Jonny Be Good

Hang glider Jonny Durand in fine form over USA
Jonny Durand Soaring © VUE Images
By Josh Rakic

He might have had a rough run at the World Championships in Brazil courtesy of torrential weather, but hang glider Jonny Durand has bounced back in spectacular fashion to be leading the Flytech Race and Rally event in Georgia, USA.

The event covers the entire distance between Georgia to Tennessee, which is all the incentive most whisky drinkers need to get there on the double. And Jonny’s up there with the best of them – blown past them, in fact.

After four days of completion and three to go, Jonny is out in front on his Moyes Lightspeed craft with a more than 100-points buffer to second. In fact, he entered today’s competition having claimed a 42-minute victory over a day high 117km. American Larry Bunner was the only other man to go that distance but did so a little slower. Of 35 competitors from all over the world – including the US, Brazil, Romania, England, Spain and the Ukraine – Jonny is the only Australian and setting the standard.

I’m in Moultrie, Georgia and the purpose of the race is to travel from Orlando all the way to Tennessee – but the weather is keeping us from going north.

 “We’re still flying but we’re adjusting routes and keeping out of the bad weather.” Travelling above 5500 feet and accelerating as much as 660 feet per minute in the good thermals, Jonny has been successful by avoiding difficult conditions and going off course at the expense of distance and in the hope of getting there quicker. And it’s worked so far – especially Wednesday (AEST).

And with yesterday’s win, Jonny added yet another record to his bulging books of feats, claiming eight consecutive day wins in a row to break the Wills Wing streak. It’s a big deal at the hang gliding world.

Jonny is currently outright second in the FAI world rankings, just 22 points shy of the lead. And he retains No.1 status in Australia. Three more days of competition remain in the Flytech event.

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