News from South America on 13 November 2013: a new hang gliding world record set in Chile by Austrian pilot Thomas Weissenberger. His eight hour flight covered 350 kilometers across the Cordillera Coast in Chile — the new world record for an out-and-back trip. Redbull.com filmed a video of the flight, and it can be viewed on the website. Weissenberger is captain of the Austrian Hang Gliding Team and previously put in a 345 kilometer flight.
Weissenberger named some of the flight’s challenges as low inversion, due to the cold temperatures of the Pacific Ocean, and a 500 kilometer long volcanic cliff along the route. He says flying has taught him “one important thing … to listen to my subconscious.” Early in his career he was more logical and rational, but now he lets his senses dictate to his subconscious. In the future, Weissenberger hopes to attempt a triangle world record at 360 kilometers or 400 kilometers. His ambition is to attempt the flight in the Alps, his home territory, “the most beautiful and majestic region of all!”
Americans still hold the open distance world record. Just over a year ago, in July of 2012, Dustin Martin and Jonny Durand set a new open distance hang gliding world record, flying a distance of 761 kilometers. The flight took place in Texas, with both pilots landing in Lubbock after 11 hours of flying. The flight took place during the annual World Record Encampment in Zapata, TX.
Who knows what record will fall next! Hang gliders keep reacher higher and farther, at locations all around the world. Congratulations to Thomas Weissenberger!