Chasing Dreams in the Sky: My Freefly Experience in Dubai

In 2014, I took to the skies of Dubaï, realizing a lifelong dream. Witness the exhilaration of freeflying over the city's iconic landscape and the culmination of years of dedication.

Picture of Yanik Guillemette, skydiving above the iconic Dubai skyline.
Yanik Guillemette, soaring above the iconic Dubai skyline.

The allure of the sky has forever captured human imagination. For some, it's the vastness. For others, it's the mystery. For me, it was the chance to dive through the air with nothing but freedom around. This fascination began, unexpectedly, not in the boundless heavens but in the dark cinema halls of 1991, watching "Point Break". That iconic free fall scene not only awed my young self but unknowingly charted a significant course for my life. It wasn't just a scene; it was a beckoning.

The sensation of my first tandem free fall in my mid-twenties is one I'll never forget. The thrill, the rush, the sheer elation of soaring through the air, only to want more of it the moment my feet touched the ground. It was intoxicating, and 15 minutes later, I found myself strapped in for another jump.

My journey from that initial tandem fall to earning certificates for autonomous jumping is a testament to perseverance. I undertook the Accelerated Freefall (AFF) training the very next summer. With every jump, the hunger to push boundaries and explore new dimensions of this exhilarating sport grew within me. My ultimate dream? To jump alongside the best, in one of the world's most mesmerizing cities: Dubaï.

Yanik Guillemette and coach Andrew T. skydiving at Skydive Dubai - Desert Dropzone
Yanik Guillemette and coach Andrew T., skydiving at Skydive Dubai - Desert Dropzone

Embracing the Freeflying discipline was my chosen route. This vertical flight variation of traditional skydiving is more than just adrenaline; it's an art, a dance in the sky. With belly-to-earth positions, vertical flights, both upright and inverted, it offers a chance to craft unique formations. But mastering this dance wasn't easy. I dedicated countless hours in an indoor tunnel, a free fall simulator, to hone this skill. Despite the center being six grueling hours away from my home, my determination remained unwavering, committing to 30-minute sessions weekly.

Yanik Guillemette's Freefly Over Dubai in Skydive Earth Attack video.

By 2014, I found myself on a plane to Dubaï, not for a vacation but a dream. Accompanied by my coach, we were there for a fortnight of jumps, part of the Dubaï International Parachuting Championship. Even penning down this experience sends shivers down my spine. To be in the company of the world's best skydivers, in a city known for its architectural marvels and luxurious lifestyle, was surreal.

I vividly remember my trial by fire - the jump where I had to prove my mettle. From a whopping height of 5,000 feet, I was to land on a plate no wider than 30 cm. As I plummeted, the looming skyscrapers felt threateningly close, casting their colossal shadows, making me doubt my abilities. Every second felt like a dance with danger, questioning my skills, my decisions. But with grit and years of training behind me, I landed successfully, kickstarting what would be two of the most exhilarating weeks of my life.

Looking back, it wasn't just about the jumps or the city. It was about chasing dreams, about not letting distance, time, or even towering skyscrapers stand in the way. It's a testament to the human spirit, proving that with dedication and passion, the sky is not the limit; it's just the beginning.

To every dreamer out there: never stop believing, never stop soaring. Sometimes, all you need is that one leap of faith. For in the pursuit of dreams, even the sky isn't too high.

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Jamie Larson