Skydiving record set in Franz Josef

02:46, Feb 25 2013
HUGE LEAP: Jeynelle Brian exits the plane at 20,000 feet with tandem master Marius Van Der Walt.

A new tandem skydiving altitude record has been set in Franz Josef after a jaw-dropping 20,000-foot jump.

The jump, which is the highest tandem skydive ever achieved in New Zealand, was part of the Gravity Gives Project to raise funds for Save the Children NZ.

Skydive Franz took up the top three fundraisers, Lorrayn Dash and Jeynelle Brian from the West Coast town of Runanga, and Lake Brunner resident Duncan Shand.

ADRENALIN RUSH: Lorrayn Dash free falls from 20,000 feet with tandem master Rhys Kempen.

The trio raised over $4000 towards the cause.

Dash, who has done two skydives from 12,000ft and 14,000ft respectively, said the record breaking jump "put them to shame".

"Everyone should do it, it's the biggest adrenaline rush," the 31-year-old courier driver said.


She was in the air for about 10 minutes until she touched down and during that time, 90 seconds was free falling. In comparison, a 12,000ft jump has a 45-second free fall.

"A minute and a half is how long a free fall should be," she said.

Dash, who raised $2500 in just four days, said people's generosity to donate towards the cause had restored her faith in humanity.

Skydive Franz chief safety officer and director Rhys Kempen said it was "pretty cool" to be part of a record-breaking jump.

"It's not every day you get a record," he said.

The Gravity Gives Project was founded by Canadian Greg Nelson in 2009.

Nelson was inspired to set up the non-profit organisation to carry on helping others after he bungee jumped 12 times from the 220-metre Verzasca Dam in Switzerland for charity.

Save the Children works to create a better future for children in 120 countries around the world, including in New Zealand.

The Press