Felix Baumgartner may have jumped from almost 40km. Marco Waltenspiel leaps from just 40m...
The world has seen some interesting BASE jumps – but this is one of the few in which 'B' could stand for 'boat'. Austrian skydiver Marco Waltenspiel envisioned the idea this summer of jumping from the not-exactly-steady platform at the top of the mast of the St. Tropez-based sailing yacht. At 42m, it's not the absolute shortest BASE jump ever, but unquestionably one of the most daring.
The short height made the jump a risky venture. The BASE parachute rig needs adequate altitude to properly deploy and inflate. The sailboat's rigging, if caught during the deployment, could also have caused major problems.
To make sure the chute open properly, Waltenspiel used what's known as a 'deployment bag', held by an assistant, which ensured the chute opened just moments after he jumped from the platform.
Once under the wing, he was easily able to clear the rigging of the boat, and land safely in the water. Is it Waltenspiel's first and last boat BASE jump? Unlikely.
“The feeling of free fall, and in addition to being above the sea, is simply indescribable,” the 29- year-old said afterwards. “If the opportunity presents itself, I would love to jump from a freighter!”