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Interview Cliff Redknap - May 2014

Date posted: 
Thursday, 15 May, 2014

Jumper Name: Cliff Redknap
Charity Name: Royal British Legion
Number of Tandem Skydives: 19

Cliff Redknap would say he got into skydiving too late, we would say otherwise. He is one of a special rare breed, one who has made lots and lots of tandem skydives. In fact we don't know of anyone else at Skydive Hibaldstow who has done more. We therefore thought his story was one which was worth telling here.

"I made my first tandem skydive on the 27th July 2011 at Skydive Hibaldstow on behalf of the Royal British Legion, but it was not my first parachute jump. My history of parachuting dates back to 1958 when I jumped in the Army with round parachutes. Back then, I did around 144 jumps with both the regular Army and the Territorial Army. They were all low level static line types and all from 1000ft! We jumped with heavy burgens sometimes weighing up to 100lbs and occasionally at night as well. To get qualified you had to do 2 night jumps. I can't say I really enjoyed them in the same way I now enjoy doing tandem skydiving at Hibaldstow, but they were all a bit hectic.

I decided to jump for the RBL as it is heartbreaking to see young men coming back from warzones around the world, having lost limbs. The RBL charity helps the soliders and their families to cope with hard times ahead. My career as an Army parachutist gives me a close affilitation with the sport of skydiving and with the RBL. Linking the two of them together into a charity tandem skydive was a natural progression.

So far, I have done 19 tandems to date, all at Skydive Hibaldstow and I have enjoyed each one immensley. They have all been interesting as they are all different. Because, I am over the age of 70, the Accelerated Freefall course was not available to me after my first tandem. I have therefore continued to do tandems to enjoy this wonderful sport.

Since my first jumps, I now own my own jumpsuit and gloves which were given to me by one of the tandem instructors, Wez. We have done quite a few jumps together and now we go tracking together (moving forwards), spin at high speed and I have even given the wave off signal to Wez using an altimeter to the instructor at 6000ft. It is quite difficult to keep ones wrist still whilst reading off the altitude from the altimeter.

If you are thinking of doing a tandem for yourself, I would say go for it, you won't regret it. I am 78 years of age and I believe you are never to old to do it."

Photos of Cliff Redknap