Flight from the Top

New Zealand world and Guinness record skydiver Wendy Smith was one of three daredevils to leap from an aircraft at a record height of 9000m in the skies above Mount Everest, free-falling for one minute at speeds reaching 290kmph. Smith, a freelance cameraman, is part of an international group of 32 amateur and professional skydivers who paid $NZ35,000 each for the challenge, most jumping from the less formidable height of 550m. The jumpers, taking part in the week-long Everest Skydive 2008 event, hurtled past the highest ridges of the snow-laden Himalayas, before each released a parachute, made three times the size of a normal canopy to cope with the thin air. They wore oxygen masks to prevent their lungs from collapsing as they fell. Wearing neoprene underwear was compulsory – to prevent them from being frozen to death. “I had never seen so many mountains before,” she said. “To be on top of the world was simply stunning.” Another New Zealander, Molly Bedingfield, mother of singers Daniel and Natasha, also took part.


Tags: skydiver  Sunday Times  Wendy Smith  

Self-Transcendence Fuels Susan Marshall on Long Run

Self-Transcendence Fuels Susan Marshall on Long Run

Aucklander Susan Marshall, 38, has been in New York City, competing in the world’s longest certified footrace, the Sri Chinmoy Self Transcendence 3100-Mile Race Jonathon Gul, ABC News reports. Marshall’s days began…