Photos: Jon Durand's record flight

Jon Durand broke two world records off Australia's coast. Even more impressive? The shots.
By Tarquin Cooper

It took a year of planning. But in the end it worked out perfectly for Australian hang-gliding pilot Jonny Durand.

The 33-year-old set two world records off the Great Australian Bight — the quickest 300km out-and-return distance and quickest 100km out-and-return. [Read the full story here.]

Still, it was not all easy flying for the pilot. At one point he was so convinced that he was going to ditch that he undid his safety harness. But in the end he managed to find some lift and his worst nightmare was averted.

Enjoy the visual feast from his flight below, from photographer Mark Watson.

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Jonny Durand: Boomerang
Jonny Durand: Boomerang Two records, one day. © Mark Watson
Jon Durand rides the updrafts
Jon Durand rides the Nullabor updrafts prior to his out-and-back hangliding world record
Jon Durand rides the updrafts Jon Durand rides the Nullabor updrafts prior to his out-and-back hangliding world record on the magestic cliffs of The Great Australian Bight on January 27, 2014. © Mark Watson / Red Bull Content Pool
Jon Durand, pictured after his out-and-back record
Jon Durand following his out-and-back hangliding world record.
Jon Durand, pictured after his out-and-back record Jon Durand following his out-and-back hangliding world record on the majestic cliffs of The Great Australian Bight on January 28, 2014. © Mark Watson / Red Bull Content Pool
Soaring achievement
Jon Durand riding his hangglider over the majestic cliffs Australia.
Soaring achievement "It was amazing," says Durand, "like nothing I’ve ever experienced before. And in terms of personal achievements, it’s way up there. There were just so many elements." © Mark Watson/Red Bull Content Pool
Bird's eye view
Jon Durand riding his hangglider over the majestic cliffs of Australia.
Bird's eye view Durand made his flight from Eucla, off the Great Australian Bight, a stunning yet remote region of southern Australia. © Mark Watson/Red Bull Content Pool
Songlines in the sand
Jon Durand riding his hangglider over the coast of Australia.
Songlines in the sand Durand begins his epic challenge off Eucla, western Australia. © Mark Watson/Red Bull Content Pool
Mission base
Jon Durand preparing for his world record.
Mission base Durand prepares for his out-and-back hang-gliding world record attempt shortly before take-off. © Mark Watson/Red Bull Content Pool
Coastal cave
Jon Durand riding his hangglider during the world record attempt.
Coastal cave Durand passes a cave along the spectacular cliffs of the Great Australian Bight. © Mark Watson/Red Bull Content Pool
Shark fear
Jon Durand riding his hangglider during the world record attempt.
Shark fear The waters off the coast are known for great white sharks and ditching was Durand's worst fear. Fortunately, the only wildlife he saw were seals and he managed to stay airborne. © Mark Watson/Red Bull Content Pool
Blue sky flying
Jon Durand riding his hangglider during the world record attempt.
Blue sky flying The Big Bight is one of the most remote and terrifying flying locations in the world. Add to that two of hang gliding’s most coveted world records, broken at death-defying speeds, and Jonny Durand has cemented himself not only as a world-quality daredevil but a modern hang gliding great. © Mark Watson/Red Bull Content Pool
Long way down
Jon Durand riding his hangglider along the coast during the world record attempt.
Long way down Says Durand: “We decided to do it at the Great Australian Bight, where the winds pushing from the ocean and up the cliff allowed me to stay in the air the entire time without stopping – even once.” © Mark Watson/Red Bull Content Pool
Ditching unthinkable
Jon Durand riding his hangglider along the cliffs during the world record attempt.
Ditching unthinkable Ditching was unthinkable. But in any adventure you have to prepare for the worst and Durand and his support team had every scenario covered. © Mark Watson/Red Bull Content Pool