Meet our 3 Frequent iFLYER Diamond Award 2017 winners!
James Dehombre, Sarah Yates & Melissa Lisle have all shown total dedication, passion, and have proven themselves to be a driving force to the growing sport of indoor skydiving in their respective tunnels!
“I thought it was quite fun but wasn’t totally taken with it initially. It wasn’t until I started coming to iFLY regularly and learning different styles of flying that I fell in love.” -Melissa
For Melissa indoor skydiving was the ultimate opportunity to learn and master new skills while competing in a sport that the whole family could learn, literally, in the same class.
Before flying in an indoor skydiving wind tunnel, Melissa had no desire to skydive and was very afraid even to try a tandem skydiving. Now after getting involved in the sport and after completing her AFF (Accelerated Freefall Skydiving Course) you can find her at the drop zone (skydiving centre) at least once a week. It’s always exciting to see someone take what they’ve learnt from the tunnel into the sky!
All it took was an iFLY Fast Track course (10 flights) before Sarah was hooked and had to join the Junior iFLYER club.
August 2016 saw Sarah competing in the Australian National Indoor Skydiving Championships at iFLY Downunder (Sydney West), where she came 4th in the Junior Freestyle competition after only six months of training! At the same competition, Sarah teamed up with Amy Watson, an 11-year-old junior indoor skydiving champion from Sydney, with the pair competing together in Two Way VFS (Vertical Formation Skydiving). The girls had loads of fun flying together and took out the trophy for “People’s Choice Award”.
In December 2016, Sarah went to compete in the Battle of the Blades competition in Seattle USA, where she also placed 4th in the Junior Freestyle. She teamed up with a Seattle local flyer, Huntar McKim, and competed again in the Two Way VFS against adults, again coming in 4th – a fantastic achievement for someone still so new to the sport!
Sarah has quite an inspiring story, suffering from a medical condition known as CRMO (Chronic Recurrent Multifocal Osteomyelitis) which involves painful inflammation in the bones and can limit her from certain activities. Indoor skydiving has been a fantastic exercise program and sport for her as it is gentle on her joints. Sarah said she loves flying because it gives her a sense of freedom.
He has always loved to live life on the adventurous side or just anything out of the ordinary. James has gone; shark cage diving with Great Whites, parasailing, jet packing, kayaking, snorkelling & segways – anything to bring him out of his comfort zone.
James like most of our Junior champions began in our Junior iFLYER club and was quick to take up the sport professionally.
“I competed in The Kids Global competition and came 13th in the world for my solo freestyle, 3rd in the world for FS with my teammate and last year I won a silver medal and bronze medal in last years competition.” – James
Aside from serious competing James loves flying with friends from the Junior iFLYER club as well as the adults and instructors, the mix of different flying levels allows him to train at a higher level.
James main aim is to have fun. Eventually, with all of the skills he has learnt in the tunnel, he ultimately wants to take it skydiving.
“I love the feeling of freedom in the tunnel. It’s something you can’t describe. One of the things I really enjoy is learning a new move. It takes fun, dedication and motivation, and the speed [at which you move in] dynamic flying is amazing.” – James
“As a family, we do a lot of fun things together, and this is one sport that we are all hooked on. It’s great as we can either fly individually or fly our family routine. We all train on the same night.” – James
iFLY Indoor Skydiving is over the moon to have such passionate athletes as part of our community. We hope to see all three of our winners continue to progress in their flyers and achieve all of their goals in the coming year.
The Frequent iFLYER programme and its Facebook page is your gateway to this fantastic community! We have weekly events at all three of our tunnels where you can progress your skills, meet fellow passionate flyers and get in on the fun of being part of such a dynamic sport!