For Jennings-Bates, after three years of planning and investing in the project, the dream of setting a new world record is over. In Queensland, a bad launch resulted in a broken propeller and unfortunately the team had to arrange to have some spares flown out from the UK.
“We all knew it was going to take precious time to get the props here and we had two choices, wait for a few weeks so that we could carry on as a team, or continue giving the other pilot, Glenn Derouin and the team overall the best chance of success” said Jennings-Bates, adding “I am gutted, it was probably the most difficult decision I have made in my life after all the effort I have put into this, but at the end of the day, the whole project is to raise awareness and funds for charity, so the show must go on, it is not about me personally getting a world record, although I have to admit, that would have been cool... another day!”
Since the incident, Derouin has battled on through ever challenging weather with either the wind slowing him down, or stopping him altogether.
Both pilots will be back in the air this week and continue flying across Australia in their bid to break the world record for the longest continuous paramotor journey.
The team is hoping that the weather should settle down a little as they get into New South Wales and South Australia although flying through the Nullarbor desert could still present some very serious issues. Add to that the fact that this is the second wettest year on record for Australia and New South Wales is bracing itself for it’s second largest rainfall event ever and it is easy to understand how the trip has been challenging!
“We have great tools at our disposal, like PredictWind.com to help us look at weather, but we did not expect to find so many micro climates in what is really a fairly flat country” said Derouin, “As we fly, we can be in smooth warm air one minute and then knocked around in the air by a cold dense flow that we could not predict, it is challenging flying for sure”
The teams spirits remain high as they thread their way between bands of bad weather and they hope to be heading in to the Nullarbor the second week of March.
The team is recording a lot of their activities for a future TV show that they hope will document not only their struggle, but the struggle of the people they are trying to help.
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.
As soon as Jennings-Bates returns to Canada after this adventure, he will start training for the next, a 100km Ultramarathon in Guatemala in November to raise money for an orphanage and school in the region.
Supporters can follow the teams progress live on the internet with satellite tracking provided by HELIOS Global Tracking. To follow, log into their website at www.theflight4life.com
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