Smith keen to set mark again

Just three days after setting the New Zealand hang-gliding distance record, John Smith has beaten his own record.

Last Thursday Mr Smith (43) flew from Queenstown to Tekapo, a distance of 172.4km, taking him 5hr 10min and 4sec.

On Sunday he flew the same route, travelling from Coronet Peak to Wanaka, crossing to Hawea and flying through the Lindis Pass and the Mackenzie Country, landing near Tekapo in 4hr 52min and 12sec, a distance of 177.5km, reaching a maximum speed of 111.7kmh.

Mr Smith told the Otago Daily Times he was ''absolutely amazed'' to have beaten his own record so quickly.

''The original plan was to go to Omarama and come back, but the wind was strong and that route wasn't possible.''

Mr Smith said he felt he could have flown further, but was forced to land before a mandatory broadcast zone north of Tekapo, as he did not have an airband radio with which to to check in.

However, he would probably buy a radio and try to break his record again.

tracey.roxburgh@odt.co.nz