30 Oct 2018

Martin Morlet (France) - European record ratified!

On the 22d of June 2018 Martin Morlet set out on a paragliding route via Port à Binson - Conflans sur Seine - Francillon - Ste Radegonde (France), that has become a 372,4 km of "Free distance using up to 3 turn points"  - a European Record currently ratified by FAI.

We have contacted Martin to learn more how it all happened and now present to your attention his record-breaker story.

Tell us how it all began!

I started to fly in 1997, but because of my studies and professional obligations, I did not fly several years since then. The person who got me into the sport was my father, who in his turn was introduced to the sport by a friend. He asked me if I wanted to try, I did, and was hooked in the blink of an eye! 

My father inspired me to continue. Actually, he helped a lot when I started cross-country flights and competitions. It was difficult to find the time to fly, and to actually go to a take-off. The nearest one was more than 100km away from where I lived.

It is not your first record, isn't it?

Regarding cross country flying, I still hold the French distance record (411km straight), and the European distance record to a declared goal.

Why did you decide to break that very record in that very place?

“La Champagne” is one of the few places where you can consider long distance flights in France with minimum nuisance from airspaces. This “corridor” is narrow however.

Besides, there was no previous record! So it seemed legitimate to declare this 2nd longest French distance as a record.

How long did preparation took?

I usually fly around 100h per year, so I have to be extra sharp on selecting the days I fly. It requires a fair amount of meteo analysis. My computer was the most important part of the preparation!

Who helped you during preparation?

I flew the previous day and I was sick. Thanks to a friend, Hugo, I had a bed for the night before the day of the record. Had I been compelled to go back home, I would not have flown. I also want to thank my family, my paragliding club “les AiglesTonnerois”. For this flight, Fred, Laurent, and Maxime, and of course, the always kind and welcoming pilots of “la Champagne”.

What was the most tricky thing in breaking this record?

Managing almost 200km of blue sky and low tops was definitely an issue. You had to find the right path to maximize speed and minimize the risks to bomb out. It was mandatory to anticipate from far away the last airspace, to avoid it without consequences in declining conditions.

Anything to tell to the pilots?

Be prepared as much as you can, make logical choices, trust your feelings, and enjoy the ride!

Thank you, Martin, and Congratulations!