She Flocks

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Extraordinary women take flight at the ultimate female wingsuiting event

She Flocks event over Skydive Perris. Photo: Val Sobol leads Ashlee Richman and Rita Birindelli through a dynamic turn to head back home. Photo by Dan Dupuis

The third biennial ‘She Flocks’ event took place on December 8-10 at Skydive Perris, California. Female wingsuiters from across the globe flocked to this highly-anticipated event.

‘She Flocks’ brings together the small community of female wingsuiters from all over the world including women from Brazil, Canada, Russia, Alaska and beyond, all eager to soar through the skies and push the boundaries of their wingsuiting abilities.

She Flocks 2023 – 8 WS coaches for 30 participants, an awesome student:coach ratio! Photo by Dan Dupuis

Supportive learning environment

The primary objective of She Flocks was to create a fun and supportive learning environment, where women could not only meet new friends and mentors but also hone their skills to new heights.

This year’s event brought 30 attendees and 8 female wingsuit load organizers. Marie Clark and Jessica Burrows, as the co-event organizers, brought in some of the top wingsuiters in the US. Kasha Farrington, Katie Hansen, Val Sobol, Katelyn Escott, Alayna Finman, and George Hargis catered to participants in both small suits and large suits.

Load 1, is ready to go!  She Flocks ladies with camera flyers filling up back to back Twin Otters for wingsuit-only loads. Photo by Dan Darby

Each day 6-9 groups of ladies went out with the goal of building camaraderie and skill development. The USPA membership demographics indicated a 1% increase (up to 14% as of 2022) in female participation in the overall sport of skydiving. She Flocks continues to foster a stronger wingsuit community and increased interest for wingsuiting in years to come. 

Catherine Vaillancourt Roy puts her skills to the test in the line twist mock-up. Photo by Dan Dupuis

Line twist activity

One of the highlights of the event was the line twist mock-up, where participants had the opportunity to practice their skills in untangling themselves from those dreaded line twists. With experienced mentors guiding them every step of the way, attendees tackled the challenge, mastering the art of swift and graceful escape and a chance to win some swag in a friendly timed competition.

Cassie Young and Becca Jordan give acro skill ‘Ying Yan’ a try around coach Katie Hansen. Photo by Dan Dupuis

Specialty jumps

Specialty jumps added a new and exciting layer to the event this year. The ladies were given the option to break out into smaller groups and try performance flying, acrobatic, and dynamic flying. 

Shared passion

It wasn’t all about the jumps and adrenaline-pumping action. She Flocks also provided a platform for these incredible women to come together and celebrate their shared passion. The team dinner and raffle were a perfect opportunity for laughter, bonding, and the chance to win some fantastic prizes.

Felicia Sturgeon and Elizabeth Brott work on hand docks with Kasha Farrington in the Acrobatic Skills Breakout group. Photo by Khoren Mirzakhanian

Seminars

When Saturday brought strong winds and poor weather the women took the opportunity to gather and listen to seminars on topics participant’s ranked as high interest. For the third year in a row “performance flying” was the most popular amongst participants. Other seminars that ranked high in interest were the acrobatic and dynamic flying seminars. These seminars gave the ladies the opportunity to focus their skill progression and be exposed to new styles of flying they may not see at their home dropzone.

Amelia Dunaway focuses on stretching her CR+ out to its fullest, working hard in the Performance breakout group coached by Katelyn Escott. Photo by Dan Darby

As a part of the Performance Seminar, it was announced that the FAI International Skydiving Commission (ISC) is voting on a proposed modification to and expansion of the wingsuit division for G-1 Performance this upcoming meeting, Feb 3-4, 2024.  The docket includes reserved Gender-Minority slots on a country’s World’s Parachuting WS Performance competition team, with also a designated Women’s subclass for Female Champions in Speed.  If you’re excited about these new divisions like we are, please let your country’s ISC delegate know you’re in support.  The proposal and your ISC delegate can be found at https://www.fai.org/commission/isc.  

Katelyn Escott, Katie Hansen and Kerry Hartnett show the quirky spirit of WS pilots while hanging out at the line twist mock-up Friday evening. Photo by Dan Dupuis

Spirit

She Flocks was not just an event; it was a celebration of the indomitable spirit of women in wingsuiting. It was a testament to their unwavering determination, their thirst for knowledge, and their unbreakable bond. As the event drew to a close, the skies echoed with laughter and good memories. The friendships and experiences forged at She Flocks are truly one of a kind, and many women said it was the best skydiving event of their life.

Supporters

A special thank you to all of the staff and everyone else who helped the event run smoothly and kept the vibes high. Thank you to the 12 amazing men who offered their time to fly video for debriefs. In addition, thank you to all of the brilliant staff at Skydive Perris; GM Dan Brodsky-Chenfeld, manifest, pilots, GSO Sean and the Bomb Shelter staff that helped make the team dinner amazing. 

Kerry (Sparkles) Hartnett, Sylvia Tozbikian, Becca Jordan, Brie Hodson, Patricia Jaburg, and Val Sobol get close around base Marie Clark for the last jump of the day, 10 Dec 10, 2023. Photo by Dan Dupuis

Sponsors

Finally, our event wouldn’t be the same if it weren’t for our amazing sponsors. Our Gold Tier sponsors this year were; Squirrel, The Women’s Skydiving Network, Velocity, Skydive Perris, and Gold State Gear. We can’t thank you enough.

Huge thank you also to Cookie, LB Altimeters, Stockholm Indoor Wingsuit, Kavu, Flysight, iFly Oceanside, United Parachute Technologies, SSK Industries, Phoenix-Fly, TonySuits, Vertical Suits, Performance Designs, Manufactory Apparel, Chuting Star, and Handup Gloves.

She Flocks 2025!

We look forward to seeing new and familiar faces at the next She Flocks event in 2025. 

Alayna Finman leads Julia Shato, Rita Birindelli, and Elizabeth Killham through a 270 turn over Perris as a part of the Dynamic breakout specialty group. Photo by Dan Darby
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Meet: Jessica Burrows

Jessica Burrows started wingsuiting 8 years ago and her freefly suit has been collecting dust ever since. She is passionate about helping new wingsuiters and coordinating wingsuit events. Outside of skydiving she is a flight instructor in Salt Lake city, Utah. Her home dropzone is Skydive Utah, but she frequently migrates to Skydive Kapowsin when she can. She loves spending time in the mountains, base jumping, skiing, and studying.

Jessica's primary sponsors are Squirrel and Velocity .

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