Julian Robinson set a new British out-and-return paragliding record at the weekend, with a 158.7km flight through the Highlands of Scotland.
Julian launched from Creag Meagaidh at 11:43am on Saturday 4 June 2022 and flew for seven-and-a-half hours. Flying a Gin Leopard, he reached a maximum altitude of 8,471 feet (2,600m) which is about twice the height of Scotland’s highest peak, Ben Nevis (4,413ft / 1,345m).
“Such a rare day to get the super-high base over such a wide area, and so much better when you get to share it with a top bunch of pilots!” Julian wrote in his flight report on the XC League’s page.
He added: “With a forecast of 2,400m+ base and epic convergence, a good crowd pitched up at Creag Meagaidh, including rare sightings of Mike Cavanagh and Dean Crosby.
“A task of 135km down the Spey Valley to Grantown and back was set, and with the first clouds popping, we were off, straight into a rocket to cloudbase at 2,000m. Roll call of the first gaggle: Mike, Dean, Barney and me. That’ll do – let’s go!
“The convergence set-up along the edge of the Monadliath plateau and we rolled along it getting steadily higher with each cloud … By Aviemore the clouds ended, and we needed to take a long detour north to reconnect with the convergence line which took us to within range of the turnpoint, which was a long glide out into the valley and back to the clouds.
“The journey back was a bit faster with a slight tailwind, but we got off the convergence line at one point, getting very low.”
He added: “I couldn’t resist extending the flight to the west end of the range and back, with some mellow soaring in the evening light.”
Julian and Mike Cavanagh also claimed the declared out-and-return UK record of 135km.
Cross Country’s Hugh Miller and Mark Watts held the UK out-and-return record previously, for a 120km flight from Devil’s Dyke, Sussex in 2018.