Weather delays ‘Leapfest’ parachute competition until Sunday

Paratroopers load into a CH-47 helicopter at the 2015 Leapfest competition. (Brian Yocono/WPRI)

SOUTH KINGSTOWN, R.I. (WPRI) – Bad weather Saturday postponed Leapfest, the annual training event and competition that draws paratroopers from around the world to Rhode Island.

The event, hosted by the Rhode Island National Guard, will instead take place Sunday morning starting at 9:30, at the West Kingston Elementary School.

The participants jump from CH-47 Chinook helicopters with the goal of getting to a target ‘X’ on the drop zone as quickly as possible. There are both individual and team scores. Last year, a unit from the Nebraska National Guard was the winning team.

This year’s participants include soldiers from Canada, the Czech Republic, Germany, Mexico, the United Kingdom, Italy, the Netherlands, and South Africa. Leapfest has been held yearly since 1982.