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Local parachute team star wins gold at international championship | News

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Local parachute team star wins gold at international championship
Local parachute team star wins gold at international championship

Zephyrhills, FL -- Zephyrhills resident Thomas Dellibac, a member of the United States Parachute Team, won a gold medal last week in the canopy piloting competition at the 3rd Annual Dubai International Parachuting Championships, competing against 104 other skydivers from around the world. His spectacular performance earned him gold in the canopy piloting speed event.

The U.S. Parachute Team is comprised of the country’s best skydivers in multiple skydiving disciplines. The team members earn these coveted slots by their standings at the U.S. Parachute Association National Skydiving Championships each year, where they vie to represent their country in international competition and earn a prestigious position on the U.S. Parachute Team.

Dellibac earned his place on the U.S. Parachute Team at the 2011 USPA National Championships of Canopy Piloting this past September outside of Houston, Texas. In canopy piloting, often called “swooping,” skydivers fly high-performance parachutes that can generate tremendous vertical and horizontal speeds. By performing speed-inducing maneuvers, these very experienced skydivers can glide inches above the ground for hundreds of yards at speeds approaching 75 mph.

The canopy piloting championships include competitions in speed, in which pilots try to fly as quickly as possible through a course; distance, which involves flying as far as possible across the ground; and accuracy, in which canopy pilots must stop on an exact spot for maximum points.

Dellibac will compete again at the 2012 USPA National Championships of Canopy Piloting at Skydive the Farm outside of Atlanta, Georgia, June 14-17. There, he will try to earn a place on the 2012 U.S. Parachute Team, which will compete at the world championships—the ultimate international skydiving competition—in Dubai next December.

Dellibac, 31, trains locally at Skydive City and has made an astounding 11,000-plus skydives. He is a professional canopy pilot as a member of the Performance Designs Factory Team and works as a skydiving instructor for Flight-1.

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