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19th Annual St. Patrick’s Day Boogie/Georgia Skydivers Over Sixty State Record
March 16 @ 8:00 am - March 19 @ 5:00 pm
Senior Skydivers, Female Skydivers
Attempt Multiple Georgia State Records
Open for spectators and first-time skydivers, the March spectacle coincides with unique 19th-annual event for the skydiving community
FITZGERALD, Ga. (Feb. XX, 2023) – Some of the country’s best Skydivers over Sixty (SOS) and female skydivers are coming together to attempt multiple Georgia state skydiving records March 16-19. The March spectacle will occur during the 19th Annual St. Patrick’s Day Celebration Boogie in Fitzgerald, Georgia. The unique “FitzBoogie” event transforms the sleepy little South Georgia town into a full-service drop zone for four days only, making it the place to be for skydiving at every level.
The skilled skydivers aim to break three different Georgia state records. The first is for skydivers 60 years or older, with the current record being a 14-way completed at the FitzBoogie last year. With thousands of logged skydives among them, the seniors will jump simultaneously from two different airplanes and meet in the sky at speeds exceeding 120 mph, where they will join hands and legs in a specific and predetermined order. They will have less than 60 seconds to complete the snowflake-like figure before flying away from each other to open their parachute safely. To succeed, every skydiver must be in their assigned position in the formation.
“It is an incredibly tough feat to achieve, especially when you are over 60 years old,” said Rick Poplinger, 68, who is leading the SOS formations, has more than 3,000 jumps under his belt and is a published children’s book author. “We have a fantastic group assembled, composed of people from all over the U.S. and all walks of life. Weather permitting, we plan to make approximately four attempts per day, sunrise to sunset.”
The second is for a new Georgia women’s record for female skydivers of all ages, the current official record being a 12-way formation. Women skydivers built an unofficial 23-way in 2000 at Skydive Atlanta, before the United States Parachute Association (USPA) started maintaining records history. The third will be an ad hoc record as time and resources allow with women over the age of 40. With a current record of four, this attempt would honor Georgia Ann “Tiny” Thompson Broadwick, an American pioneering parachutist and the first woman to jump from an airplane.
“FitzBoogie grew from a project I envisioned in the early 2000s. We initially had New Year’s and July 4th parties that included Cessna jumps into my yard. This ultimately turned into the RoamingDZ (drop zone), a string of skydiving events that we held at airports without existing drop zones. The idea was to get skydivers off of their home DZs to meet new people and ultimately inspire them to visit new friends in new places,” said FitzBoogie Organizer Chris Spence. “I never imagined any of our events taking on the life that the FitzBoogie has. We would like to thank the many people who have supported the event over the years. A big shout out to Hans Paulsen of Skydive Georgia for many years of support of both aircraft and instructor staff. And, of course, a shout out to this year’s partners, The World Skydiving Center in Jacksonville, Florida, for instructor staff and gear to get the tandems in the air and Skydive Carolina for aircraft support for this year’s event.”
The aircraft for this year’s event include an Otter and a Super Caravan, and helicopter and hot air balloon jumps and rides are also available. Spectators and first-time jumpers are welcome and encouraged to attend. For $219, experience the thrill of a lifetime by registering for a tandem skydive in a friendly environment. For more information about FitzBoogie or to schedule your tandem during the event, click here, and follow the attempts on Facebook.