Bedford woman skydiver helps sets new world record over Ukraine

Skydiver Cheryl Farnden was in a world record skydive on August 2, over Skydive Kharkov, in Ukraine
Skydiver Cheryl Farnden was in a world record skydive on August 2, over Skydive Kharkov, in Ukraine

Bedford skydiver Cheryl Farnden is a new holder of a world record after a jump over Ukraine on August 2.

The skydiving team called ‘Women on Wings’ built THREE different formations in a single skydive with 60 ladies, qualifying for a world record as the largest female group ever to achieve this.

Cheryl Farnden, aged 37, who works as a delivery driver, bar person and DJ was part of the team from UK on the World Record skydives.

She said: “Skydiving is very much a male dominated sport, so we had to work hard to achieve this record – but we DID IT!

“It’s such an amazing experience to be part of such an inspiring team of wonderful women from all around the world.”

The team climbed to 18,000 feet over Skydive Kharkov in three Ukrainian aircraft – two Antonov-28s and a Turbolet 410, flown by very experienced pilots in a tight ‘pelang’ formation, with everyone on the aeroplanes taking oxygen.

On a signal from the lead aeroplane, the 60 brave ladies jumped simultaneously, and flew together to build a skydiving formation high in the skies over Kharkov. Then they made another two different formations before separating from each other, opening their parachutes and piloting safely back to the ground.

Camera-flyers jumped with the intrepid adventurers, recording the action on film, for the team of judges to verify. Two on site judges sent the footage to two other judges around the world, who scrutinized every grip before pronouncing the jump an official world record.

Two years of planning and preparation were needed, each nation training separately before uniting in Ukraine.

The women were specially recruited from 20 different countries – Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, England, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Scotland, Slovakia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, The Netherlands and Ukraine.

Women on Wings hope their World Record will inspire other women to achieve breakthroughs in sport and in life.