Page last updated at 08:02 GMT, Monday, 8 September 2008 09:02 UK

Ex-athlete pursues skydive record

Joby Ingram-Dodd
Mr Ingram-Dodd said he was inspired by a thirst of action and adrenaline

A former Commonwealth Games cyclist is aiming to set a new record for the world's highest skydive.

Joby Ingram-Dodd, from East Huntspill in Somerset, has quit his job as a stockbroker to concentrate on the bid.

He plans to make a 150,000ft (45,720m) jump from a helium balloon, travelling close to 900mph, which will take him about 20 minutes to return to earth.

The 28-year-old, who competed in the 2002 Commonwealth Games in Manchester, said he missed the buzz of competing.

I need to show myself that I can continue to excel at something and also inspire others
Joby Ingram-Dodd

"A major inspiration, I must admit, was a thirst for action and adrenaline, something I had missed since I has stopped racing," he said.

"I need to show myself that I can continue to excel at something and also inspire others by showing people that anything is possible."

Mr Ingram-Dodd is currently doing basic fitness training and will begin parachute and high-altitude training later in the year.

The current record for the highest sky dive was set in 1960 by American colonel Joseph Kittinger who travelled to the edge of space in a helium balloon and jumped at 106,000ft (32,308m).

Television documentary

Colonel Kittinger set the record while researching high altitude effects on the human body for the US space programme.

To be able to complete the record attempt, planned for next Spring in New Mexico in the United States, Mr Ingram-Dodd needs to find sponsors to fund it.

Television cameras which will follow his attempt from start to finish for a documentary.

In May, French adventurer Michel Fournier failed in his attempt to set a new free fall record when his ride to the sky left without him.

The helium balloon Mr Fournier was going to use to soar to the stratosphere detached from the capsule he was going to use to jump from 130,000 feet over Canada.




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