Somerset schoolgirl part of youngest team to take part in national skydiving competition

  • Watch the Mini Jets take flight in the competition for the first time

An 11-year-old girl from Somerset competed in the youngest team at a national indoor skydiving event.

Rachel Gould, from Yeovil, attended the British Indoor Skydiving National Championships earlier this month.

More than 200 skydiving performers competed to become British Champions, including the iFLY Mini Jets – a group of youngsters who took part in the event for the first time.

The competition’s youngest competitors came an impressive 6th in their category.

The Mini Jets were the youngest performers in the competition by some margin Credit: iFLY

Rachel, a member of the group who battled winds of up to 180mph, said: "It’s exciting, it’s my first time here actually competing, so it’s a bit nerve-wracking.

"I love the feeling of freedom and flying, and I particularly like the challenge of flying in a group.

"Our team has been lucky to have the most amazing coaches.

"The whole team’s excited and it’s just a lot of fun."

The competition took place at a purpose-built vertical wind tunnel in Basingstoke which replicated freefall conditions for the skydivers.

Elite performers competed in discipline ranges from acrobatic artistic freestyle to team events involving pre-determined routines and manoeuvres performed at speed.

Another West Country skydiver, Connor Figg, from Plymouth, came second in the Freestyle Open.

Despite Rachel competing at this year’s event for the first time, she has set her ambitions high for the future.

She said: “I really want to go to the World Championships and in the long-term.

“I think to have a chance to compete skydiving outside would be incredible.”