SKYWALK TAMPA / August 22, 2000
Jay Cochrane, "The Prince of the Air," completes one of his most challenging walks as he traversed the distance between the tops of the Ice Palace and the Marriott Waterside in downtown Tampa, Florida.
Jay's challenge was the steepness of the grade between the two buildings - the Ice Palace at a height of 175 feet to the pinnacle of the Marriott at a height of 425 feet. The Tampa Skywalk was nearly 900 feet in distance and Jay travelled end-to-end in under 30 minutes. The crowd was ecstatic as people gathered for the lunchtime walk above Tampa's skyline. Buildings around the event became prime viewing locations and one local station broadcast the event live.
The skywalk was a promotion for the Hanneford Circus opening in the Ice Palace this weekend. Jay began with the Hanneford Circus 43 years ago and decided to do this walk for the benefit of the children and as a personal thank you to the Hanneford's.
Skywalk Tampa used a main cable over 1800 feet long and almost 25,000 feet of guide wire. Add it up. It's almost six miles of wire weighing approximately 7 tons.
It was a very special day for Tampa and for Jay Cochrane as his mentor and best friend, Mrs. "Struppi" Hanneford (aka Princess Tajana), was on hand to witness his triumph in the sky. Cochrane, from Canada originally and now lives in Ocala, Florida, has spent nearly his entire life travelling a thin cable in the sky. Hanneford gave him the opportunity to put his childhood dream of performing on a wire into reality. And what a reality it has become.
There is no one alive today who can match his accomplishments in the sky. He has walked over national treasures, and natural wonders. From Shanghai to Fengjie, from St Louis to St Paul, from Pittsburgh, PA to Tampa, FLA - his skywalks have been marvels of engineering, gracing the skylines with his highway in the clouds, and then the absolute beauty of his passage along the tiny roadway.
in 1995, Jay Cochrane stepped onto a thin steel wire a quarter mile above the Yangtze River in China's legendary Qutang Gorge for The Great China Skywalk. In 53 minutes he skywalked 2,098 feet to the Lion's Face of the gorge, a phenomenal 1,340 feet above the swirling waters of the Yangtze River, an accomplishment recognized by the Guinness Book of World Records as the greatest wirewalk in history.
Other Jay Cochrane Stories:
Jay Cochrane and Struppi Hanneford greet each other following his Skywalk Tampa performance.
The steep skywalk was an amazing event for the opening of the Ice Palace.