More than 200 parachuters jump at URI for Leapfest
WEST KINGSTON, R.I. (WLNE) - Hundreds of parachuters from around the world converged in West Kingston on Saturday for the 37th annual Leapfest.
262 jumpers from 16 U.S. states and 13 foreign nations competed to see who could jump out of a helicopter and land on certain markers the fastest.
"There's always a little bit of anxiety involved in it. I don't think you'd be human if there wasn't," said John Keating, the captain of South Africa's jump team.
Leapfest is the largest, most diverse, international Army National Guard training event.
"We were told yesterday that we'd have 600 shoots in the air and they came damn close. That's very impressive to us," said Keating.
Leapfest may be a competition, but it also helps strengthen international relations.
"I've done many jumps, but doing jumps with other nations like this is the best feeling I could ever have in my life," said Mathiew Savard of team Canada.
The event has been going strong since 1982 and remains the only international military static line competition in the world.