By Tom Midlane @GoldenLatrine

A TEAM of 164 skydivers - including seven Brits - hurtle towards the earth HEAD-FIRST in order to set a new world record

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Videographer / Director: Norman Kent-Skydive Chicago
Producer: Tom Midlane, Chloe Browne
Editor: Joshua Douglas

RECORD BREAKING: The 164 skydivers in their vertical formation

The aerial athletes, along with four cameramen, exited simultaneously from seven aircraft flying at 20,000ft above the drop zone at Skydive Chicago in Ottawa, Illinois. 

The lack of oxygen at that altitude meant the jump team required additional breathing apparatus, making it even more challenging.

WORLD TURNED UPSIDE DOWN: The divers travelled at speeds of up to 180mph

The topsy turvy jumpers shattered the previous world best of 138 in the vertical formation (freefly) category - which requires jumpers to join hands in a pre-designed formation while upside down and travelling at 180mph.

The incredible feat was captured on camera by award-winning aerial photographer Norman Kent - although he almost missed it after being temporarily stranded outside the aeroplane.

Sky high: The jump team were whisked up to 20,000ft in seven separate aircraft

He said: "This is the culmination of all the training and preparation that goes into an event like this.

"It's an amazing, magical feeling - you see all the tiny things that can go wrong, then when it all works, it's sheer relief.

GET READY: The team get ready to jump

"I feel awesome to be a part of this. This is my fortieth year in the sport and I wanted to have something like this to mark it.

"To speed things up, you get as many people as possibly hanging outside the aeroplane - that's normal, I'm the first one to climb out.

A WING AND A PRAYER: The skydiving team sit on the wing waiting to jump

"Normally the people between me and propellor are blocking some wind for me, but in this case there was a problem with the door on one of the aeroplanes - it was going to be an aborted jump unless they got it open, so they went round again and we had to climb back inside. 

"They all climbed inside and powered up the engines, so I was outside by myself being buffeted by the wind - I thought about just letting go, but I worried that this was the one the record would happen on so I managed to clamber back inside."

FREEFALL: The aerial athletes tumble from the aircrafts

The record attempt required an amazing level of technical ability as all the jumpers going up needed to be in the formation as designed and submitted to the judges beforehand for the jump to qualify as a world record. 

Norman said: "If even a single jumper made a mistake then the record would not have stood. 

SPECTACULAR: The record attempt took months of meticulous planning
AWE-INSPIRING: The jumpers seen against the curvature of the earth

"Also, with the traffic and speed, if someone loses their balance on their vertical head down position,  they can collide with others at great speeds which is incredibly dangerous, so collisions were the biggest worry."

PATTERN RECOGNITION: The jumpers move into position

The group separated at 7, 500 to fly to clear space and open their parachutes no later than 3,000 feet.

LOCATION, LOCATION, LOCATION: An aerial view of Skydive Chicago in Ottawa, Illinois

Jumpers travelled from around the world to part, including the UK, France, Belgium, Canada, Australia, Finland, the UAE and Venezuela.

V FOR VICTORY: Two skydivers celebrate after the successful jump

The Brits who took part were named as Mike Carpenter, Paul Cooper, Gary Crisp, Jacob Diliberto, Alistair Milne, Martin Roberson, and Elizabeth Stoodley.

NATIONAL PRIDE: The British contingent prepare for the jump