THIS photo alone is enough to make your heart skip a beat. But for some, standing back and admiring the scenery is simply not enough.
The high-speed adrenaline sporting event held in Norway and Switzerland takes place twice a year. And the extraordinary pictures capture the moment when two athletes stand on platforms 1,300 metres up a mountain cliff, dressed in state-of-the-art wingsuits.
They then promptly catapult themselves head first from the top of the cliff, releasing their parachutes at an optimum point to glide safely to the finish line.
The daring competition is the brainchild of inventor, Paul Fortun, 43, from Germany, who thought up the idea in 2008. But instead of taking a backseat in the World Base Race, Fortun says he is keen to try out all the spots used in the competition.
Speaking about the event, he said: ‘I handpicked the best cliffs I can find, and then jump off them to test them!
‘It sounds very dangerous but we make sure we are as safe as we can be by minimizing risks and setting targets. ‘Everyone who turns up to do a jump has to have done more than 80 free jumps from a cliff or aeroplane before, to make sure they are capable.’
Unbelievably, no-one has ever been hurt while taking on the challenge. The competition consists of a number of rounds, but ultimately the winner is the fastest glider to get to the agreed spot at the bottom of the cliff - claiming the impressive title of ‘world’s fastest flying human being’. Base race fanatics travel around the world to not only hurtle themselves from cliffs at high speeds but to also take in the stunning outdoor settings of the globe.
Paul said: ‘I’m terrified every time I jump, everyone is. I think if you’re not scared of something like this then why bother. ‘It’s all about the taste of fear and lack of control, I love it.’ –MO