The sport of skydiving has seen a tremendous surge, especially for those that live here in the Valley. With Lake Elsinore and Perris having their own public facilities for patrons to use, people come from all over to strap on that pack and jump out of a plane, especially for the sport of it. As with any sport, there are many levels at which skydivers can be placed into, depending on age, skill level, jumps taken, experience, etc.
At the collegiate level, nearly 70 fearless collegiate skydivers from around the country recently put their books aside over the winter break to compete at the 2014 U.S. Parachute Association National Collegiate Parachuting Championships.
The event took place on Jan. 8 and is the oldest and biggest collegiate skydiving event in the world, held at Skydive Arizona, which is just outside Phoenix. The athletes all met up to put their aerial skills to the limit at the national championships, including Temecula native Tramaine Barnett, a college senior majoring in computer engineering at the U.S. Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs.
Tramaine competed for the title of national champion and won a gold medal in the open four-way formation skydiving event, with his team, Air Force Mayhem. In formation skydiving, teams of four exit the aircraft at 10,500 feet and then race against the clock to form prescribed geometric formations while free-falling at 120 mph. Other events included Formation Skydiving, Vertical Formation Skydiving, Sport Accuracy and Classic Accuracy.