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Local skydiving champion lands spot in 2023 ‘skydiving Olympics’

CHELAN, Wash. — You may not be familiar with skydiving competitions or even know that they exist, but a Chelan man is taking his skills to the limit by landing a spot on the 2023 U.S. World Cup skydiving roster.

Last week, V Buck Prib competed in the 2022 United States Parachute Association (USPA) National Championships at Skydive Midwest in Wisconsin.

He finished 11th overall in the canopy piloting open division championship, and 8th in freestyle, which won him a spot in the World Cup of Canopy Piloting in Eloy, Arizona, next year.

“The competition was really fun. It had its very challenging moments due to the fact that I hadn’t trained in conditions like that recently,” said Prib. “I had some poor runs but I still was able to make it work and secure some spots on the team.”

But what exactly is canopy piloting?

It’s a high-speed form of skydiving that uses small, agile parachutes. Speeds reach up to 100 mph.

“Competitions are held over a stretch of water for safety reasons because of the high speeds involved — at the same time creating spectacular action as the parachutists whizz across the surface of the water, leaving a plume of spray behind them,” according to the World Air Sports Federation.

V is from Washington’s Methow Valley but now lives in Chelan, where he also runs a tree service.

He has completed more than 2,400 jumps and took home the gold in the advanced class of canopy piloting at the Florida Canopy Pilot Association meet in 2020, beating out several experienced skydivers.

V, 28, has been skydiving since 2014 and is also a career climber and BASE jumper.

By sharing his story, V hopes others will be inspired to skydive or try something they have never done before.