Lightning and thunder

Jonny Durand grounded amid brutal Gold Coast storms
Jonny Durand Grounded © Mark Watson/Red Bull Content Pool
By Josh Rakic

It takes a lot to keep record-holding, championship-winning hang glider Jonny Durand out of the sky. Hell, not even a torn knee ligament could keep the Gold Coast larrikin grounded.

But with heavy storms lashing the Queensland coast, Jonny says even he won’t risk almost certain death by powering into the eye of the storm – no matter what records are on offer.

“Haha. I’m not sure who would recognise that so best stay safe,” Jonny says with a chuckle.

“I actually had a good friend who got sucked up into a storm in Europe and came out of it two countries later! It definitely didn’t sound appealing.

“I have been close to getting caught by a storm once or twice before but I can tell you the last place I want to be is caught by one of those in a hang glider. We are very good at judging weather and when anything like that appears we land before danger arrives. Just…”

Not that he’s had any shortage of air miles, Jonny traversing the globe and touching down in Mexico, Brazil and the US of A in preparation for next year’s World Champions. Despite having held the No.1 ranking a number of times, Jonny has never claimed the coveted World Championship gold. And given it only comes about every couple years, he’s determined to make 2015 his year.

My main focus is definitely preparing for Mexico in March

“We only get one chance of becoming world champion every two years and I have never won that title despite being world number one for many years. My best result was second during the World Championships in France 2009.”

But if his Australian results are anything to go by, Jonny is in good stead. He won the first event of the Australian season last month is inline to add yet another national title to his belt.

“I’m preparing for our next big one in the New Year at the moment,” he says.

“I’ve got 13 national titles now that I have won in the past 14 years. I missed a few competitions when I had my knee surgery done which cost me one year, so I’m keen to make that up and have a big season.”

read more about
Next Story