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marty1468
7th Mar 2008, 00:52
Hang on - Jon's just hit 517km

Bridie Jabour
07Mar08
JON Durand scaled the greatest heights - and distance - of his career on Wednesday when the champion hang-glider broke two records.
Over nine hours he flew 517km from Beechmont to Muckadilla, breaking the world record for the longest flight from a mountain and smashing his own Australian record.
"I've been trying to break the 500km mark for a while and just before Christmas I made 498km," he said. "I couldn't believe I had gone all that way and landed just 2km short."
The 27-year-old had just returned from the NSW State Titles for hang-gliding - which he won for the eighth time in a row - when he decided to again try to break the magic 500km mark.
After watching the weather on Monday and Tuesday he calculated conditions were right on Wednesday, launching from a mountain at Beechmont.
"I flew nine hours without food, only the three Weet-Bix I had that morning - and it was fine," he said.
"It never gets boring because the scenery is changing every second ... it's not a bad office."
Mr Durand was originally going to take off with a partner but he was a novice and decided not to attempt it.
The novice decided to be Mr Durand's driver, tracking him as he flew so he would be able to drive him back after the flight.
"We talked to each other on the radio and he just followed me up (to Muckadilla)," he said.
"It would be a long walk home otherwise."
The pair had an unexpected spectator as a farmer picked up on them talking to each other on their radios.
"He figured out towards the end of the trip what we were doing and where the driver was so he met up with him and asked him a few questions," he said.
The two records top off a dream season for the extreme hang-glider as he just returned from winning every competition he had entered worldwide.
The Australian record is particularly satisfying for Mr Durand as the record in the past has been set by hang-gliders towed high into the air by aircraft, rather than from a mountain.
Mr Durand estimated he travelled about 2km from the ground during the flight.
Though he admitted a little bit of luck came in to it, a lot of the record-breaking flight was skill.
"I've been trying for a while and I just had to wait for the right conditions but it does take a lot of skill," he said.
Hang-gliders are able to take flight by using thermal currents created by the sun's heat, but the currents usually do not last long and the glider has to gain altitude until they find another one.
Mr Durand said he had no worries about his long flights after beginning his flying career when he was 15.
"I've been doing it for 12 years so I don't really get worries about my flights and my parents don't either," he said.
"My father is a hang- glider and that's how I got into it."
As well as winning hang-gliding competitions and breaking records, Mr Durand was part of the Red Bull Adventure Team in Brazil. The competition consisted of teams competing in a range of disciplines including motorcyclists, ironmen and professional sprinters.
His team won the competition, taking home $76,000.


Good job i reckon although if his father is a hanglider does that make his mum a Kite?? :E

Buster Hyman
7th Mar 2008, 01:26
With the price of petrol these days, you can't blame him can you?

B A Lert
7th Mar 2008, 02:51
........Beechmont and Muckadilla? Ok, I'm too idle to look up Gooooogle Maps, but I'm sure each place is a thriving metropolis!

Fantome
7th Mar 2008, 03:13
Beechmont is a long established RNC point 40 DME BN when inbound from the south.

It is also a pretty spot and if you take the road up there from Nerang you eventually come out on a bit of a plateau with views to Mount Lindsay and Mount Barney and the border ranges and Lamington National Park. Last time I was there I pulled over for a while to watch the hang-gliders launching and very dawn-of-flight it was too.

Bravo Jon Durand.

marty1468
7th Mar 2008, 09:39
Where are.......
........Beechmont and Muckadilla?

As already stated, Beechmont is near Coolangatta (YBCG) and Muckadilla is out west about 500 k's. Slightly further than Roma in Queensland.

Parapunter
7th Mar 2008, 09:46
At a guess, the guy's broken the open distance record - HG & PG records are highly categorised to reflect the different flight types available to record seekers.

No detraction though, that is a mighty effort & would have been packed full of skill & shrewd decision making on the part of Jon Durand.

Aus went out of fashion for record setting for a while, Texas took over, so it's good to see the record swing back to the Ockers. Nice one!

More news here (http://www.xcmag.com/)

Saintsman
7th Mar 2008, 11:30
It just goes to show what you can do by having 3 weetabix for breakfast!

marty1468
7th Mar 2008, 22:49
I myself have 6 every morning. I think that may weigh me down tho hehe:}