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Local Skydivers Ready for Thailand

By: Sean Towle
By: Sean Towle

Robert Stumm and Mary Bauer have been skydiving for years.
"I've been jumping since the early 70's," said Stumm.
"25 years," added Bauer
Their airborne journeys started on different paths.
"I was in the airborne unit," Stumm said.
"Some friends said let's go try this I went five times did my first freefall and I've been hooked ever since," Bauersaid.
Now, with some 24 thousand jumps between them...
The duo from Chippewa Falls will be part of a 400 person international jump over Thailand next week.
"Two of us from the same jump site out of 140 U.S. representatives is quite an honor," Bauer said
They will be part of the World Team. A combination of skydivers from all over the world to break the world record of the largest freefall formation.
Both Stumm and Bauer were part of the record-breaking group of 357 in 2004, but the trip is still exciting.
"It's amazing. It's the world team. With people from 27, 30 nations," Bauer said.
Four C-130 cargo planes will carry the skydivers out, making coordination the key.
"400 people have to have their best jump at the same time," Stumm said.
There will be plenty of practice before the big jump and spots in the formation are already known.
Bauer particularly likes her position.
"I'm on the outside so I only have to be in for 15 seconds then i can watch everything happen below me," Bauer said
All of this for a freefall that lasts barely longer than a minute.
"There's nothing like running out of a C-130," Bauer added.
Other skydivers can only dream.


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