Usher.

However, this hardcore community is not just a team of adrenaline junkies, said Noah Bahnson, a Skydive Dubai instructor. They are serious athletes who, in many cases, have made sacrifices and given it their all to represent their country, he said.

Also a competitor in the "canopy piloting" category, Bahnson said that he knows people who have abandoned their high-paying jobs to become full-time skydivers.

No fear for Nasser

Nasser Al Nayadi will be watching the action this weekend, but as the first person to legally base jump from Burj Khalifa, in 2010, he has his eyes on another prize.

“We are planning to break that record (672m) and go higher on the Burj,” he said. While Nasser managed 11 seconds of free-fall, more than most base jumps, the margin of error is so small it could easily have gone horribly wrong.

“Get the wrong dive position and it can be very dangerous,” he added. “You have to get away from the building by ‘tracking’. Also if the parachute twists it will be difficult to control.”