2013 saw distance records for both Dunstable and Sharpenhoe Clappers smashed.
Hugh Miller saw the forecast was good, joined the club and on 2nd May 2013 he rocked up to Sharpenhoe Clappers on what looked like being a great day for an XC (the third great day that week).
He simply launched and vanished. A staggering 178km later he landed in Castle Cary, Somerset. A new site record!
Sharpenhoe site record was previously held by the late and great Pete Roberts for travelling 98 miles (159Km) in 1998 on his Hang Glider. It is said that this flight was only a couple of hours long and required the assistance of several people to help Pete launch straight into a thermal on a very very strong wind day. The legends speak of one who rode a single thermal across the country.
You can see Hugh’s record breaking flight here.
That same year, 22nd April, on an overcast day with no sign of XC potential and a poor forcast there was one lone Hang Glider pilot at Dunstable Downs. That pilot was Andrew Hollidge.
With the ridge to himself and a murky sky overhead Andrew managed to slowly climb out in weak lift. Not to a great height, just 2500′ but enough to set a new site record of 153.9km. He says that the entire flight was no higher than 2500′ for the entire flight but it was very bouyant. Once at height he was able to maintain height and bounce along to his final destination in Norfolk.
Andrews flight was the only flight at Dunstable that day. A lesson to us all.
The Dunstable record was previously 70M (112KM) in 1989 by the infamous Pete Roberts.