Triple 7 team members Nick Kush, Jim Wigginton, and Jariko Denman climbing to altitude at Skydive Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates, Jan. 14, 2023. Photo courtesy of Jariko Denman.
Keep up with Coffee or Die Magazine’s complete coverage of the Triple 7 Expedition’s world-record attempt to skydive on all seven continents in seven days while raising money for Folds of Honor, a nonprofit organization supporting Gold Star families.
After days of catching only restless naps on long, overnight flights and a few midday winks in between, the Triple 7 Expedition’s team of nine vets completed a skydive on their sixth continent in over about four days on Saturday, Jan. 14, leaping over Abu Dhabi to complete the team’s Asia leg.
With that, the jumpers clinched their first world record.
“Unbeknownst to us, we actually set the first world record today, which was six jumps in six continents,” Logan Stark, one of the Triple 7 jumpers, said.
When boots hit the ground at Skydive Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates, the Triple 7 jumpers smashed the record for the fastest time to complete a skydive on six continents at four days, 13 hours, and 14 minutes — almost half the time of the previous world record.
UK skydiver Martin Downs set the previous Guinness world record for the fastest time to skydive on six continents — all but Antarctica, in 2008 — with the time of eight days, 7 hours, and 30 minutes.
Nick Kush and Jim Wigginton, the team's tandem pair, also clinched a world record with the jump, dramatically improving the fastest time to complete a tandem skydive on six continents.
Triple 7’s jumpers set the six-continent record, save only Australia, where they’re now reaching to finish their goal of jumping on all seven.
But Fred Williams, a former Navy SEAL who threw himself into the parachuting industry after leaving military service, told Coffee or Die Magazine that the sixth jump wasn’t without issues.
“Everybody’s beat. Everybody’s getting tired. Everybody’s dragging a little bit,” Williams said.
Jariko Denman, another Triple 7 jumper, said, “We’re pretty much zombies right now.”
While the team made the previous jumps without a hitch, the Abu Dhabi leg didn’t go off according to plan.
The Triple 7 Expedition arrives at Skydive Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates, Jan. 14, 2023. Photo courtesy of Jariko Denman.
“It was a bit of a logistical struggle,” Williams said.
The team planned to land its Asia jump on Corniche Beach, a tourist hotspot in the UAE’s capital on the Persian Gulf. But high winds forced the jumpers inland to a backup site at a traditional drop zone.
There, the team faced low clouds.
“We had a good jump,” Williams said. “Because of the low clouds, we just did a solo line-out.”
Jumpers can become disoriented in the clouds, drifting far from their landing spot or, worse, colliding with other jumpers in the air. To put more separation between the team members, they hopped out one by one instead of in groups.
The Triple 7 team members after their jump at Skydive Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates, Jan. 14, 2023. Photo courtesy of Jariko Denman.
“It was probably a good call that we weren’t on the beach around the water and everything,” Williams said. “It was definitely high winds.”
For the past several days, the Triple 7 jumpers have been hopping around the globe in pursuit of a skydiving world record to jump on all seven continents inside of a week.
With the expedition and its follow-on efforts — including a documentary led by Daniel Myrick of The Blair Witch Project — the members hope to raise $7 million for Folds of Honor by drawing attention and donations to the nonprofit organization.
With that amount, Folds of Honor could provide 1,400 scholarships to the families of fallen and wounded veterans and first responders.
After Saturday’s Asia jump, the team boarded flights for its last — and longest — travel leg to Perth, Australia. The jumpers face more than 12 hours of commercial flights to arrive in Perth.
Fred Williams at the Triple 7 Expedition's training camp in Coolidge, Arizona, October 2022. Legacy Expeditions photo.
In all, the team will have been on flights for more than 60 hours.
The final skydive is planned for the morning of Monday, Jan. 16, local time, or the night of Sunday, Jan. 15, EST.
“The last couple of days, people have been looking forward to this last travel session because it’s the big one and getting that last jump done,” Williams said. “So we’re definitely seeing the light at the end of the tunnel.”
Black Rifle Coffee Company, which owns Coffee or Die Magazine, is a sponsor of the Triple 7 Expedition.
Jenna Biter is a staff writer at Coffee or Die Magazine. She has a master’s degree in national security and is a Russian language student. When she’s not writing, Jenna can be found reading classics, running, or learning new things, like the constellations in the night sky. Her husband is on active duty in the US military. Know a good story about national security or the military? Email Jenna.
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