Inaugural Wingsuit Flyby for 2014 Expedition Mount Kinabalu for Coalition Duchenne
August 10, 2014
KOTA KINABALU, June 5:
This year’s annual Expedition Mount Kinabalu, an event to raise awareness about Duchenne muscular dystrophy, will be done in style. Set to be the region’s first-ever flyby using a wingsuit, plans call for two flights, to be held on Aug 15-17.
This is to create awareness on the fatal childhood genetic disease. Wingsuit flying is the sport of flying while wearing a special suit with air-filled wings.
“This will be the first-ever flight in Sabah and will be from a helicopter above Kota Kinabalu. The wingsuit pilots will cross the sky above the city and land at a public location to be determined later. Observers will witness the amazing sight of a man flying the Coalition Duchenne wingsuit and the majestic canopy landing.
“The second wingsuit flight is more ambitious and depends on weather and other variables. A twin-engine helicopter will release the wingsuit flyers 152 metres (500 feet) above the summit of Mount Kinabalu as the expedition climbers watch from the peak. The flight will pass by the expedition climbers before travelling down the mountain and landing near Kundasang,” said the event’s founder and executive director of Coalition Duchene Catherine Jayasuriya, a Sabahan.
Coalition Duchene is an international charity body that aids patients with the disease.
The annual event has become a showcase of both Sabah’s natural treasures and environment conservation. It was featured in Jayasuriya’s 2013 award-winning documentary, Dusty’s Trail: Summit of Borneo.
Capturing the essence of the event, Sir Ranulph Fiennes, the Guinness World Record Greatest Living Explorer said: “Boys with Duchenne have challenges even I cannot imagine and this climb is a great way to celebrate their spirit.”
Jayasuriya founded Coalition Duchenne in 2011 to raise global awareness for Duchenne muscular dystrophy and to fund research and to find a cure for Duchenne, which occurs once in 3,500 male births, across all races, cultures and countries.
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