Breaking the New Zealand paragliding distance record with a 9 hour flight along the backbone of the Southern Alps on Christmas day 2015. Lots of cirrus around early on but it was fast flying anyway, in the dry nation east of the primary divide. In the very first two hours I covered over 30km/hr. The Pukaki airmass around Mt Cook was the very first obstacle which was much slower but it was back to full speed after that up until the Arrowsmiths. Here a detour slowed me down and the flight changed from strong desert thermals to gentle valley breeze soaring in the shade. I arrived on the West Coast – no lift on the face and an extremely light valley breeze.
See my full report of this and other flights at
The tracklog for this flight is at
Some history of records in New Zealand can be discovered here
Video footage, edit, and voiceovers by the pilot Nick Neynens