A San Juan Capistrano man is part of a team that took a gold medal for falling out of a plane.
Nick Abey, 23, is a member of a team called Elsinore Synergy, out of Lake Elsinore, which took the gold in artistic freelancing.
Elsinore Synergy was one of two Lake Elsinore skydiving teams won gold medals last week at the 2013 U.S. Parachute Association National Skydiving Championships, it has been announced.
Elsinore Too Wrapped Up is the other, which won gold in canopy formation, according to a news release from the United States Parachute Association.
The competition took place Sept. 11 – 24 at Skydive Chicago, in Ottawa, Ill., about an hour west of the Windy City.
Both the Lake Elsinore teams train at Skydive Elsinore. Elsinore Synergy's other members include Nate Smith, 25, of El Segundo and Andy Malchiodi, 35, of Lake Elsinore. Elsinore Too Wrapped Up members are Glen Fafard, 48, of Riverside; Eric Gallan, 43, of Fallbrook; Kevin Ingley, 48, of San Diego; Sean Jones, 32, of Corona; and Taylor Cole, 33, of Rancho Cucamonga.
As the National Champions, the teams have earned coveted slots on the U.S Parachute Team, which will represent the United States at next year’s World Parachuting Championships.
The National Skydiving Championships is the country’s biggest, most prestigious skydiving competition, drawing more than 600 competitors from across the country for 10 days of skydiving in multiple events, including formation skydiving, artistic freestyle, landing accuracy and much more, according to the USPA release.
In freeflying, three-person teams, including two performers and a camera flyer, perform an aerial acrobatic routine, freefalling together in every imaginable orientation, carefully choreographed for speed and excitement, the release explained.
In canopy formation skydiving, teams of four skydivers deploy their parachutes immediately after jumping from the plane and build formations as quickly as possible while holding onto each other’s canopies, according to the release.
Founded in 1946, the United States Parachute Association is a non-profit association "dedicated to the promotion of safe skydiving nationwide, establishing strict safety standards, training policies and programs."