We use the concept of “extreme sport” to describe the sports which include high level of excitement and adrenaline. These are extraordinary sports that we can not do in our ordinary life, we need special training and equipment in order to do them. For example paragliding, climbing, bungee jumping. But there is an extra, extreme sport which is named “Base jump”. For some people, it can be a “madness”, not a sport.
This sport is performed by jumping from a very high point, falling for a while without using a parachute, and then we landing by using parachute. These high points are very long buildings, very long antennas, sometimes a span, and sometimes a high earth which basically gives the name to this sport. Base word is composed from the initials of the words “building”, “antenna”, “span” and “earth”.
Due to lower altitudes of the jumps, base jump is significantly more dangerous than skydiving from a plane or paragliding. Maybe it’s more exciting beacause it’s more dangerous.
There is no certain information on when and by whom this sport was launched. It is known that many parachute jumping tests were done individually until the 20th century and later on. For example, a French tailor has made a jump which looks very similar to today’s Base jump at the beginning of the 20th century. With his own parachute, he jumped from the top of the Eiffel Tower and lost his life. Probably because of this event, it is forbidden to perform base jump activities in Eiffel Tower today.
Base jump, as an extreme sporting event, gained popularity in 1978. Jumps made from “El Capitan” which is a rock formation in Yosemite National Park, are filmed for entertainment purposes only, not for commercial purposes or for a movie. Thus, this crazy activity became popular among paratroopers.
Athletes are entitled to have a “Base number” after they have skipped at least once from all four categories which made up the “Base” word. There were more than 2.000 athletes which have “Base number” on May 2017.
Base jump is a branch that find itself a place in Guinness Book of Records for many times. Especially, there are two records which worth to mention in detail. The first one belongs to Daniel Schilling who has achieved the record of most BASE jumps within 24 hours on 8th of July 2006. He jumped for 201 times from Perrine Bridge which is in Ohio, USA. The second one is Valery Rozov’s record of highest Base jump. Russian sportsman jumped from Cho Oyu, which is 6th highest mountain of Himalayas and approximately 7700 meters high, to achieve this record. He spent 90 seconds by soaring without opening his parachute, and after 2 minutes from that he landed on a 6000 meters high ice.
There are athletes who are addicted to adrenaline and love Base jump in Turkey, as well. One of them is Cengiz Kocak. In 2012, he departed from Belcekiz Beach in Oludeniz, Fethiye by a gyrocopter and jumped from 1000 meters high. For 13 seconds, he had free fall, then opened his parachute when he gathered momentum of 250 km/h and he successfully landed.
Cengiz Kocak will take part in the Falcon Fest this year and will perform Base jump as he did last year. He is the person who led this sport in Şahinkaya Canyon. Koçak jumped from Şahinkaya Canyon on October 5, 2016 and named the point that he jumped as “Nomad”. This year, at Falcon Fast which will be held between 4-9 August, the 15 Basejump athletes will jump from this point and other new points.