The World Wingsuit League today announced its slate of athletes for the 2016 WWL China Grand Prix, to be held October 13-16 at Tianmen Mountain outside the city of Zhangjiajie. They include 10 racers who have previously competed in China and 6 pilots who will bring their world-class mountain flying skills to Zhangjiajie for the chance to be crowned the best overall wingsuit pilot in the world.
“We have a mix of WWL veterans and some new people who haven’t raced in China before but are literally the most cutting-edge pilots in the world today,” said WWL president Iiro Seppanen. “This year’s expanded race format will give them a way to really showcase their talent against the very best of their contemporaries.”
Returning racers include:
- Jokke Sommer (Norway), 2012 top 8 finisher, 3-time WWL racer, world-renowned for his spectacular wingsuit BASE videos
- Vincent Descols (France), 2013 3rd place finisher, 3-time WWL racer, half Viking, half animal, half Frenchman, pilot, air traffic controller – and one of the sickest wingsuit flyers on earth
- Ellen Brennan (USA), the world’s most accomplished woman wingsuit BASE pilot whose specialty is humiliating men of twice her size in wingsuit BASE races
- Jarno Cordia (Netherlands), 2015 4th place finisher, Phoenix-Fly factory pilot and one of the very best technical flyers in the sport
- Carson Klein (USA), WWL veteran and world class wingsuit pilot.
- Yuri Cordeiro (Brazil), 2014 and 2015 racer, airline pilot, helicopter pilot, avid surfer
- Carlos Pedro Briceño (Venezuela), 2014 racer and top wingsuit coach
- Rex Pemberton (Australia), 2014 and 2015 racer, also flies a jet-powered hard wing
- Tom Erik Heimen (Norway), a gentleman and a scholar until the start signal is given; then he turns into a raging monster who could win it all.
- Marshal Miller (USA), WWL veteran and member of GoPro BombSquad
New racers for 2016 include:
- Scotty Bob Morgan (USA), perhaps the most leading mountain flyer in the world today, famous for his precision and elegance
- Graham Dickinson (Canada), gaining fast on Scotty Bob with daring flights down daunting new lines
- Jesse Hall (USA), former world champion big mountain skier who traded in his boards for a wingsuit while maintaining his competitive fire
- Shupeng Zhang (China), a highly experienced paraglider and China’s first athlete to compete in the Grand Prix
- Freefly Rob Heron (Canada), another highly experienced all-round parachutist who travels the world training other athletes how to fly and opening up new lines in obscure locations
- Gabriel Lott (Brazil), a badass pilot with a big smile and an even bigger competitive heart
“This race is going to rock,” said Pemberton. “I’m really excited to be going up against such an incredible bunch of pilots. People watching this race are going to see some things they have never seen before. It’s going to be great!”