Hang-glider Jonny Durand has taken one step closer to claiming an elusive world championship after soaring to the top of the world rankings with his debut win at the Pre World Championships in Brazil.
Over five days of competition in the second biggest contest on the international hang-gliding calendar, that always precedes the World Championships proper at the very same location, Jonny shot to a big lead on day one and held on amid tough conditions to claim the coveted win.
“Winning the Pre Worlds was probably my biggest win since I started my career 15 years ago,” an elated Jonny says.
“And this will give me enough points to move back into first on the world rankings, which I'm also stoked about.”
Needing 70 points to return to the lead after three days in a five-way battle for first, Jonny did just enough in tricky conditions to score an 80-point victory at the very same location where he contested and won last week’s Brazilian National Championships.
“I won by 80 points over second place but then there was only 20 points between the next four places,” Jonny says.
“Considering we flew five days of competition that was quite a close finish and there were potentially five people in the race for the last day.
Unfortunately, the last day was too windy but I was not too upset to start the party early and not have to risk losing the championship on the last day.
“I only managed to win the first day of competition, which after winning the lead-up comp showed my competitors I was serious. I placed second in the fourth task and had average results on the three other days of competition, but enough overall to score the win.”
It makes it his sixth victory from seven events this American summer, Jonny capping the season with his biggest win yet.
“To make this four international wins in a row since I left home, I can't be any happier,” Jonny continues.
“I'm just about to head back to the USA where I have one more international competition starting next weekend before I fly back to Australia for our upcoming season.”