Australian hang glider pilot Jonny Durand Jr set a new world record by flying 561km in Texas.
Durand, a regular competitor and previous winner at the Forbes Flatlands championships, landed his glider at Sterling City, Texas, last Wednesday having completed a nine-and-a-half hour flight from Zapata.
The previous record of 517.23km had been held by American Pete Lehmann since June 20, 2002.
Vicki Cain of Moyes Gliders, said the record was due to a combination of new gliding technology and the ideal conditions found in Zapata, Texas.
She said the record was a promising sign for Australia ahead of the sport’s world titles, to be held in Forbes in January.
“Today he flew for over nine hours, while two weeks ago to the day he flew 761km in an attempt to set a new long distance world record, which was eventually taken by Dustin Martin as he managed to fly past Jonny in the final minutes,” Cain said last week.
“On that flight Jonny and flying buddy Dustin Martin covered more than the distance from Brisbane to Sydney airport which is only 729km, with the use of natural occurring thermal air currents.”
Durand Jr’s road driver tracked his flight with a ‘spot’ tracker and they also kept in audio contact by radio.
Vicki Cain said the hang gliding world had closely followed Durand Jr’s flight.
With more ideal gliding conditions forecast in Texas, Cain said Durand had his eyes on setting another record.
“Jonny is a world class sports hero and he’s already looking at the forecast for later in the week as conditions in Zapata could be improving,” she said.