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Conquering the Sky Tower
by Colin S.

I’m no stuntman. I wouldn’t dare attempt any of those death-defying sports like many ‘brave men’ in this world would do. Sky diving, paragliding, bungy jumping, tandem jump and the likes are definitely out of my ‘must do’ list, now and forever!

However, I do have to admit that it is very exciting watching daring people trying out these sports. I feel my knees turning wobbly when I watch someone diving out of a plane or ‘flying off a cliff’ in a daredevil approach at the bungy jump. Phew!

I was fortunate to watch history being made by AJ Hackett from the Sky Tower in Auckland City. October 5th 1998 was another record breaking jump for Hackett, the founder of commercialized bungy jump. The jump off the spectacular Sky Tower set new world height record for bungy jump from a fixed structure. Let’s say that this jump is massive.

In comparison, we have the New Zealand's Skippers Canyon in Queenstown at two different heights with one at 102 meters and another at 71 meters. Another jump in Queenstown at the famed Kawarau River is at 43 meters. In Australia, we have a fixed structure jump off a tower at Cairns with a height of 50 meters. In France, the Viaduc de la Souleuvre is 61 meters and in Bali, the Kuta Beach is just 41 meters.

Sky Tower bungy jump is at a massive height of 180 meters! And when he jumped, it felt as if the whole of Auckland was there to observe the event. People jammed the streets trying hard to get a glimpse of the historical jump. And jump he did…off the tower’s observation deck, free falling at 130 kilometers per hour. During the jump he appeared to tangle in his bungy cord but broke through to set the record.

It was a swell jump. The leap exceeded the current record set by himself in 1987, with an illegal 110-meter (330-foot) jump off the Eiffel Tower in Paris. But the Sky Tower jump got a 30-minutes spot on prime-time television from Television New Zealand. There was also a web site set up, broadcasting the jump live over the Internet.

And guess what? You can experience the event all over again by clicking here

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