From July 9-11, Tallinn's iconic TV tower is celebrating its 40th birthday, and among events marking the occasion is the traditional BASE Boogie jump marathon. Despite poor weather conditions, BASE jumpers kicked off the event on Thursday.
BASE jumping, or jumping and parachuting from fixed objects (Building, Antenna, Span or Earth) instead of a plane, is an annual sight at the TV Tower, reported ETV news broadcast "Aktuaalne kaamera."
Due to the pandemic, there was a chance that the popular event would have to be canceled this year, but jumpers were granted permission in mid-June to go ahead with it. While there were some half as many jumpers as usual due to travel restrictions — with Swedes and Russians among those not in attendance — a total of 30 jumpers are nonetheless in Tallinn for the event.
"Our Tallinn TV Tower event is very special indeed," BASE Boogie 2020 organizer Triinu Tamm said, adding that the event is a popular one each year. "And this year it is particularly special because thus far, all other events in Europe as well as elsewhere have been canceled."
The next challenge facing jumpers were rain and strong winds.
"Winds are very strong up there, but down here, down lower, where we unpack our parachutes and land, it's no big deal," explained Finnish BASE jumper Markus Saari, adding that wind speeds are more important lower down than higher up. "It may be pretty windy up there, but calm upon landing. We can fly nicely and there is no turbulence. That is why it is currently safe to jump."
According to jumpers, their hobby gives them the chance to forget their earthbound worries and enjoy a few seconds of free fall.
"This is one of the best spots in Europe for BASE jumping," Saari said. "The height is just right, and the top of the tower is wide, which means that at the moment of jumping we are far from the tower. This also means that the jump is pretty safe."
The TV Tower has had to postpone all other jubilee events due to coronavirus concerns.
BASE jumpers aside, the TV Tower has seen mostly domestic visitors as of late.
"Domestic tourists have actually already found us and are continuing to visit," TV Tower director Jüri Kriisemann said. "While the ratio of locals to [foreign] tourists has typically been 60-40, in June this stood at 87-13."
Editor: Aili Vahtla