NEW RECORD: RAFA DOES IT AGAIN!!!
19 Oct 2020
Ozone team pilot, Rafael Saladini (Enzo 3) has set a new straight distance (declared goal) world record at home in Brazil. He reports:
“Oct 15th - We’ve been here for 20 days declaring everyday the same point and had only two waves with reasonable wind and enough humidity. Tacima is always a mental challenge. At 6:40am, I was towed to 400m AGL from our “aeropasto” near Tacima - just enough altitude to reach the ridge 2km behind where the old foot launch is located.
As the forecast was not so good, I launched with two main goals: I had a chase cam attached to get some shots and we decided to check a runaway in Lagoa Nova. I did a bit of soaring and at around 7am I began my unexpected +11 hour journey through the atmosphere.
Before reaching Lagoa Nova, I had to make a pendulum and grab the chase cam to make sure I would not have surprises in case of a hard landing. I cut the line and left the mount inside my harness. When I arrived over the runaway, I was 250m AGL and was searching for a safe place to land. But life sometimes delivers unexpected surprises. A strong cycle just took me straight to cloudbase, and after that my mindset changed completely. I decided to fly as far as I could and finally try to break the declared goal.
Since 2007, after my South American record of 397km, I never flew alone anymore. Team flying is my favorite way to explore Brazilian Sertão. Share the sky and world records with my friends are among the best experiences I ever had. But this time I decided to do it otherwise. Fly by myself again the whole day. Meditate in deep silence for more than 11h. A pure connection with the pulse of the atmosphere, when nothing else matters, only the present moment and the next thermal.
Conditions were far from great, with only moderate wind and many blue holes. The only way to try to compensate was full bar the whole time and an agressive attitude, exposing myself for an early landing much more than we usually do when team flying. It worked until 3:30pm. After that the sky turned blue and was very difficult to navigate fast and precise.
Late afternoon, when I was already tired, that’s when team flying makes a difference, especially when we have blue sky. I committed some mistakes in the last two hours that cost me some precious kilometers. But I managed to break the straight distance to a declared goal world record, declaring and flying 530km and reaching a final distance of 555km, landing in a dirty road in the heart of Ceará. The current record is from Guy Anderson and Harry Bloxham, 510.8km in 2019. Lets see if FAI will ratify.
Certainly it was the best paragliding experience I ever had alone in my life. I’m really stoked!! 555km is the third longest flight in Paragliding History. The current straight distance world record is 582km (tow), and the previous one was 564km (foot launch). Both from our team, and I am really really really grateful and honored to be a part of all of them”
For track log click here
Congrats Rafa and cheers from all the Ozone Team.