The young Swiss Yael Margelisch now holds the women’s world record for the longest paragliding flight. She achieved this last October in north-eastern Brazil, where she flew 552.4 kilometres.
The flight broke two records: first in the category "distance over three turning points" with a total length of 552.4km and in the discipline "free distance" with 531.7km. The World Air Sports Federation recognised her achievementexternal link last week.
The unique conditions of the region just south of the equator, along with a consistent trade wind that blows at that time of year, set up ideal conditions to break records. Yael set off at 7am and flew with a group of men, who were attempting to fly longer than 600km.
“It’s mentally quite hard, you have to stay focused all the time. You have to eat and drink,” the record-breaker explained to Swiss newspaper Le Nouvelliste. She’s planning on breaking another record by flying for more than 300km over the Alps, something no woman has done before. The 28-year-old from canton Valais, in south-western Switzerland, started flying at the age of 19 and has previously won medals at European Championships and World Cups.