Known to many as the ‘1920 Aerial Sensation’ and the ‘Queen of the Air’, Ethel Dare was the first female in history to change planes mid-air. Previously a flying trapeze performer with the Barnum And Bailey Circus, Ethel was known for her ambitious performances. A particular show stopper was the “Iron Jaw Spin”. Dangling from a rope with only her teeth, she would pirouette as the plane circled the spectators below.
This Italian tightrope walker was eager to push limit after limit. Maria is the only woman to cross the Niagara gorge on a tightrope – just a two and a quarter inch wire separated her from the depths below. And she hasn’t only done it once… She crossed a further three times, once blindfolded, once with her ankles and wrists tied, and once with baskets strapped to her feet!
‘The Flying Angel’ of the United States – Debbie Lawler put women at the forefront of extreme sports. Pursuing a career as a female motorcylcle jumper, she broke the world record for indoor jumping in 1974. Aged just 21, she jumped over 16 cars in the Houston Astrodome – an incredible length of 101 ft.
‘Zazel’, whose real name was Rossa Matilda Richter, was none other than the first ever human cannonball. The spectacular show took place in 1877 at the Royal Aquarium in London. Aged just 14, Zazel was launched from a spring-style canon with a puff of smoke and a fake boom. Her career unfortunately ended when a launch didn’t go to plan, and she broke her back.
Pioneering the BASE jumping movement, Jean and her husband Carl Boenish made way for one of the world’s most extreme sports to date. Jean herself, is the world’s first female BASE jumper, plunging unimaginable heights to experience a spectacular thrill. Told in the truly inspiring documentary, ‘Sunshine Superman’, the film chronicles the pinnacle of Carl’s dizzying achievements when he and Jean broke the BASE jumping Guinness World Record in 1984 on the Norwegian ‘Troll Wall’ mountain range. Not one to miss, Sunshine Superman is released on DVD and Digital download from September 28th 2015.