Paragliders ready to set record

Vernon's Glenn Derouin and his partner will compete 8,5000 parajet flight in Australia Thursday...

Parajet Expedition pilots Mark Jennings-Bates and Glenn Derouin will be arriving at Jandakot Airfield on Thursday morning after completing a marathon 8,500-kilometre flight from Townsville to Perth, Australia for the Flight4Life project.

Peachland’s Jennings-Bates, who has been sidelined since an accident in Queensland damaged his motor, will be at the airport at 10 a.m. with Vernon’s Derouin, who will provisionally have completed a new world record flight for the longest journey by powered paraglider.

After starting in Townsville on Feb. 8, the team has encountered some of the most demanding and challenging weather conditions Australia could throw at them, including rain in Queensland, flooding in New South Wales, strong winds in Victoria and opposing winds in Western Australia.

Despite the challenges, the team has been able to complete the expedition in record-shattering time. The current record of 8,008 kilometres (held by Ben Jordan in Canada) took place over almost four months, while the Flight4Life team has been able to complete 8,500 kilometres in about half the time.

“It truly has been an epic 8,500-kilometre journey,” said Jennings-Bates.

“Glenn has been forced to fly in conditions that many pilots would not wish to encounter.”

Donations are being accepted for the Royal Flying Doctor Service and Rally4Life, details on the two charities and how to donate can be found at www.theflight4life.com.

Supporters can follow the team at www.theflight4life.com