Saturday, March 23

65 foreigners poised for sixth Sibu BASE jump


SIBU: Some 65 jumpers from around the world have expressed keenness to participate in the sixth edition of the increasingly popular Sibu BASE jump, from Sept 19 till 21.

Rudy takes the plunge from Sarawak’s tallest building, accompanied by Sean in this file photo.

Malaysia BASE Association chairman Captain A. Aziz Ahmad, who is the technical director for the Sibu jump, however disclosed yesterday that some may decide not to join later.

“We are getting jumpers from USA, Australia, Germany and so on. We do not have the final list yet but if we can have 50 jumpers, that is a lot. We expect more jumpers this year due to the good promotion.

“We to expect huge crowds to flock the area on Friday and Saturday evening (Sept 19 and 20) to catch the night jumps.

“This is something that we can offer to Sibu people,” Aziz, 56, who has made over 400 BASE jumps, told The Borneo Post yesterday.

He expected the entries to surpass that of 35 jumpers last year, adding that the night jumps were slated for Sept 19 and 20 subject to weather conditions.

Among the returning experienced jumpers could include world-renowned BASE jumper and instructor Sean Chuma from USA, apart from Australia BASE Association president Gary Cunningham, the most experienced among them, Aziz revealed.

Aziz was also hoping that Canadian BASE jumper Lonnie Bissonnette, the only jumper in wheel chair, would be coming.

There were 28 jumpers in 2012; 2011 (23); 2010 (10) and 2009 (11).

The event is organised by Divisional Tourism Task Group (DTTG).

Sean, the tandem BASE master took Sarawak Tourism Board (STB) Sibu executive Rudy Anoi as a ‘passenger’ to make a historic jump from the 124-metre tall Wisma Sanyan, Sarawak’s tallest building, last year.

It was a record feat never done before in any part of the world from a building.

On their meeting yesterday, Aziz said it was basically to discuss preparations and to confirm the venue.

As for the area where jumpers pack their parachutes, they would again be using the main stage at Sibu Town Square Phase I, he said.

“We were hoping to use the lobby of Wisma Sanyan but there is a cultural activity going on at the same time. We do not want to disturb that as it is complementing our event,” he said.

The jumpers would be arriving from Kota Kinabalu on Sept 17, followed by a briefing the following day, he added.

The jump would culminate their stay here with a customary visit to the longhouse, he pointed out.

Aziz further revealed that a technical meeting involving Bomba, medical staff and others would be held in August.

Asked if he was satisfied with last year’s BASE jump, he replied in affirmative.

“Except for an incident, everything went smoothly. The 63-year-old Yves Escudier from France had since recovered from the free fall which veered off course. He had emailed to Sibu Resident (Sim Kok Kee) thanking him (Sim) and Rudy for doing their best to assist.

“He had no complaints as we did our best to accommodate where he was sent to Singapore and then back to France,” he said.

Meanwhile, Rudy, 44, who is also the event director, said the BASE jump has whipped up
good publicity for tourism in Sibu.

On side activities, he said it had been proposed from Sept 12 till 22, starting 5pm at Sibu Town Square Phase II.

BASE is an acronym that stands for four categories of fixed objects from which a person can jump from, namely buildings, antennae, spans (bridge) and earth (cliff).