Vernon’s Glenn Derouin is home after operating a paramotor across Australia. His partner was Mark Jennings-Bates from Peachland.

Vernon’s Glenn Derouin is home after operating a paramotor across Australia. His partner was Mark Jennings-Bates from Peachland.

Paragliders back in Okanagan

Vernon's Glenn Derouin and Peachland's Mark Jennings-Bates will talk about their Australian adventure in May...

Canadian adventurer Mark Jennings-Bates will be heading back to the Okanagan this week after a successful expedition in Australia.

However, rather than flying a paramotor, he’ll be arriving commercially at Kelowna International Airport early Thursday.

“It has been a fantastic trip,” said the Peachland resident.

“Other than not being able to personally fly for the whole expedition we reached our expectations for the trip and gained some valuable media exposure for both of the charities.”

A broken prop forced Jennings-Bates to withdraw from an attempt to break the Guinness world record for continuous powered paraglider flight.

Vernon’s Glenn Derouin continued on his own, flying about 8,500 kilometres in two months. Jennings-Bates continued as part of the support crew.

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

The current record of 8,008 kilometres held by Ben Jordan in Canada took place over an almost four-month period; the Flight4Life team has been able to complete more than 8,500 kilometres in about half that.

Derouin returned to Canada last weekend, and Jennings-Bates remained Down Under to tie up loose ends.

Okanagan residents will get a chance to see and hear firsthand what happened on the world record paramotor expedition as Jennings-Bates and the Rally4Life charity present their story to Vernon on May 15, Kelowna on May 16, and Penticton on May 23.

Tickets are $10. For information, e-mail mark@theflight4life.com or visit www.theFlight4Life.com.

“We have some epic footage and photos and the adventurous stories of our battle with the weather will keep everyone entertained,” said Jennings-Bates.