December 11th 2014 was a record day in Australia, with two big records falling in both paragliding and rigid categories.
Garth Camac set a new Australian paragliding record, flying 378km straight distance from Greenacres in the south of New South Wales to near the town of Cobar.
And Scott Barett flew to a world record with a monster 581km flight to a declared goal, beating the previous record by more than 200km.
Both pilots took advantage of southerly winds and launched in the south of the country and flew north.
Garth was flying an Ozone M6 and launched by tow from Greenacres in southern New South Wales. He flew for 7.5hrs at an average speed of 53.5km/h.
Scott’s flight took him from an aerotow launch at Boort airfield near Yando in Victoria to Mooleulooloo in Southern Australia. He was flying an Air Atos VQ.
His 581km beat the previous record of 378.9km by 202.1km. That six year old record that had been set by Benjamin Herring in the USA in August 2008.
Garth said the day was “only ever going to be epic or a flop”
“The weather was in a good phase, post frontal, and the wind on the strong side,” he explained. “It took some good timing and assistance on launch to be ready for a bit of a lull.”
Once in the air: “Climbs during the day got stronger and were consistent, it was a matter of nailing each climb and staying focussed on setting up for the next one as there wasn’t a lot of time or scope for going far crosswind – it had to be done early.”
Towing paragliders at Greenacres, also known as Deniliquin, has been gaining popularity in recent years as pilots have pioneered big distance flying from the site. Base can reach 4,000m with take off at around 200m, giving loads of height to go XC.
On the day several pilots flew far from Deniliquin. Seb Benz (CH) made 374km, Alex Yaschenko (AU) flew 335km, Benji Staub (CH) flew 313km, Brian Webb (AU) flew 262km and Gavin McClurg flew 231km.
During the flight Garth hit a max height of 2,400m and benefited from a strong south wind.
“Towing at Deniliquin has been a wicked experience and I’m super stoked to have been able to get a flight in that isn’t just a PB but probably an Australian record,” he said.
“Only one person gets to fly furthest each day but towing in the flatlands is far from an individual sport… it takes a team to work together and cooperate and share resources for anyone to fly at all with a margin of safety in what becomes a very isolated and big part of the country.
“I feel really grateful to have had such a cool bunch of people around in the last few weeks. I’ve been able to learn heaps and leverage off the experience and adventures of others and apply some of that to have a cool flight. ”
He said thanks had to go to, “Brian Webb and Barb Scott from XCkms.com, Sebastian Benz, Alex Yaschenko, Bruce Marks, Ron and Kate McKenzie, Gavin McClurg, Kari Roberson, Andrew and Wendy Horchner and the rest of the crew that have been so open to support and offer their knowledge and experience over the last few weeks.”
Scott Barrett wrote up his flight on the Oz Report.
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