SPEEDY SHANE: Tweed Head man Shane Turner is the fastest man alive, after breaking the skydiving speed competition record.
SPEEDY SHANE: Tweed Head man Shane Turner is the fastest man alive, after breaking the skydiving speed competition record. Contributed

Tweed's Shane is the fastest man on the planet

SHANE Turner has a need for extreme speed.

From his early years living in an Air Force family, growing up around RAAF bases and fighter planes, the Tweed Heads man has had a need for speed.

Mr Turner can now lay claim to being the fastest man on earth, after breaking the world speed record in competitive skydiving last weekend.

Mr Turner flew through the air, securing the title at the Australian and New Zealand championships at Moruya on the NSW South Coast with an average speed of 490.32km/h.

The Tweed Heads man said he has not come to terms with becoming the holder of a new record.

"I am actually the fastest person on earth and I don't know if that has hit yet," Mr Turner said.

"It is incredible and hard to believe - I have worked hard for it and I have a lot more ahead of me."

 

This shot was taken from Shane's camera while he was competing last weekend.
This shot was taken from Shane's camera while he was competing last weekend. Contributed

Speed skydiving is a relatively new discipline in competition, with flyers finding new ways to increase their speed.

Competitors must exit the plane at no higher than 13,500ft and are then attempting to increase their speed.

A competitors fastest average speed across three seconds is the time awarded at the end of their flight.

A tracking device, attached to the competitor, calculates their speed.

The speed is no longer recorded once the competitor has descended to 5500ft.

For the new record holder, keeping your flight as simple as possible is the first step to achieving high speeds.

"Essentially you are just going with gravity - it is really the air resistance which is stopping you from going any faster," Mr Turner said.

"A lot of people seem to fight the air. You can't fight the air, you have to ride it.

"The wind will find you with vengeance and throw you off course so you just try and stay relaxed, break that surface and stay streamlined in a very narrow ripple of air."

Turner has only recently started to focus on speed skydiving, having taken the sport up a number of years ago.

He said his love of the air as well as aeroplanes naturally led him the adrenaline-seeking sport.

"It has always been a passion of mine, particularly the sky and aeroplanes," he said.

"Having a few injuries early meant that being a fighter pilot was out of the question for me... so I decided to pilot myself and go flying with mates."

 

Tweed Head man Shane Turner touching down after breaking the skydiving speed record.
Tweed Head man Shane Turner touching down after breaking the skydiving speed record. Steve Fitchett

While he is not part of the Air Force, Mr Turner moved into paramedics to fulfil his need to serve the community.

He has been based with the Queensland Ambulance Service in Coolangatta for the last 16 years.

He also has aspirations of going even faster, believing an average speed of more than 500km/h is possible.

He said breaking that speed is his next goal in his quest to redefine what can be done in the sport of skydiving.

Things Shane Turner is faster than:

Usain Bolt: When Jamaican sprint legend Usain Bolt set the world record for the 100m sprint in 2009, he was clocked reaching a speed of 44.72km/h.

Fast cricket ball ever bowled: Pakistan fast bowler Shoaib Akhtar delivered the fastest ball in cricket history at 161.3km/h in the 2003 World Cup in South Africa.

Fastest lap in Formula 1: Former world champion and Ferrari driver Kimi Raikkonen had an average speed of 263.587 km/h when he went around the famous Monza circuit during qualifying for the 2018 Italian Grand Prix.

World's fastest bird: The Peregrine Falcon is the world's fastest bird which can reach speeds up to 300km/h.

Japanese bullet train: The famous high-speed train, also known as the Shinkansen, can take commuters through the country at up to 320km/h.



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